Brotherly love

Kevin and Michael Bacon perform in Plymouth

The Bacon Brothers are a prolific band — 11 studio albums since forming in the late ’90s, a live record and a hits collection — but there’s really not a Bacon Brothers sound. Kevin Bacon, who writes most of the band’s lyrics, attributes this to their being lifetime students at the College of Musical Knowledge.

“We’ ve lived long enough to have absorbed a lot of different … styles that have continued to grow through the years,” the actor and musician said in a recent joint interview with his brother Michael, a composer. When writing, he said, “We’re thinking about the way the song could sound, as opposed to thinking of a way to fit the song into the Bacon Brothers.”

Thus, there’s a world of difference between the Opry-ready “Picker” and “British Invasion,” which sounds plucked from a 1964 episode of Shindig. Both are from 2020’s The Way We Love, a record that is musically diverse but is also a concept record about love in its many forms.

“Our concept is usually do we have enough songs that we really like to make a 10- or 11-song record,” Michael said.

“Most bands have a certain kind of consistency, but it’s just not what we do,” Kevin added.

One of the best tracks on the new disc “Corona Song,” a tribute to their parents that’s both sweet and humorous; Kevin sings about missing them, while also being grateful they aren’t around to see the pandemic’s dumber moments.

“People get awards and they’ll say, ‘I know my dad’s up there watching, and he would be so happy for me’ — but there’s got to be other times,” he said. “Nobody ever says, ‘I’m so glad my dad’s not up there watching me as I get hauled off to jail.’”

After a handful of one-off gigs over the past two years, The Bacon Brothers are at last back on the road with a tour that stops at Plymouth’s Flying Monkey on April 14. The show will span their catalog and offer a few new selections.

“We have a really nice five-song EP coming out we’re really excited about,” Michael said. “Everything’s sort of falling into place again for us, which is a great feeling.”

One of their few appearances was Sept. 11, 2021, where they performed the moving remembrance song “Unhappy Birthday” in front of New York City’s Freedom Tower.

“Kevin and I both spent more of our lives in New York than out of New York, and that was a special experience,” Michael said. Kevin wrote it at the one-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks. “I think it’s the best 9/11 song, and it’s also eminently updatable. Because we’re always living with that.”

During lockdown, Kevin and wife Kyra Sedgwick had a novel way of maintaining harmony in their three-decade-plus marriage. They’d each retreat to separate areas of their Connecticut home, meeting around noon and again at day’s end.

“It’s a very high-class problem when you have enough rooms in your house that you can go off and be in your own space, come back together for lunch and then say goodbye until cocktail hour,” Kevin said.

Michael stays busy with his film scoring business, and he continues to provide the music for Henry Louis Gates’ series Finding Your Roots, which he’s done for 15 years — including a 2012 episode where his brother and wife learned they were distant cousins.

“It’s a dream job, I’m very lucky to have it,” he said. “It’s an incredible show.”

On the segment where Kevin and Kyra discovered their genealogical connection, the two also learned about a history of abolitionism in their family — along with an opposing fact.

“They also found out that we had a slave owner, and what was shocking to me is he was a Quaker,” Kevin said. “We’d always thought of the Quakers as leaning towards abolition [and] an understanding of the horror of slavery.”

Kevin’s busy acting career continues apace.

“I just finished up Season 3 of City on a Hill, which is on Showtime,” he said. “I think we’re going to be on in June, although I’m not exactly sure of the date. I did a film with Kyra in Rhode Island [Space Oddity] that’s hopefully coming out soon. It has a nice New England angle.”

The Bacon Brothers
When: Thursday, April 14, 7:30 p.m.
Where: Flying Monkey Movie House & Performance Center, 39 S. Main St., Plymouth
Tickets: $65 and $69 at

Featured photo: Michael and Kevin Bacon. Photo credit Charles Chessler.

The Music Roundup 22/04/07

Local music news & events

Heartfelt: Fresh from winning a Grammy for the 2021 collection, Bela Fleck brings his My Bluegrass Heart album to the Capital City. The banjo master was joined by a who’s who of roots music on the effort, including mandolinists Sam Bush, Sierra Hull and Chris Thile; fiddlers Michael Cleveland and Stuart Duncan, fellow genre-hopper Edgar Meyer on bass, and guitarists Bryan Sutton and Molly Tuttle. Thursday, April 7, 7:30 p.m., Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, tickets $39 to $69 at

Funkytown: Parliament-Funkadelic offshoot Danny Bedrosian & Secret Army plays a downtown Manchester show, with support from Jabbawaukee and Married Iguana. Bedrosian led the massive Super Motha Child as a teenager before joining P-Funk. Secret Army is a three-piece, focused on tighter grooves, “getting a lot of sound out of just a few people,” the Lawrence, Mass., native once explained. Friday, April 8, 8 p.m., Shaskeen Pub, 909 Elm St., Manchester, $15 at the door and the show is 21+.

Brew-to-do: A Nashua nano-brewery celebrates its sixth anniversary with an afternoon of music featuring local favorite Charlie Chronopoulos, preceded by a set from Dan Carter. Chronopoulos released the stark Chesty Rollins’ Dead End a couple of years ago. A “Northern rock and soul” record that observed the daily life struggles he sees in his home state, it was also a reflection of his choice to pursue an artist’s life there. Saturday, April 9, 1 p.m., Millyard Brewery, 25 E. Otterson St., Nashua,

Momentous: Covid-delayed since late January, Mindset X finally marks 18 years as a band and an upcoming album at a hometown show. The new record’s first single, “For The Love Of War,” dropped earlier this year, the product of the prog-rockers’ first studio sessions with new guitarist Lucian Davidson. It’s a hefty, toothsome number that recalls early Black Sabbath and proto Metallica. Saturday, April 9, 8 p.m., Angel City Music Hall, 179 Elm St., Manchester, $10 at the door, 21+, more at

Tale teller: Though his songs are a joy, a big part of a Todd Snider show is his raconteur side. In the autobiography I Never Met A Story I Didn’t Like, he remarks on the ease of playing country songs. “You just strum around the ‘Johnny B. Goode’ chords until you get to the part where everybody stops and the singer yells the chorus, which is usually a slogan of some kind, like ‘ain’t goin’ down ’til the sun comes up.’” Wednesday, April 13, 7 p.m., The Music Hall, 28 Chestnut St., Portsmouth, $30 and $32 at

Morbius (PG-13)

Morbius (PG-13)

A genius scientist who is slowly dying from a genetic disorder accidentally turns himself into a vampire in the Marvel-comics-based Morbius, which feels like “what if Venom but thoroughly charmless.”

This is the Sony wing of the Marvel universe, not the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but, as end-credit scenes remind us, those universes are now in conversation with each other. Which is my way of saying stay for the end-credit scenes, I guess, if you’re into this enough to see it in a theater.

Renowned scientist Dr. Michael Morbius (Jared Leto) creates a serum from vampire bat DNA to combat a genetic disease that has left him and his lifelong best friend Lucien (Matt Smith), whom he affectionately calls Milo, weak, in constant pain and in daily need of blood transfusions. Using himself as a human trial, Michael does see physical improvements to his disease — suddenly becoming ripped seems to play a big part in gaining superpowers — but only after he has a little flip-out session where he drains the blood from all the crewmembers on the boat where he had been running his experiments. The only survivor from the boat is Michael’s longtime friend and professional partner Dr. Martine Bancroft (Adria Arjona).

Yes, she is a love interest; no, the characters don’t have any real chemistry. But then nobody really has any chemistry with anybody in this movie, so this isn’t just a case of another comic book movie not knowing how to do romance.

As the movie reassures us a couple of times, the guys on the boat were all jerky mercenary types, who cares about them. But then Good People start being exsanguinated and investigators, Agents Stroud (Tyrese Gibson) and Rodriguez (Al Madrigal), are on the hunt for Morbius, who is himself desperate to find out how to either reverse or control the more kill-y parts of his “cure.”

For Lucien, however, becoming a bloodthirsty vampire is a fair trade for getting abs and being able to walk without crutches. Since he has bankrolled Morbius’ experiments, he feels he’s owed some vampire juice and injects himself in spite of Morbius’ warnings because of course he does. Though Morbius doesn’t totally hate his new powers, he tends to think of his new state mostly as a curse that he is willing to die to lift. But he also realizes he is the only person who can control his old friend who plans to have way more “fun” with his superstrength and vampire qualities.

The movie also drags Jared Harris into this mess as an older mentor to both men, but kind of forgets to do anything useful with him. I feel like that approach to this one character sort of typifies the movie overall; this movie has the basics of its form (genius with a sad backstory, long simmer not-quite-romance, new Great Powers he has to learn to use with Great Responsibility, opponent who uses the same powers for the Wrong Reasons, etc.) but Morbius has absolutely no novelty or liveliness to it. This movie is filled with so much bat imagery and booming bass score you think you’re in some kind of knock-off Batman. But it isn’t actually dark, tonally, for as darkly lit as it is and how dark and moody it thinks it is. It also isn’t the bouncy MCU or the Deadpool-ish, er, Deadpool movies or the goofy but watchable mess that is Venom. It just flaps about, so much gasping cartoon fish on a dock — so, like, without even the pathos that would be involved if we believed it was a real live fish.

Leto in Emo Jesus cosplay is just not a compelling character, not as a villain, not as a hero/dark hero/anti-hero whatever he’s supposed to be. Matt Smith is never not distractingly goofy. Arjona’s Martine doesn’t really get more personality depth than “girl character.”

Much like with Venom, Morbius and its canon are beyond the fringes of my Marvel knowledge and so I went in with zero expectations. But somehow it was still a letdown. C- I guess, but I could probably be convinced into D territory….

Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence, some frightening images and brief strong language, according to the MPA on Directed by Daniel Espinosa with a screenplay by Matt Sazama & Burk Sharpless, Morbius is an hour and 44 minutes long and distributed by Columbia.

Featured photo: Morbius.

Heartbreak, by Florence Williams

Heartbreak, by Florence Williams (W.W. Norton & Co., 279 pages)

Like termites and prairie voles, human beings seem made for monogamy or, to be precise, “pair-bonding.” We are among the 2 to 10 percent of animals who organize their lives in pairs, even if there is some occasional straying involved. (Even more remarkably, about 90 percent of birds have lifelong mates.)

But bereavement happens, either in death or divorce, and as the Irish rock band The Script told us, when a heart breaks, it don’t break even. That was the experience of journalist Florence Williams, whose 2017 book The Nature Fix explored why being outdoors makes us happier and healthier. Her new book is a “personal and scientific journey” into why breakups hurt so much, and while she’s primarily talking about divorce, the science also applies to grief over the death of a loved one.

Between 10 and 15 percent of divorced and bereaved people experience a debilitating inability to get past their heartbreak, a condition known as bereavement disorder or complicated grief. Williams doesn’t put herself into that category, but she was devastated when her husband of 25 years announced that he was moving out to find his soulmate when she was 50.

While she was able to function well enough, taking care of her children and continuing her work, she was shocked at the depth of her pain. She stopped eating and lost 20 pounds. “I felt power-washed by sadness and anxiety. I looked like a stray animal who was trying to paw her way out of a kill-shelter,” she writes.

Trying to understand why it was so difficult for her to recover, Williams began doing research, interviewing therapists and researchers who study love and loss. She learned that love is as much of a survival drive as it is an emotion, and that stress hormones increase even when monogamous partners are separated for a short time. When a longtime partner vanishes forever, the loss kindles ancient and evolutionary responses: the loss of safety and inclusion that are necessary for our well-being, the loss of connection to extended family, the loss of resources.

Having a stable relationship is even integral to our physical health: “Scores of robust studies across different cultures have shown that married people live longer, experience fewer cancers, strokes, and heart attacks, are more likely to survive serious illnesses, and are less likely to be depressed and overweight.”

Learning all this, of course, made Williams feel even worse. (“I was like, Please stop talking,” she wrote.) So she went to therapy. She gave lots of speeches. She accepted the invitation of a scientist — a divorced friend of a friend — to make out after a party under a cottonwood tree.

Here, Williams is able to show off that she is not just an able investigator and reporter, but an elegant wordsmith. She writes of that encounter with the scientist: “My hard little heart hiccuped and started to soften, along with everything else.”

Unfortunately, Williams’ first post-divorce swim in the dating pool didn’t end well, for deeply uncomfortable reasons, and her continued contact with this man may cause the reader to question her judgment. So, too, her inability to keep up with small things in the aftermath of her husband’s leaving. (She drove for months with an expired car registration, she admits.)

But an even harder reality arrives when Williams’ continued weight loss is finally diagnosed as Type 1 diabetes, which is most commonly diagnosed in children. She learned that high levels of cortisol can affect the production and regulation of insulin, and inflammation markers rise with sustained stress. One researcher told her of the “cellular carnage” of heartbreak, “This is one of the hidden landmines of human existence.”

At this point, the narrative becomes a confluence of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and Williams’ own The Nature Fix. She resolutely sets out to heal her heart before her heartbreak kills her, on a wilderness trip in search of awe. This wasn’t just an emotional experiment, but a scientific one: She had her blood drawn before and after the trip to see if her health measures had improved.

Williams set out looking for prescriptions to easily fix her broken heart; readers who go to this book looking for the same might be disappointed. There’s no broken-heart pill; that gold mine still awaits anyone who might invent it, and even her experiments with psychedelic drugs didn’t seem to help.

But Williams’ journey is interesting and her research solid, and anyone suffering from a heartbreak of their own might benefit from her story. Just stay away from any scientist named Ennis who wants to kiss you under a cottonwood tree. B+

Book Notes

It’s probably no surprise that a memoir released in November was near the top of the charts on Amazon last week.

The author: actor Will Smith (assisted by a co-author, Mark Manson). Last year, Oprah Winfrey called it “the best memoir I’ve ever read,” and as everyone knows, she reads a lot. I read the opening when it first came out, but just re-read the first chapter in a new light, after Will’s assault of comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards.

The opening sentences of Chapter 1: “I’ve always thought of myself as a coward. Most of my memories of my childhood involve me being afraid in some way — afraid of other kids, afraid of being hurt or embarrassed, afraid of being seen as weak.” The memoir, Will, is from Penguin Press, 432 pages.

Not taking a side here, but Chris Rock has written a book, too. It came out in 1997, and Winfrey didn’t say a word, although the first page is literally a bit about her leaving a message on his answering machine declining to feature it in her book club. Rock This! is from Hyperion, 224 pages, and also in paperback.

Meanwhile, there’s a new book out about the Academy Awards that necessarily omits the most interesting thing that’s happened in years, as it was published in February. Best Pick (Rowman & Littlefield, 332 pages) has three authors: John Dorney, Jessica Regan and Tom Salinsky. They take us on a history of Oscars beginning in the 1920s, with close-ups of the best pictures and the authors weighing in on whether the Oscar was deserved. Looks like a winner.

If you care nothing about film and would rather be outdoors, you might be interested in Riverman, An American Odyssey (Deckle Edge, 272 pages) by Ben McGrath. It’s about the life of Dick Conant, a folk hero who traversed the country’s rivers alone in a canoe before disappearing in North Carolina while he was on his way from New York to Florida. McGrath has written about Conant before in The New Yorker; he expounds on those stories to fill in the details of Conant’s life, if not his death, which remains a mystery.

Book Events

Author events

MAGGIE SHIPSTEAD Author presents The Great Circle. Virtual event hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Wed., April 13, 6 p.m. Registration required. Visit or call 224-0562.

EMMA LOEWE Author presents Return to Nature: The New Science of How Natural Landscapes Restore Us, in conversation with author Hannah Fries. Virtual event hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Wed., April 13, 7 p.m. Registration is required. Held via Zoom. Visit or call 224-0562.

MARIE BOSTWICK Author presents her new book The Restoration of Celia Fairchild. Bookery, 844 Elm St., Manchester. Fri., April 15, 5:30 p.m. Visit or call 836-6600.

ANNE HILLERMAN Author presents The Sacred Bridge. Virtual event hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Tues., April 19, 7 p.m. Held via Zoom. Registration is required. Visit or call 224-0562.

BRANDON K. GAUTHIER Author presents Before Evil: Young Lenin, Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, and Kim. Gibson’s Bookstore, 45 S. Main St., Concord. Wed., April 27, 6:30 p.m. Visit or call 224-0562.


REBECCA KAISER Poet presents Girl as Birch. Virtual event hosted by Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord. Mon., April 11, 7 p.m. Held via Zoom. Registration is required. Visit or call 224-0562.

DOWN CELLAR POETRY SALON Poetry event series presented by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire. Monthly. First Sunday. Visit

Writers groups

MERRIMACK VALLEY WRITERS’ GROUP All published and unpublished local writers who are interested in sharing their work with other writers and giving and receiving constructive feedback are invited to join. The group meets regularly; the next meeting is scheduled for Tues., April 5, from 5 to 7:15 p.m., and will be held virtually over WebEx Meetings. To reserve your spot, email

Writer submissions

UNDER THE MADNESS Magazine designed and managed by an editorial board of New Hampshire teens under the mentorship of New Hampshire State Poet Laureate Alexandria Peary. features creative writing by teens ages 13 to 19 from all over the world, including poetry and short fiction and creative nonfiction. Published monthly. Submissions must be written in or translated into English and must be previously unpublished. Visit for full submission guidelines.

Book Clubs

BOOKERY Monthly. Third Thursday, 6 p.m. 844 Elm St., 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

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

Album Reviews 22/04/07

Jizzy Pearl’s Love Hate, Hell CA (Golden Robot Records)

I must have missed when this Hollywood hard rock band was making waves in Europe and elsewhere, like, apparently in 1990 they won Record Of The Year in readers’ polls put forth by magazines Kerrang and Metal Hammer. That of course doesn’t bode well for the here and now, this electronic zeitgeist wherein every song seems to have a trip-hop part, a noise part, a Mario Bros. soundtrack part, and then everyone goes back to not knowing the band even exists. OK, I’m riffing, but I’m so far behind on this column you’ll just have to deal, and whatever, we’re talking about a street-metal band that still sounds like Skid Row (anyone remember them? Anyone?) as we hear in album opener “One Hot Minute.” These guys are aware that Greta Van Fleet are huge right now, solely on the strength of ripping off 50-year-old Led Zeppelin songs, so they’ve “graced” us with “Acid Babe,” a vaguely “Black Dog” joint that would have fit on Zep’s Physical Graffiti LP, which still remains the most celebrated album of phoned-in swill in history. Fine for what it is, this CD would make a fine drink coaster if it isn’t your thing. B+

Chelsea Jade, Soft Spot (Carpark Records)

Over to the bloop-bling side of things, we find this South African-born singer-songwriter and record producer, who’s now based in Los Angeles, making yet more tuneage for the ritzier fashion shops at the local mall. Like I talk about in this week’s other review, it doesn’t take a lot of detective work to figure out the current zeitgeist, one born of now-decades of basically no musical education in public schools, which has basically left most younger listeners tilting their heads quizzically at the goings-on in the golden age of electronic music and just accepting the vibe as worthwhile. There’s nothing disagreeable here, don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the power of Jade’s wispy voice. But there’s nothing fascinating either, just subdued reggaeton and snap-dance, its intensity set to almost-none, and of course a lot of Billie Eilish-style stopping and starting, which is already well past its sell-by date. B


• On April 8 you will see a plethora of new albums in your Spotify, and now it can henceforth never be said that I’ve never used the word “plethora” in this award-winning column, please make a note of it. The summer draws closer, folks, it draws, and so the folks at the big record companies are gearing up for the big summer push, releasing new albums you can listen to while knowing you are completely safe from Covid, which is, as we speak, holding a national conference on what sort of insane mutation it’ll take so that the winter months are pretty much like the last 20 minutes of the film Contagion, I can hardly wait. But in the meantime, we have albums for your pleasure, if not for the aesthetic sense of any rational person, and so we will start with former relevant person Jack White, whose appetite for Big Macs rivals only that of the Hamburglar, who may actually be related to him as far as this reporter knows. Fear Of The Dawn is his new album, and I was rightly surprised to find that the title track is the most awesome tune I’ve heard from him since back when he was relevant and not a Hamburglar. It’s a buzzing mixture of Big Black no-wave and the 1960s acid-rock vibe of Norman Greenbaum’s “Spirit in the Sky,” I’m not kidding, you should check this out. If any Jack White song sounded like it really, really belonged on the soundtrack to one of those sequels to The Purge, it’s this one. It’s very cool, and if White were here in front of me right now I’d give him a Wendy’s Baconator as a richly deserved reward.

• After the death of best drummer of all time Neil Peart, the progressive-rock trio Rush was pretty much done. But there are still two guys left, one of whom is the band’s original guitarist, Alex Lifeson, who will release a new self-titled album with the band Envy Of None, a quartet that also features Coney Hatch’s Andy Curran, Alfio Annibalini and Maiah Wynne. Whatever, there are rumors of a “Rush reunion,” which would be like a Wright brothers reunion with just the two guys who ran out of way during the first plane’s takeoff at Kitty Hawk, but they could probably hire one of those guys who plays drums to Rush songs on YouTube; I mean after all, that’s how Journey ended up hiring their Steve Perry-soundalike singer, from some online video. But anyway, gang, sorry, I digress, let’s just go to the internet and listen to the first single from this silly album, “Look Inside.” Hm, it’s kind of noise-rock-ish, but there’s a girl humming something or other, so it sounds a lot like early M83, except kind of metallic. I’ll let this one pass, it’s acceptable.

• Canadian dude Orville Peck is sort of like the Deadmau5 of cowboy music, like, he wears a crazy fringed mask that he never takes off, so no one knows what he looks like. In fact, all Wikipedia knows is that he was “born in the Southern Hemisphere” (actually it’s safe to say that in reality he’s Daniel Pitout, drummer of the Canadian punk band Nü Sensae, because that’s the person who owns his songs according to ASCAP, and plus he has the same tattoos), but who cares, his new LP Bronco is coming out this week, led by the single “Daytona Sand,” a pretty hilarious song that’s like Elvis meets the Lone Ranger, you should download it or something.

• Lastly, we’ll do the new Calexico album, El Mirador, because when isn’t there a new Calexico album? The title track starts with an ambitious-enough cha-cha rhythm but then turns into the usual Yo La Tengo oatmeal; I’m not impressed.

If you’re in a local band, now’s a great time to let me know about your EP, your single, whatever’s on your mind. Let me know how you’re holding yourself together without being able to play shows or jam with your homies. Send a recipe for keema matar. Message me on Twitter (@esaeger) or Facebook (eric.saeger.9).

Have a kolsch

It just tastes like beer

“I thought it was time to shake things up,” my friend said as he walked back onto the patio somehow hanging on and balancing several hefty, frozen steins full of borderline overflowing suds.

“I just asked for something light and crisp — and really good,” he said.

This instance occurred during a gloriously sunny afternoon this past September, just a perfect day for relaxing with a few beers and some friends. We’d had a couple big IPAs and frankly, he was right, it was time to shake things up.

Lifting the stein with some trouble, I took my first sip. It was certainly light and crisp, but it was also quite flavorful. A light golden pour, the brew had a dry, extremely refreshing finish with minimal bitterness. This beer was begging for mouthfuls, not just little sips. It was incredibly drinkable.

Sure, some of it was the bracing, welcome change from a super-hoppy IPA to something much, much lighter, but it was also just a tremendous reminder that sometimes there’s nothing more pleasing than drinking a beer that tastes like a beer.

On the way out, we asked the bartender about the beer style and determined it was a local, craft-brewed kolsch.

I’ve written about Pilsners before and have always kind of pretended Pilsners and kolsches are the same thing, and while they’re similar they’re not the same. Pilsners tend to be a little more hoppy, a little more bitter. Kolsches tend to be even lower in ABV but they still feature plenty of flavor. tells me the kolsch is technically a hybrid style of beer that marries elements of ale and lager production. also tells me the style “pairs best with bratwurst, nutty cheeses, and even lighter desserts like apricot cake,” and while I’m sure that’s on point, I think it pairs best with sitting outside on a warm, sunny day and a giant, frozen stein.

This is a style you can drink any time of the year but I think it’s best to get it onto your radar now, because I suspect you’ll be drinking it at cookouts and at the beach all summer long.

The reality is the kolsch is particularly versatile: it goes well with just about any food and any circumstance.

New Hampshire craft brewers haven’t ignored the style, which is great news for beer enthusiasts.

I loved the Herkules by Schilling Beer Co. and the Henniker Kolsch Style Ale by Henniker Brewing Co. is another wonderful rendition of the style. Perpetual Grüven by Great Rhythm Brewing in Portsmouth is terrific as well, as is Paradise Valley by Granite Roots Brewing in Troy.

The kolsch is the quintessential “better grab a frozen glass” beer, so get some glasses in the freezer, preferably steins, and get ready for some mouthfuls of bright, crisp, refreshing beer.

What’s in My Fridge
Grolsch Premium Lager by Grolsch Brewery (Netherlands)
OK, not a kolsch, but a couple weeks back I had one of these for the first time in I have no idea how many years. Honestly, as I think about it, my dad used to have Grolsch in the house when I was a kid but I have no recollection of ever having a Grolsch myself. I’m sure it happened at some point. I remember my dad letting my brother and me try a sip of Grolsch when we were little and I distinctly remember not liking it at all. My brother, on the other hand, had a more positive reaction and there’s photographic proof of him tilting the bottle way up to get that last sip. This features a zip of bitterness in an overall light, refreshing package. Here’s another beer that tastes like a beer.

Featured photo. Get the frosty mug ready. Photo courtesy of Jeff Mucciarone.

A hint of bourbon meatballs

Meatballs are my favorite meat-centric appetizer. The reason for this is simple: You can deliver so much flavor in a bite-sized snack.

These meatballs have a nice blend of sweet and savory with a teeny, tiny kick. Yes, there is a half cup of bourbon in the sauce, but a good amount of that alcohol evaporates. However, there probably is some remaining, so I would consider this to be an adults-only appetizer.

Let’s talk about the ingredients in this recipe. For the beef, 85-percent lean offers enough fat to keep the meatballs moist without becoming greasy. In the sauce, I used maple syrup to add a little more sweetness. If you don’t have maple syrup, you can use brown sugar. You should use the same amount. In both parts of the recipe there is bourbon. You don’t have to go top shelf here. You can use any bourbon that you’d be willing to use in a mixed drink.

These meatballs are incredibly versatile. Make them part of a cocktail party menu, or serve them as a snack for a lazy Sunday at home. They’ll be the perfect choice for either, or for anything in between.

A hint of bourbon meatballs
Makes 36

1½ pounds 85% lean ground beef
2 Tablespoons bourbon
1 egg
½ cup dry bread crumbs
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon salt

½ cup bourbon
½ to ¾ cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic minced
½ teaspoon chili powder

To make the meatballs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Combine all meatball ingredients in a large bowl.
Using your hands, mix until ingredients are well-blended.
Form the mixture into walnut-sized balls, and place on a rimmed baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes.

To make the sauce
Place all sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, whisking to combine fully.
Bring sauce to a boil, then turn heat down to low.
Allow sauce to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Finishing the meatballs
Combine cooked meatballs and sauce in a small crockpot or medium-sized saucepan over low heat.
Simmer for 2 hours before serving.
If using the saucepan, be sure to stir every 20 minutes or so.

Featured Photo: A hint of bourbon meatballs. Photo by Michele Pesula Kuegler.

In the kitchen with Christian Davolio

Christian Davolio of Hudson runs The Rollin’ Grille (, and on Facebook @therollingrille), a mobile food trailer specializing in scratch-cooked comfort items like double smash cheeseburgers, loaded pulled pork fries and smoked chicken wings. Originally from Tewksbury, Mass., Davolio has lived in Hudson for about four years. He previously worked in the IT field before deciding to pursue his passion of cooking. The Rollin’ Grille held its first public event in February at White Birch Brewing (460 Amherst St., Nashua), where Davolio has set up over the past several weekends. Find him there next on Sunday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

What is your must-have kitchen item?

[I have] a super-nimble light spatula that is great for getting those smash burgers off the griddle and keeping that crust on there. I’d say that’s in my hand 90 percent of the time I’m on that trailer.

What would you have for your last meal?

A three-way super roast beef sandwich, so [with] cheese, mayo and sauce. Growing up, that was something my father and I would always do together — we’d go out and get super beefs. … If it was my last meal, I’d want to have something with some really good memories behind it.

What is your favorite local restaurant?

It’s tough because there are a lot of great options out there, but two places I find myself at a lot when I’m eating out … are usually either T-Bones or California Burrito.

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

I think I’m going to go with Roy Choi. He started off with a food truck, and he’s just a great chef with a great personality. I think I’d really like to have him come and try my food and just see what I have going on.

What is your favorite thing on your menu?

I’m going to go with the signature smash burger. In my opinion, it’s just a perfect blend of flavors and of what I like on a burger. … It’s two patties, usually with cheese on both, and then grilled onions, bacon and barbecue sauce. … When the day’s over and I’m cooking something by myself, that’s what I’m making.

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

Over the past few years we’ve seen an explosion in outdoor dining … and that was a big thing that I was thinking about when I was trying to get into this industry, because the food trailer is perfect for that. … The smash burger is also something that I’ve seen popping up at more and more places.

What is your favorite thing to cook at home?

The thing that I could cook every single day, if it was a healthier option, is a nice bone-in rib-eye steak.

Bacon burnt ends
From the kitchen of Christian Davolio of The Rollin’ Grille (recipe calls for a smoker, but can also be done in an oven if a smoker is not available)

1 full slab pork belly (with the rind removed)
¾ stick butter
Yellow mustard
Brown sugar
Barbecue sauce

Cut pork belly into 1-inch cubes. Coat with yellow mustard as a binder. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Put on smoker at 250 degrees. Remove from smoker after about two hours or an internal temperature of 190 degrees. Put them in a foil baking pan and put slices of butter over them, then lightly coat in brown sugar. Wrap tightly in foil and put back on the smoker for about 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove from the smoker and increase the heat to 325 degrees. Drain juice, then sauce the cubes with your choice of barbecue sauce. Place back on the smoker, uncovered, for 25 minutes at 325 degrees. Remove from the smoker and enjoy.

Featured photo: Christian Davolio. Courtesy photo.

Try it and buy it

Made in New Hampshire Expo returns

By Alexandra Colella

The Made in New Hampshire “Try it and Buy it” expo is right around the corner — the event is due to return to the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown from Friday, April 8, through Sunday, April 10, and will feature all kinds of local foods, drinks, clothing, jewelry and more.

Now in its 26th year, the three-day expo attracts thousands of attendees. It’s the only one of its kind to showcase an entire lineup of products and services made right in the Granite State, said organizer Heidi Copeland, publisher of Business NH magazine and owner of EventsNH.

“We love to highlight that we were all about buying local before buying local was cool,” she said. “Also, this is a show where you can test drive your purchases before you buy them.”

Similar to the most recent Made in New England Expo, held in December, many businesses that will be sharing their products were launched post-pandemic and are therefore newcomers. Food companies have their biggest showings at this event. Beccari Chocolate, for example, will be presenting their handmade chocolate, while Thistle’s All Natural has a showing of its own homemade zucchini salsas and Maple Nut Kitchen has its own granola.

Other featured vendors at this year’s expo include Sunshine Baking, a New Hampshire company offering freshly baked shortbread cookies that launched last year and made its debut at the last Made in New England Expo. They’re expected to introduce some new cookie flavors at the event. Loon Chocolate, a producer of small-batch bean-to-bar chocolates that opened its first dual retail and production space in Manchester in early February, will also be attending, as well as Critical Mass Coffee, which has multiple bagged blends of organic fair trade coffee, and Destination India, a downtown Derry restaurant and newcomer to the expo.

A returning feature to the event will be a libation station, where of-age attendees will have the chance to sample all kinds of craft beers and wines New Hampshire has to offer.

In addition to specialty foods and drinks, companies will be selling everything from jewelry, clothing and personal care products to crafts, paintings, photo prints and more.

Made in New Hampshire Expo
When: Friday, April 8, 1 to 7:30 p.m., Saturday, April 9, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday April 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown (Expo Center), 700 Elm St., Manchester
Cost: $10 for adults, $9 for seniors ages 65 and over, $3 for kids ages 2 to 12 and free for kids under 2 ($3 per child under 2 if bringing a stroller into the hall). Tickets are only available at the door (cash or check only).
More info: Visit or follow them on Facebook @madeinnhexpo

Featured photo: Made in NH Expo. Photo by Matthew Lomanno Photography.

Feasts on Easter

Brunch buffets, special meals and sweet treats for Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday is right around the corner (Sunday, April 17), so if you’re looking for a local place to enjoy a brunch buffet, or you want to bring home your Easter meals or desserts this year, check out this list of restaurants, function halls, bakeries and churches offering all kinds of specialty items. We also included candy and chocolate shops that have you covered for those Easter baskets and other sweet treats, as well as a few Easter-themed events like classes and tastings happening over the next several days. Did we miss anyone that’s serving an Easter brunch or specials menu? Let us know at

110 Grill (875 Elm St., Manchester, 836-1150; 27 Trafalgar Square, Nashua, 943-7443; 19 Portsmouth Ave., Stratham, 777-5110; 103 Hanover St., Portsmouth, 373-8312; 136 Marketplace Blvd., Rochester, 948-1270; 250 N. Plainfield, West Lebanon, 790-8228; will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, serving a variety of specials for Easter like breakfast tacos, chicken and waffles, lemon beignets and more.

Alan’s of Boscawen (133 N. Main St., Boscawen, 753-6631, will serve an Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., which will include a wide array of breakfast items from pancakes and pastries to bacon, sausage, eggs, home fries and a chef-attended omelet station. There will also be multiple carving stations offering meats like roast leg of lamb, sliced prime rib of beef and Virginia baked ham, as well as options like chicken piccata, tortellini alfredo and crabmeat-stuffed haddock. Call to make a reservation. Additionally, Alan’s is offering special Easter dinners for takeout, with appetizer options that include baked stuffed artichoke hearts, jumbo shrimp cocktail and bacon-wrapped scallops, and entree options that include broccoli tortellini alfredo, baked honey ham and sliced filet mignon.

All Real Meal (87 Elm St., Manchester, 782-3014, is taking orders for family-style Easter feasts serving either two or four people, featuring marinated baked turkey, glazed baked ham, homestyle mashed potatoes, cranberry apple stuffing, almond green beans, homestyle cornbread and mixed berry cheesecake. The cost is $65 per meal for two and $110 per meal for four. Local deliveries and curbside pickup are available on Saturday, April 16.

Angela’s Pasta & Cheese Shop (815 Chestnut St., Manchester, 625-9544, is taking orders for a variety of items for Easter, including freshly baked breads, savory pies and quiches, entrees, sides and desserts and sweet treats like cakes and pies. Order by April 8. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church (111 Island Pond Road, Manchester, 623-2045, will hold a walk-in Easter bake sale on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to noon inside its church hall. Spinach and cheese petas, Easter bread and Greek cookies and pastries like baklava, kourambiethes, finikia and koulourakia will all be available.

Atkinson Resort & Country Club (85 Country Club Drive, Atkinson, 362-8700, will serve a special Easter brunch on Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Options will include a carving station with items like smoked ham and hand-carved prime rib; breakfast items like chef-attended omelet and waffle stations, bagels, Danishes, croissants, eggs, bacon, sausage and French toast; a salad station with multiple options like caprese, Caesar and tortellini pasta salads; entrees, like baked haddock with breadcrumbs, eggplant Parmesan with a smoked tomato marinara, and apple Calvados grilled chicken; and desserts, like flourless chocolate torte, blueberry coffee cake and other assorted cakes and cookies. The cost is $80 for adults, $30 for kids ages 3 to 10 and free for kids under 3.

The Bakeshop on Kelley Street (171 Kelley St., Manchester, 624-3500, is taking orders for pies (flavors include chocolate cream, lemon cream, coconut cream, Key lime, lemon meringue, banana cream, Raspberry Cloud and Grasshopper); six-inch layer cakes (flavors include lemon, coconut, carrot cake and cannoli); as well as assorted Easter cookie trays, and other themed specials, like an Easter egg bread and a one-layer carrot cake topped with a layer of cheesecake. Order by April 15. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (the shop will be closed on Easter Sunday).

Bearded Baking Co. (819 Union St., Manchester, 647-7150, is taking orders for specialty cakes (flavors include carrot cake with cream cheese frosting and coconut lemon cake with a bird nest decoration); cupcake boxes (flavors include grapefruit poppy seed, mocha raspberry, carrot, Cadbury egg, pistachio honey rose and limoncello margarita); vegan cake doughnuts (cinnamon sugar or lemon blueberry); and gluten-free Parisian tortes. Order by April 10. Pickups will be on Friday, April 15, or Saturday, April 16.

Bedford Village Inn (2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford, 472-2001, will serve a special three-course pre-fixe Easter dinner on Sunday, April 17, in its restaurant. Choose your first course (Heron Pond Farm carrot bisque, New England clam chowder, pea tendril and watercress or prosciutto and asparagus salads); your entree (grilled tournedos of beef, pistachio and matcha crusted Icelandic cod loin, North Country Smokehouse ham, braised spring lamb shank, pan seared Faroe Island salmon or stuffed zucchini); and your dessert (Neapolitan ice cream, lemongrass creme brulee, black rice pudding, German chocolate cake or raspberry mousse dome). The cost is $75 for adults and $39.95 for kids ages 10 and under.

Belmont Hall & Restaurant (718 Grove St., Manchester, 625-8540, will serve a special Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 17, with seatings at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. in its hall. Walk-ins are welcome in the dining room until 2 p.m., for breakfast only.

Bite Me Kupcakez (4 Mound Court, Merrimack, 674-4459, is taking orders for various cake flavors for Easter, including chocolate flourless torte, strawberry shortcake and chocolate whipped cream cake, as well as dairy-free loaves (flavors include banana, lemon blueberry and banana chocolate chip) and dairy-free cakes (flavors include double-layer carrot, Boston cream pie and pineapple upside-down cake). Vegan cookies (chocolate chip or oatmeal cranberry) can also be ordered by the dozen, and cupcakes are available by request. Order by April 9.

The Black Forest Cafe & Bakery (212 Route 101, Amherst, 672-0500, is taking orders for pies (flavors include apple, Dutch apple, strawberry rhubarb, cherry, chocolate cream or Grasshopper); cakes (flavors include lemon daisy, chocolate mousse, coconut or carrot); and a variety of other specialty pastries and sweets, like hummingbird cupcakes, lemon curd tarts, and themed shortbread cookies like eggs, chicks and bunnies. Order by April 13 at 6 p.m. Pickups will be on Friday, April 15, and Saturday, April 16.

Buckley’s Bakery & Cafe (436 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 262-5929, and Buckley’s Market & Cafe (9 Market Place, Hollis, 465-5522) are taking orders for eight-inch cakes (flavors include carrot, double chocolate, gluten-free lemon blueberry, and a hummingbird cake featuring bananas, pineapple, pecans and cinnamon); eight-inch pies (flavors include chocolate cream, Key lime, mixed berry crumble and lemon meringue); assorted pastries, like dessert trays, breakfast trays and Easter macarons; and other items like Parker house rolls, raspberry almond crumb cake and cinnamon rolls with a cream cheese frosting. Order by April 13.

Buckley’s Great Steaks (438 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 424-0995, will be open on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 5 p.m., serving its regular menu with Easter specials.

The Cake Fairy (114 Londonderry Turnpike, Hooksett, 518-8733, is taking orders for pies (flavors include banana cream, chocolate cream and lemon cream), as well as Easter cupcakes and cookies, cheesecakes, eclairs, whoopie pies and a special kids’ Easter basket featuring a variety of treats along with two crafts and a coloring booklet. Order by April 9. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Candy Kingdom (235 Harvard St., Manchester, 641-8470, has a variety of specialty treats available now for Easter, like solid chocolate bunnies, chocolate Easter baskets, chocolate Easter foils, boxed foil eggs and more.

Caroline’s Fine Food (132 Bedford Center Road, Bedford, 637-1615, is taking orders for family-style meals for Easter with packages serving either four or eight people. Options include maple-glazed pork loin or pan seared lemon rosemary chicken breast, and each comes with shallot whipped potatoes, lemon honey caramelized carrots and sauteed asparagus. Caroline’s is also offering a menu of brunch items, like prosciutto-wrapped asparagus, ham, Swiss and spinach or caprese quiches, and house-made lemon poppyseed or blueberry scones. Order by April 13 at 2 p.m. Pickups will be on Friday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Castleton Banquet & Conference Center (58 Enterprise Drive, Windham, 898-6300, is taking orders for special dinner packages to go for Easter, featuring either spiral glazed ham or roast leg of lamb with herbs (each serves 8 to 10 people and features a lineup of sides like potatoes, carrots and rolls). A variety of a la carte items are also available to order, like sides by the quart (honey-glazed carrots, green beans almondine, au gratin potatoes, garlic and chive whipped potatoes and rosemary red bliss potatoes, to name a few); hors d’oeuvres by the dozen (like scallop and bacon skewers, crabmeat-stuffed mushrooms, asparagus and Asiago phyllo wraps, smoked Gouda macaroni and cheese bites and almond raspberry brie tarts); and sweet items, like carrot cake and New York-style cheesecake. Order by April 13 at noon. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to noon.

The Coach Stop Restaurant & Tavern (176 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, 437-2022, is taking reservations for Easter at either noon or 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, and they’ll also be offering takeout and local delivery, serving a special menu with items like chicken Marsala, roast prime rib of beef, seafood linguine alfredo, baked haddock, baked stuffed shrimp, veal oscar, broiled salmon, and lobster macaroni and cheese with cracker crumbs.

Colby Hill Inn (33 The Oaks, Henniker, 428-3281, will serve a special three-course prix-fixe dinner menu for Easter on Sunday, April 17, with seatings between noon and 5 p.m. and takeout also available. Options include farmers cheese and charcuterie boards, plus your choice of a first course (lemon chicken noodle soup, mushroom and buttermilk soup, spring greens and Easter radish salad, baby dandelion salad or red beet deviled eggs); an entree (Greek-style roast leg of lamb in oregano and garlic, maple and cider mustard glazed ham, prime rib smoked with pink peppercorn and rosemary, day boat scallops, rabbit pot pie or carrot spaetzle); and a dessert (maple walnut carrot cake, strawberry rhubarb pie, lavender creme brulee, a sorbet duo with Meyer lemon and raspberry chambord flavors, or an Easter chocolate trio featuring Belgian chocolate mousse, white chocolate bark and a chocolate peanut butter egg). The cost is $65 per person.

The Common Man (25 Water St., Concord, 228-3463; 304 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 429-3463; 88 Range Road, Windham, 898-0088; Lakehouse Grille, 281 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith, 279-5221; 10 Pollard Road, Lincoln, 745-3463; 21 Water St., Claremont, 542-6171; Foster’s Boiler Room, 231 Main St., Plymouth, 536-2764; 60 Main St., Ashland, 968-7030; Lago, 1 Route 25, Meredith, 279-2253; Camp, 298 Daniel Webster Hwy., Meredith, 279-3003; Italian Farmhouse, 337 Daniel Webster Hwy., Plymouth, 536-4536; Airport Diner, 2280 Brown Ave., Manchester, 623-5040; Tilt’n Diner, 61 Laconia Road, Tilton, 286-2204; 104 Diner, 752 Route 104, New Hampton, 744-0120; is taking orders for special Easter dinners to go, featuring oven roasted ham with a honey Dijon glaze, creamy leek scalloped potatoes, sweet potato casserole, sun-dried tomato pesto green beans, maple-roasted Brussels sprouts, house baked rolls and sweet breads. Dinners for four, as well as individual sized meals, are available. Other a la carte side offerings include prime rib with au jus and creamy horseradish sauce (feeds four to six), asparagus with Bernaise, mascarpone whipped potatoes and rosemary, The Common Man’s signature macaroni and cheese, and homemade 10-inch cheesecakes. Order by April 11. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16. Additionally, all six Common Man restaurants, as well as the Italian Farmhouse, will be serving their dinner menu with Easter specials on Sunday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Foster’s Boiler Room, Lago, and the Lakehouse Grille will all be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. that day, and Lakehouse will also be serving breakfast that morning from 7 to 10 a.m. The Airport Diner, the Tilt’n Diner and the Route 104 Diner will be open during their normal hours. Reservations are recommended at all locations.

Copper Door Restaurant (15 Leavy Drive, Bedford, 488-2677; 41 S. Broadway, Salem, 458-2033; will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Easter Sunday, April 17, serving its brunch menu from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Easter specials available all day, like steak and cheese frittata, lamb sliders, a pitmaster glazed ham dinner, artichoke-crusted halibut, and “Bedrock” waffles, featuring Fruity Pebbles cereal, sliced strawberries, whipped cream, maple syrup and applewood-smoked bacon. The Copper Door’s regular menus will also be available.

Copper Kettle To Go (39 Main St., Wilton, 654-2631, is taking orders for Easter ham dinners serving either four or six people, which are served with potatoes, glazed carrots and rolls. Other items available to order include cinnamon rolls, spinach and feta croissants, apple fritters and jumbo blueberry muffins. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16.

Crosby Bakery (51 E. Pearl St., Nashua, 882-1851, is taking orders for eight-inch or 10-inch pies in a variety of flavors (apple, blueberry, chocolate cream, lemon meringue, banana cream and more); as well as savory specialties, like meat pie, gorton or salmon pie; sandwich platters, Parker house rolls, cinnamon rolls, and pastries, like muffins, doughnuts and Danishes. Order by April 13 for pickup on Friday, April 15, or by April 14 for pickup on Saturday, April 16.

The Crust & Crumb Baking Co. (126 N. Main St., Concord, 219-0763, is taking orders for pies (flavors include apple streusel, forest berry crumb, maple bourbon pecan, lemon meringue, blueberry crumb, gluten-free almond oat crust, Key lime, chocolate cream, maple cream and coconut cream); quiches (flavors include red pepper and pepper jack cheese, asparagus, onion and feta, bacon, broccoli and Swiss or sausage and cheddar); and other assorted items, like hot cross buns, cinnamon buns, coffee cakes, biscuits, spring cupcakes, cheesecake, fruit tarts and more. Order by April 9. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16.

Cruzin Cakes Shop (150 Broad St., Nashua, 882-1666, is taking orders for a variety of specialty items for Easter, like themed cakes, cupcakes and platters, as well as breakable chocolate bunnies and Portuguese sweet bread. Order by April 9.

The Derryfield Restaurant (625 Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880, will serve a special Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 17, with seatings every half hour from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The cost is $31.95 for adults, $29.95 for seniors and $18.95 for kids under 12 and reservations are strongly recommended.

Epoch Gastropub (The Exeter Inn, 90 Front St., Exeter, 778-3762, will serve a special Easter brunch on Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a protein station with slow-roasted sirloin and roasted mushroom jus, and North Country steamship ham with pumpernickel, sage, blue cheese stuffing and bechamel. Other items will include brioche French toast, bacon, sausage, cauliflower bisque, cavatelli with broccoli raab, smoked salmon, a local cheese and charcuterie spread with house-made sesame crackers, and assorted seasonal desserts. The cost is $60 for adults and $25 for kids and reservations are encouraged.

Firefly American Bistro & Bar (22 Concord St., Manchester, 935-9740, will serve an Easter brunch on Sunday, April 17, featuring specials in addition to its regular brunch menu all day long. Reservations are strongly suggested.

The Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille (40 Andover Road, New London, 526-6899, will be open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sunday, April 17, serving Easter specials all day long. Walk-ins are welcome.

Fratello’s Italian Grille (155 Dow St., Manchester, 641-6776, will serve a special Easter buffet in its ballroom on Sunday, April 17, with seatings at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. In addition to an egg and omelet station, there will be a carving station with slow-roasted prime rib au jus and garlic rosemary-crusted leg of lamb with mint jus, as well as other items like Belgian waffles, bacon, sausage, baked ham with a brown sugar glaze, chicken piccata and more. The cost is $39 for adults and $18.95 for kids ages 4 to 11. Reservations are required.

Frederick’s Pastries (109 Route 101A, Amherst, 882-7725; 25 S. River Road, Bedford, 647-2253; offers a variety of seasonal sweets and treats for Easter, like bunny cookie kits, rabbit ear cupcakes, speckled robin’s egg cakes, bunny buttercream fudge bars and more.

Fresh AF Bakeshop (34 Church St., Unit 4, Kingston, 642-8609, is taking orders for cupcakes (flavors include carrot, funfetti, chocolate, lemon, cookies and cream, coconut cream, and vegan and gluten-free vanilla or chocolate); six- or eight-inch layer cakes (flavors include carrot, lemon raspberry and chocolate salted caramel); shortcakes, featuring fresh whipped cream, house strawberry jam and fresh strawberries (small serving four to six; medium serving six to 10); macarons (flavors include carrot cake, lemon meringue pie, Cadbury egg, strawberry cheesecake, mixed berry, salted caramel, or dairy-free coconut cream or cookies and cream); as well as fresh cream puffs (chocolate-covered and traditional powdered sugar), buttercream cookies, and breakfast items, like croissants, take-and-bake cinnamon buns, and strawberry shortcake-stuffed doughnuts. Order by April 9. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16. On Thursday, April 14, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., Fresh AF Bakeshop will host a BYOB Easter-themed cupcake decorating class at The Factory on Willow (252 Willow St., Manchester). The cost is $75 per person and all skill levels are welcome. Charcuterie boards from 603 Charcuterie’s store will be available for purchase.

Gauchos Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House (62 Lowell St., Manchester, 669-9460, will serve a special Easter brunch on Sunday, April 17, with seatings at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. In addition to rodizio meats served tableside, there will be a breakfast buffet, a market table of fresh sides, a ham carving station and a selection of pastries, yogurts, parfaits and more. The cost is $39.99 for adults and $14.99 for kids ages 6 to 10. Gauchos will also be open for dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. on Easter Sunday.

Granite State Candy Shoppe (13 Warren St., Concord, 225-2591; 832 Elm St., Manchester, 218-3885; has a variety of specialty treats available now for Easter, like baskets of all sizes filled with assorted chocolates and candies, as well as smaller individual items, like mini milk chocolate peanut butter eggs, milk chocolate yellow Peeps, chocolate bunny pops and all kinds of other unique chocolate molds.

Granite State Whoopie Pies (Goffstown, is taking orders for special carrot cake-flavored whoopie pies for Easter, available by the dozen as regular or miniature sizes. Orders are due by April 9, for pickup the following Wednesday through Saturday, during open hours at White Birch Eatery (571 Mast Road, Goffstown).

Greenleaf (54 Nashua St., Milford, 213-5447, is taking orders for a special Easter Sunday takeout dinner, featuring your choice of protein (North Country Smokehouse honey peppercorn glazed ham, Lull Farm chicken breast or Northeast Family Farm beef tenderloin), each of which is served with roasted garlic and herb baby potatoes, honey-glazed carrots, spring mix salad with green goddess dressing and strawberry shortcake. Other available add-ons include housemade Parker house dinner rolls, whipped molasses honey butter, and a strawberry shortcake trifle with vanilla pastry cream. Order by April 14 at 3 p.m. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 5 to 8 p.m.

Hanover Street Chophouse (149 Hanover St., Manchester, 644-2467, is taking reservations for Easter Sunday, April 17, between noon and 3:30 p.m., serving its regular menu with specials.

Harvey’s Bakery & Coffee Shop (376 Central Ave., Dover, 742-6029, is taking orders for all kinds of specialty items for Easter, including fruit and cream pies, dinner rolls, and specialty cakes. Most pies are available in eight-inch or 10-inch sizes, while the rolls are sold by the dozen.

The Hills Restaurant (Hampshire Hills Athletic Club, 50 Emerson Road, Milford, 721-0444, will serve a special Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 17, from 8 a.m. to noon, featuring a brown sugar ham carving station, a build-your-own bloody mary and mimosa bar, and other items like scrambled eggs, French toast, waffles, bacon, sausage, muffins, fruit and more. The cost is $25 for adults and $12 for kids. Reservations are required.

The Homestead Restaurant & Tavern (641 Daniel Webster Hwy., Merrimack, 429-2022, will serve a specials menu for Easter on Sunday, April 17, featuring items like roast prime rib of beef, chicken cordon bleu, chicken broccoli alfredo, veal oscar, baked stuffed haddock, roasted rack of lamb, broiled salmon, shrimp and scallop risotto and more.

Jamison’s Restaurant (472 Route 111, Hampstead, 489-1565, is taking reservations for Easter Sunday, April 17, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a selection of specials that includes slow-roasted prime rib, pesto-crusted lamb leg, oven-roasted turkey breast, glazed spiral ham and stuffed haddock. Jamison’s full regular menu will also be available.

Just Like Mom’s Pastries (353 Riverdale Road, Weare, 529-6667, is taking orders for cakes (flavors include carrot, coconut and gluten-free almond flour chocolate cake); pies (chocolate cream and lemon meringue); cupcakes (carrot and red velvet); cookies (Easter decorated, meringue, jam thumbprints and chocolate-dipped coconut macaroons); quiches (ham and cheese, leek, roasted pepper and mushroom, and broccoli cheddar); and other assorted pastries and breads, including brioche aux herbes (enriched brioche loaf bread with Gruyere, sage, parsley and garlic). Cookie, brownie, pastry or whoopie pie platters are also available upon request.

KC’s Rib Shack (837 Second St., Manchester, 627-7427, is taking reservations now for its annual Easter buffet on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 6 p.m., featuring bacon Sriracha deviled eggs and fruit salad to start; a variety of meats, like pit ham, beef brisket, pulled pork, spare ribs, smoked chicken and sausage chunks; and sides, like green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, corn casserole, coleslaw, apple sauce and cornbread. A dessert station will also be included. The cost is $30 for adults, $14 for kids ages 5 to 10 and free for kids under 5.

LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst; 14 Route 111, Derry; 672-9898, will serve a grand brunch buffet on Easter Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring your choice of chicken, baked filet of cod or brown sugar ham, plus a chef-attended omelet station, cinnamon French toast casserole, eggs and home-fried potatoes, roasted asparagus, assorted pastries and freshly sliced fruit. The cost is $75 per person, $26 for kids ages 4 to 12 and free for kids ages 3 and under, and coffee, tea and assorted juices are included in the ticket price. Wine, cocktails, beer and other non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase.

Loon Chocolate (The Factory on Willow, 252 Willow St., Manchester, has an assortment of Easter-themed sweets in addition to its regular hand-crafted bean-to-bar chocolates. Its new retail shop is open Thursday through Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Makris Lobster & Steak House (354 Sheep Davis Road, Concord, 225-7665, will serve a special Easter buffet on Sunday, April 17, with seatings on the hour between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. There will be a carving station with roast sirloin of beef and glazed ham, plus a variety of fresh seafood, including seafood stuffed sole, blackened salmon and seafood Newburg. Other featured options will be grilled lamb and beef souvlaki, pasta primavera, chicken Marsala, and an assorted dessert table. The cost is $29.99 per person and kids ages 10 and under eat for half off the price. Reservations are required.

McNulty & Foley Caterers (124 E. Hollis St., Nashua, 882-1921, is taking orders for various heat-and-eat items for Easter, including dinners, like glazed baked ham, spinach and feta cheese stuffed chicken, and homemade baked lasagna; and sides, like green bean casserole and delmonico potatoes. Desserts are also available, like lemon squares and pistachio brownie trifles. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from noon to 2 p.m.

Mile Away Restaurant (52 Federal Hill Road, Milford, 673-3904, is taking reservations now for Easter, offering special meals that include your choice of one appetizer, salad, entree and dessert. Menu staples include appetizers like tomato bisque, Swedish meatballs, fresh fruit plates with sorbet; Caesar salad or garden salad with blue cheese, house ranch, raspberry vinaigrette or balsamic dressing; entrees like roast leg of lamb, honey-glazed ham, pork forestiere, chicken pesto, piccata milanese, maple salmon, broiled scrod, schnitzel or vegetarian baked eggplant Parmesan; and desserts like carrot cake, tiramisu cake, sorbet, bread pudding, cheesecake, chocolate ganache cake, lemon mascarpone cake and chocolate mousse cake.

Mr. Mac’s Macaroni & Cheese (497 Hooksett Road, Manchester, 606-1760, is taking orders for its take-and-bake macaroni and cheese in a wide variety of flavors, which can be shipped nationwide. Order by April 12 to have it delivered by Easter Sunday.

MT’s Local Kitchen & Wine Bar (212 Main St., Nashua, 595-9334, will be open on Sunday, April 17, from noon to 5 p.m., serving its regular menu with Easter specials.

Nelson’s Candy and Music (65 Main St., Wilton, 654-5030, has a variety of specialty treats available now for Easter, like chocolate mold bunny pops, and cream eggs, with flavors like chocolate fudge, peanut butter, coconut and raspberry.

Popovers on the Square (11 Brickyard Square, Epping, 734-4724; 8 Congress St., Portsmouth, 431-1119; is taking orders for Easter egg cakes, featuring a chocolate cake filled with chocolate mousse, glazed with ganache and decorated with spring flowers; and lemon mascarpone cream-filled vanilla cakes with lemon buttercream. Other items include vanilla or chocolate Easter-decorated cupcakes (can be ordered gluten-free), and Easter bunny or spring chick sugar cookies. Order by April 10 at 8 p.m.

Presto Craft Kitchen (168 Amory St., Manchester, 606-1252, is taking orders for a variety of specialty items for Easter, including dinners, like wood-fired lamb tips, brown sugar glazed ham, shrimp and scallop scampi, and pizzagaina, or a large quiche-like ricotta-based pie filled with Italian meats. Sweeter items are available too, like giant breakable chocolate eggs, Easter egg cakesicles (flavors include carrot cake or funfetti), carrot patch (chocolate-covered strawberries in Oreo “dirt”), fresh-filled cannolis and assorted Italian cookie platters. Order by April 11. Pickups will be on Friday, April 15, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday, April 16, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Queen City Cupcakes (790 Elm St., Manchester, 624-4999, is taking orders for an assortment of specialty themed cupcake flavors for Easter, like carrot cake and Cadbury cream egg, as well as others like blackberry truffle, chocolate salted caramel, raspberry linzer cookie, strawberry shortcake, vanilla bean and more. Order by April 13 at noon. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Rig A Tony’s Italian Takeout (254 Wallace Road, Bedford, 262-1244; 13 Rockingham Road, Windham, 685-8122; 34 South Ave., Derry, 404-6315; is taking orders for Easter dinners featuring spiral ham or roasted porchetta, pasta margarita, house mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, string beans almondine and sweet rolls. Other available a la carte items include chicken or eggplant Parm, traditional lasagna, shrimp scampi, wedding soup, and sweets like cannolis, homemade Italian cookies, or chocolate cream or Maine blueberry pies. Order by April 13.

Salt Kitchen & Bar (Wentworth by the Sea, 588 Wentworth Road, New Castle, 373-6566, will serve a special Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., featuring a farm-fresh egg and omelet station, a Belgian waffle station and a ham carving station, as well as a New England raw bar, an artisan cheese display, a variety of hot entrees, a dessert display and more. The cost is $89.95 per person and $26.95 for kids under 12.

Simply Delicious Baking Co. (176 Route 101, Bedford, 488-1988, is taking orders for carrot cake, lemon bars, almond biscotti, lemon blueberry scones and other specialty items for Easter. Order by April 13. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 8 a.m. to noon.

Smoke Shack Cafe (226 Rockingham Road, Londonderry, 404-2178, is taking orders for a variety of specialty catering packages for Easter that include your choice of smoked ham or prime rib, along with two to six sides (macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, peas, corn saute, brown sugar carrots, green beans and broccoli saute), six to 12 pieces of cornbread, and a half- to a full-sized salad tray. Smoked ham and smoked prime rib are also both available as a la carte options. Order by April 12. Pickups will be on Sunday, April 17.

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (1160 Bridge St., Manchester, 625-6115, is holding a Greek Easter bake sale, taking pre-orders for pastry platters featuring baklava, koulourakia and kourambiethes. Orders are being accepted until April 10 or while supplies last.

Sweet Boutique (21 Kilton Road, Bedford, 222-1521, has a variety of specialty hand-crafted treats available now for Easter, like milk, dark and white chocolate bunny molds, candy-filled chocolate “smash eggs” and more.

Tammaro’s Cucina (469 Charles Bancroft Hwy., Litchfield, 377-7312, is taking orders for a variety of Easter specials, available in half- or full-sized trays. Options include pizzagaina (Italian meat pie), sweet ricotta pie, Easter bread, assorted Easter cookies and more. Order by April 13.

Tiffany’s Cafe & Catering (542 Mast Road, No. 6, Goffstown, 627-6622, find them on Facebook @tiffanyscafecatering) is taking orders now for Easter dinners, featuring either roast beef or honey-baked ham with pan gravy for an entree, as well as soups and salads (chicken lemon rice soup, Italian wedding soup, garden salad and spinach salad); and sides (scalloped potatoes, roast red bliss potatoes, sweet potato casserole, holiday corn and Italian green beans). Other available a la carte offerings include devilled eggs, cheese and fruit trays with assorted crackers, pigs in a blanket, quiches, cupcakes and pies (flavors include banana cream, chocolate cream, coconut cream and pistachio cream). Order by April 15. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Trombly Gardens (150 N. River Road, Milford, 673-0647, is taking orders for special Easter dinners featuring sugar-glazed ham with pineapple mustard gravy, mashed potatoes, maple carrots, green bean casserole and house rolls. Each side is also available a la carte at an additional cost. Order by April 10. Pickups will be on Saturday, April 16, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Tuscan Market (9 Via Toscana, Salem, 912-5467, is taking orders for several specialty packages for Easter, featuring your choice of bone-in spiral ham, boneless roast leg of lamb or carved roast turkey breast, each of which are served with sides and Italian wine pairings, with enough food to feed six to eight people. Other available a la carte options include half-trays of lasagna, pizzagaina (Italian meat pie), risotto and sausage stuffed bell peppers, and desserts, like limoncello tiramisu, flourless espresso cake, Italian Easter breads and more. Order at least two days in advance of picking up.

Van Otis Chocolates (341 Elm St., Manchester, 627-1611, has a variety of specialty treats available now for Easter, like milk, dark or white chocolate bunny molds, chocolate cream eggs with fillings like butter cream, coconut cream, cookie dough, caramel, Swiss fudge and raspberry fudge, and multiple sizes of Easter baskets and buckets filled with assorted chocolates and candies.

WineNot Boutique (25 Main St., Nashua, 204-5569, will hold a special Easter-themed grand tasting of wines on Saturday, April 9, from 1 to 6 p.m., the first storewide walk-around event at its new location. A diverse selection of more than a dozen wines will be offered. Admission is free — see the event pages on Facebook or Eventbrite for details.

Wolfe’s Tavern (The Wolfeboro Inn, 90 N. Main St., Wolfeboro, 569-3016, will serve a special Easter brunch on Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring items that will include roasted tomato bisque, herb-crusted leg of lamb, grilled flank steak, cedar salmon, assorted homemade desserts and more. The cost is $50 for adults and $20 for kids.

Woodstock Inn Brewery (135 Main St., North Woodstock, 745-3951, will serve a special Easter brunch buffet on Sunday, April 17, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. In addition to omelet and waffle bars, there will be a carving station with ham and prime rib, and other items like eggs Benedict, vegetable lasagna, salmon, assorted desserts and more. The cost is $29.99 for adults and $18.99 for kids under 12.

Ya Mas Greek Taverna & Bar (125 Bridge St., Pelham, 635-4230, will serve a special Easter brunch buffet just up the road at Chunky’s Cinema Pub in Pelham (150 Bridge Street) on Sunday, April 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. There will be a wide variety of breakfast and lunch items available, including a made-to-order create-your-own omelet station, a brioche French toast station and a prime rib carving station, plus Greek options like spanakopita, tiropita and stuffed grape leaves, as well as an artisan cheese and charcuterie spread, and desserts and sweet treats, like baklava, lemon tarts, strawberry shortcake and more. The cost is $49 for adults and $19 for kids. Reservations are required.

Featured photo: Courtesy photo.

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