Small Bites: March Food News
The latest statewide food news from cuisine editor Susan Laughlin
For the Sake of Sake
It's more versatile than you might think, especially the stuff made at Kittery's Blue Current Brewery
It’s time to explore the world of sake, the national drink of Japan. It’s wine-like in its complexity, but made from rice and brewed like a beer. Maine resident Dan Ford, while looking for a business opportunity, decided to pursue his love of sake and built a sake brewery in Kittery, Maine (bluecurrent.net). To his credit, after only a year or so into the process, he received a gold medal at the London Sake Challenge, even besting Japanese makers at their own game. He knew where he wanted to go with flavor profiles, and he’s now one of only 100 certified sake professionals (CSP) in the world.
Ford uses rice grown in California that is then highly milled in Minnesota for a purer flavor and a historic yeast strain. If you have only tried that hot sake in tiny cups, then try again.
Sake can be served like a white wine, and pairs well with Asian foods, cheeses and chicken dishes. It’s best served chilled.
If you have not yet acquired a taste for the drink, then use it in a mixed drink. Try this one: 2 parts sake, 1 part St. Elder Elderflower Liqueur, 1 part fresh lime juice. Shake with ice, strain and serve.
Wilton Waltz: Gary’s Harvest Restaurant has moved to the former Roam space at 33 Main St. across from the theater. The former Gary’s space at 944 Gibbons Hwy. is now Oliver’s Restaurant, open for breakfast and lunch. Meanwhile, Jorge Arrunategui has opened Sky Bridge Café at 10 Main St. with his signature paella, which he sold as a street vendor during Concord Arts Market days. He still caters paella with his huge paella pan.
Brazo in Portsmouth closed on New Year’s Day and was purchased by Jeff Goss, who will reopen the space as The Clipper Tavern. Radici also closed on New Year’s Day, but has reopened as Braise. The menu includes classic meals such as duck sausage cassoulet, braised chicken, curried lamb shank and a cast iron burger.
Chef Corey Fletcher has opened Revival Kitchen & Bar in Concord. See here for more.
N’awlins Grille in Manchester has changed hands and will become a Mexican restaurant. Liu Vaine has opened Milk & Honey Juicery and Café at 889 Elm St. in Manchester as a healthy juicery with house-made nut milks and whole-grain vegan bowls.
The Flight Center Beer Café, offering more than 40 local beers on tap, opened in Nashua. Facebook for details.
Event of the Month
Restaurant Week, March 24-31
More than 100 restaurants statewide will offer something different to diners with special prix-fixe lunch and dinner menus at different price ranges. It’s a great chance to visit restaurants you have missed and to sample their offerings, from appetizer to dessert. Make a weekend of it — there are lodging specials out there too. restaurantweeknh.com