Best of NH 2016 Food Odds & Ends

Find great vegetarian and vegan fare at Readers' Poll winner and Editor's Pick Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar in Portsmouth. Photos by Susan Laughlin

Dining Experience: Yes, this is fine dining at its best, but the experience at Stages at One Washington in Dover is so much more. We suggest you reserve the kitchen table to watch Chef Evan Hennessey at work as he crafts unexpected and always-delightful dishes with ingredients that are farmed, fished and even foraged within New England. The more adventurous will want to choose the Secret 8 menu, where each course is a surprise. Your other options are a four-course, prix-fixe menu or a 12-course tasting menu, both of which you can peruse beforehand. We suggest you go big or go home, and order the wine pairing as well.

Exciting New Venue: The Bedford Village Inn has added more rooms and event space with the new Bedford Grand. At the center of the complex is a lobby bar with its own bar menu and creative cocktail list. It’s New England at its best.

Fermented Vegetables: Get your fill of healthful probiotics with Micro Mama’s of Henniker’s lacto-fermented organic vegetables in a jar. The veggies start out raw, but time and salt are all that is needed to make the cabbage, carrots and beets seasoned with garlic or chilis or ginger are the perfect complement to any meal. You just need a little for improved gut health.

Inn Bistro: It’s said that you can have too much of a good thing, but we’re pretty sure that doesn’t apply to Chef Scott Ouellette’s growing collection of restaurants. His latest O Bistro offers all of your favorite dishes in a lovely setting — The Inn on Main in Wolfeboro. A wonderful spot for both visitors and residents.

Maple Syrup Variations: Maple syrup just got better with Evert’s Maples’ take on the sweet elixir. They infuse local syrup with flavors of cinnamon and vanilla, chili peppers or blueberry to up the ante for your French toast and pancakes. Order online at

Most-Anticipated Opening: The folks at Cabonnay Emporium in Londonderry are opening the Cabonnay Urban Wine House in Manchester in late 2016. It will be an oasis for the soul with modern décor, spacious dining, airy rooftop garden (planned for summer 2017), excellent and affordable wines and chef-prepared, farm-to-table foods. A collection of worldly art adds another touch of bliss.

Seacoast Hot Spot: We included 3S Artspace in these pages last year and are happy to report that this forward-thinking gallery and performance venue now includes Block Six, a stylish and fun restaurant with a big emphasis on community and local ingredients. It’s been designed to complement the entire 3S arts experience as a whole and invites you to come hang out and expand your culinary and artistic horizons.

Vegan Restaurant: Green Elephant in Portsmouth calls itself a “vegetarian bistro and bar,” but nearly everything on the menu is 100 percent vegan. Don’t let the lack of animal products fool you, though; this menu packs a serious punch of heft and flavor. Try Asian-inspired dishes like tofu tikka masala and miso soup with organic green tea noodles. Unsure what all those words mean? Their website comes equipped with a handy-dandy vegan food glossary.

Categories: Best of NH Winners