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Kismet Returns Home 

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Locally renowned chef and cookbook author Crystal Maderia has been in the process of reopening her restaurant Kismet back in its original location at 207 Barre Street in Montpelier. 

Over the past 16 years years, Kismet has gone through numerous iterations. Changes in format and menu have been frequent and, at times, experimental in execution. Kismet’s customers have almost universally loved the brunch, although according to Maderia that will end soon. “Once the weather get’s colder and we can no longer serve outside, brunch will be discontinued,” she said.

Kismet opened its doors in December 2006. From the beginning, the cozy, youthful cafe was ahead of its time. Open for breakfast and lunch; their eclectic menu slanted more trendy West Coast than conventional New England with a focus on local, seasonal, organic produce. Kismet’s original offerings featured housemade butter, chai, fresh pressed juice, savory buckwheat crepes, and Portuguese baked eggs — a menu that reflected Maderia’s travels and family influence. Quirky for the location yet innovative in its uniqueness, Kismet was embraced by those seeking something new along with a more sustainable, healthier alternative to the standard fare found in Vermont at that time.

Eventually Kismet outgrew its compact Barre Street digs and in December 2010 relocated to a larger, more accessible space downtown. With the move to 52 State Street came an updated bistro menu and expanded dinner hours. Within months, however, a one-two punch in the form of two floods nearly forced the popular eatery to close. An urgent appeal successfully garnered community donations totaling $50,000 to help Kismet survive. In 2020, Maderia vacated her State Street location; it would soon become Montpelier’s newest acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant, Oakes and Evelyn.

Kismet’s current dinner menu consists of a number of small plates, a few entrees, and desserts. Menu options include a $50 “Happy Meal” consisting of two drinks plus two small plates, also a $65 Prix Fixe with two small plates, an entree, and dessert. Dinner will be served three to four nights per week, 5 to 9 p.m., and brunch is served Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (until the weather changes). Go to kismetkitchens.com for more information. 

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