sign made from diner car at RJBuckleys

The Big Cheese


T. J. Buckley's Review

delicious dish prepared by Chef Michael Fuller

Brattleboro's best restaurant, and one of the better choices in Vermont, the Lilliputian T. J. Buckley's is housed in a classic old diner on a dim side street -- but this is far from diner food. Renovations such as slate floors and golden lighting have created an intimate restaurant that seats about 20, and no secrets exist between the chef, sous-chef, and the server, all of whom remain within a couple of dozen feet of one another (and you) throughout the meal -- the entire place is smaller than the kitchen of most restaurants. The menu here is limited, with just a few each night, but the food has absolutely nothing in common with simple diner fare. Ingredients are fresh and select, the preparation more concerned with melding flavors than dazzling with architectural flourishes.

Fodor's TJBuckley Review

It's easy to miss this tiny restaurant, but it's worth seeking out as one of the most romantic little eateries in Vermont. Open the doors to the sleek black 1920s diner and enter what amounts to a very intimate theater, with a mere 18 seats for the show. The stage is an open kitchen, the flames a few feet away, and working under the whisper of vocal jazz and candlelight is the star of the show: Michael Fuller, the dashing owner and sole chef, who has been at the helm for 25 years. The contemporary menu is conveyed verbally each day and is based on locally available ingredients. It's dinner theater for culinary fans, a romantic triumph.