Green Again

Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day music virtually

A year ago Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki was heading into his busy season and primed to play traditional Irish music across the region. Following a St. Patrick’s Day weekend kickoff show, the Jordan TW Trio, including Matt Jensen on guitar and bass player Chris Noyes, would play its biggest gig of the year, to a sold out Saturday night crowd at Bank of NH Stage.

It was Friday the 13th, however. In 2020, that cursed day delivered misery like never before.

“As we stepped off stage, I took out my phone,” the fiddler said in a recent phone interview, “and found out that we’d been canceled from that point on.”

Though Tirrell-Wysocki would resume a fairly busy schedule later that spring Zoom lessons with cabin-fevered students were a silver lining during the pandemic on March 17 the jigs and reels were streamed from his home on Facebook Live.

This year he’ll finally take the stage in downtown Concord. Alas, apart from a camera operator and sound engineer, his trio will play to an empty room.

He calls the situation “weirdly ironic” but is pleased nonetheless. “I’m grateful that the Capitol Center has figured out how to present quality livestream content. … I think it’s going to be a lot of fun.”

The March 12 show is one of four Irish-themed virtual events offered by the venue. On March 13 a late afternoon show offers We Banjo 3: Live From Ireland. An indie band with Celtic roots, they most recently performed a virtual Christmas show.

That’s followed later in the evening by the concert/travelogue Virtual Ireland with Michael Londra. A prerecorded live concert experience featuring world-renowned step dancers and musicians, Rhythm of the Dance debuted in February and will run two more times in March.

An “intermission” from live events imposed late last year has been challenging, Capitol Center Executive Director Nicki Clarke said recently. Federal CARES Act money and donations have sustained them financially.

“We’ve been taking it literally month by month, saying, ‘We’re just going to pause and look again, and pause again,’” she said.

Socially distanced standup comedy from Juston McKinney was set to resume in-person shows on March 27, but “the board decided to stay in our ‘pause’ state,” Clarke wrote in a Feb. 25 email, so the event is postponed, with no new date confirmed. A May 14 Adam Ezra Band show is still listed on the venue’s website; everything before that is off or virtual, and the Ezra show is not certain either, Clarke said.

“Our board weighs in on the pause question the second Thursday of each month for the following month,” she said. “This means the call to go or re-schedule again will be made on or around April 8.”

Some silver linings emerged from the dearth of live events. Necessary stage repairs could be made, for example.

“In some ways being closed was a good thing, because we can get that done right,” Clarke said.

Still, livestreamed shows are no substitute for the real thing money-wise.

“We might be making like $2 for every ticket that we sell; it’s really for the benefit of giving people something to watch,” she said. “This mud season is going to be tough. We’ve got to get through March and April, then hopefully we’ll be outside and able to join up with each other.”

Tirrell-Wysocki is also willing to wait.

“As much as I’m looking forward to being able to work in a normal capacity again, I don’t want to rush it,” he said. “I have been offered indoor shows, and I honestly feel weird. I don’t blame anyone who’s willing to perform inside with distance guidelines and all of that, but a huge part of my job as an independent musician is filling a room, and I just can’t really in good conscience do that. … I want to be sure we’ve waited long enough to do it safely and feel good about it. If that means livestreaming for now, then that’s what we’re going to do.”

Jordan Tirrell-Wysocki Trio Livestream
: Friday, March 12, 8 p.m.
Where: online
Tickets: $20 at

Featured photo: Jordan TW Trio. Courtesy photo.

The Music Roundup 21/03/04

Starman: Along with his occasional David Bowie tribute act, George Belli performs with The Retroactivists, a band that mines well-known British Invasion hits and nuggets. For a show at a Seacoast watering hole that recently resumed live music, he’ll be in a duo format but likely still leaning on material from The Kinks, Small Faces, the Zombies and others acts from ‘cross the pond. Thursday, March. 4, 8 p.m., Clipper Tavern, 75 Pleasant St., Portsmouth,

Rounder: It’s a sizable lineup at the weekly Swappin’ Sets local music showcase, with Becca Myari, Craig Greenman, David Mulchaney and Colby Priest sitting in; Myari will end the night with a second set. A steady booster of original artists, the restaurant-taproom encourages others to get involved by curating a Spotify playlist of frequent performers (linked elsewhere in this issue). Friday, March 5, 6 p.m., Area 23, 254 N. State St. (Smokestack Center), Concord,

Tapper: Call ahead for a reservation to hoist a pint, have a snack and hear Frank Alcaraz perform on acoustic guitar. A singer, songwriter and troubadour in the mold of Billy Bragg or John Hiatt, Alcaraz can belt out a folk song with alacrity, but he also has punk rock roots. He’s lead guitarist with The Cryptics, a band that released the rollicking Continuous New Behavior early last year. Saturday, March 6. 26, 6 p.m., To Share Brewing, 720 Union St., Manchester,

Rocker: Singer, guitarist and College of Musical Knowledge Professor Ted Solovicos does an afternoon set. OK, that’s not a real school, but were it so, Solovicos would definitely have tenure; he cohosts a radio show with fellow muso Rosemarie Rose — the two often perform as a duo — that regularly dives deep into rock history, featuring interviews with many greats of the classic rock era, particularly the ’60s. Sunday, March 7, 5 p.m., Lynn’s 102 Tavern, 76 Derry Road, Hudson,

At the Sofaplex 21/03/04

Tom & Jerry (PG)

Chloë Grace Moretz, Michael Peña.

Cartoon cat Tom and mouse Jerry (along with other animated animals) inhabit live-action New York City in this movie that is pretty solid on the special effects but pretty shaky everywhere else.

The human story centers around Kayla (Moretz), a girl who talks her way into a temporary job at the ultra-fancy Royal Gate Hotel. She’s meant to help with the upcoming nuptials of famous couple Ben (Colin Jost) and Preeta (Pallavi Sharda). Hotel head Mr. Dubros (Rob Delaney) has faith in Kayla and her fabricated prior event experience but event manager Terence (Peña) is suspicious. When the appearance of a mouse threatens the event, Kayla attempts to fight infestation the old-fashioned way — with a cat. Tom is happy to help, as Jerry interrupted his keyboard busking. Terence highly doubts that this will work, especially as the cat and mouse duo cause destruction everywhere they go.

The Common Sense Media headline on this movie warned me that it was on the violent side so I didn’t watch it with my kids, who are otherwise right in what is probably this movie’s demo. And I’m glad I didn’t; convincing young humans that they can’t do cartoony foolishness is a significant part of my day and the way the movie puts animated characters in a live action setting makes those head-smacks and electrocutions feel real (but without the consequences of real-world physics). That factor plus the scenes that are heavy on adult humans and their boring problems make me wonder who this is for; do enough 7-to-10-year-olds want Tom & Jerry content that comes with Kayla’s Gen Z-er starting out issues?

Which is all too bad because this movie does have a nicely quirky sense of humor at times — it makes some cute jokes about Tom & Jerry’s lack of human-comprehensible verbal communication, possession of business cards and showbiz abilities. Near the end Rob Delaney calls them “Thomas and Jerome,” which is a solid understated bit of business. And the animation really worked for me; their cartoon antics have some visual cleverness. The blend of old-fashioned illustration-style Tom & Jerry with the live-action world was visually appealing, especially as the wedding got crazier and more exotic animals showed up at the hotel.

Tom & Jerry feels like it’s halfway to a family-fun reboot of old characters but the movie is just out of balance enough to make it feel longer, flatter and more worrisome in the “please don’t try to electrocute your brother like the cat”-sense than I want from my family entertainment. C+ In theaters and on HBO Max until late March.

The United States vs. Billie Holiday (R)

Andra Day, Trevante Rhodes.

Golden Globe winner Day gives a standout performance as Billie Holiday is this jumble of a movie about the singer’s legal troubles and the government’s attempts to discredit her due to the power and popularity of her song “Strange Fruit.” The story jumps around from 1947 to 1959 as Holiday struggles with heroin addiction. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics pursues her mercilessly, claiming to be trying to build a case against her to get her to turn in her suppliers. But early on we see Harry Anslinger (Garrett Hedlund), the Bureau’s leader and a malevolent cartoon villain, tell a room full of senators (and Roy Cohn) that “This jazz music is the devil’s work” and silencing Holiday will keep a lid on the civil rights movement. African American federal agent Jimmy Fletcher (Rhodes) is tasked by Anslinger with helping to bring Holiday down, an assignment he comes to have mixed feelings about.

This movie is very tell, not show — leaning on our previous knowledge of government wrongdoing and 20th century history. The movie states things — like that “Strange Fruit” is important to the civil rights movement and is “making people think” — but it doesn’t really demonstrate what this means or explain its effect on the culture of the 1940s and 1950s. The movie doesn’t really even do a good job of explaining the wider cultural relevance of Holiday and her career.

However. In the middle of a tornado of questionable movie-making choices is Andra Day and her Billie Holiday. She is able show the strength, vulnerability, weakness, brilliance and righteous anger of Holiday all at once and make her seem real, even when she is frequently wading through some business that feels 1980s-TV-biopic-y. It’s a top-notch performance that really deserved a better movie. B (a B+ maybe A- for Day’s performance; everything else is solidly in C territory). Available on Hulu.

Minari (PG-13)

Minari (PG-13)

A Korean-American family seeks a path to financial security in rural Arkansas in Minari, an excellent family drama.

While the movie feels like it is telling this story from the point of view of David (Alan Kim), the elementary school-aged youngest child of the Yee family, we get a good glimpse at the inner lives of all the family members. Mom Monica (Yeri Han) is horrified when her husband, Jacob (Steven Yeun), pulls up to the family’s new plot and presents her with a rickety-looking trailer sitting in a field. They have moved from urban California to very rural Arkansas in what seems like the early 1980s to chase Jacob’s dream of having a farm. Specifically, he plans to grow Korean vegetables and sell them to businesses in Korean communities in regional cities, like Houston or Oklahoma City. We get the sense that Jacob (who, like Monica, has immigrated from Korea; the kids seem to have been born in the U.S.) has some experience with farming but not nearly enough experience with convincing Monica of his plan. To pay the bills while he starts his farm, the couple works, as Jacob complains at one point, staring at chicken butts all day — that is, they sort the male and female chicks. David and older sister Anne (Noel Kate Cho) seem to adapt to this new environment, amusing themselves by poking around the family’s land or watching TV while drinking Mountain Dew.

When Monica’s not worrying about their financial precariousness, she is worrying about David, who has a heart murmur and has been told not to run or do the strenuous kid stuff he naturally wants to do. Their new home is an hour away from the nearest hospital, a fact that adds to Monica’s worries.

When the threat of a tornado nearly breaks the wound-tight Monica, Jacob tries to placate her by telling her to bring her mother to live with them. Monica seems embarrassed to have her mother see her family’s circumstances but Grandma, Soon-ja (Yuh-Jung Youn), treats the whole situation as kind of a hoot, teaching David to play a Korean card game and swear in Korean, watching American wrestling and planting minari in the wild near a pond on the property.

This is such a relatable family and such a relatable story — the dad who needs to succeed beyond his nine-to-five, the mom who feels the weight of her kids’ safety and well-being, the kids torn between their American culture and their parents’ culture, the fish-out-of-water can-we-make-the-best-of-it-or-will-this-break-us scenario. I felt like I knew these characters very quickly and could see all the perspectives and life experience that went into their reactions and decisions. Monica and Jacob have several fights where you can see both sides and can empathize deeply with both of them. Han and Yeun do absolutely excellent work to show us everything about what their characters are thinking or fearing with just a look or a small gesture. The surrounding actors do good work too — Kim is so believable as David, with the exact right amount of kid fear, kid adaptability and kid mischievousness. Youn as the grandmother is also fantastic — you’re not a real grandma, David complains, which Soon-ja gleefully takes as a compliment.

The movie is also shot beautifully — you can see why Monica is aghast that this creaky trailer is the family’s new home but the movie also shows us the home and land in the same light Jacob sees it, his garden of Eden he says, only half joking, at one point.

Minari isn’t just another awards-season movie that deserves its praise; it’s a standout movie that completely immerses you in a family’s life. A+

Rated PG-13 for some thematic elements and a rude gesture, according to the MPA on Written and directed by Lee Issac Chung, Minari is an hour and 55 minutes long and distributed by A24. It is available for rent.

Featured photo: Minari

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd

People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd (Harper, 275 pages)

I don’t resent Mark Twain for using a pen name, so I’m not sure why I’m so bothered by Ellery Lloyd.

Lloyd is the pseudonym for the two authors of People Like Her, Collette Lyons and Paul Vlitos, who are married to each other. Can they not just say the novel is written by Vlitos and Lyons, as they do on the jacket and publicity materials? What is the point of the Ellery nonsense?

These are the first of the many questions posed by this novel, which I grudgingly grew to like despite the authorship charade and a disturbingly frothy premise.

It’s about an Instagram mom, Emmy Jackson, who has deliberately built a career as a social-media influencer. Emmy has two young children and a husband, Dan, a novelist whose fame and promise have diminished in the shadow of his wife. The two take turns narrating the story along with a third anonymous and sinister voice.

The story takes place over the course of six weeks, beginning with banal Twilight-like foreshadowing in a prologue. (Ellery Lloyd: “I think it is possible that I am dying.” Stephenie Myer: “I’d never given much thought to how I would die.”)

Then present-day Emmy jumps in, explaining how she transformed from a fashion editor at a magazine to an Instagram mom who goes by “Mamabare” — “because I’m a mama who is willing to bare it all, warts and all.”

Problem is, this cloying sentiment isn’t even true. With the help of an agent who specializes in building influencers into brands, Emmy has constructed a life that doesn’t resemble her own, but not how you’d think. Most people use social media to make their lives look better than they are. Emmy built a brand by making hers look worse. She figured out that no one wanted to hear how her baby slept through the night, about her perfectly neat and organized house (that gets a professional cleaning twice a week), about her normal, happy childhood. So she stretches the truth just a little, as if it were pizza dough.

“Which,” Emmy says, “means the hours before a camera crew arrives for a shoot are always spent untidying. … It takes effort to calibrate just the right level of chaos, but dirty isn’t aspirational and perfect isn’t relatable. And Mamabare is nothing if not relatable.” Followers relate to her so much, and her confessions of #graydays, that she now requires an assistant to keep up with the curation of Instagram posts, with responding to comments, with opening the boxes of free products that arrive daily from companies hoping to get Emmy’s endorsement.

Dan is deeply conflicted over his wife’s duplicity. On one hand, he is uncomfortable with the deceit and the artificial environment in which his children are growing up. On the other, “if we pull the plug now there’s no way we can pay the bills.”

Enter the villain.

Busy with their lives and the ever-tightening tension in their marriage, Emmy and Dan are oblivious to a threat growing close to their family. One of Emmy’s followers has a grudge, a grudge born of tragedy that is revealed over the course of the book. She is out for revenge.

She shows up at Emmy’s events and watches all her video appearances, looking for clues to where the family lives. She becomes something like Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction, but instead of a bunny there is a soiled teddy bear that provides a memorable and chilling visual.

The authors (or author, if I must play along) are both professional writers; he has written two other novels, she is a journalist and editor. They bring polish to a simple story that is slickly plotted, giving it a feel of complexity that, like Emmy’s InstaLife, isn’t entirely authentic. That said, only a few times does the novel try to be more than it is (as when Dan goes off into soliloquies about philosophy and Russian history); most of the time it is comfortable in its own skin, which is that of a Hollywood-bound thriller. It has the feel of an idea born of a couple of beers that ends with the breathless conclusion, “That would be a great movie.” But first, of course, it must be a book.

People Like Her is a double entendre; people do like Emmy. And people also have deep and complicated feelings about people like her. As Emmy’s agent, Irene, describes Emmy’s field: “I’ve seen the future, and it’s social media. … Influencers are where the money’s at. And they’re so malleable. They’re like people, only in two dimensions.”

It’s worth mentioning that the authors are British and there is a distinct British flavor to the novel with its “InstaMums” and other peculiarities of cross-Atlantic speech. It still has a Hollywood feel and could be said to be an InstaBook — a glossy presentation designed to evoke certain thoughts and emotions (social media, bad; real, messy family life, good) while making multiple people a boatload of money.

That said, it’s escapist fiction, done well, and an enjoyable, if occasionally disturbing, weekend read. B

You may not have heard of John Kilcullen, but chances are you’ve heard of his most memorable series of books.

The Hartford Courant told the story in 1997, how Kilcullen was in a computer store when he overheard another customer saying that he needed a book to teach him computer basics. “Something like DOS for Dummies,” he quipped, not knowing that someone who worked in publishing was listening.

When Kilcullen later helped to found IDG Books Worldwide, he hired Dan Gookin to write exactly that book, and a brand was born in 1991. The “For Dummies” line was an improbable success (let’s insult the reader and then have them buy our book!) but now you can get basic training for “dummies” or “idiots” on almost any subject.

Even more improbably, Bill Gates is now recommending one. Promoting his own book, How to Avoid a Climate Disaster (Knopf, 272 pages), in The New York Times this month, the Microsoft founder recommends Weather for Dummies, which he called “probably the best book written for a general audience about the subject.”

Someone wasted no time putting that line on the top of the Amazon listing.

Written by John Cox, it’s 384 paperback pages and came out in December. The publisher is John Wiley & Sons, which now shepherds the Dummies brand at

DOS for Dummies is still in print, by the way, and now has a companion, More DOS for Dummies, for those who can’t get enough. As for the rest of the titles, there are too many to list here, but they include auto repair, astronomy, sports betting, running a bar, song writing, co-dependency and air frying. Can’t help but wonder what Gates thinks about Microsoft Office 365 for Dummies


Author events

DR. DANIEL O’NEILL Author presents Survival of the Fit. Hosted by The Toadstool Bookshops of Nashua, Peterborough and Keene. Virtual, via Zoom. Thurs., March 4, 7 p.m. Visit or call 352-8815.

NORMAN VANCOR Author presents Swift Silent Deadly. Hosted by The Toadstool Bookshops of Nashua, Peterborough and Keene. Virtual, via Zoom. Sat., March 6, 11 a.m. Visit or call 352-8815.

C. J. BOX Author presents Dark Sky. Virtual livestream hosted by The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Tues., March 9, 7 p.m. Tickets cost $5. Call 436-2400 or visit

MARK EDWARD Author of Psychic Blues presents. Virtual, via Zoom. Part of Concord’s Walker Lecture Series. Wed., March 10, 7:30 p.m. Free. Call 333-0035 or visit

ELLIOT ACKERMAN & ADMIRAL JAMES STAVRIDIS Authors present 2034. Virtual livestream hosted by The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Tues., March 16, 7 p.m. Tickets cost $5. Call 436-2400 or visit

THERESA CAPUTO the star of TLC’s Long Island Medium will present “Theresa Caputo: The Experience Live” at the Capitol Center for the Arts (44 S. Main St. Concord, on Wed., April 7, 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $39.75 (with option for a VIP Photo Op for an additional $49.95).

Book Clubs

BOOKERY Online. Monthly. Third Thursday, 6 p.m. Bookstore based in Manchester. Visit or call 836-6600.

GIBSON’S BOOKSTORE Online, via Zoom. Monthly. First Monday, 5:30 p.m. Bookstore based in Concord. Visit or call 224-0562.

TO SHARE BREWING CO. 720 Union St., Manchester. Monthly. Second Thursday, 6 p.m. RSVP required. Visit or call 836-6947.

GOFFSTOWN PUBLIC LIBRARY 2 High St., Goffstown. Monthly. Third Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. Call 497-2102, email or visit

BELKNAP MILL Online. Monthly. Last Wednesday, 6 p.m. Based in Laconia. Email

NASHUA PUBLIC LIBRARY Online. Monthly. Second Friday, 3 p.m. Call 589-4611, email or visit



Offered remotely by the Franco-American Centre. Six-week session with classes held Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. $225. Visit or call 623-1093.

Special events

EXETER LITFEST Literary festival will feature local authors, keynote speaker Victoria Arlen, book launches, a Saturday morning story hour for kids, and programs on various topics including publishing tips, mystery writing and homeschooling. Hosted virtually via Zoom by Exeter TV. Thurs., April 1, through Sat., April 3. Free and open to the public. Visit

Featured photo: People Like Her

Album Reviews 21/03/04

Scolex, “Black Pyramid Ritual,” and Mortuous, “Dessicated”(Split Single) (Carbonized Records)

As every underground metalhead in New Hampshire knows, I’m pretty worthless as far as covering the DIY end of the genre with any real dedication. If I can remember to, I’ll be talking a bit more about that next week and defending myself, but for now, let’s kill two relevant birds with one stone by giving a cursory glance at this split single from two bands slugging it out in California’s Bay Area. This split single (released on cassette only) first spotlights “Black Pyramid Ritual,” a tune by Oakland boy-girl outfit Scolex, which aims at a cross between early Mastodon and Cannibal Corpse. I assume it’s the dude who’s singing, but hey, ya never know, but either way, the singer sings in a Cookie Monster glubber-growl, but not just any glubber-growl. This singing means business, folks, like, if you have any cookies, you best fork ’em over, toot sweet! San Jose band Mortuous is the band on the flip side, with the song “Dessicated.” That one’s mid-tempo doom-metal stuff, but metal dudes probably don’t call it that anymore (like I care), and the Cannibal Corpse-style vocalizing is totally jacked, man, like, I think he’s just literally gargling Listerine and trying to scare his mom, not singing. As always, your mileage may vary! B

Rest Easy, Sick Day EP (Mutant League Records)

This Vancouver-based four-piece is more punk than 99 percent of the stuff that comes my way for review. What’s that? No, I’m saying that’s a good thing, after all that’s come before, the Green Day phase, the “power pop” phase, and all that stuff. And no, I’m not saying dishwasher-safe corporate punk like that stuff is doomed, nor is this little four-songer something with which I can’t find fault. It does have a hint of mid-career Weezer and all that stuff, but the brain-damage is front and center, not just in the frenzied tuneage (imagine some band like Panic! At The Disco lowering the fakeness enough to convince fans they’ve actually listened to the Ramones’ Animal Boy at least once) but in their imagery as well: the video for the straight-edge dipped “Bad Idea” touches on puerile, vitally important things like Jackass, as they play N64 in the bathtub and make Evel Knievel jumps over each other while riding mopeds. More of this, please. A+

Retro Playlist

I’ll bet you forgot about the awesome jokes I made at the beginning of the column from six years ago this week, cracking wise about the then-upcoming new album from Kid Rock: “Yee ha, it’s a new Kid Rock album, titled First Kiss! I have to say, talk about soft targets, this imbecilic phony is even driving a big gas-guzzling pickup truck in the video for the title track! This is AWESOME, ladies and germs! Why did the chicken run across the road? Because there was a pickup truck next to the chicken playing Kid Rock songs!”

Maybe that was a little mean, but I was nice that week to the self-titled album from Nashville-by-way-of-New-York-by-way-of-Boston indie-rock girl Liz Longley, who at the time was scheduled to play at ye olde Tupelo Music Hall after the album came out. Geez, remember when we could just bop down to Tupelo and not have to worry about the ’rona? I sure miss those days. But whatever, Longley had spent a lot of time opening for acts like Paula Cole and Nancy Griffith, the latter of whom she nicked on the tune “You’ve Got That Way.” Another “RIYL” match for this record was Lisa Loeb, so it’s a good one to check out if that kind of stuff is your thing.

The other album strapped to the examination table that week was Revisionist, from Oakland composer William Ryan Fritch, who’s soundtracked a few snobby documentaries and such. The album was a bit contrived, in that it was relevant to the Beach Boys-inspired zeitgeist in indie rock back then: “[Fritch’s] wobbly, over-acted voice looms over these sweeping, ghostly tracks, much of it remindful of Bon Iver — OK, imagine Bon Iver trying to re-envision Yes’s Tales From Topographic Oceans, but with less self-indulgence and a bigger percussion palette.” The fact that Fritch doesn’t read music won him a few bonus points, so I gave him an A-.


A seriously abridged compendium of recent and future CD releases

• The new CD releases for March 5 are here, gather ’round, my little cacodemons, come and get it! Looky there, it’s skinny-jeans fabulosos Kings of Leon, with some new album called When You See Yourself, betcha can’t wait, can ya? When last we left this indie band that puts out albums on big major labels (which is sort of like when baseball stars join the minor leagues, just to pad their stats), they were … whoa, that was way back in 2016, when they put out the Walls album, which the snobs at Pitchfork rated a 4.5 out of 10, because it didn’t fit into Pitchfork’s dream of a music world owned and operated by white hipster fellas who make sucky songs on purpose, which is still their idea of Xanadu (totally not referring to the Olivia Newton John song, just saying), to this day! Of course The Independent hated it too, which also makes sense, as people in the U.K. only like their “indie rock” albums to be decent, like Elbow and all those guys. What am I getting at? I don’t know, maybe I’m saying that I hated Walls even more than I let on back in 2016, but then again, to me, hearing a disappointingly bad album from some bunch of hilariously overrated dingbats is no more memorable an event than seeing a skunk hanging around in my backyard, like, I just kind of go “hm, a skunk” and go about my business. At any rate, the new single is “The Bandit,” and OMG, it’s boring and worthless, but still Kings of Leon-ish, like maybe the Martians from Mars Attacks took control of the Followill brothers’ bodies and tried to make a song that was mostly ’90s-rock but with that rich and delicious hayloft-rock angle they use. I SEE you, Martians!

• Since 2005 British indie-electro guy James Mathé has been more commonly known by his stage name, Barbarossa. That trip is minimalist techno, but going by what I’m hearing on “Iris2Iris,” a single from his new album, Love Here Listen, it’s not wildly minimalist; in fact I’d call it progressive house. But you don’t care about genre labels, or at least I hope you don’t, for both our sakes, so let’s just leave it that it’s a very pretty, nicely layered song, and if I actually cared about house music anymore, I’d probably be trying to mooch a promo CD out of this guy. It’s cool, is what I’m saying.

• So it says here that one of the two dudes who compose Scottish slowcore/indie band Arab Strap has some sort of connection to Mogwai, but I really just lost interest in tracking the association after like five minutes, so the heck with it, let’s just roll and talk about the band’s new album As Days Get Dark, spearheaded by the single “Compersion Pt. 1.” You’ll note that these guys originally got together in 1995, after bonding over lo-fi nonsense like Smog and Will Oldham, and this tune is indeed possessed of that sort of sonic patois, except it’s more metal, like if Silkworm suddenly decided they loved Lou Reed or something, in other words it’s like Pavement but less awful (which obviously isn’t a high mountain to climb).

• And finally, we have Fruit Bats, with their new LP, The Pet Parade! The single, “Holy Rose,” isn’t the insufferable indie-folk I was expecting, more like Harry Nilsson meets Tom Waits, but you could dance (awkwardly) to it. Bon appetit, please do get this out of my face.

Big Boo Boo

I’m finally attacking the intimidatingly large stack of books I’ve bought over the past year and never actually read. One of the most fascinating is Hear Me Talkin’ to Ya: The Story of Jazz as Told By The Men who Made it, by Nat Shapiro and Nat Hentoff (1955, Rinehart and Co.). Leaving its problematic subtitle aside (ahem, Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey and a parade of other unamused female musicians) the most fascinating part of the jazz story so far has been the descriptions of Storyville. Storyville was the celebrated red light district in New Orleans where, legend has it, jazz music was born. In New Orleans tradition, it has become mythologized so much that it has taken on a brassy, tarnished aura of being joyful and exotic. Nowhere more so than in the names of the “sportin’ men” and working girls who lived there: Flamin’ Mamie, Crying Emma, Big Butt Annie, Naked Mouf Mattie, Boxcar Shorty, Titanic, Bull Frog Sonny, Street Rabbit, Three Finger Annie, Charlie Bow Wow, Yard Dog, Knock On The Wall, and Tenderloin Thelma are all intriguing. Each of them deserves a song, an adventure movie, a mystery novel or at least a cocktail dedicated to them.

The two names that jump out at me, though, are Boo Boo and Big Boo Boo.

I don’t know who Boo Boo was. I don’t know how he got his name. I don’t know who Big Boo Boo was, though I like to think of the two of them as partners — Boo Boo being the brains of the operation, and Big Boo Boo lurking in the background, occasionally cracking his knuckles. If we were to make a movie about them, we would learn in one of the last scenes that Big Boo Boo had a beautiful tenor singing voice.

This is all conjecture on my part. For all we know, the Two Boo Boos might have been two women, calling to potential customers from their balconies.

Anyway, here are two drinks to honor them:

Boo Boo Shooter

It makes sense that if we are going to make a pair of drinks dedicated to Boo Boo and Big Boo Boo one of the drinks needs to be little and one needs to be big. This is the little one.

¼ oz. hibiscus syrup (see below)
1 oz. jalapeño rum (see below)
½ oz. passion fruit juice cocktail (yeah — see below for that, too)
¼ oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
1 (seriously, just one) drop rose water

Add each ingredient to a chilled shot glass or very small juice glass. Drink it.

This is spicy, and sour, and floral. It’s rather delicious, but it hangs around in your mouth and your head for easily 10 minutes after you have drunk it, reminding you of all the exotic places you haven’t visited yet.

Hibiscus syrup: Bring 10 ounces of water and 9 ounces of sugar to a boil and boil it for a few more seconds, until the sugar seems to disappear. Take it off the heat and add ½ ounce of dried hibiscus flowers and 1 ounce of fresh-squeezed lemon juice. Stir, let it sit for half an hour, then strain it into a bottle, and store in your refrigerator. Depending on your hibiscus blossoms, the color will range from an exotic purple to a deep magenta.

Jalapeño rum: Roughly chop 4 or 5 jalapeño peppers, and put them into a large, wide-mouthed jar. Add a bottle of white or silver rum (again, probably not the good stuff; any subtleties of flavor will be completely covered up). Shake twice per day, then strain and bottle after 4 days.

Passion fruit juice cocktail: Find this in the juice aisle at your favorite supermarket.

Big Boo Boo

Yes, this is largely a scaled-up, highball version of the Boo Boo Shooter.

1 oz. hibiscus syrup
2 oz. jalapeño rum
4 oz. passion fruit cocktai
1 oz. fresh squeezed lime juice
3-4 oz. plain seltzer or soda water (right now I like Topo Chico Mineral Water; it’s aggressively bubbly)
3 drops (again, seriously, only three) rose water

Fill a shaker with ice. Add hibiscus syrup, rum, passion fruit juice, and lime juice.

Shake until very cold

Pour into a large glass filled with ice. Strain it, don’t strain it — this drink does not stand on ceremony.

Add seltzer, and stir gently to combine.

Add rose water.

This drink tastes a lot like its namesake shooter but provides a more protracted experience. After a few sips you may decide that this drink is too spicy, or too sour, or too weird for you. A moment later you will find yourself going back for another taste. Then another.

Eventually you will probably find yourself back in the kitchen, making another, with a confused frown of concentration on your face. Which I think Boo Boo and Big Boo Boo would appreciate.

Featured photo: Big Boo Boo and the Boo Boo Shooter. Photo by John Fladd.

Wine climes

Napa and Sonoma offer a perfect spot for pinots and chards

Napa and Sonoma counties, known for producing some of our nation’s greatest wines, have been described as having a Mediterranean climate. While the valley floor of Napa and Courthouse Square in Santa Rosa can reach summer temperatures well into the 90s, the two counties have several cooler microclimates produced by air movement over the diverse terrain.

These counties lie north of San Francisco and San Pablo Bay. Combined they are about 50 miles long and almost 50 miles wide and are bordered on the east by the Vaca and Howell mountains, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The Mayacamas Mountains, a range that is more than 50 miles long, running from just north of the San Pablo Bay to Mendocino County, separates Napa and Sonoma counties with slopes that vary from hilly knolls to peaks that can climb to well over 4,000 feet. These mountain ranges and their lower, stepped hills, referred to as “benches,” augment the climate of the two counties, contributing to several microclimates throughout the area.

San Pablo Bay is a shallow estuary that mixes the fresh water of several rivers with the salt water of San Francisco Bay. This low-lying and gently sloping land shared by these two counties is known as the Los Carneros AVA (American Viticultural Area). The cold, brackish water of the bay evaporates into the hot, arid air of the two valleys to the north to produce cool foggy nights that can last well into the morning hours.

This climate is ideal for growing chardonnay and pinot noir grapes, varietals grown in the Champagne regions of France for the production of Champagne. The cooler climate of Carneros is attractive to the cultivation of these same varietals and is used in the production of California sparkling wines. With more than 6,000 acres cultivated in vineyards, the Carneros District was the first wine region in California to be defined by its climate characteristics rather than political boundaries. Elevations of these vineyards range from 400 feet in the foothills of the Mayacamas mountains to near sea level at the bay’s edge. With the combination of poor soil and cooler climates, the wines developed from grapes grown in this region have higher levels of acidity.

Our first wine is a chardonnay, Bouchaine Vineyard 2016 Chêne d’Argent Estate Chardonnay (originally priced at $32.99, reduced to $16.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets). Bouchaine is the oldest continuously operated winery in the Carneros district. The land was first owned by a native of Missouri, Boon Fly, who planted grapes and fruit trees in the late 1880’s. The land changed hands and was eventually purchased by its current owners, Gerret and Tatiana Copeland. This wine has a light, transparent gold color. The nose is light, with notes of citric and green apple along with a bit of smokiness. To the tongue the taste is full, citric, with a bit of grapefruit, yeasty brioche, and that same smoky sense, derived from some time in oak barrels. The finish is quite long. This wine will pair well with roasted chicken or grilled pork or can just be slowly sipped.

In the northern region of Sonoma County, 50 miles from San Pablo Bay, is Anderson Valley. About 15 miles long and running along the banks of the Russian River, it extends into Mendocino County. Elevations can range to 2,500 feet above sea level. Vineyards are planted from the valley floor to the benchlands of the nearby mountains. While we typically think of Napa and Sonoma counties as having hot summers, this area is different. Owing to its proximity to the Pacific, and flanked to the east by the Mayacamas Mountains, it is one of the coolest wine-producing areas of the state. Receiving about 40 inches of rain each year, it is also one of the wettest of the various grape-growing and wine-producing regions of Sonoma County.

The 2019 V. Sattui Anderson Valley Classico Pinot Noir (originally priced at $48.99, reduced to $23.99 at the New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets) is a classic Burgundian pinot noir. V. Sattui, based in Napa, purchases these Anderson Valley grapes and trucks them to its winery in St. Helena — a common practice among wineries in Napa and Sonoma counties. The color is an almost transparent garnet red; the nose is of raspberries, which recede on the tongue to a dry and full-mouth sense of pepper spice with just a touch of leather. Given the cool climate, the wine is light with a low alcohol content at 13.8 percent. This wine will pair well with seafood or chicken.

Featured photo: Bouchaine Vineyard 2016 Chêne d’Argent Estate Chardonnay, 2019 V. Sattui Anderson Valley Classico Pinot Noir

Emily Knowlton

Hopkinton native Emily Knowlton is the owner of BB Take Home Kitchen (, and on Facebook and Instagram @bbtakehomekitchen), also known as the Balanced Brussel, a weekly take-home meal business that operates out of a stationary food truck. A graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a degree in nutrition and dietetics, Knowlton launched BB Take Home Kitchen last July and, with the help of her mother, Deb, now serves more than 500 meals per month. Near the beginning of each month she’ll post the new menu with items available for pickup on designated weeks. All orders can be picked up on Tuesdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the truck’s regular spot (185 Main St., Hopkinton), with pre-orders closing the Sunday before. Popular meals as of late have included butternut squash lasagna, ponzu pork meatballs, roasted cauliflower soup, teriyaki salmon with sushi rice, and lemon chicken with rice and vegetables. BB Take Home Kitchen also offers a different family-style meal for pickup on the first Friday of each month, like chicken pot pie or braised beef ragu with pasta.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

A really sharp chef’s knife, because you can utilize it for everything.

What would you have for your last meal?

For me, it would have to be either sushi … or the beef ragu that my mom makes for me on special occasions.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

I like The Coach House in New London, which has the best salmon. I also like The Barley House [Restaurant & Tavern in Concord]. I get their squash salad with the green lentils on it and add shrimp.

What celebrity would you like to see ordering from you?

[Food Network’s] Michael Symon is my favorite Iron Chef. Or, if I were to get on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, that would be one of the coolest things ever.

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

I think it’s probably the teriyaki salmon, which I did a couple of weeks ago. It’s just a super-vibrant dish and I was really happy with the way it came out.

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

I feel like it’s either farm-to-table or craft beer.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

My mom made chicken and gravy with rice all the time when I was a kid. I’ve served it on the menu and I also cook it at home.

Chicken korma marinade
Courtesy of Emily Knowlton of BB Take Home Kitchen in Hopkinton

2 pounds of any kind of chicken (thighs, breasts, etc.)
½ cup cashews, unsalted
3 tablespoons tomato paste
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon ginger
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup plain yogurt

Combine all ingredients in a big blender or food processor (it will be a thick-ish paste) and marinate chicken overnight before cooking.

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

Danbury Winter Market is Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Blazing Star Grange Hall (15 North Road, Danbury), now through April. Visit

Downtown Concord Winter Farmers Market is Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to noon, inside the Families in Transition building (20 S. Main St.), next to the Concord Food Co-op. 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: Emily Knowlton of BB Take Home Kitchen in Hopkinton, with mother Deb. Courtesy photo.

Ready for St. Patrick’s Day?

Restaurants get ready for March 17 and beyond

Guinness stew from New England’s Tap House Grille in Hooksett. Courtesy photo

North Side Grille in Hudson had ordered roughly 800 pounds of corned beef ahead of St. Patrick’s Day last year. Then came Gov. Chris Sununu’s emergency order on the afternoon of March 16 limiting all restaurants and bars in New Hampshire to takeout and delivery only.

“My phone started going bananas,” owner Roger Soulard said. “Everyone was asking me, ‘Did you just hear what Sununu said?’ and ‘What are we going to do about St. Patrick’s Day?’”

Soulard and dozens of other local restaurateurs were suddenly faced with having to change their St. Patrick’s Day plans overnight. Despite being limited to takeout, North Side Grille served up hundreds of boiled corned beef and cabbage dinners to go and ended up selling out by that evening. Today, Soulard said, takeout is up more than five to six times what it was before, representing about 40 percent of the eatery’s overall sales.

As the ongoing state of emergency in the Granite State begins to close in on a full year, local chefs and restaurant owners discuss how they are tackling St. Patrick’s Day this time around, plus the anticipated return of expanded outdoor dining just weeks away for some.

Corned beef craze

The week of St. Patrick’s Day is among Soulard’s busiest, and this year will be no exception. In fact, he’s even planning to increase his corned beef inventory by a few hundred pounds.

North Side Grille will offer single-serve meals of corned beef with cabbage, potatoes and carrots, as well as two-dinner and four-dinner ordering options. The eatery has also done a few themed specials, like Irish poutine and corned beef macaroni and cheese.

“I’m definitely looking forward to a successful St. Patrick’s Day week,” Soulard said. “I actually plan on doing corned beef as an all-week special hopefully to spread the cheer, if you will.”

Grill 603 in Milford, another local restaurant that has experienced a sharp increase in takeout sales over the last year, is also upping the amount of corned beef to be cooked and served.

“We had already cooked off 200 pounds of corned beef, so we went ahead and put it out on Facebook that we had corned beef dinners to go … and we were overwhelmed by the response,” Grill 603 owner Eric Griffin said. “This year, we’ll probably do about 225 to 250 pounds, and we’ll just run it as long as we can until it’s gone. … Our takeout business is so much higher now, although we have been getting a pretty decent amount of indoor dining too. It seems like people are starting to get more comfortable.”

It’s also a big time of year for Fody’s Great American Tavern, which has been open for more than a decade in Nashua and will soon celebrate its second anniversary at another larger location in Derry. According to co-owner Maria Foden, there will be corned beef and cabbage specials, as well as signature cocktails, Reubens and other creative options like corned beef poutine. The St. Patrick’s Day menu will be available from Friday, March 12, through Wednesday, March 17, at each restaurant location. Both will also be open for lunch.

Great New Hampshire Restaurants will feature corned beef dinner specials across each of its T-Bones, CJ’s Great West Grill and Copper Door locations, with cabbage, potatoes, onions, carrots and homemade soda bread. They’ll be available for takeout or dine-in on March 17.

“We’ve seen sales from indoor dining start to creep back up,” said Nicole Barreira, director of marketing and menu development for the restaurant group. “We keep reiterating the myriad of things we’ve been doing to keep people safe … and once we get back into the warmer weather, we hope to really be on the other side of things.”

In Nashua, Casey Magee’s Irish Pub & Music Hall will be celebrating its first St. Patrick’s Day since opening its doors last June. Owner Matt Casey said the doors will open early at 10 a.m., with a limited menu of specials to be served, from corned beef dinners to Irish bangers and green beer. Live acoustic performances from Steve DeLuca will also be featured on Sunday, March 14, from noon to 4 p.m., and on Wednesday, March 17, from 5 to 9 p.m. — the first time since the pub’s opening that there will be live music inside the building, according to Casey.
“We’re going to be open from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. on that day,” he said. “We’re really excited, but we’re going to try and simplify it and take every precaution that we can.”

The Shaskeen Pub and Restaurant on Elm Street in Manchester will also be opening early for St. Patrick’s Day, at 6 a.m., for breakfast in the morning. Co-owner Neal Brown said a limited dinner menu will follow throughout the day, until 9:30 p.m.

Several local takeout-only specials for St. Patrick’s Day are also available if you’d rather enjoy that corned beef and cabbage at home. In Hollis, Buckley’s Market & Cafe is currently taking orders for a heat-and-serve dinner box for two, which will feature slow-braised corned beef with potatoes, cabbage, turnip and carrots, as well as Irish soda bread, chocolate Guinness cupcakes with Baileys Irish cream frosting, and the option to add a four-pack of Guinness beer. Orders can be made now through March 10, with pickups on March 17.

Presto Craft Kitchen on Manchester’s West Side, according to chef and co-owner Joe Grella, is also taking orders now for corned beef brisket dinners with potatoes, carrots, cabbage and soda bread, as well as Guinness pie, both of which feed four to six people per meal. The deadline to order is March 12, he said, with pickups at the restaurant on either March 16 or March 17.

Chef Alan Natkiel of Georgia’s Northside in Concord had been getting ready to throw an “Irish Taco Tuesday” pop-up event last year at Concord Craft Brewing in time for St. Patrick’s Day.

“Within probably 48 hours of that scheduled event, the order came out from the governor’s office to shut in-house dining down, and I got stuck with 65 pounds of corned beef,” he said.

Natkiel would end up donating fully cooked meals of corned beef, red skin mashed potatoes and fried cabbage to Concord Hospital and Police Department workers. This year, he plans to run a similar special with dark Guinness bread that will be available for online ordering through the website. Pickups will be throughout the day on March 17.

“St. Patrick’s Day really kind of changed my vision of what we could be as a restaurant,” Natkiel said. “Since that time, we’ve dropped meals off at the grocery store, we’ve donated to other hospitals … and I did 75 free turkey giveaways for the holidays. None of that stuff would’ve been possible if not for how well the business has been. We’re a to-go only restaurant that, surprisingly, was structured perfectly to have a safe business model during a pandemic.”

More green cuisine

Beyond a plate of corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, other creative offerings will grace the menus of local eateries this St. Patrick’s Day.

At New England’s Tap House Grille in Hooksett, chef Scott Patnode has created a specials menu of items available for three days from Tuesday, March 16, to Thursday, March 18. In addition to the traditional boiled dinners, you’ll also find panko-crusted Reuben balls blended with sauerkraut and Swiss cheese, a beef medallion Guinness stew, a Baileys Irish cream cheesecake on a brownie crust with a whiskey sauce, and a Guinness-infused chocolate cake covered with ganache and layered with Irish cream frosting.

For those who believe that St. Patrick himself was Italian, Presto Craft Kitchen is offering family-sized portions of green clover-shaped five-cheese ravioli with red, alfredo, rosa or meat sauce. Grella is also offering several St. Patrick’s Day-inspired sweets, like Lucky Charm marshmallow-filled white chocolate cocoa bombs that turn your milk green, candy bars dressed up in edible gold and placed in a leprechaun’s pot, and handmade “end of the rainbow” sugar cookies. All items are available for online ordering.

At Patrick’s Pub & Eatery in Gilford, specials will include Irish lamb stew and bangers and mash, in addition to single- or family-sized portions of boiled corned beef and cabbage, plus a sticky toffee pudding from an authentic recipe owner Allan Beetle brought back from Ireland. There will also be drink specials like green beer available upon request.

“We’re going to start serving them the Friday before [March 12], and they’ll run all the way through to the 17th,” general manager Megan Page said. “We expect takeout and curbside pickup to be a huge part of St. Patrick’s Day. That part of the business is booming right now.”

Moving back outdoors

Expanded outdoor dining on public sidewalks and parking spaces downtown was a major theme for local eateries last year. With spring just a few weeks away, similar programs will be making a return for many cities and towns.

Last month the Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously approved bringing back an expanded outdoor dining plan for restaurants on Elm Street. The program begins March 15 and will last through about Nov. 7, weather permitting. According to Lauren Smith, chief of staff for Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig, the city’s Highway Department plans on reinstating jersey barriers in front of interested Elm Street businesses in mid-March, reserving around 20 of the 120 parking spaces downtown for expanded outdoor dining. Applications for the program are being accepted on a rolling basis through April 30.

Steve Tosti of the XO Bistro said the restaurant will likely apply for the extra space this year, following a successful summer of outdoor dining last year.

“We were filling up outside basically every Friday and Saturday night,” he said. “As soon as it’s nice out again, then we’ll be out there for sure.”

In Concord, the City Council during its February meeting approved expanded outdoor dining to return on April 1 and last through Nov. 15. Businesses interested in acquiring permits for the program can apply for one online through the Code Administration office.

City officials in Nashua are also expected to address the return of some sort of expanded outdoor dining plan on Main Street — as of March 1, that legislation is pending, according to city economic development director Tim Cummings.

In Derry, Foden said her staff has made great use of the restaurant’s four-acre space, adding a large tent as well as heated dining domes on its deck. The town’s Economic Development Committee sent out temporary outdoor dining applications to restaurants last May, and director Bev Donovan said they hope to replicate that process again this year.

Outside seating under tents in the parking lots of each T-Bones, Cactus Jack’s and Copper Door restaurant were also set up throughout the summer. Barreira said that will all be returning.

“We’re actually in the process of purchasing patio furniture and outdoor lighting … to have it be a much nicer experience outside than just a quick setup kind of situation,” she said, adding that this will likely start sometime in April.

Soulard said he’s also looking forward to bringing back expanded outdoor dining to his restaurant. Last year North Side Grille had implemented an outdoor patio spanning three parking spaces by its front door and there were additional seats under a tent.

“It worked phenomenal for us. I was able to put more tables outside than actually inside at 100 percent [capacity],” he said. “We did trivia outdoors on Monday nights … [and] in the times of Covid when there’s nothing to do, it actually kind of became a Monday night hit.”

Rally for NH Restaurants
More than 200 eateries have been forced to close permanently due to the pandemic, according to the New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association. Its Rally for NH Restaurants campaign, which continues throughout the month of March, is aiming to inform consumers on the ongoing plight of the industry and encourage them to make a positive impact.
“February and March in general are usually slower times of the year for restaurants, so when you pile the pandemic on top of that, it just compounds the issue exponentially,” Association president Mike Somers said. “So we’re trying to do everything we can think of just to engage with consumers. … Most restaurant staff are working extra hard to be as safe as possible.”
Visit, where you’ll find a list of ways to help, as well as the most up-to-date reopening guidance and a directory of participating eateries by region.

Where to get your St. Paddy’s Day meals

From traditional boiled corned beef and cabbage dinners to other Irish staples like bangers and mash, Guinness beer, soda bread and sticky toffee pudding, here is a list of local restaurants and pubs offering St. Patrick’s Day food and drink specials or holding themed events.

Atkinson Resort & Country Club (85 Country Club Drive, Atkinson, 362-8700, will run corned beef and cabbage specials on Wednesday, March 17, beginning at 11:30 a.m. Call for reservations or to place a takeout order.

Auburn Pitts (167 Rockingham Road, Auburn, 622-6564, will be serving corned beef and cabbage dinners and corned beef Reubens all week for St. Patrick’s Day, and hosting live music from 2 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, March 17.

Averill House Vineyard (21 Averill Road, Brookline, 371-2296, will serve its annual “St. Patrick’s Day Mystery” four-course food and wine pairing event on Wednesday, March 17, at 6 p.m. The dinner includes four mystery dishes prepared just for the occasion, plus wine selections from the vineyard. Tickets start at $59.

Buckley’s Market & Cafe (9 Market Place, Hollis, 465-5522, is taking orders for St. Patrick’s Day dinner boxes for two, featuring slow-braised corned beef with potatoes, cabbage, turnip and carrots, whole-grain mustard and horseradish sauces, Irish soda bread, and chocolate Guinness cupcakes with Baileys frosting. The cost is $50 per order, or $60 per order if you add a four-pack of Guinness. Order by March 10. Pickups will be on Wednesday, March 17.

Casey Magee’s Irish Pub & Music Hall (8 Temple St., Nashua, 484-7400, will open early on Wednesday, March 17, at 10 a.m. for St. Patrick’s Day, serving a limited food menu featuring specials like corned beef dinners, Irish bangers and more. Live music from Steve DeLuca will also be featured from 5 to 9 p.m.

CJ’s Great West Grill (782 S. Willow St., Manchester, 627-8600, is running a special corned beef and cabbage plate available all day on St. Patrick’s Day, featuring brined vegetables and homemade soda bread.

Copper Door Restaurant (15 Leavy Drive, Bedford, 488-2677; 41 S. Broadway, Salem, 458-2033; will be offering several St. Patrick’s Day-inspired specials, like corned beef dinners, Reuben sandwiches and potato leek soup.

The Cozy Tea Cart (104 Route 13, Brookline, 249-9111, will hold an Irish afternoon tea tasting on Sunday, March 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Gatherings at The Colonel Shepard House (29 Mont Vernon St., Milford). The cost is $39.95 per person and reservations are required.

The Derryfield Restaurant (625 Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880, will serve corned beef and cabbage dinners and corned beef sandwiches as specials for St. Patrick’s Day, Wednesday, March 17. Live music from Eric Grant will also be featured from 6 to 9:30 p.m.

The Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille (40 Andover Road, New London, 526-6899, will run several specials for St. Patrick’s Day, including corned beef and cabbage and bangers and mash, according to owner Tom Mills.

Fody’s Great American Tavern (9 Clinton St., Nashua, 577-9015; 187 Rockingham Road, Derry, 404-6946; will run a St. Patrick’s Day menu from Friday, March 12, through Wednesday, March 17, at both locations, featuring items like corned beef and cabbage, corned beef poutine and Reuben pizzas. The eatery also makes Guinness-braised sauerkraut and house Guinness grain mustard, while its cabbage is cider-braised. Both locations will also be serving signature St. Patrick’s Day cocktails and will have live music and giveaways.

Frederick’s Pastries (109 Route 101A, Amherst, 882-7725; 25 S. River Road, Bedford, 647-2253; has several St. Patrick’s Day-themed goodies available to order, like Baileys Irish cream torte, double chocolate chunk cookies with shamrocks, Guinness cupcakes and tortes, mint chocolate chip cupcakes and Irish flag shamrock cookies.

Georgia’s Northside (394 N. State St., Concord, 715-9189, will be running a special meal for St. Patrick’s Day that will include corned beef, red skin mashed potatoes, fried cabbage and dark Guinness bread. Online ordering will be available through the website for pickup at the restaurant on Wednesday, March 17.

Grill 603 (168 Elm St., Milford, 213-6764, will serve corned beef dinners as dine-in specials for St. Patrick’s Day, as well as pre-orders for takeout.

LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, 672-9898, will host a St. Patrick’s Day beer dinner with Merrimack’s Able Ebenezer Brewing Co. on Saturday, March 13, at 6:30 p.m. The four-course meal will include confit chicken thigh, grilled romaine salad, grilled petite filet and chocolate stout cake, each with wine and beer pairings. Tickets will be sold by the table only (price breakdown is $75 per person).

McNulty & Foley Caterers (124 E. Hollis St., Nashua, 882-1921, will be offering a special St. Patrick’s Day meal on Wednesday, March 17, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., featuring slow-cooked corned beef and cabbage, carrots, potatoes and Irish soda bread.

New England’s Tap House Grille (1292 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 782-5137, will be offering a specials menu for St. Patrick’s Day that will be available from Tuesday, March 16, through Thursday, March 18. Items will include a traditional corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner, panko-crusted Reuben balls, Guinness stew, beer-battered fish and chips, Guinness-infused chocolate cake and Baileys Irish cream cheesecake.

North Side Grille (323 Derry Road, Hudson, 886-3663, will be offering single-serve corned beef dinners the week of St. Patrick’s Day, in addition to meals for two and meals for four, featuring cabbage, potatoes and carrots. Dine-in and takeout will both be available.

Patrick’s Pub & Eatery (18 Weirs Road, Gilford, 293-0841, will offer several St. Patrick’s Day specials from Friday, March 12, through Wednesday, March 17, including a traditional corned beef and cabbage boiled dinner, bangers and mash, Irish lamb stew and sticky toffee pudding, available for dine-in or takeout. Patrick’s will also be opening early on St. Patrick’s Day, at 11 a.m.

Presto Craft Kitchen (168 Amory St., Manchester, 606-1252, is taking orders for corned beef dinners for St. Patrick’s Day, featuring potato, carrot, cabbage and soda bread; as well as Guinness pie with beef tips, mashed potato and vegetables; “end of the rainbow” cookies, gold-coated candy bars, and “cake”-sicles (flavors include Thin Mint, Oreo truffle and carrot cake). Order by March 12. Pickups are on Tuesday, March 16, and Wednesday, March 17.

The Shaskeen Pub and Restaurant (909 Elm St., Manchester, 625-0246, will open at 6 a.m. on St. Patrick’s Day, serving first pints and a breakfast menu during the morning hours, and a limited dinner menu until 9:30 p.m. Tables and seating will be limited on a first-come, first-served basis (no reservations).

Soel Sistas Catering & Meal Prep (Nashua, 943-1469, is taking orders for braised corned beef and cabbage dinners for St. Patrick’s Day, with options of turnips, carrots and potatoes or rice. Single meal orders and family-style meals for a family of four are available. Order by March 10.

T-Bones Great American Eatery (25 S. River Road, Bedford, 641-6100; 404 S. Main St., Concord, 715-1999; 39 Crystal Ave., Derry, 434-3200; 77 Lowell Road, Hudson, 882-6677; 1182 Union Ave., Laconia, 528-7800; 311 S. Broadway, Salem, 893-3444; is running a special corned beef and cabbage plate that’s available all day on St. Patrick’s Day at each of its locations, featuring brined vegetables and homemade soda bread.

The Village Trestle (25 Main St., Goffstown, 497-8230, will be open from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. on St. Patrick’s Day for dine-in and takeout, featuring corned beef dinners, Reubens, lamb stew and other specialty items.

Zorvino Vineyards (226 Main St., Sandown, 887-8463, will host a four-course St. Patrick’s Day dinner on Saturday, March 13, featuring a pub salad with cucumber-wrapped leafy greens, seared Irish sausage, braised corned beef and cabbage with roasted carrot and turnip, and bourbon pecan tartlets. A cocktail hour will be held from 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. The cost is $70 per person and includes two wine samples.

Feautred photo: Corned beef brisket from Presto Craft Kitchen in Manchester. Courtesy photo.

This story was possible with the generous financial support of Hippo readers. Hippo is very grateful to have the support of its readers. If you haven’t contributed yet, please consider a small contribution. Your contributions allow Hippo to write more stories and gets you access to additional stories and columns. 

Stay in the loop!

Get FREE weekly briefs on local food, music,

arts, and more across southern New Hampshire!