Since 1980, the New England Culinary Institute based in Montpelier has been one of the best dining choices in central Vermont. The Main Street Grill & Bar is an American farm-to-table restaurant, thanks to the Vermont Fresh Network and institute students who cook for and staff this downtown restaurant. An estimated 80 percent of the food comes from right here in Vermont, and the historic, 100-years-plus building has brick walls with photographs of local farmers, their farms and produce. While serving guests at the wooden tables and booths, students also learn how to pair wines from an extensive list. A downstairs lounge is more contemporary with high-top tables and couch seating for listening to music.