As any good foodie knows, it’s never good to go to a restaurant when it first opens. While it’s fun to try somewhere new, they are still working out their kinks and finding their niche. I waited patiently for a few months to go to Duino! Duende & then grabbed a friend to come try it out with me. We were not disappointed. I have now eaten at the little restaurant attached to Radio Bean more than a handful of times (they just celebrated their first anniversary) & have tried something different almost every time. Impressively, there is only one dish on the menu (that I’ve tried) that I would not recommend – otherwise, everything has been delicious!
The atmosphere of Duino! Duende is very intimate & almost feels as though you are walking into a bar in the Village, yet you are in Burlington, VT! The restaurant is small (can’t really accommodate groups large than 4 & not really a great place to bring kids, but certainly can), the setting has a very Bohemian feel and Radio Bean (bar/coffee/tea room) is right next door, so you always have live music. The (tap) water is served in old wine bottles, none of the plates match, a plastic goose night light sits in the corner and the tin ceiling is painted gold. This is a great place to go for a romantic date, catching up with an old friend or take someone who has dietary restrictions. Duino! Duende has a wide range of options for folks who are gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian or who enjoy creative dishes.
Pros: caters to dietary restrictions, intimate (candle-lit tables), funky atmosphere, good wine, creative dishes, reasonably priced, seasonal options & local products used. Seating available outside during warm weather months. They are now serving lunch daily & Ethiopian food on Tuesday nights!
Cons: the live music next door can sometimes be a little too loud (check who is playing at Radio Bean before you go!), they sometimes run out of items (not uncommon for small restaurants who buy fresh), some have said that some of the staff can be unfriendly- I guess it depends on who you get/how late in the evening/how many requests you make… I’ve never really had a problem.
Duende Salade– Creatively topped with crispy parsnip chips and a light vinaigrette.
Simple & delicious.
Frietjes- if you come for drinks & just looking for a snack, get these! They are a mixture of russet potatoes and sweet potatoes cut thin & served with lime tulsi aioli and banana catsup.
La Poutine- frietjes topped with cheese current and local brown gravy.
I have not tried this dish yet, but since I love their frietjes and sauces, I’m sure it’s delicious. A local favorite.
Tostones– twice-friend plantains served with mojo aioli and curtido.
I’m not a huge fan of plantains (I find them very bland), so I didn’t really get jazzed about this dish, but if you like plantains, you’ll enjoy this!
Crepe de Poulet-local chicken, portabella mushrooms, roasted carrots, arugula and a brie mornay sauce.
Probably my favorite item on the menu (aside from the Frietjes). Just the right mixture of sauce, chicken & veggies!
Majadra (Levantine)- French lentils and sauteed grains, with a fried onion and tarator sauce topping.
My friend had this & said it was delicious!
Old World Burro– essentially a burrito- filled with black beans, sour cream, salsa, avocado & queso blaco.
Very good. Add chicken for additional protein.
Delicious desserts, too!
All photos from Duino! Duende’s Facebook page. For more information on the restaurant, events or to view their menu, check out their website: http://duinoduende.com/