Worth Knowing: Mangalitsa restaurant in Woodstock

Owners Matt Lombard and Nick Laurendeau

This may not be new news to some of you, but we're pretty sure many Upper Valley residents do not know that there is a relatively new gem of a restaurant in Woodstock. Matt Lombard and Nick Laurendeau opened Mangalitsa on Central Street in Woodstock last fall. And they've done very little to publicize this exciting new restaurant since then. They haven't had to. They have plenty of business. Here's why.

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Mangalitsa is located at 61 Central Street in the location that Osteria Pane e Salute used to occupy. The intimate restaurant has seating for 24 and dining is by reservation only. The menu changes every week, is designed around what ingredients are fresh and available, and is built largely on small plates, although some large plates and appetizers are always available. Lombard and Laurendeau source as much food locally as they can, which is a lot easier to do in the summer growing months. Much of the produce comes from the Fat Sheep Farm in Hartland, lamb comes from Reading, pork and chicken come from their farm in Woodstock and beef comes from the Boyden Farm in Cambridge, VT. Fish arrives by overnight delivery. Just to give you an idea of how creative and delicious the food at Mangalitsa is, here are a few items on this week's menu:

coffee braised beets (with whipped feta, shaved beets and mustard seed), lamb fat confit carrots (with lamb bacon, mint and cashew pesto, cashew butter and fennel pollen), seared scallops & garganelli (with black trumpet mushrooms, pea tendrils and onion jam), blue fin tuna belly tataki (coconut, heart of palm, avocado, peanut and red onion) and feta capatelli (with dried cranberry, pecan, brown butter and five spices). We know - this hurts.  

skate cheeks

The wine list at Mangalitsa is geared towards showcasing the food, but the objective of the wine list is to introduce people to labels they wouldn't have seen or tried before. Lombard and Laurendeau target smaller production vineyards and carefully curate what wines they offer. Similarly, there are usually 8-10 house cocktails available, which changes every 6-8 weeks, and many are made with fresh local vegetables and herbs.

That all sounds great, but what's with the name? Mangalitsa is the name of a breed of pig from Hungary that they raise on their farm. They look like this:

Okay that was all good news. The bad news is that Mangalitsa is going to be closing on April 1 to take a much-needed spring vacation. The doors will re-open on May 9. Make your reservations now by emailing info@mangalitsavt.com. You could even try to get in before they leave for vacation. 

Nick and Matt

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