Southern New Hampshire Life

Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

Southern New Hampshire Life - Southern New Hampshire Blog by Steve Russo, Realtor

2013 Taste of Downtown Nashua

Twenty-five area food and drink vendors will be participating in the 2013 Taste of Downtown Nashua on Wednesday June 5th.  Eateries will be offering their wares at over twenty Main Street locations.  The restaurants taking part include Arena Sportsbar,  Estabrook Grill, Fody’s, Margaritas, Martha’s Exchange, McKenzie’s, MT’s Local Kitchen, O’Brien’s Sports Bar, Old Amsterdam Bar and Lounge, The Peddler’s Daughter, San Francisco Kitchen, Stella Blu, Surf, Villa Banca, WineNot Boutique, and Yogurt in Love.   LaBelle Winery, King David Coffee Roasters, and the WineNot Boutique will be there to slake your thirst.  And shops such as Crosby Bakery, Portland Pie Company, and Edible Arrangements will be offering sweets to round-out your dining adventure.

$ 25 early bird tickets are available through April 30th; starting May 1st tickets will be $ 30, increasing to $ 35 on June 5th.  For more information on the 2013 Taste of Downtown Nashua and details on advance ticket purchasing, click here.

The 4th Annual Taste of Milford

The 4th Annual Taste of Milford will be held on Thursday May 30th  from 6 to 8:30PM.  Visitors will be able to sample the offerings of twenty-five local restaurants and food vendors in the stores in and around the celebrated Milford Oval.   While strolling the shops, participants will be entertained by local musicians Doc Doherty, Marlena Phillips, and local band Groov’n.

Tickets are $ 30, but if you order in advance, you may receive a $ 5 discount; tickets are available by clicking here.  Tickets are limited and this event has sold out in previous years – so don’t wait to place your order.   Proceeds from the 4th Annual Taste of Milford go to support the Milford Improvement Team.   For more information about the 4th Annual Taste of Milford, see this website.

2013 Restaurant Week in New Hampshire

The second annual Restaurant Week in New Hampshire is coming soon!  Establishments throughout the state will be offering specially priced 3-course lunch and/or dinner menus from Friday May 17th through Friday the 24th.  Last year over 150 establishments participated, ranging from informal cafes like Popovers (Portsmouth) and pubs like the Flying Goose (New London) to formal eateries like the Copper Door (Bedford) and the Three Chimneys Inn (Dover).

This year about 20 hotels and inns will be offering special rates this week so that you can undertake a great gastronomic tour of the state. To see a list of all the participating eateries and get details of their offers, go to the New Hampshire Restaurant Week website.  Information on the inns and hotels participating in Restaurant Week in New Hampshire is available on this site

Greater Portsmouth Restaurant Week

Restaurants in and around Portsmouth are collaborating on a Fall Restaurant Week Portsmouth and the Seacoast which will be held from November 8th through the 17th.  Some of the best eating places in the greater Portsmouth area will be offering 3-course prix fixe lunch menus for $ 16.95 and dinners for $ 29.95 (per person; not including drinks and taxes).  The types of eateries joining in this event include a wide variety of eating places, from casual dining to elegant upscale establishments.

Popular Portsmouth eateries such as the Black Trumpet Bistro, Green Monkey, Jumpin’ Jay’s Fish Café, the Portsmouth Gas Light Co., and Radici are being joined by select restaurants in surrounding towns to make this a special happening.  Restaurants from Exeter to New Castle and from Hampton to York, ME are participating.  The list includes the Three Chimneys Inn in Durham, Wentworth by the Sea in New Castle, Blue Moon Evolution in Exeter, the 401 Tavern in Hampton, the Stage Neck Inn in York, and the Black Birch in Kittery.

For more information on Restaurant Week Portsmouth and a list of all the participating eateries, check out the Restaurant Week Portsmouth page on the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce website.

Hampton Beach Seafood Festival

Hampton Beach is the place to be the weekend after Labor Day!  This is the 23rd year for the very popular Hampton Beach Seafood Festival.  Sixty restaurants are slated to be dishing out great seafood – clams, shrimp, and lobster –  and their accompaniments – on Ocean Boulevard from Friday evening September 7th through Sunday evening the 9th.  For variety, the eateries will also be offering barbecue ribs, steak tips, and many other dishes to satisfy your appetite.

Along with the great fare, there will be over 80 arts and crafts vendors and 15 bands and orchestras providing music from two stages.  For small children, there’s Kiddie Land.  For adults, the popular Lobster Roll Eating Contest takes place at 2PM on Saturday.  For all, there will be a great fireworks show Saturday at 8:15PM and a skydiving demonstration by Sky Diving New England at 5PM on Sunday.  This is not a small get-together – over 150,000 people are expected.  Festival organizers recommend wearing comfortable shoes – and not to eat before you come!

Hampton Beach Seafood Festival hours: Friday 4 to 9PM; Saturday 10AM to 9PM; Sunday 10AM to 6PM. Admission: adults – $ 5; children under 12 free.  Free parking in 13 lots throughout the town with free shuttle buses to Ocean Boulevard. For more details, visit the Festival’s website.

Country Cuisine 8: The Copper Door in Bedford

The Copper Door is one of the newest restaurants around, and it’s made a big splash in the greater Manchester area.  Located just down the street from the grande dame of Bedford eateries, the Bedford Village Inn, the Copper Door is a worthy neighbor.  They have an extensive menu – a fusion of old and new.  Lunch selections include comfort dishes like meatloaf and bacon burgers and inventive creations such as a pablano and chipotle shrimp pizza.  Their lunch menu is rounded out with many soups, salads, sandwiches, and entrée offerings.    The Copper Door

They describe their dinner menu as “approachable New American and upscale comfort foods,” and that’s what it seems to be.  It is much lengthier than their large lunch menu, and includes a “Snack” section as well as several soups, salads, and pizzas, the chef’s take on several classic dishes, and refashionings of old favorites.  An example of the variety offered: slow roasted beef tenderloin, chicken spiedini, wood roasted New England haddock, and fettuccine Bolognese.  The entrees are complemented by ten vegetable side dishes.  Their desserts are all made in-house and are the perfect ending to a fine meal; they include Vermont chevre cheesecake, bananas foster, and tri-custard brulee.

Their wine and port list is remarkable. Their waitstaff is very attentive and are truly exemplary.  Many of the offerings are served with a  special flair.  The décor is a mixture of country elegant and contemporary, which seems very appropriate for the locale and the atmosphere the restaurant is trying to convey.  This new eating place is definitely worth a try.  The Copper Door also boasts an attractive bar area, a private room for groups, and outdoor patio seating.

Bedford’s newest eatery is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.  Entrance to the restaurant’s parking area is on 15 Leavy Drive, a new street off State Route 101 and Old Bedford Road.  Their website is very extensive and will give you a good idea of what your dining experience will be like.

The outside patio

The Patio

Country Cuisine 7: The Bedford Village Inn

Bedford, situated as it is next to Manchester, may not appear to be “in the country,” but its residents pride themselves on its small-town New England heritage and character.  This post highlights a well established eatery in Bedford that has long been a focal point for special event and destination dining.

The Bedford Village Inn (BVI) has four choices for dining and drinking, the Dining Room, the Tavern, the Patio, and Corks wine bar.  All feature New England regional cuisine and all may draw upon BVI’s large wine cellar.

Entrance to the Dining Room at the Bedford Village Inn

The Dining Room actually consists of seven adjoining rooms, most with an atmosphere derived from the colonial era building in which they are located.  It is the most formal of the BVI restaurants, with the most extensive menu and hours.  The largest room (near the restaurant’s entrance) is often expansively decorated with holiday or seasonal décor that lends it a very festive air. The menu includes appetizers like soft shell crab, watermelon gazpacho, and foie gras; for entrees, maple du Breton pork chops, 24 oz. porterhouse steak, and house made gnocchi; and desserts like crème brulee, cheesecake, and their celebrated chocolate bag. The Dining Room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily; on Sundays they have a brunch menu in addition to their usual fare.

The Tavern has a more relaxed atmosphere, emulating a New England tavern, with lighter meals – salads, pizzas, pasta – but one may order from the Dining Room’s menu if one so chooses. Open for lunch and dinner daily.  The outdoor Patio has the same menu and hours as the Tavern, plus Sunday morning hours when it serves the Dining Room’s breakfast menu.

The Tavern Entrance

Corks features selections from BVI’s extensive wine cellar, as well as beer and traditional bar service.   It’s a good choice for wine aficionados, as you can enjoy over twenty wines by the glass from a variety of well-respected wineries, four flight combinations highlighting distinctive growing regions, and from their cruvinet, some of the best wines available anywhere.   A large selection of cheeses, salads, pizzas, and other appetizers and entrees are available to compliment your imbibing experience. Open Tuesday through Saturday starting at 4:30.

The Bedford Village Inn is located at 3 Olde Bedford Way, off of State Route 101.  The Old Bedford Inn operates an inn and has a large function room (the “Great Hall”) in addition to its eateries.  The restaurants’ website runs to several pages.  Reservations are recommended for dinner and encouraged for other times.

Distinctive B&B’s: The Birchwood Inn

The Birchwood Inn on State Route 45 in Temple evokes an earlier time in New England.  The Inn, dating from 1775, has largely been preserved over the centuries and retains many original features.  As much of the building as possible has been preserved; the Inn is one of the jewels in the town’s Historic District.

Birchwood has two rooms and three suites available; all are named after old English towns by the two British-born proprietors.  The suites can each accommodate up to four people.  There are televisions, fireplaces, wifi service, window air conditioners, and private baths in each unit.  One of the suites has a king-size bed as well as a kitchenette and an additional half bath.  Many of the rooms retain their original Federal period walls and floors.  This year-round hostelry serves a hot breakfast during the week and a full English breakfast on Sundays to overnight guests.  Special diets can be accommodated.

The highlight of the public rooms is an 1825 mural that encompasses all four walls of one of the dining areas; it was painted by well-known early English-born American artist Rufus Porter, and appears to depict Temple as it was back in the early 1800’s.

In addition to the rooms for rent, the Birchwood boasts the London Tavern pub and restaurant featuring authentic English fare, with dishes such as Bangers and Mash and Steak and Ale Pie; desserts include Bread and Butter Pudding and Spotted Dick.  The London Tavern is usually open Wednesday – Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons and evenings.

Smoking is only allowed on the porch.  Due to the age of many of the furnishings, pets and children under ten cannot be accommodated.  For more information or to make reservations, visit their website.

The Midfield Cafe

One of the best-kept secrets of Nashua is its airport, and one of the best-kept secrets of the airport is the great little restaurant that’s there, the Midfield Cafe. Located in a building near the busy airport’s control tower, the Midfield Cafe is well-known to airport regulars. The Cafe serves breakfast and lunch seven days a week from 7AM to 2PM, from an extensive menu which includes all the regular breakfast and lunch fare, such as omelets, breakfast burritos, burgers, monte christos, club sandwiches, and more!   Many of the dishes have names inspired by the location, such as the Plane Breakfast (a hearty plate of eggs, meat, toast, and a side dish) and the Mile High Cafe Club Sandwich (a triple-decker BLT with choice of deli meat).  The Cafe’s selections are very reasonably priced, with almost everything under $ 8.00.

There’s something for everyone, from old-fashioned hot oatmeal to a healthy haddock plate. The breakfast selections include seven different omelets, eight kinds of benedicts, and seven kinds of pancakes. The lunch menu has twelve types of sandwiches, seven different melts, eleven salads, four burgers, and soups and chilis.  For holidays like Mother’s Day, the kitchen staff outdo themselves with specials such as lobster benedict, lobster omelets, and banana bread French toast.

The decor helps intensify the friendly airport atmosphere: photos of local pilots line the walls and the tablecloths feature pictures of airplanes and helicopters. Kids – and adults – are entranced by the planes, corporate jets, and helicopters that whiz by the cafe’s many windows.  In good weather, patrons are welcome to dine on the outside deck next to the airport’s main taxi way.  Ask about their Frequent Flyer Meal Card, which entitles you to a free (Boire Field)entrée when your card is full. The restaurant is a good community supporter, often supplying refreshments to special airport events like Young Eagle activities at little or no cost.  The Midfield Cafe is on the second floor of the Nashua Jet Aviation’s building at 83 Perimeter Road. Their facebook page gives details about specials, etc.

Restaurant Week in New Hampshire May 18 – 25

The foodie event of the year is fast approaching: the first annual Restaurant Week in New Hampshire.  Establishments throughout the state are offering specially priced 3-course lunch and/or dinner menus from Friday May 18th through Friday the 25th. From Nick’s (West Swanzy) and Luca’s (Keene) to Mombo and Surf (in Portsmouth), about 50 restaurants in southern New Hampshire are participating, including the Black Forest Cafe (Amherst), the Bedford Village Inn and the Copper Door (Bedford),  Epoch (Exeter), Savory Square Bistro (Hampton), the Colby Hill Inn (Henniker), Fratello’s and the Yard (Manchester), Fody’s and Surf (Nashua), and several members of the Common Man, Margarita’s, Shorty’s, and T-Bones groups of restaurants. To see a list of all the participating eateries and get details of their offers, go to the New Hampshire Restaurant Week website.