The Weekly Dish 21/04/22

News from the local food scene

Tastes of France: Portsmouth’s The Music Hall will present a virtual author discussion and Q&A on Wednesday, April 28, at 7 p.m., featuring Bill Buford on his 2020 book Dirt: Adventures in Lyon as a Chef in Training, Father, and Sleuth Looking for the Secret of French Cooking. The author and James Beard Award winner will talk about his journey learning traditional French haute cuisine while working under esteemed chefs in the city of Lyon. Chef-owner Evan Mallet of The Black Trumpet Bistro will serve as the event’s moderator. Tickets to access the livestreamed discussion are available at for $5 per person — a video link will be provided in your email confirmation. Virtual attendees also have the option to purchase a copy of Buford’s book for an additional $17 with their ticket purchase. Books can be shipped to you after the event, or available for pickup at the Music Hall’s Historic Theater (28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth).

Greek goodies: In honor of Greek Easter on Sunday, May 2, jajabelles (143 Main St., Nashua) is taking orders now for a variety of specialty Greek pastries, like baklava, spanakopita and tiropita, as well as finikia (date-nut filled cookies), kourambiethes (powdered sugar cookies), kataifi (walnuts wrapped in shredded phyllo and covered in homemade syrup), and koulourakia (twisted sesame cookies), all of which are available by the dozen. Other items include dolmathes (lamb- and beef-filled grape leaves) and tsoureki (Greek sweet bread). Orders are due by April 28 (by April 25 for the tsoureki), with pickups on either May 1 or May 2. Visit or call 769-1873.

All about dandelions: Register now for Dandelion Delights, a program of the Beaver Brook Association to be held on Sunday, May 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Maple Hill Farm (117 Ridge Road, Hollis). Instructor Rivka Schwartz will go over all the different ways dandelions can be enjoyed in foods and drinks and used in medicine to help stimulate digestion and aid the liver. Dandelion wine, soda, salad, tea and fritters will be covered, with take-home recipes and an information packet available for attendees. The cost is $22 for Beaver Brook members and $25 for non-members. Visit

Poutine pause: For the second year in a row, the New Hampshire PoutineFest will not be taking place at Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Merrimack, according to a statement posted on the popular event’s Facebook page on April 14. “That said, this doesn’t mean that all is lost for 2021,” the statement read. “We are currently investigating all potential opportunities. … When, where, how … TBD.” The poutine-centered festival was canceled last year due to the pandemic, with a roadshow “passport” promotion held in its place in which poutine lovers could visit participating restaurants across the state and get 25 percent off a regular order of poutine. Visit for updates.

Jeff Martin

Jeff Martin of Nashua is the executive chef of Industry East Bar (28 Hanover St., Manchester, 232-6940,, which opened in early February. Industry East features an eclectic cocktail menu with syrups, juices and other ingredients made in house, along with a food selection that includes flatbreads, charcuterie boards and shareable plates, from duck confit-stuffed popovers to braised short rib toast points. A native of Litchfield, Martin got his start in the industry working as a dishwasher at Woodman’s Seafood and Grill at Mel’s Funway Park while in high school — he later went on to study culinary arts at Nashua Community College. He was the sous chef at The Birch on Elm prior to Industry East’s opening, and has also held cooking jobs at the Bedford Village Inn and the Vesper Country Club in Tyngsborough, Mass.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

I’d probably have to say either my chef’s knife or a pair of tongs.

What would you have for your last meal?

I am a huge steak lover, so a big fat juicy rib-eye … and probably a nice glass of bourbon.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

Savannah Kitchen in Newmarket. A shout out to my buddy Ian Gage, who’s the executive chef out there. They do a lot of really great stuff there. There’s a pork belly dish with barbecue sauce and apple slices that is unreal.

What celebrity would you like to see ordering from your menu?

I’m going to say Guy Fieri.

What is your favorite thing on your menu?

The duck confit-stuffed popovers, which I’m super proud of. We make them fresh every day.

What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?

It’s been going on for years but vegan and plant-based items have become really popular.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

Honestly, when I get home from being in the kitchen all day, I’m either ordering out or I’m eating frozen pizzas or Cheez-Its.

Homemade popovers
From the kitchen of Jeff Martin of Industry East Bar in Manchester

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
4 eggs
Salt and pepper

Mix flour, salt and pepper together. Heat the milk to about 120 degrees. Pour the milk slowly into the eggs to temper them. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients to form the batter. Pour them over into a popover pan about halfway up. Bake at 395 degrees for 15 minutes, then bring the temperature down to 350 degrees and bake for 15 additional minutes.

Featured photo: Jeff Martin

Egg-ceptional eats

Crack’d Kitchen & Coffee coming to Salem

Inspired by their love of breakfast sandwiches, Alan Frati and Danny Azzarello found success in 2019 with Crack’d Kitchen & Coffee, a fast casual concept specializing in locally roasted coffees, smoothies, bowls and eclectic breakfast options like loaded hash browns and egg sandwiches with creative toppings. After two years in Andover, Mass., Crack’d will open a second spot in Frati’s hometown of Salem on Monday, April 19.

“We felt like there was a big opportunity to kind of do a chef-driven breakfast concept that could be done fast. That was really the foundation for what we did,” Frati said. “Our bacon is local from North Country Smokehouse here in New Hampshire, our eggs are all cage-free and organic, our bread is baked fresh daily and delivered seven days a week. … We wanted to find a concept that fit into people’s hectic lifestyles but wasn’t full of frozen, processed foods.”

Frati and Azzarello, along with their respective wives, Meghan and Emma, who also have hands in the business, had been looking at a few other potential spots in Salem to expand. Then early last fall, Azzarello said, he and Frati were approached by Jay Gee’s Ice Cream on South Broadway — the Wayback Burgers restaurant in the adjoining storefront next door, they learned, had closed and would not be reopening.

Other than being in a slightly smaller space than its Massachusetts counterpart, Crack’d will carry much of its established brand to Salem with a few of its own touches unique to the Granite State. The eatery features an open-kitchen concept, plus a high-stool breakfast bar overlooking the window and a large outdoor patio space.

“We definitely love the fact that we can appeal to everybody,” Frati said of the menu. “Our chef-driven breakfast sandwiches are sort of our core items, and those are very indulgent … but we have healthier options too, so grain bowls, salads, smoothies, things like that.”

Egg sandwiches are available all day. They can be anything from a simple bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on a brioche bun or bagel, to more elevated options like the Porker, featuring house sausage, maple mustard and caramelized onions; and the Early Bird, which has roasted turkey, Swiss cheese and a house sauce called “Bam” sauce.

“Every single item has a story or something looped to it. It’s not just on there because we need it,” Azzarello said. “The Bam sauce originated late one night. It was probably 1 o’clock in the morning and we were trying to create a sauce that kind of replicated almost like a Russian or Thousand Island dressing. We mixed our ketchup, maple mustard and honey Sriracha and then added some mayo and relish. We tasted it and we were like, ‘Bam, this is it!’”

There are also specialty breakfast sandwiches of the month — Frati said the first one out of the gate at the new Salem location will likely feature flavors inspired by Cinco de Mayo.

The lunch menu at Crack’d includes burgers, sandwiches, grain bowls featuring a quinoa rice blend, and “mac bowls” that are made with egg noodles and a house cheese sauce.

Smoothies, teas and espresso drinks are all part of the drinks menu. Coffees, including several of their own proprietary blends, are sourced from Hometown Coffee Roasters of Manchester.

“We have something like 35 different options that you can get,” Frati said. “We do some real fun stuff like cereal milk, which is Cinnamon Toast Crunch that’s steeped in milk overnight. We use that to make some really creative and fun drinks.”

Crack’d Kitchen & Coffee
Opening Monday, April 19. Visit their website or social media channels for updates.
Where: 327 S. Broadway, Salem
Anticipated hours: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.
More info: Visit, find them on Facebook and Instagram @crackdkitchen or call 212-1511

Feautred photo: The Live Free or Die breakfast sandwich. Photos courtesy of Crack’d Kitchen & Coffee.

Fresh catch

Mexican-style seafood grill opens in Nashua

Tostada de pulpo (octopus ceviche tostada). Photo courtesy of Riviera Nayarit.

Off the Pacific coast of Mexico, the Riviera Nayarit is a destination renowned for its beaches, resorts and abundance of seafood. A new eatery has brought that culture to Nashua, offering a menu heavy on harder-to-find Mexican-style seafood dishes and a beach-like ambiance to match.

Sharing a name with the popular tourist spot, Riviera Nayarit Mexican Style Seafood and Grill opened on West Pearl Street last month, with walls painted ocean blue and sand beige and framed photos of Riviera Nayarit’s beaches at several of the booths.

Owner Karla Gutierrez, who also operates Mi Jalisco Mexican Grill in Manchester and has helped open a few other Mexican restaurants in the Granite State with friends and family members, said Riviera Nayarit is a concept that has been years in the making.

“The gastronomy of Mexico is huge. There are hundreds and hundreds of different styles,” said Gutierrez, who was born in Nayarit and came to the United States with her family at the age of 9. “My menu here is … how we do seafood on that part of the coast. A lot of people venture into what they know, like the mussels, the oysters and the dips, but I have a huge variety.”

The pescado zarandeado for instance, which Gutierrez referred to as Riviera Nayarit’s house dish, features a whole red snapper that’s fileted, grilled and marinated in house. It’s one of several plated dishes served with rice, beans or fries, a salad and either flour or corn tortillas.

“A lot of people have been loving that I’m using snapper, which is so hard to get up here,” she said. “It’s definitely something you have to try if you haven’t.”

Aguachiles, or dishes featuring marinated shrimp and vegetables in varying degrees of spiciness, are also among the eatery’s staples. One option, the aguachile Sayulita, adds octopus.

Ceviche, or fish cooked in lime juice with cilantro, onions and cucumbers, is also available in several versions. You can order ceviche with shrimp, catfish or octopus, or try a fancier option like torre de marisco, which translates to “seafood tower.” That dish is a combination of shrimp, octopus, scallops and other seafood that is stacked with layers of tomato, cucumber and onions.

The Baja tacos, featuring three per serving with grilled fish or shrimp, cabbage and a chipotle cream sauce, have been among the restaurant’s top sellers out of the gate, as have been the shrimp empanadas, the oysters and the steamed mussels.

If you’d prefer something a bit more familiar, or you’re simply not a seafood lover, Riviera Nayarit has other options too, like street tacos, fajitas, quesadillas and salads with chicken, steak or mixed veggies, plus nachos with a variety of toppings to choose from. Extensive selections of Mexican beers, micheladas, specialty margaritas, martinis and other house cocktails like cantaritos, mojitos and Mexican mai tais are also available.

Riviera Nayarit Mexican Style Seafood and Grill
: 116 W. Pearl St., Nashua
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m.; Friday, 4 to 11 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. (hours may be subject to change)
More info: Visit, find them on Facebook or call 521-8602

Feautred photo: Grilled salmon. Photo courtesy of Riviera Nayarit.

The Weekly Dish 21/04/15

News from the local food scene

Greek meals to go: Join Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church (68 N. State St., Concord) for its next boxed Greek dinner to go event on Sunday, April 25, from noon to 1 p.m. Now through April 21, orders are being accepted for boxed meals, featuring baked haddock, rice pilaf, a vegetable and a dinner roll, for $20 per person. The event is drive-thru and takeout only — visit, email or call 953-3051 to place your order. Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (111 Island Pond, Manchester) is also hosting its next drive-thru food fest on Saturday, April 25, from noon to 2:30 p.m., with orders being accepted now through April 21. That menu will feature baked haddock dinners with rice pilaf, Greek-style peas and carrot medley, plus other available a la carte items like spinach petas and pastry platters featuring baklava and assorted cookies. This event is also pickup only (stay in your car; no walk-ins). Visit

Tastee Kone reopens this week: Soft-serve ice cream shop Tastee Kone (272 Route 101, Amherst) will reopen for the season on Friday, April 16, owner Jill Jones confirmed. In addition to 30 different flavors of soft-serve, including chocolate, vanilla and chocolate and vanilla twist, Tastee Kone also serves hot dogs and all types of sundaes and razzles, or soft-serve flavors mixed with a variety of candied ingredients. One of the most popular offerings, Jones said, is the almond milk swirl, a vegan alternative with different flavors changing every three days. Tastee Kone is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from 2 to 8 p.m. Find them on Facebook or call 203-3270.

Anniversary brews: Derry’s Daydreaming Brewing Co. (1½ E. Broadway) is celebrating its first full year in business with the release of its Anniversary Ale on Friday, April 16, at 4 p.m., featuring a blend of its Russian imperial stout, barleywine and Belgian strong dark ale that has been aged in a whiskey barrel. Owner and founder Andy Day will also be presenting a new beer series this week based on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign — Fierce Princess, a German Pilsner brewed with rye and spicy peppers, will roll out on Thursday, April 15, at 4 p.m., followed by three more releases in the series expected to be ready every four months. Visit In Manchester, Candia Road Brewing Co. (840 Candia Road) is releasing a crushable session IPA called Lil’ Conez on Saturday, April 17, at noon, a collaborative brew with Bill and Alli Seney of the Manchvegas Brew Bus in celebration of the bus’s third anniversary. Visit

Gibson’s selling Bread & Chocolate gift certificates: Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord is helping to sell gift certificates redeemable at its Main Street neighbor Bread & Chocolate, which is expected to remain closed through at least the end of this month following an unexpected family medical emergency. You can visit to purchase a gift certificate in multiple amounts from $5 to $200 per recipient. Certificates will be mailed to you, with all of the money collected going toward Bread & Chocolate. The downtown bakery, which has long been a spot known for its cakes, tarts, Danishes, cookies and other pastries, has been closed since late March. Follow Bread & Chocolate on Facebook @breadandchocolateconcordnh for updates on their reopening plans.

Rebecca Wheeler

Rebecca Wheeler is the owner of The Traveling Taco (, and on Facebook and Instagram @thetravelingtaconh), a food trailer specializing in multiple types of tacos, taco salads, nachos and soups that she runs with the help of her friend Olivia Turcotte. Since launching the trailer in December, Wheeler has dabbled in a variety of her own creative takes on tacos, from Jamaican jerk chicken to chipotle orange pulled pork and roasted sweet potato and black bean, in addition to those with more traditional fillings like seasoned ground beef. The Traveling Taco was a weekly mainstay at Pats Peak Ski Area in Henniker throughout the winter season. In addition to being available for catering and private events, Wheeler is planning to participate in several events later this spring and summer, including Taco Tuesday nights at Lake Shore Village Resort in Weare, as well as at select shows at Northlands (formerly Drive-In Live) in Swanzey.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

Hands down, it would have to be my knife.

What would you have for your last meal?

King crab legs and a delicious salad, probably an arugula salad with some kind of goat cheese and a balsamic drizzle.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

Harlow’s Pub in Peterborough. I like the Blairwich sandwich. It’s a roast beef sandwich and it has pepper jack cheese, horseradish mayo and jalapeno peppers.

What celebrity would you like to see ordering from your food trailer?

The first person that came to mind was Snoop Dogg, so I’m going to go with him. … I feel like he’d be smiling and ready to eat some tacos.

What is your personal favorite menu item that you have offered?

My favorite … has been the black bean and sweet potato tacos, [which also] had guacamole and a drizzle of salsa verde.

What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?

Food trucks, especially now, because I feel like you can dine out from a food truck and it feels more normal … than when you go eat inside of a restaurant.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

One of our favorite meals in my family is surf and turf. A really nice grilled steak and then maybe crab or seared scallops to go with that.

Jalapeno tomato cheddar bisque
From the kitchen of Rebecca Wheeler of The Traveling Taco food truck

5 jalapenos (depending on size and spice level desired)
5 shallots
2 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup cheddar cheese
Splash of sherry
Sea salt and black pepper
Slice shallots and jalapenos and saute in a soup pot with a little olive oil. When they start to caramelize, add a splash of sherry and diced tomatoes, then simmer. When the flavors all come together, blend until smooth. Finish by adding heavy cream and cheddar cheese. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

Food & Drink
Farmers markets
Cole Gardens Winter Farmers Market is Saturdays, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Cole Gardens (430 Loudon Road, Concord), now through April 17. Visit
Downtown Concord Winter Farmers Market is Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, at 20 S. Main Street in Concord, now through late April. Find them on Facebook @downtownconcordwinterfarmersmarket.
Salem Farmers Market is Sundays, from 10 a.m. to noon, inside the former Rockler Woodworking building (369 S. Broadway, Salem). Visit

Featured photo: Rebecca Wheeler

Tastes of Puerto Rico

Empanellie’s opens in Nashua

Steps away from Main Street, a new eatery now open in downtown Nashua is serving up authentic Puerto Rican cuisine, including made-to-order hot pressed sandwiches, loaded french fries and an eclectic assortment of sweet and savory empanadas.

Empanellie’s, which arrived last month near the corner of Main and West Pearl streets, also features a daily Latin food buffet and a selection of locally sourced cold desserts. Owner Nelson Mercado, who was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and came to Nashua at the age of 6, said the restaurant gets its name by combining the word “empanada” with the name of his mother, Nellie, who is one of several celebrated cooks in his family.

Mercado, who also owns Made Men Barbershop & Lounge a few blocks down the same street, said talks to open an empanada restaurant originated last year with his clients as a great addition to the growing diversity in Nashua. He began renovating the empty storefront that would become Empanellie’s just before the onset of the pandemic, briefly pausing on the project for a few months before jumping back in.

The first things you may notice when you walk into Empanellie’s are its bright warm colors and vibrant aesthetics — Mercado said they represent the uplifting of cities and neighborhoods in Puerto Rico that were affected by recent natural disasters like Hurricane Maria. Much of the restaurant’s featured decor is also representative of different traditions on the island.

Empanellie’s general manager, Francisco “Franky” Arocho, who is also from Puerto Rico and has been in New Hampshire for nearly a decade, said the empanadas are among the top sellers. Each empanada shell is six inches wide when folded and a couple of inches thick, stuffed with anything from beef or chicken with cheese to all kinds of experimental fillings. One such option that has been popular lately, he said, has been the pastelón empanada.

“Pastelón is basically a lasagna, but made out of sweet plantains. If you’re Puerto Rican then you always ate that when you were a kid at home,” Arocho said. “We decided to incorporate that inside of an empanada, so it’s a mixture of beef, cheese and sweet plantains.”

A buffet offering various meats, rices, fruits, vegetables and more is also available with an always changing menu of items sold by the pound.

“I think if you grab a little bit of everything, the most you’ll pay is probably $14,” Arocho said. “It’s not a set menu either. It can change every day, but we try to have what sells the most.”

Other items are made to order, like the sandwiches — those options include a traditional Cubano with ham, pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and mustard; a tripleta, or a three-meat blend of chicken, pork and steak that’s topped with potato sticks, cheese and a house sauce; and a jibarito, or a sandwich made with flattened plantains in place of the bread.

“The jibarito is a very famous sandwich from Puerto Rico,” Arocho said. “We smash the plantains, fry them up and then add lettuce, tomato, cheese and whatever meat you like.”

Empanellie’s also serves alcapurrias, a popular Puerto Rican fritter dish featuring mashed green bananas stuffed with meat and served with a house dipping sauce; and papas locas, or loaded french fries with chicken, pork, steak, barbecue sauce, cheese and hickory-smoked bacon. Similar dishes can be prepared with sweet plantains in place of the fries.

For dessert, you’ll find some flavors of sweet empanadas like strawberry and Nutella, apple pie, and guava and cream cheese, plus a collection of items sourced from Dulces Bakery of Manchester. The tres leches, for instance, are cakes soaked in three different types of milk, topped with homemade whipped cream and served in refrigerated single-portion cups. They come in a variety of flavors, from vanilla and salted caramel to Nutella, guava, pineapple, and dulce de leche.

Eventually, Arocho said, they hope to expand their menu offerings to include breakfast empanadas and sandwiches, and they’d like to feature live music.

Where: 83 W. Pearl St., Nashua
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. (hours may be subject to change)
More info: Follow them on Facebook and Instagram @empanellies or call 417-7875. A website is expected to be launched soon.

Feautred photo: Photo courtesy of The Flight Center Taphouse & Eatery

Taking flight

Flight Center opening second location in Manchester, introducing speakeasy concept

When you walk inside The Flight Center Taphouse & Eatery’s newest location in southern Manchester, on track to open later this month, you’ll be asked a simple question — are you here for your “flight” or are you here to “pick up your luggage?”

Depending on your answer, you’ll then be led to one of two uniquely different operations under one roof, or “a concept within a concept,” as Flight Center founder Seth Simonian coined. One side, featuring a dining room and bar with brick-oven pizzas, sandwiches, appetizers and more than 50 craft beers on tap, will look and feel familiar to patrons of the eatery’s Nashua counterpart. The other side, facing away from the main road, is home to a 1920s-inspired speakeasy-style bar, similar to others in New Hampshire, like CodeX Books. Antiques. Rarities. (B.A.R) in Nashua and Chuck’s BARbershop in Concord.

“All you’re going to see is a wall of suitcases, and it’s soundproof, so you’re not going to hear anything from the other side,” Simonian said. “You have to press the right suitcase to signal the host on the other side of the door to know that you’re there to let you in and greet you.”

Liu Vaine, one of Simonian’s partners, has helped build several of the other speakeasy-like spaces across New Hampshire after being inspired by the concept in New York City. Much like this one, the entrances to these “secret” bars are hidden behind some type of structured facade.

“Liu and I had been tossing around the idea of what The Flight Center and CodeX would look like in the same building,” said Simonian, who is also a managing partner in local eateries like the 1750 Taphouse in Bedford and Cheddar & Rye in Manchester. “[The speakeasy] will be called The Lost Luggage, [but] you’re not going to see that on a sign anywhere.”

Simonian said the group’s original plan was to pursue opening a brewery in the now-closed British Beer Co. location in Westford, Mass. When those plans fell through, they learned that the Massachusetts-based chain’s Manchester location had become available.

“We came into this space … and realized it was perfect for what we had been talking about,” Simonian said.

Several mainstays of The Flight Center’s food menu in Nashua — including the pretzels with house beer cheese, the chicken wings, the tater tot “totchos,” and the brick-oven pizzas — will all be on the menu in Manchester, along with some new items like house burgers, and entrees like steak and frites and shrimp and grits. New house desserts are in the works too, like Black Forest brownies and seasonal cheesecakes prepared with select types of beers or liquors.

In addition to the always rotating line of beers on tap, there will be a selection of bourbons, whiskeys and scotches, plus an expanded offering of wines.

The speakeasy side, which encompasses about a third of the building’s overall interior space, according to Simonian, features a craft cocktail menu of its own.

“The idea is that it’s a very high-end craft cocktail experience, where your bartenders have the ability to build a cocktail to your mood,” Simonian said. “At CodeX, there is a cocktail menu that you’re ordering 14 to 15 drinks from, and then they’ll also build you a cocktail based on your needs. You’ll see something very similar here.”

The Flight Center Taphouse & Eatery
Featuring the in-house speakeasy-style bar The Lost Luggage. An opening date is expected in the coming weeks. Follow them on social media or email them for updates.
Where: 1071 S. Willow St., Manchester
Hours: TBA
More info: Find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @flightcentermht, or send an email to

Feautred photo: Photo courtesy of The Flight Center Taphouse & Eatery

The Weekly Dish 21/04/08

News from the local food scene

Cheers to beers: Breweries all over the Granite State are celebrating New Hampshire Craft Beer Week, which kicked off on Wednesday, April 7, and will continue all the way through Saturday, April 17. Be sure to check in with your favorite breweries on their websites or social media channels — many will showcase special beer releases and host virtual or in-person trivia nights, live music performances and other events — or visit for the most up-to-date happenings. Our coverage of Craft Beer Week can also be found on page 30 of The Hippo’s April 1 edition.

Spring into deliciousness: Local gourmet food products, cookbooks for sale and onsite food trucks will all be part of the Great New England Spring Specialty Foods & Artisan Show, a two-day rain or shine event happening on Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11, at the Hampshire Dome (34 Emerson Road, Milford). In addition to more than 100 booths featuring artisan and food vendors both indoors and outdoors, the show will feature live music, cash door prizes, raffles and more. Tickets are $5 per person (free for kids ages 14 and under) and are valid for both days — show times are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. Visit

LaBelle Market coming soon: LaBelle Winery owners Amy LaBelle and her husband Cesar Arboleda recently announced the name of their new culinary market and gift shop coming soon to Derry. LaBelle Market, according to a press release, is scheduled to open by mid to late May in the space that formerly housed the onsite pro shop of Brookstone Events & Golf (14 Route 111, Derry). “The concept … came about after many years of traveling in the United States and abroad,” LaBelle said in a statement. “I often visited markets selling incredibly fresh, local and unique products, and always found shopping at them to be fun and inspiring.” According to the release, the market will feature prepared and made-to-order foods, including baked goods, specialty sandwiches, salads, grain bowls and wood-fired pizzas. Grocery items will include assorted breads, artisanal cheeses and prime cuts of beef. The market, which is adjacent to the new Americus Restaurant, will be open seven days a week, from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., with both indoor and outdoor seating available. Visit for updates on its opening.

NOCA to introduce new flavors: Spiked still water company NOCA, launched in 2019 by University of New Hampshire graduates and friends Alex Febonio, Galen Hand and Richard Roy, has announced plans to move its production to the Granite State and will also be releasing new flavors in April, according to a press release. The original product line of NOCA, which stands for “no carbonation,” features three flavors of filtered water with a fermented cane sugar base: dragon fruit mango, watermelon lime and triple berry, all with an ABV of 4.5 percent, according to the NOCA website. The new flavors, which are expected to roll out this month, will include pineapple, cherry, peach, lime and lemon, according to the release.

Madeline Rossi and Olivia Lenox

Madeline Rossi and her wife Olivia Lenox are the owners of New Roots Meals (, and on Facebook and Instagram @newrootsmeals), a Manchester-based company offering weekly deliveries of fresh plant-based items like sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, pastas, breakfasts and more. Even though both are from New England (Lenox from New Hampshire and Rossi from Connecticut), the couple met in Portland, Oregon, where Lenox had owned and operated a vegan food truck called Flourish. They eventually came to New Hampshire to be closer to family members, launching New Roots Meals as their newest business venture in October. Their menu changes every other week, but all items are 100-percent plant-based. They’ve done everything from Buffalo cauliflower wings and fried mushrooms to vegetable lo mein, Italian polenta bowls, yuca shepherd’s pie and caprese quiches. Orders are accepted until 8 p.m. every Friday. All meals are cooked at Jerome’s Deli in Manchester on Sundays, which Rossi and Lenox rent out as a commissary space. Free deliveries are made on Mondays, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., for all customers within a 30-mile radius of Manchester.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

Madeline: Our mandoline, which we use to thinly slice all our veggies.

Olivia: The Vitamix blender, because I like to make cheeses and sauces from scratch. I could probably record a commercial for them, I love it so much.

What would you have for your last meal?

Madeline: Honestly, I would probably get the udon stir-fry with tofu, from Buba Noodle [Bar in Manchester]. That is one thing I cannot recreate myself.

Olivia: I feel like I would want a big giant vegan burrito. I love the mushroom chorizo burrito from Dos Amigos [Burritos in Concord]. I feel like it would save my life.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

Madeline: Troy’s [Fresh Kitchen & Juice Bar in Londonderry]. I’ve been working my way through their menu. I’m a sucker for hash browns, so I love their Southwest scramble with tofu. I also usually like to get the blueberry pancake smoothie.

Olivia: The Local Moose Cafe [in Manchester]. I get the same thing every time: the tofu bánh mi sandwich and the matcha latte with oat milk and a lot of sugar.

What celebrity would you like to see ordering from New Roots Meals?

Madeline: Definitely Lizzo, for sure!

Olivia: Yeah, let’s just go with that.

What has been your personal favorite menu item that you’ve offered?

Madeline: The Korean barbecue cauliflower. I love having a lot of color in our dishes, and that one just came out really colorful and tasty.

Olivia: Mine is the quiche, which we sell whole or sometimes by the slice. The base for them is made with garbanzo bean flour.

What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?

Olivia: Avocado toast.

Madeline: Hot chocolate bombs, especially around Christmas. Loon Chocolate [in Manchester] has a vegan option.

What is your favorite thing to make at home?

Madeline: I love making vegan charcuterie plates often. I’ll use crackers, maybe some kind of vegan sausage or cheese, and then whatever veggies we have in our fridge that we need to use up.

Olivia: I like to make soups that are miso-based, with cabbage or maybe carrots or mushrooms, some fresh cilantro and a lot of red pepper flakes and ginger.

Beetroot hummus
From the kitchen of Madeline Rossi and Olivia Lenox of New Roots Meals,

1 can (1½ cups) chickpeas
⅓ cup olive oil
⅓ cup cooked beets
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If using raw beets, dice them and place on a greased baking sheet. Salt beets, cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Add chickpeas, beets, water, lemon juice and garlic powder to a blender and blend on high. While ingredients are blending, pour in olive oil until you reach a smooth consistency, adding more olive oil if necessary. Salt to taste and enjoy.

Featured photo: Madeline Rossi (left) and her wife Olivia Lenox (right).

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