A restaurant in a southern Vermont resort town is earning high praise — and a new award — from users of a popular travel site.
"I spent the whole rest of the night sort of floating a few inches above the floor — I was pretty excited," said Melody French of The Silver Fork in Manchester, describing her reaction when she learned of an award the restaurant received this month.
Massachusetts-based Tripadvisor named The Silver Fork a winner of its 2021 Travelers' Choice Best of the Best Restaurants, crowning it the best spot in the country for date night.
"We have fun with people, so we break the ice a little bit," French said, saying the casual and pleasant atmosphere she strives for is one reason the restaurant could be a good spot for a date. "It's romantic at night when it's all lit up and the candles are on the table."
Based on the quality and quantity of traveler ratings and reviews on the site, the Tripadvisor award came with praise for the restaurant's eclectic, often international-inspired cuisine.
The travel site also spotlighted The Silver Fork's historic setting. It is located in Manchester's former town library.
The reimagined library has midcentury-modern-style decor, and its bar was even made from the landmark's old bookshelves, surely making for good date night conversation when you first sit down.
"Then they see the menu — it's very adventurous," added Mark French, the chef and co-owner of The Silver Fork. "We're just happy when we put out something and people leave and that they’re excited that they were here."
John O'Keefe, Manchester's town manager, predicted the Tripadvisor attention will be good for the whole community, not just for the restaurant.
"I'm a little worried that reservations are going to be much tougher to get, though," O'Keefe joked in an interview with NECN and NBC10 Boston Wednesday. "I'm going to have to call today and get another reservation before the story breaks."
The town manager said he hopes travelers doing their research also check out the resort town's world-class inns, its indie shops and outlet stores, and a wide range of offerings for outdoor recreation.
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"And of course, once the sun goes down, then it's date night and The Silver Fork would be the place to go for that," O'Keefe noted.
The Frenches, the family behind the celebrated restaurant, said they see the online honor as inspiration to keep striving for excellence.