Best of NH 2021 Food Odds and Ends
Chef-and-pastry-chef duo Matt and Laura Berry take cooking seasonally seriously, using mostly what the land provides. You won’t find them at a restaurant, at least not their own — they hold intimate pop-up dinners with elegant tasting menus at venues around the state, including outdoors at local farms. Dahlia, named for their daughter, is a nomadic restaurant, and it can be a bit elusive. Reservations fill up fast, and anyone hoping to experience their cooking will need to sign up for alerts at the website and keep an eye on social media.
If you were to look up “community” in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, it wouldn’t be surprising to find Vernon Family Farm listed as an example of the definition. Located on 33 conserved acres in Newfields, this family farm is a one-stop shop for eating food local year-round. They sell a variety of their own non-GMO, pastured chicken and a variety of other grass-fed and pasteurized meats, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, sauces, spices and more at their farm store where they are also able to support another 30 local vendors, small businesses and farms.
Community events like Rotisserie Chicken and Live Music nights are a unique, special way to gather safely with your community in a space that serves as your home away from home.
Unless you really know what you’re doing, foraging on your own — especially for mushrooms — can be risky and, for those of us without easy access to the forest, it might be out of the question entirely. Gorham-based Douglas Gralenski of the White Mountain Forager spends his time in the woods hunting down ramps, fiddleheads, gourmet wild mushrooms, berries and other plants, both edible and medicinal. With a degree in wildlife management and about three decades of experience as a conservation officer, Gralenski knows his way around what’s safe to eat, and respects the natural world, sustainable harvesting techniques and landowner ethics. Some items are in stock seasonally via his website, but otherwise you can find the fruits of his labors at farmers markets (see the White Mountain Forager Facebook page) and select stores, which are listed on his website.
For anyone with food allergies (or kids with allergies), finding safe — and tasty — items can be challenging. Windham-based Homefree produces their line of packaged snacks in a dedicated bakery completely free of peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, dairy, soy (except lecithin), fish, shellfish and sesame. The staff even wears Homefree clothing and shoes to avoid tracking in allergens, and the kitchen is strictly gluten-free as well. These are just some of the precautions they take, meaning these are truly treats you can trust. Plus, they taste good! The mini cookies come in a variety of flavors, including chocolate chip, lemon, vanilla, chocolate mint and more.
Readers’ Poll Winners
Locally Sourced Menu
Outdoor Dining Tie
Cheers Grille & Bar
Outdoor Dining Tie
Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery
Hollis and Milford
Billy’s Sports Bar & Grille
Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar
Tuckaway Tavern and Butchery
Gourmet To Go
Presto Craft Kitchen
Specialty Food Store
Angela’s Pasta & Cheese Shop
Family-Friendly Dining Multilocation Local
T-BONES Great American Eatery
Fine Dining Restaurant
The Hanover Street Chophouse
Troy’s Fresh Kitchen and Juice Bar
Gluten-Free Options Multilocation Regional