Best of NH 2013 Odds and Ends
This Best of NH list includes everything we couldn't fit neatly into categories. Included here are a beer bus tour, a singing chef and an iconic gazebo.
Chef Brian Anderson from Rangeley, Maine recently relocated to the Snowvillage Inn. Lucky us!
*The following are all Editor's Picks:
*Best Reason to Take a Bath: Beer. Yes, the secret ingredient in Beveridge Soap is an ancient elixir. Find it in bars or shaped like a cupcake. But it’s more than comic relief. Besides craft beer, ingredients include olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil for a soothing and fragrant ablution.
*Designated Driver: Hop aboard “Greta the Growler Getta” for a personal tour of some of the Seacoast’s best breweries. Granite State Growler Tours will keep your precious cargo on ice as you travel from brewery to brewery filling up growlers and tasting the brews.
*Edible Fungi: You want other-than-supermarket mushrooms but you don’t want to forage for them. No problem, New Hampshire Mushroom Company in Tamworth has a satisfying variety of delicious (and interesting looking) organically grown mushrooms.
*Free Weekly: In the shrinking world of newsprint journalism, the free weekly seems to be hanging in there. Of several notable examples in New Hampshire, the Concord Insider — a Tuesday supplement to the Concord Monitor that can also be picked up all over town — stands out from the pack. Its distinctive and chummy relationship to its readers suggests a beloved uncle who plays pranks and tells dumb jokes at every family gathering but who always remembers your birthday and never rats you out to your parents.
*Gourmet General Store: If the words “general store” and “gourmet” don’t seem to go together, you haven’t been to the Harrisville General Store. Tucked high in the Harrisville hills, the vintage (in operation since 1838!) store has offerings that vie with the best in big cities. Manager Laura Carden creates take-out meals that range from pad Thai to sesame ginger crusted salmon. A specialty is raw kale salad. Wherever possible, it’s local and seasonal. Laura’s mom, M’Lue Zahner, a Viennese-trained pastry chef, provides the store’s sweet treats.
*Heirloom Tomatoes: Rusty’s Heirloom Tomatoes CEO “Rusty” is actually the company cat. Owner Ken Cook is a former engineer with an MBA from Yale. When he retired about five years ago he began breeding tomato plants on his farm in Dunbarton selling only a few hundred the first year, about 1,000 the next and looking forward to an even bigger summer ahead. His collection includes about 3,000 varieties, including some not available anywhere else in the US and a few he bred himself, like his Rusty’s Ox-heart with its neon colors, all organic and naturally grown.
The gazebo on the New London Green.
*Iconic Gazebo: Many towns in New Hampshire have gazebos, but the one on the New London Green near Colby-Sawyer College is memorable. With its two-tier roof, gingerbread trim and wide stairs, the Victorian-style gazebo evokes earlier times when townspeople came together there. That really hasn’t changed very much. It’s still the center of activity — there are even old-fashioned band concerts (a tuba quartet and more) on Friday nights.
*Meeting of the Minds: In May, NH Media Makers celebrated five years of monthly gatherings at Crackskull’s Coffee & Books in Newmarket. Out of that creative confab has come art and design projects, business ventures and even a marriage. The seminal series of meet-ups has even overflowed its Seacoast container and staged a couple of open events at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, offering cross-fertilization between the state’s two most potent cultural and artistic communities.
*Poached Chef: Snowvillage Inn in the Mt. Washington Valley has just lured phenom Chef Brian Anderson from Rangeley, Maine, where he had a loyal following of diners who came from Portland for his dinners at Porter House, Loon Lodge and the Rangeley Inn. He has cooked for celebrities are diverse as Dustin Hoffman and the Doobie Brothers and his trademark style is similarly eclectic. Example: his wild game trio combining rare magret of duck, venison and wild boar sausages tied together with a mango sauce.
*Town on the Rise: The success of Claremont is clear in that it is no longer best known as the namesake for a historic battle to help fund its shabby school buildings. Now the city is abustle with a recently opened Common Man restaurant, a trendy new night spot, the New Socials Bar and Grill and a new summer Farmers and Artisans Market open each Thursday from June to September.