The Mountain Times

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Wild Fern: Good food, good music and other arts prepared with love

When you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the mountain life, escape to Stockbridge and the Wild Fern to chill, hear good music and eat some great food. The new restaurant is currently a cash-only business, but you won't be disappointed to spend a few bucks. It is chef-owned and operated by Heather Lynne with Rick Redington spinning the pizza pies.

It is named after Lynne's daughter, Zoey Fern. Lynne along with Redington's daughter Maya were brainstorming names and they knew right away that Wild Fern was the name, it just seemed to fit and it fits for Vermont.

Lynne's inspiration for the place is food mixed with music and art which are all her major loves. You can feel that inspiration as soon as you step foot in the door. The décor is unique and cool. All kinds of guitars are thrown about the place and the walls are beautifully decorated with retro posters, albums and art to look at and for sale. Besides being a great musician and pizza chef, Rick Redington is also an artist and some of the works displayed are his. Talent runs in the family because his niece, Miss Amanda McGuire, also has some art there. Lynne and her team of 12 year olds were the interior designers that made the signs, painted the walls and tables. The décor is made up of stuff they found at tag sales and thrift stores. It's the cool stuff you always hope to find at one but never do, yet they did.

Previously, Lynne was a baker for three years at Sandy's Books and Bakery in Rochester, Vt. She knew that she wanted something similar but didn't think it would happen. This great opportunity came and she couldn't pass it up. She's been playing bass with Redington's band for six years and as a struggling local musician, she knew this was the time. The band can play here as well as others so she will get to enjoy all her loves under one roof.

Lynne makes all her own breads, croissants and dough. She keeps the rest as local as she can. The potatoes and garlic come from Susan on Stonybrook Road and the eggs from Timeless Wisdom in Stockbridge. The grass fed beef is from Hathaway Farm. They're always looking for more great local vendors.

Before Redington was a musician, he worked for Sal Gullo and Jack Elliot at Sal's Restaurant in Rutland. He learned from them how to be passionate about making pizza. He and Lynne have tried pizza all over the world so they knew what they wanted. They also make pizza for their kids at home all the time, so they've gotten to fine-tune recipes.

The pizza sauce is from the famous Ted's Pizza in Rutland but they dialed it in with their own seasonings. They opened quietly with no advertising or promotions; just open and go. They first did a pizza party for family and friends and were blown away by the results. People were knocked out by the pizza taste. They had some of the toughest critics from NY and NJ where pizza is king.

On Wednesday and Friday, they serve up the pizza and Stromboli's. Thursday and Saturday is for a great lunch and Sunday they do Cigar Box Brunch. On Friday nights besides the pizza and Stromboli's, they do "Theme Cuisine Night." The first Friday is Italian Entrees, the second Mexican, the third World and fourth Americana like Grandma used to make. On Friday nights you also get to enjoy the sounds of local musicians, the Baba Yagas who are best described as Acoustic Americana with a Gypsy Rock twist.

The Cigar Box Brunch this past Sunday was senenaded by Rick Redington who plays beautiful music on guitars he made out of cigar boxes. The food was delicious, one patron gave it "two forks up, way up!"

It was service with a smile and delivered with love. It was a one of a kind music experience with a one of a kind food. The sign says it all when you walk in: "Good food, good music and other arts prepared with love."

All the chaos on the road they have endured while touring with the band has helped prepare them for this. They can deal with the conundrums and laugh at tense moments because it's not a broken down bus in the middle of nowhere in 20 degree weather. It's a simple goal: to get a heart center for Stockbridge and bring the town together through food and local music. Lynne wants you to feel like you're coming to her home for a family meal. Please come with patience though as The Wild Fern is most of the time, a one woman show. 

For more info call (802) 746-9119.