So, What Are You Having For Lunch?—Red Clover Cafe and Creamery
Isabell’s, the former cozy cafe on Route 5 in East Thetford, Vermont that served diner-style breakfasts and lunches for 17 years, is not altogether gone. New owners Janet and Tom Call, longtime patrons of the place during frequent visits to Vermont, are determined to continue to provide good food and the sense of community that Isabell’s brought to the Upper Valley.
Their new establishment, Red Clover Cafe and Creamery, opened earlier this summer. Renovations have brought an airy dining room with fine wood decor, an informal art gallery with works by area artists, a new outdoor deck, and an ice cream window. For now it appears the restaurant will be seasonal; it will close its doors in mid-October this year and return next spring.
It may seem a long way from Virginia to Vermont, from a life in health care (Janet is the former Executive Director and Nurse Practitioner of several clinics for the uninsured in Virginia) to hospitality. But the Calls have done this before. They have at times run similar establishments: a B&B on a farm near the Shenandoah National Park, a cafe, and an ice cream truck. After several years of visiting family in the Upper Valley, the Calls purchased a home in Vermont. Red Clover is their new shared adventure in retirement.
What is Janet having for lunch?
“My favorite sandwich is the Caprese. We use Vermont Fresh basil pesto, Maplebrook mozzarella cheese, Cedar Circle tomatoes and a special sauce on a panini ciabatta that is heated in the press. The melting together of all the ingredients makes a beautiful flavor. We always include a side of raw vegetables in a fresh "cole slaw" that often includes broccoli or kale along with carrots and cabbage. I am very proud of that sandwich.” (photo, top)
(Rob Gurwitt of Daybreak and I are collaborating on “So, what are you having for breakfast/lunch/dinner?”, a weekly feature that will alternate between Daybreak and Artful. We’re asking chefs and owners of Upper Valley restaurants to spill the tea on what they would choose from their own menus.)
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Susan B. Apel shuttered a lifelong career as a law professor to continue an interest (since kindergarten) in writing. Her freelance business, The Next Word, includes literary and feature writing; her work has appeared in a variety of lit mags and other publications including Art New England, The Woven Tale Press, The Arts Fuse, and Persimmon Tree. She connects with her neighbors through Artful, her blog about arts and culture in the Upper Valley. She’s in love with the written word.