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NECI on Main, Montpelier, VT

NECI on Main

4.2
4.2
438 Reviews
$30 and under
Contemporary American
Imagine the entire state of Vermont as a food experiment or as its own laboratory where food products are grown and created for this particular climate; seasonally, organically, and sustainably. Now imagine restaurants as teaching laboratories this restaurant for instance.

NECI on Main is a production lab for New England Culinary Institute. For 30 years we have been teaching students to make connections with farmers, between the landscape and our food, and between seasons and culinary traditions. Sometimes we include food items that express a particular sense of place from outside of Vermont, or culinary traditions from other cultures, and use those items or experiences to enhance the foods grown here in Vermont.

Our menu is no exception in this teaching philosophy, and reflects the best that Vermont’s farmers, and America’s next generation of young chefs offer.


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Additional information

  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Contemporary American, Contemporary European
  • Hours of Operation
    Lunch Tue–Sat 11:30 am–2:00 pm Lite Fare Daily 3:00 pm–5:30 pm Dinner Daily 5:30 pm–9:00 pm
  • Phone number
    (802) 223-3188
  • Payment Options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Dress Code
    Casual Dress
  • Catering
    Our Wine Room is a private room located in our Cellar area. It seats 16 guests comfortably. This space is popular for smaller gathering or meetings. <br /><br />Please contact Neil Archibald for Wine Room inquiries <br />802-225-3314 <br /><br />Our Chef’s Table dining room is located on our second floor. It offers seating for up to 40 guests. In our quiet, private space, separate from the rest of the hustle and bustle of our Cellar and Main Floor. <br /><br />Please contact Fawn Wells Maxfield for Chef's Table inquiries <br />802-225-3333
  • Private party facilities
    NECI's fabulous dining rooms are available to you for business meetings, corporate retreats, holiday parties, rehearsal dinners, banquets, private dining and so much more.The use of regional ingredients, innovative cuisine and gracious service in an intimate setting continues on. For a one of a kind culinary experience, no matter the occasion, a fine dining experience awaits you and your guests.
  • Private party contact
    Fawn Wells: (802) 225-3333
  • Neighbourhood
    Montpelier
  • Cross Street
    School St.
  • Parking Details
    None
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine

What 438 people are saying

Overall ratings and reviews

4.2
4.2 based on all time ratings
  • 4.2Food
  • 4.1Service
  • 4.1Ambience
  • 0.4Value

NoiseModerate

438 Reviews
  1. JamesE

    Dallas

    6 reviews

    4.0

    6 reviews

    Dined on October 6, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    This is our second time having dinner at NECI on Main. We have not been disappointed either time and will come back again every time we come up to Montpelier to visit our son at Norwich University. The overall quality of the food is very good, and we love the fact that we are supporting the students by dining there. The staff is friendly and efficient. This has to be the best restaurant in Montpelier for a fine meal.

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  2. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 6, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Could not be happier with our choice of prime rib. It was perfectly cooked and the pumpkin panna cotta was the perfect ending highlight.

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  3. PatriciaG

    Detroit

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on September 16, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Steak was one of the best I've had. Fish and chips...incredible...going back to have it !!!

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  4. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 26, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a very good dining experience at NECI. The food was well presented and tasty. It's been our experience that in this type of restaurant (culinary school) always does a great job. We would recommend.

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  5. gretchen

    Philadelphia

    60 reviews

    vip
    4.0

    60 reviews

    Dined on August 23, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Actually we were slightly disappointed here. We have been each summer as we visit this area for the last 5 years. The service was very professional but delivery very slow. The sweet pea soup was delicious. Cheese plate was great. The deviled eggs and salmon appetizer was very good altho not sure if that was supposed to be dill because it had no taste. The risotto was barely warm and the veggies served with it were overcooked and mushy. The fish and chips platter was very good with the exception of fries being too many. The strawberry ice cream was icy and perhaps flavorless. The coffee was strong and tasted old but the waitress did say she was brewing fresh decaf.

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  6. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on August 20, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Awesome meal and we love supporting the students of NECI.

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  7. sandyv

    New York City

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on August 12, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Mostly everthing was very good. I did think the demonico steak was overpriced. Hopefully you do change the menu often as it is rather limited.

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  8. PaPatti

    Philadelphia

    13 reviews

    3.0

    13 reviews

    Dined on August 4, 2017

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Our group of six liked their meals to different degrees. Veggie burger had wonderful ingredients but was bland. Salmon and risotto meals were delicious. All portions were reasonably sized. Great VT beers on tap. The daily specials were pricy. The bartender/waitress in downstairs dining room was exceptional, however not a NECI student.

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  9. jillery

    Raleigh

    46 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    46 reviews

    Dined on August 1, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Everyone should eat here. Wonderful dinner and food was fab.

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  10. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on July 25, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Took my father on vacation and made Montepelier a stop just to experience NECI on Main. Well worth the visit. Fine dining and great food.

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  11. Maxx

    Las Vegas

    26 reviews

    4.0

    26 reviews

    Dined on June 30, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I always loved this restaurant when it was the chefs table. I am sorry to see the upstairs dining room is closed, as I loved the ambience there. The night I went school was out of session. So the menu was sadly very limited. That said, what we had was excellent, but I was disappointed in the limited options.

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  12. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 21, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Took a group of adults to Montpelier for a day trip as part of a municipal recreation program and we had lunch at NECI on Main. This was certainly a highlight of our day! The food was delicious and the ambiance was perfect for a sunny afternoon. They accommodated our group of 7 easily, and service was prompt and friendly. While the lunch menu is only one page, there's a great variety, whether you like classic pub fare like Fish & Chips or burgers with hand-cut fries, or prefer to try something a little out-of-the-box, such as Chicken Coq au Vin with zoodles or a smoked salmon tartine salad, you're guaranteed to have a well-presented and tasty meal. We all give NECI on Main top marks, would recommend it to friends, and will plan to dine here again!

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  13. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on June 17, 2017

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    This restaurant is outstanding for the ambiance and the food, which have never disappointed us in dining here over the past 17 years. We originally discovered the place in the AAA book for Vermont. This visit was unfortunate in that we were seated close to two women who seemed to be having a long-distance conversation The noise level was not energetic, but loud and obnoxious. I could not decide which one I wanted to strangle first. We do not like being flies on the wall for others' table talk. Unfortunately, NECI can have no control over such insecure, loud personalities. We were seated at a small table, even though we dined later on a slow night. The room was mostly empty. Our server did ultimately move a second table over for us. We had ordered the demonico steak for two, which comes on four serving dishes, so space was a real problem. This steak was delicious and grilled perfectly. Our only criticism was that it had inedible tendons/membranes running through it, because of the way it had been butchered. The accompanying salad was a real diet portion - hardly enough to share, if you enjoy salads. The desserts were very creative and prepared and presented perfectly. We would definitely recommend this restaurant for a fine dining experience that is not pretentious or condescending. The lunch clientele do not seem to be as noticeably loud as we found this evening's diners to be (there was another table of loud mouths when we arrived). Once they left, it was delightful.

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  14. OpenTable Diner

    New York City

    1 review

    1.0

    1 review

    Dined on June 15, 2017

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 2
    Every time that I traveled to VT, I used to go to this restaurant because it was a delight to try special dishes prepared at the Culinary's School. Unfortunately this time was a total disappointment as the food was common dishes prepared in chain restaurants and not of the quality and flavor of the NECI. L and M Felhazy

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  15. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on June 10, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Overall great experience once again. Food was delicious but some dishes could have used a bit more sauce

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  16. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    Mother's Day brunch was wonderful! Amazing food and good service. I only wish they were open for Sunday brunch more often.

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  17. ChrisW

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on May 14, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Thank you very much. Definitely a great Mother's Day brunch!! Chris

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  18. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on May 14, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 4
    Mother's Day brunch was excellent as it has been for the past 3 years

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  19. NicholasoftheNorth

    Greater Boston

    8 reviews

    5.0

    8 reviews

    Dined on May 5, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Always a great experience. Don't hesitate to go here!

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  20. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 16, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We were pleasantly surprised at how lovely and welcoming it was. A good place to sit with a drink and talk before eating. Food is excellent and the desserts were amazing. The staff were friendly and resposive. The coffee was lukewarm and when I asked for hot, she made fresh coffee for me and it was excellent. My one suggestion is that the server not tell guests to keep their dirty fork instead of supplying a fresh one, especially for dessert. Good restaurants do not ask guests to keep a dirty fork.

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  21. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 16, 2017

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    We have gone to Easter brunch for 12 straight years. The only thing up to par were the desserts. Terrible vegetarian options, Frittata was bland tasting and gelatinous in texture. Potatoes were greasy with the only seasoning being pepper. Without the omelet bar, which was a staple, vegetarian selection was basically non existent. We will not be back.

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  22. OpenTable Diner

    Naples

    3 reviews

    4.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on April 14, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Excellent service and meal...Great char and sirloin!

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  23. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    5.0

    1 review

    Dined on April 6, 2017

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    I've been to fine restaurants, in New York City, Boston, New Haven, Connecticut and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and NECI on Main last night out performed them all. The meals presented to myself and my friend were prepared without compromise, and to the highest standards that I have ever experienced. For example the black tea served with my fish and chips could only be matched by traveling to the U.K....the fish was done to a turn and the chips cooked and salted to perfection...needing no malt vinegar to enhance or hide flavor...The veggie burger was stunning as were the colors in the tequila sunrise, something perfect for an overcast day in Vermont's opening of mud season. The shared side of Tapas was also a winner in each of its dozen offerings...The service was attentive, thoughtful and discrete. On a scale of one to ten, the experience was a thousand and a fantastic value considering the amount of work and the quality of work that went into these meals.

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  24. PierreDelecto

    Phoenix

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on March 18, 2017

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    We've eaten at NECI once before and had a truly exceptional experience. Both the food and the service was absolutely fantastic. We were hoping for the same this time. We ate upstairs this time; and, although not badly dressed, we were dressed casually. I felt we were encouraged to eat downstairs this time, and it felt as if that was because of our appearance; but, we wanted to experience the upstairs this visit. Despite the restaurant not being busy -- throughout the time of our stay -- we were sat at the table just out from the kitchen at what felt like the where they seat the dregs. This would have been fine, and to some extent expected; but, that coupled with the fact that the table -- which was rigidly attached to the wall -- had a noticeable slant (4.5 degrees according to our phone app), made feel as if we were sat there punitively. They must be aware of this issue and choose to maintain it for this purpose. The deviled egg and salmon appetizer was quite good. The rest of our meal was unexceptional. I had hoped for more. The price was fine. The service was fine. The experience was frankly rather off-putting for the lot of us. We were excited to return, but we won't be in a rush to get back a third time.

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  25. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on February 15, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    NECI on Main is [in my opinion] the central VT place to go for a special date, valentine's day dinner, etc. The food is always made with fresh ingredients, presented beautifully, and great, sometimes spectacularly so! The menu choices are perhaps more limited than at many restaurants, but the choices are wonderfully different than "more standard fare". There is a meeting room down stairs which is ideal for special high-level business meetings or special family gatherings. For such meals and service one expects to pay premium prices, and you will. But you will get your money's worth. From that point of view I wish I could rationalize visiting NECI on main more often!

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  26. TbridgeVT

    Greater Boston

    9 reviews

    2.0

    9 reviews

    Dined on January 6, 2017

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    Food was mediocre but pricey. Best part of dinner was our attentive, friendly server, Elijah.

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  27. AlisonT

    London

    4 reviews

    3.0

    4 reviews

    Dined on January 1, 2017

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    New Years Eve - it was not really busy and the food was OK for a banquet style evening and good value. Excellent dessert and table appetizer of smoked salmons. Our waiter however was a little too intrusive,joining in the table conversation on several occasions and removing plates before we had all finished (pet peeve). The restaurant was also out of several liquors which made us smile as the Liquor Store is next door! We have eaten here several other times.... it goes through cycles but you can usually count on good interesting food

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  28. redsox57

    Greater Boston

    63 reviews

    4.0

    63 reviews

    Dined on January 1, 2017

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Great food, the student work their but off and hard work pays off. Great job chefs in training.

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  29. bythesea

    Greater Boston

    3 reviews

    5.0

    3 reviews

    Dined on December 31, 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We celebrated New Year's Eve. It was a perfect choice with creative food preparation, good selection, unique appetizers and desserts. Service was friendly while not intrusive and at an appropriate pace for a relaxed dining experience. We recommend it highly.

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  30. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    4.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 26, 2016

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    very nice overall...thank you...food and service were excellent....dessert was served cold.it was an apple tart..I would have preferred it at room temperature...no other comments

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  31. LOVETOEATOUT

    Greater Boston

    2 reviews

    5.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 22, 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Excellent food, been here several times. Have to remind ourselves it's a "learning restaurant" where everyone working there is in culinary school, from the chefs to the waitstaff. They do a very professional job and it's nice to be able to encourage them. In addition to enjoying the delicious and varied menu items at very reasonable prices for such high quality, we really enjoy talking with the students who serve/bus our table. It's fun to find out where they came from and what their plans are after NECI, and just their personalities in general. It's a hard career choice they've chosen, and they do a fabulous job at NECI on Main. Highly recommend dining here for lunch, dinner or Sunday brunch; you'll enjoy wonderful food while supporting the students in their efforts to become culinary professionals.

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  32. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    2.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 22, 2016

    1. Overall 2
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 5
    A pleasant venue, but inconsistent presentation. Drinks were strong, deviled egg appetizer fantastic. Burger entree very good. Fish & chips entree - the fries were good. The batter on the fish was spongy on the outside, and a glue-like, doughy texture inside - did not stay in the fryer long enough. No flavor in tbe Switchel-batter, was very plain.

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  33. CAROLYND

    Baltimore

    7 reviews

    3.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on October 19, 2016

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 3
    I was disappointed in the very uninspired menu selections. In the past NECI had a good selection of dishesincluding seafood. We didn't come to NECI for burgers for dinner. The special short rib dish was good and the service was outstanding. Too bad about the limited menu

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  34. BisonMike

    Greater Boston

    10 reviews

    4.0

    10 reviews

    Dined on October 8, 2016

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 4
    3. Service 3
    4. Ambience 3
    Always a treat. It is great to see what the students are working on and to interact with them.

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  35. RoxanaH

    New York City

    2 reviews

    1.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on October 4, 2016

    1. Overall 1
    2. Food 1
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 3
    Food was not good...fish and chips tough...bread very ordinary...polenta watery...short ribs were Ok...disappointed I could not get Brussels sprouts...service was fine...a great disappointment

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  36. OpenTable Diner

    Greater Boston

    1 review

    3.0

    1 review

    Dined on October 1, 2016

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 2
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Salmon over cooked, fingerling potatoes undercooked, single Brussels sprout scattered over plate was decorative-but inadequate. Dessert request unavailable at 7pm on Saturday evening, incredible!

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  37. OpenTable Diner

    New York City

    2 reviews

    4.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 29, 2016

    1. Overall 4
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 4
    4. Ambience 4
    Limited menu but food was very good. Server was attentive and service was prompt.

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  38. SteveE

    New York City

    7 reviews

    5.0

    7 reviews

    Dined on September 23, 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    We had a group of 8 the wait staff were excellent very accommodating we all ride motorcycles to get there and they offered us a place to hang our gear and a place for some of our helmets. All the staff were friendly and professional

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  39. Cathy

    Atlanta Metro

    127 reviews

    vip
    5.0

    127 reviews

    Dined on September 10, 2016

    1. Overall 5
    2. Food 5
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 5
    Wonderful appetizers, soup, and salad. Service was friendly and professional. Drinks were great. A nice dinner and good value!

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  40. anonymous

    Chicago

    2 reviews

    3.0

    2 reviews

    Dined on September 9, 2016

    1. Overall 3
    2. Food 3
    3. Service 5
    4. Ambience 4
    Considering it is a culinary institute and students have to learn. It is good. The appetizer - ravioli was the best. Dessert (turnover) was terrible. Main course was OK.

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FAQs

NECI on Main is rated 4.2 stars by 438 OpenTable diners.

Not available on OpenTable

Unfortunately, this restaurant is not on the OpenTable reservation network.

If you like, we'll notify you by email if this restaurant joins.


Is this your restaurant?
Claim this listing
Google Map for NECI on Main

118 Main Street, Montpelier, VT 05602

Additional information

  • Cross Street
    School St.
  • Neighbourhood
    Montpelier
  • Hours of Operation
    Lunch Tue–Sat 11:30 am–2:00 pm Lite Fare Daily 3:00 pm–5:30 pm Dinner Daily 5:30 pm–9:00 pm
  • Price
    $30 and under
  • Cuisines
    Contemporary American, Contemporary European
  • Dining style
    Casual Dining
  • Dress Code
    Casual Dress
  • Parking Details
    None
  • Payment Options
    AMEX, Discover, Mastercard, Visa
  • Additional
    Banquet, Bar Dining, Bar/Lounge, Beer, Farm to Table, Full Bar, Non-Smoking, Patio/Outdoor Dining, Private Room, Weekend Brunch, Wheelchair Access, Wine
  • Phone number
    (802) 223-3188
  • Catering
    Our Wine Room is a private room located in our Cellar area. It seats 16 guests comfortably. This space is popular for smaller gathering or meetings. <br /><br />Please contact Neil Archibald for Wine Room inquiries <br />802-225-3314 <br /><br />Our Chef’s Table dining room is located on our second floor. It offers seating for up to 40 guests. In our quiet, private space, separate from the rest of the hustle and bustle of our Cellar and Main Floor. <br /><br />Please contact Fawn Wells Maxfield for Chef's Table inquiries <br />802-225-3333
  • Private party facilities
    NECI's fabulous dining rooms are available to you for business meetings, corporate retreats, holiday parties, rehearsal dinners, banquets, private dining and so much more.The use of regional ingredients, innovative cuisine and gracious service in an intimate setting continues on. For a one of a kind culinary experience, no matter the occasion, a fine dining experience awaits you and your guests.
  • Private party contact
    Fawn Wells: (802) 225-3333
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Cookies and Interest-Based Ads
  • Cookie Preferences
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