Best of NH 2019 Food Odds and Ends
Not everything fits neatly into a category, but that doesn't mean you should pass up these winners, including your favorite new restaurant, family-friendly, outdoor and farm-to-table dining, plus gluten-free, vegetarian and healthy options
Avocado Toast: The fresh, joyful atmosphere at Native Coffee + Kitchen in Rye and Hampton Falls is represented in their avocado toast. Made with locally sourced, sustainable and organic ingredients, it’s no wonder that their vibrant, delicious toast is as good for the eyes as it is for the stomach. It is nutrient-rich and made with a contagious smile that will make you smile from the inside out.
Farm-to-table Cuisine: For years, Keith Sarasin has championed local ingredients and the farmers who produce them. As the founder of the Farmers Dinner, he hosts a series of dinners featuring locally sourced items. Happily, these days you no longer have to wait for one of his often instantly sold-out events — along with Chef Chris Viaud, he’s opened a new restaurant where fresh, local ingredients are the star of the show (or plate). At Greenleaf in Milford, find an exciting but approachable menu with a nod to regional classics as well as ever-changing seasonal dishes.
Feel-good Goat Cheese: Main Street Cheese is a cure for cynicism. This small, woman-owned artisanal goat cheese shop in Hancock operates on the honor system. Inside the lovely red barn is the cheese room, where you can choose delicious cheese from the fridge and leave your payment. Beyond the fact that this is a reminder that people are, generally speaking, good, the store is a charming example of small-town community. From May to October, they raise the goat kids at Main Street, and visitors are welcome. Sit in the garden, and perhaps one of the three elder goats will come say hello. You can also sign up for a cheese-making class, or perhaps book a stay at the farm-based Airbnb, where, if the time is right, you can feed a goat kid with a bottle.
Tavern for All: For those with special dietary needs or preferences, choosing a place for dinner out with friends can be challenging. Typically, you wouldn’t think that a tavern would end up as an ideal solution. Enter the Railpenny Tavern in Epping, with its surprising menu offering an impressive number of gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan dishes that venture well beyond the usual tired suspects, and many dishes that can be easily modified, meaning there’s something to make all kinds of diners happy. Add to that an excellent cocktail and tap list (with both beer and cider), and you’ve got a winner.