STOWE, Vt. -- If we are to believe Shirley MacLaine, whose film debut was in ''The Trouble With Harry," Alfred Hitchcock chose Vermont not for its scenery, but for its food.
Hitchcock dined at The Lodge, a Stowe landmark that has since turned condominium. But Stowe doesn't lack for good restaurants.
The Trapp Family Lodge is a must, if only to see the movie posters (the lodge is owned by the family that inspired ''The Sound of Music"). I was up for something new, though, and locals suggested the Blue Moon Café. It was on a quiet side street in the center of town, a small place with a main room and two enclosed porches.
The menu changes weekly. The night I went, it offered eight entrees, including seared sea scallops with carrot-onion compote and sweet chipotle syrup, maple-brined pork with dried-fruit chutney and sweet potato fries, and lamb steak grilled with pineapple, cranberries, and mint. I chose the pork, my companion the lamb.
To start, I ordered a salad and the grilled shiitake mushrooms marinated in green curry. The mushrooms came inside a crisp Indian wafer over a zigzag of lemon yogurt. Inside, the shiitakes were mixed with mesclun greens and wilted scallions. They tasted like tender grilled beef, smoky and rich. The wafer, called pappadam, was brittle and satisfying.
Next came the salad: greens coated with a maple mustard dressing neither too sweet nor too bitter. In between, I munched on thick-crusted bread still warm from the oven.
The pork chop was thick and grill-seared, with fresh broccolini and sweet potato fries on the side. It was tasty, but I was glad to have a steak knife, as cutting it was tough. My companion's lamb, though, was perfect -- pink and succulent, sliced on a mound of buttery rice with chunks of fresh pineapple drenched in cranberry juice.
For desserts, the Blue Moon is known for its crème brulée. But I went for the special, a raspberry-peach buttermilk tart. It was delicious. Thin and flat, it looked underwhelming. But one bite released an explosion of fresh raspberry in peach cream so sumptuous that I could think of nothing else.
When I looked up, the place was packed. Odd, I thought, for a Tuesday night in February.
Then again, with tarts like this, maybe not.
Blue Moon Café, 35 Church St., Stowe, Vt. 802-253-7006. www.bluemoonstowe.com. Dinner nightly 6-9:30. Entrees $17-$31.