When Maggie Barch and Matt Pearsall opened Our House Bistro in downtown Winooski, VT, they were no strangers to food service. In fact it was a long time in the making.
A Passion for Food
After completing the culinary program at Newbury College in Brookline, Massachusetts, Matt found himself drawn to catering and the creative process of creating a whole new atmosphere for each event. His talents landed him the title of Executive Chef for catering companies around New England, eventually leading him to a key role in the development of
Legal Sea Food’s catering division, an award-winning restaurant that regularly served popular musicians, actors and politicians including George W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Matt explored an interest in a diversity of cooking styles also mastering clambake and barbecue recipes in the Cajun backwoods of Opelousas, Louisiana.
All roads lead to home, however, and Maggie and Matt eventually came back to Vermont, having both grown up together in Milton where as kids they were school sweethearts. In 1999 they made a home for their young family in Fayston, a rural community within Vermont’s Mad River Valley, from which Maggie developed the budding events program at ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, and Matthew served as executive chef at the Round Barn Farm’s Cooking from the Heart. Their joint catering venture Spice of Life was launched in the summer of 2003 with a booth at the Mad River Green Farmers Market in Waitsﬁeld and since then they have attracted the attention of locals and visitors alike.
Known for their full-service catering, Spice of Life Catering found a niche in weddings with a focus on providing “elegant, wholesome foods that complement our beautiful Vermont landscapes” and for which they have garnered rave reviews.
TIP: Go to http://www.vtspiceoflife.com/Testimonials to read their clients’ testimonials, they’re incredibly positive!
The Creation of Our House Bistro
The great success of Spice of Life Catering empowered Maggie and Matt to realize a life-long dream: to open up their own restaurant. May 2010 saw the opening of Our House Bistro’s doors at 36 Main Street, Winooski. When asked what attracted them to Winooski’s
downtown location, Matt cites the humble neighborhood feel and great visibility on the city-center rotary. He sees Our House Bistro as a contributor to the revitalization of downtown Winooski and is excited to be part of what he calls its “face-lift”.
A favorite among locals, Our House Bistro “pays homage to the simple, belly-filling goodness of mom’s cooking while infusing it with gastronomic techniques and culinary authenticity you find in the finest dining establishments, plus a good dose of twisted creativity.” The result is a fun, laid back dining environment decorated in vintage 70s and 80s trinkets and old family photos featuring extraordinary comfort food for brunch, lunch and dinner including many vegan options.
Some highlights of the brunch menu are the corned beef and sweet potato has, apple cider donuts with cinnamon sugar served warm by the half dozen, stuffed French toast with raspberry and chocolate or brie and ham filling and don’t forget the delicious Dutch pancake and waffle combo, which is a thick Belgian waffle nestled in a Dutch pancake with berries and whipped cream.
Not to be outdone, the lunch and dinner menu features tasty treats like the Twisted BLT with Cajun bacon and garlic aoli, their special venison burger and their Twisted Mac and Cheese special allowing you to pick from a multitude of mouth watering add-ins including lobster, crab, steak, corned beef, mushrooms, fried onion strings and chevre covered in herb bread crumbs or choose from the pre-designed Peanut Butter & Jelly Mac, Shrimpy Scampi Mac and other unique combinations.
Looking to the Future
Maggie and Matt are now considering opening another restaurant in addition to possibly expanding Our House Bistro to accommodate more tables. Currently on year 3 of a 5 year
lease, Our House Bistro isn’t planning on going anywhere. And when asked for their candid opinion on Riverhouse, Matt had nothing but good things to say. He believes that more people and movement around downtown Winooski will further stimulate its economy and thus its revitalization, giving Winooski the face-lift it’s been looking for to keep moving towards its full potential.
Our House Bistro
Open Mon-Fri 11am-close
Saturday brunch 10am-2pm, dinner 2pm-close
Sunday brunch 9am-2pm dinner 2pm-close
36 Main Street, Winooski, VT
Spice of Life Catering
3411 North Fayston Road
Moretown, VT 05660