Hometown heroes

Donaher back with new song, local show

In October, internet ‘zine The Hard Times called Donaher “massively underrated” and the best pop-punk band in New Hampshire, part of a nationwide survey that also included Green Day and the Ataris. It’s well-deserved praise; the Manchester quartet — lead singer and guitarist Nick Lavallee, Tristan Omand on guitar and backing vocals, bassist Adam Wood and drummer Nick Lee — plays buoyant, infectious music.

Since forming in 2017, the group has amassed a solid fan base, via its recorded output — two albums and an EP — and high-energy live shows. They’re a solid draw at local spots, on the Seacoast and down into Boston. With a sensibility harkening back to the days of Weezer and the Replacements, they acquire new adherents every time they walk on stage or leap out of a car speaker.

Their latest single, “Stay Up,” continues the trend, though unlike 2022’s sometimes dour LP Gravity and the Stars Above, this ode to wholesome lust is brimming with good vibes. There’s love in the air when Lavallee sings of wanting only to be “kissing on my couch” with his intended, presumably as a rented copy of Can’t Hardly Wait plays on the VCR. ’90s nostalgia is brimming on the song, right down to its floppy disc packaging.

Apart from time in the studio working on a new album, Donaher took the winter off, but now it’s back with a few local shows. This includes one at The Shaskeen on May 4, where, uncharacteristically, the hometown favorites are the opening band. In a recent phone interview, Lavallee said the move reflected his mood of late, as well as Donaher’s many Gen X fans.

“Let the bands in their 20s stay up late,” he said. “Their friends, and the people that come to see them, are going to be juiced up whether it’s 9 or 11:30. It doesn’t matter.”

Not that Lavallee isn’t busy; far from it. The pop culture polymath runs Wicked Joyful, a company that began by making bespoke action figures, a wildly successful effort. Most recently, comedian Jim Gaffigan commissioned one to mark a run of shows at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre. Later this year the company will open a physical store in Queen City Center, when work on the Canal Street entertainment center is completed.

He also created a campaign to recognize Manchester as the birthplace of the chicken tender. Wicked Joyful now sells Tender Town clothing that includes a T-shirt at this year’s Taco Tour in downtown Manchester on Thursday, May 2, from 4 to 8 p.m. (see tacotourmanchester.com for more information on that event). The company is both hosting a pop-up merch tent and curating a Shaskeen afterparty at the foodie event. A free 21+ show starting at 9 p.m. has the Carissa Johnson Band, indie rockers Cozy Throne and god.damn.chan playing hip-hop, trip-hop and trap.

“It’s an eclectic mix of live music to extend your Taco Tour experience,” Lavallee said.

Lavallee is an unabashed booster of his hometown.

“I love Manchester and I’m tired of hearing that Manchester has potential,” he said. “Actually, Manchester’s pretty awesome, it’s just that no one’s figured out how to elevate the awesomeness of Manchester. That’s what I’ve been trying to do the past few years, if not the past decade. It’s not about potential, it’s here.”

Of his initiative to enshrine the crispy treat invented at The Puritan restaurant, Lavallee noted, “One person said to me, ‘Oh, that just seems like low-hanging fruit.’ I was like, ‘low-hanging fruit? No one’s done it! What are you talking about?’ It’s been there for 40 to 50 years, and no one thought, ‘Hey, let’s associate a brand identity for Manchester with a food that nearly everybody loves that was created here.”

Beyond that, while linking the word “tender” to a scrappy recovered mill town seems counterintuitive to some, it makes complete sense to Lavallee. “It is this kind of rugged industrial place,” he said. “But Manchester is like a chicken tender…. It’s salty and sweet. That’s who we’re like, that’s the Manchester I know. We’re resilient, we’re a different shade of New England.”

Donaher opening for Keep Flying, Waiver & everway
When: Saturday, May 4, 8 p.m.
Where: Shaskeen Pub, 909 Elm St., Manchester
Tickets: $10 at the door. See linktr.ee/donaher.

Featured photo: Donaher. Photo By Cat Confrancisco.

The Music Roundup 24/05/02

Local music news & events

Affirming: New England acoustic roots supergroup Barnstar marks its first album in nearly a decade. Furious Kindness is brimming with positivity, “a beacon of joy in a world that could use a bit more kindness” according to a band statement. One listen to de facto title song “Anybody Got a Light?” is enough to stir a cold soul to action, a welcome chord of hope against dissonance. Thursday, May 2, 7 p.m., The Word Barn, 66 Newfields Road, Exeter, $16 to $35 at thewordbarn.com.

Coming back: Texas-born singer-songwriter Chase Bryant laid bare his mental health struggles on 2021’s Upbringing. His latest EP, Ashland City, includes a co-write with Lone Star State legend Ray Wylie Hubbard. Music is in Bryant’s lineage: His grandfather performed with Roy Orbison and Waylon Jennings, and his uncle co-founded the band Ricochet. Friday, May 3, 7 p.m., Sullivan Arena (Saint Anselm College), 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, $50 and up at anselm.edu.

On the daily: When Jon Stewart isn’t hosting The Daily Show, Jordan Klepper often sits in the anchor chair, one of many satellite stars to emerge from the long-running Comedy Central program. Add to that Klepper’s standup talents, which are on display in an area show, and his Fingers The Pulse man-in-the-street interviews, which have garnered two Emmy nods. Saturday, May 4, 8 pm., Capitol Center for the Arts, 44 S. Main St., Concord, $35 and up at ccanh.com.

Multiplicity: Even when they’re playing acoustic, as they mostly do, Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela offer up electrifying music. The pair, whose latest album is the Advaita Vedanta-inspired In Between Thoughts … A New World, blend Spanish flamenco-nuevo fretwork with rock ’n’ roll panache for a dazzling sound that really should be witnessed live to be appreciated. Sunday, May 5, 7 p.m., Nashua Center for the Arts, 201 Main St., Nashua, $49 and up at etix.com.

All-consuming: While Against Me! is on hiatus, Laura Jane Grace is busy with solo projects like the recently released Hole in My Head, of which Rolling Stone wrote, “There’s a bone-weary feeling to the record that befits a punk in their forties stepping back to take a look at the life they’ve built thus far.” She performs with her band The Devouring Mothers; The Devil’s Twins open. Monday, May 6, 8 p.m., Jewel Music Venue, 61 Canal St., Manchester, $35 at seetickets.us.

Challengers (R)

Tennis and sex get all tangled up in the lives of three promising tennis players in Challengers.

Tashi Duncan (Zendaya) is the true star athlete of the trio, getting endorsements from Adidas as a teen and having the world in awe of her skills. She decides to go to Stanford, even though it means waiting a few years until she turns pro, and the crowds at the university turn out for her wearing “The Duncanator” T-shirts.

Fellow tennis player Patrick Zweig (Josh O’Connor) thinks the reason she’s going to Stanford is to build up anticipation for her pro career. While Patrick’s longtime friend and doubles partner Art Donaldson (Mike Faist) is wowed by Tashi’s game play, Patrick is more wowed by the Zendaya-ness of Tashi. When they first meet — at a party thrown by Adidas for Tashi at a multiday tennis tournament — both boys ask for Tashi’s phone number, basically at once, in front of her. Tashi says she isn’t a homewrecker, though she does show up at their shared hotel room later that night and makes it clear that she attracted to both boys — and we see that there is a strong something between the two of them as well. She declares that she will give the winner of the next day’s match between Art and Patrick her phone number. Patrick wins and we see her dating him while she’s at Stanford and he’s on tour.

But that was years earlier. The movie starts with Tashi as a coach and wife to Art and with the men preparing to meet once again on the court after years of not really speaking. Tashi is as laser-focused and aggressive as a coach as she once was as a player — coaching being really her only way onto the court. As the trailers give away, she suffers a devastating injury before she is able to turn pro.

This movie serves you a lot of sexiness. Some of it feels like perfume ad sexiness, a lot of skin and close-ups of hot people and implied nudity (as well as actual nudity, all of the dude variety, which is a nice change of pace) without a whole lot of emotional impact. The movie does have fun with the melodrama of those moments, though — Challengers has sort of a smirky sense of humor throughout that keeps everything grounded.

The real heat is actually in the tennis, both the literal game played between Patrick and Art that winds through all the movie’s flashbacks and the figurative games related to the friendship between the two men and their mutual desire for Tashi as well as Tashi’s hunger for competition in general. Actually, Tashi is all tennis — the volley, the quick decisions for how to respond, the attempts to psy-ops your opponent, the excitement of being in the mix of things. Even when she can’t play the sport of tennis anymore she seems pretty eager to bring the vibes of tennis into her life, no matter how messy it makes things.

Zendaya brings a crazy intensity to Tashi that makes this movie compelling even when it feels like a prep school soap opera. It’s a fun soap opera with characters I enjoyed watching, especially when they’re being less-than-great people. You believe that these two at-times goober-y dudes would fall hard for this woman who extremely out-classes them both in tennis and in life. Zendaya is even able to make you believe that the talented but frustrated Tashi enjoys the strange dynamic of her relationships with each man.

The movie may have the plot points of a sexy drama but it has an energy that almost makes it feel like an action movie — and I think the Art-Patrick tennis game and the way the movie shoots it is a big part of that. I don’t really know anything about tennis but the movie keeps giving us the emotional backstory to this game, which plays as a friends-turned-rivals showdown, that makes each point have some resonance. B+

Rated R for language throughout, some sexual content and graphic nudity, according to the MPA on filmratings.com. Directed by Luca Guadagnino with a screenplay by Justin Kuritzkes, Challengers is two hours and 11 minutes long and distributed in theaters by United Artists.

Featured photo: Challengers.

Funny Story, by Emily Henry

& How to End a Love Story, by Yulin Kuang

Funny Story, by Emily Henry (Berkley, 400 pages)

How to End a Love Story, by Yulin Kuang (Avon, 384 pages)

I was interested in reading Yulin Kuang’s debut novel, How to End a Love Story, after finding out that Kuang is the adapting screenwriter for People We Meet on Vacation and the writer/director for Beach Read, both upcoming movies based on novels by Emily Henry. And since it was released just weeks before Henry’s latest, Funny Story (already on my must-read list), I decided to read them both and compare these purportedly funny love stories.

How to End a Love Story is a solid debut — but I could see it being better as a movie (which makes sense given Kuang’s experience as a film writer). I have to wonder if perhaps some solid acting could make me believe the whole premise of the book.

Because here’s my biggest hang-up: The reason that main characters Helen and Grant “can’t” be together is stupid. I could not, at any point, wrap my head around this “enemies to lovers” plot when there was absolutely no reason for them to be enemies in the first place.

Helen’s sister was killed in a tragic accident 13 years ago. Grant was behind the wheel of the car that killed her. (No spoiler here — this is explained on page 2). The fact is, no one was at fault, no one was to blame, and it’s just not OK that Helen hates Grant for this thing he had no control over. I get that being around him might be difficult, but to straight up despise his existence and make him feel like he did something wrong really made me dislike her. And it’s hard to be invested in, let alone root for, a character you don’t like.

Also, she’s pretty uptight, and it was hard to reconcile that with the setting and other characters in the book. Helen is a popular YA author and has just started working in the writers’ room of the book series’ TV adaptation (clearly Kuang took the “write what you know” notion and ran with it). The writers’ room environment is rowdy and raunchy, and Helen doesn’t fit in.

It’s almost uncomfortable to see Helen’s interactions with these fun, indelicate people — and then watch her slowly become “one of them.” It seems disingenuous and awkward (again, maybe onscreen an actor could portray this transformation more naturally than my imagination was allowing for).

Meanwhile, Grant is an experienced film writer, well-respected and confident in the room but less so outside of it, as he still struggles with the anxieties that have plagued him since the aforementioned tragic accident.

Alas, Helen and Grant must work together, and of course it’s so hard at first, but then it’s not so much, and then there are some unfortunate moments of passion that can’t go any further because it’s just not OK, fundamentally, because of this thing that happened 13 years ago that was no one’s fault.

If you can wrap your head around all of that in a way that I couldn’t, you’ll probably enjoy this book. Certainly a lot of romance novels have their fair share of disbelievable elements — it’s just that they’re usually more eye-roll-inducing (just tell him how you feel already!) and less emotionally upsetting. But the writing is solid, particularly the dialogue, and it’s an interesting look at what goes on in a writers’ room and on a film set, knowing that Kuang has real-life experience there. C+

Funny Story was even better than I expected it to be. Henry had already proven that she is a master of women’s literature, with fun, real characters, unique but believable storylines, and just the right amount of heat. And in Funny Story, her dialogue shines, sharp and witty as always.

One of many random examples (the context doesn’t even matter):

“‘I thought you were bringing a date,’ I say to Jules. ‘That guy you just went to Chicago with?’

‘Ryan.’ She rolls her eyes. ‘He cut his fingernails on the bus ride.’

‘Ew,’ Ashleigh and I say in unison.

Julia nods solemnly. ‘Flags so red, they veered toward maroon.’”

The “I” in the above example is Daphne, who is engaged to Peter, who decides just before the wedding that he actually loves Petra, his childhood best friend, who was engaged to Miles, who becomes Daphne’s new roommate and fake boyfriend after the respective breakups. Got that? (Jules, in case you’re wondering, is Miles’s sister, and Ashleigh is Daphne’s co-worker and, once Daphne lightens up a bit at work, her new best friend. Both add a well-balanced mix of fun and emotional complexity to the plot.)

And there is emotional complexity here; this isn’t all fluff and love, and I don’t think I rolled my eyes once. Funny Story is definitely funny, but it’s so much more than that, too: It’s a story of human relationships and all of the messiness and intensity that come along with them, how they can start and end in the most unpredictable ways, and how we all have the capacity to overcome heartbreak and learn to love again. A

Album Reviews 24/05/02

Elvie Shane, Damascus (self-released)

Generally organic feel and great production propel this blue-collar hero’s twangy and slashy tuneage. He’s also something of a preacher, so he comes to the countrified Springsteen pace with the right credentials, which has taken him pretty far to date, with love coming his way from Rolling Stone and a formidable group of other press outlets. This stuff is undoubtedly bad-ass, beginning with album opener “Outside Dog,” a tune that evokes Jerry Lee Lewis fronting Butthole Surfers; the vibe is swampy and muddy and broke-down, and the bullhorn patch on Shane’s voice is just, you know, chef’s kiss. “What Do I Know” is a more Bob Dylan-infused joint, a hardscrabble working person’s call for clarity while trying to thrive in our impossible era of forced economic austerity: “I’m just hard-working beer-drinkin’ son of an average Joe.” The honesty is magma deep here; this isn’t some former trust-fund kid who got cut off for dropping out of university. A+

Julien Knowles, As Many, As One (Biophilia Records)

Knowles is a Los Angeles-based trumpeter and composer, said to be one of the most sought-after musicians on the L.A. jazz scene; most recently he’s been heard on such albums as Anthony Wilson’s Collodion, Peter Epstein’s Two Legs Bad and Louis Cole’s Some Unused Songs. This full-length kicks off with the impossibly dreamy “Opening,” fronting enough background noise to sound vastly different from most bands that try to summon Do The Right Thing’s urban background-at-night steez. It picks up in a startlingly tight-sounding manner, with Javier Santiago’s piano laying down a bonking pattern that feels like a raft ride down the rapids. I should mention that there are nine musicians involved, which does make everything sound thick and full; Knowles’s crazy-busy trumpet seems relegated to the back of the mix, with the piano (there are two guys handling that) situated in front, in first-person stereo view. Definitely proggy but it all goes down very smooth. A+

PLAYLIST

A seriously abridged compendium of recent and future CD releases

• Yay, it’s the May 3 crop of new musical CD releases, for your listening dysphoria! You know something, fam, for the last few years I’ve been pretty much oblivious to all the goings-on with the lilting soprano nymphettes that are always singing about depraved sexual acts on corporate kiddie-pop radio stations — wait, do the kids even know what a radio is anymore? Are there radios anymore? What does the school bus driver play over the $3 loudspeakers nowadays on the way to bringing all the kids to school to give their parents a break from having to listen to them yammer on about hip-hop beefs and gender-neutral dialectical materialism these days, or does the bus ride into school with everyone listening to crunk and black metal in their earbuds? You know, just to find out how kids live nowadays, I am publicly volunteering to work for the cops undercover in a school, like on 21 Jump Street, all I’d need to do is dye the gray out of my hair with a ton of Revlon ColorSilk No. 231 or whatnot and lose 20 pounds and get a face lift and before you know it those little rascals would be all up in my business, asking me where to score some sour Trolli jelly worm candies and how to talk to girls, as if I’d know, and I’d just make up stuff and get them in trouble. Why do I bring up this idiocy? Well, because it’s time for me to stop pretending that Dua Lipa doesn’t exist, given that she has a new album out this Friday, there’s no escape for me this time. Can you tell I’d rather be talking about literally anything on Earth other than Dua Lipa? You know me so well, guys, but let’s do the dutiful and go listen to this soon-to-be-forgotten flash in the pan’s latest single, “Bet You Like The Fact That My Butt Is Bigger Than The Entire State Of Kansas!” Wait, no, that’s not whatsername, that was from some journalistic writing notes I made while preparing to see how long my barf-reflex would hold out while investigating the new album, Radical Optimism, and its single, “Illusion.” Yikes, it actually isn’t bad, very 2006 disco-house, it’s a lot better than Taylor Swift and all those other people, I guess.

• London, U.K.’s favorite electronic afro-funk band (or at least one of them), Ibibio Sound Machine, is at it again, with a new full-length, Pull The Rope! The title track features a laid-back, pretty nifty rubber-band groove that goes on forever. Not much else happens, but maybe it’ll backdrop a Geek Squad commercial someday and they can tell their grandkids about it.

• You’re kidding. It’s horror director/Casio keyboard enthusiast John Carpenter, with yet another album of themes that didn’t make it into one of his movies (or whatever the deal is), Lost Themes IV: Noir. “My Name Is Death” is pretty advanced for what he usually does. OK, no it’s not, it’s the same sort of thing as the incidental music from his 1978 movie Halloween, but the explodey synths, well, they’re pretty explodey!

• Lastly it’s Long Island-based indie rockers The Lemon Twigs, with A Dream Is All We Know! The single, “A Dream Is All I Know,” totally sounds like “really bad” era Paul McCartney, when he did “Wonderful Christmastime.” I don’t love it.

Lemon-Glazed Pistachio-Rose Cake

The Cake

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) of softened butter
  • 1 cup + 1 teaspoon (210 g) sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup (130 g) finely chopped salted pistachios – your food processor can take care of this for you
  • 1 cup (96 g) almond flour
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • ½ cup +1 Tablespoon (70 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon rose water – rose water is powerful stuff; if you don’t use enough you won’t taste it, and if you use a drop too much this cake will taste like grandmother soap
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom

The Glaze

  • 2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup (114 g) confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice powder (optional) – let’s face it: it is highly unlikely that you have any powdered lemon juice on hand, but if you do it will add an extra kick of lemon flavor without watering the glaze down

Preheat your oven to 350°F.

Butter a cake pan and line it with parchment paper.

“Wait, what? If I’m using parchment paper, why do I need to butter the pan?”

Good question. The butter helps the parchment stick to the bottom of the pan; it won’t flutter away or fold over as you’re spooning the batter in.

“Ah.”

Beat the sugar and butter together. This is called “creaming.” You might have noticed that there isn’t any leavening in this recipe — no yeast, baking powder or soda. The only rise this cake will get is from the microscopic bubbles punched into the butter by the sugar, which will swell when they are heated. Beat the sugar and butter together until they are light and fluffy. This might take several minutes.

Beat the eggs into the butter mixture, one at a time. Eggs play a couple of roles in this recipe. As they cook they solidify, giving the cake structure, but they also act as an emulsifier. There is a fair amount of fat in this recipe, and fats are a little snobby. They don’t want to mix with water-based liquids like lemon juice and rose water; they see it as beneath them. The eggs are mediators. Because they are made up of watery proteins in their whites, and fats in their yolks, they act as ambassadors who can smile and get everyone to mingle.

Once the eggs are thoroughly incorporated into the batter, you can go ahead and add most of the other ingredients — the pistachios, almond flour, lemon juice, lemon zest and rose water. Mix them together thoroughly. Because you haven’t added any wheat flour yet, this mixture is still gluten-free and won’t toughen up no matter how long you beat it.

Whisk the flour and cardamom together, then fold them into the batter by hand as gently as possible. At this point you are adding gluten but trying to keep the cake tender.

Spoon the mixture into your prepared cake pan, and smooth out the top.

Bake on the middle rack of your oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack until it is completely cool.

Whisk the glaze ingredients together thoroughly, until there are no lumps of sugar left, then pour over the top of the cake, letting it drip down the sides.

This is a moist snack cake. It would go well with high tea, but unless you have an aristocratic secret life that we don’t know about, this is a really good meeting-a-friend-for-coffee cake.

It’s one of those foods with a multi-stage flavor. You get hit by the lemon in the glaze first, then the rose in the cake, which is reasonably modest but definitely there. The texture and flavor of the pistachios come through as you chew. Pistachios, rose and lemon are a classic combination — think of a Middle Eastern walled garden and sitting on stone steps, being cooled by the mist from a fountain, eating this cake and discussing poetry.

It is a cake that lends itself to daydreams.

Featured Photo: Photo by John Fladd.

Meal for mom

Where to find special brunches and dinners on Mother’s Day

Time to make those dinner and/or brunch reservations for Mother’s Day, which is Sunday, May 12. Know of a special meal or offering not mentioned here? Let us know at adiaz@hippopress.com to run in next week’s Weekly Dish column.

110 Grill (80 Storrs St., Concord, 802-6110; 875 Elm St., Manchester, 836-1150; 27 Trafalgar Square, Nashua, 943-7443; 110grill.com) will serve brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The menu will include crab and egg flatbread, yogurt parfait, the 110 Frittata, chicken ’n’ waffles, steak and eggs Benedict, bananas Foster-stuffed French toast, the Cure Burger and brunch cocktails. Reservations are recommended.

Alamo Texas Barbecue and Tequila Bar (99 Route 13 in Brookline; 721-5500, alamobarbecue.com) has a Mother’s Day menu that includes eggs Benedict, berry salad, cherry-glazed pork tenderloin, strawberry shortcake and a peach bellini. Brunch starts at 10 a.m.; call for reservations.

Alan’s of Boscawen (133 N. Main St., Boscawen, 753-6631, alansofboscawen.com) will serve brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring a variety of breakfast items, an omelet station, salads, carving stations and more, as well as traditional plated meals including honey-baked ham, roast leg of lamb, prime rib and baked stuffed haddock. Dinner specials will run from noon to close. Call for reservations.

Alpine Grove Banquet Facility (19 S. Depot Road, Route 111A, Hollis, 882-9051, alpinegrove.com) will serve brunch. Seating starts at 10 a.m.; the buffet will close at 2 p.m. The menu will include various breakfast items, roast top round of beef with demi-glace, Mediterranean chicken, mac and cheese, a pastry and dessert buffet and more. The cost is $35 for adults, $15 for children ages 5 through 12 (free for children under age 5). Reservations are required and can be made through Alpine Grove’s website.

Artisan Hotel (17 Via Toscana in Salem, 912-8450, tuscanbrands.com) will hold a Mother’s Day celebration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Enjoy a complimentary Mom-osa. There will be a smoked salmon display, an omelet station, a carving station, a full buffet and more. Mother’s Day will have communal seating in the Grand Ballroom; full tables of six or more guests are available for advance purchase. There will be seatings at 11 and 11:30 a.m. and 1, 1:30, 3, 3:30, 5, and 5:30 p.m. Each seating is 90 minutes long. Tickets are $90 per person. Reservations are available at tuscanbrands.com.

Atkinson Resort and Country Club (85 Country Club Drive, Atkinson, 362-8700, atkinsonresort.com) will serve brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., featuring breakfast items, a carving station, entrees like baked haddock and chicken Milanese, a dessert table and more. The cost is $80 for adults and $30 for kids ages 3 through 10 (free for children under age 3). Reservations are required, and available through Atkinson’s website.

Averill House Vineyard (21 Averill Road, Brookline, 244-3165, averillhousevineyard.com) will host a Mother’s Day High Tea Brunch and Wine Pairing at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Each guest will receive a cup of hot tea, a pre-set four-course High Tea-inspired brunch, and a pre-selected flight of four wine samples (must be 21+). Non-alcoholic flight available upon request. Tickets are $59 each and available through the Vineyard’s website.

The Bakeshop on Kelley Street (171 Kelley St. in Manchester; 624-3500, thebakeshoponkelleystreet.com) offers doughnuts and other goodies that can be ordered in advance. The shop is open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Bedford Village Inn (2 Olde Bedford Way, Bedford, 472-2001, bedfordvillageinn.com) will serve a special Mother’s Day dinner from 2 to 7 p.m. Dishes will include bacon, shrimp and corn chowder, pea salad, asparagus bisque, veal saltimbocca, cider-brined Duroc pork tenderloin, and much more. The cost is $79 for adults and $42 for children 10 and under. Reservations are required and can be made through the Inn’s website.

Belmont Hall and Restaurant (718 Grove St., Manchester, 625-8540, belmonthall.net) will serve an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet with seatings at 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The cost is $18.99 per person. Additionally, the restaurant will be open for walk-ins only that day — no reservations are required.

Chez Vachon (136 Kelley St. in Manchester; 625-9660, chezvachon.com) will be open from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will offer moms a free drink.

The Coach Stop (176 Mammoth Road, Londonderry, 437-2022, coachstopnh.com) will serve a special Mother’s Day dinner with seatings at 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Offerings include shrimp cocktail, escargot, prime rib of beer, veal Oscar and much more. Call for reservations, which are required.

Colby Hill Inn (33 The Oaks, Henniker, 428-3281, colbyhillinn.com) will serve Mother’s Day supper, with seatings from noon to 4 p.m. The three-course prix-fixe meal will include oysters on the half-shell, ricotta gnocchi with fiddleheads, coq au vin, grilled lamb chops, maple-bourbon panna cotta and more. The cost is $75 per person. Seating is available in the Grazing Room or in the gardens. Reservations are available through the Inn’s website.

Copper Door (15 Leavy Drive, Bedford, 488-2677; 41 S. Broadway, Salem, 458-2033; copperdoor.com) will offer a prix fixe Mother’s Day menu featuring bosc pear salad, prime rib, blackened salmon, wild berry shortcake and more, and extended hours. Brunch and lunch will be available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The prix fixe menu will be available from 2 p.m. to closing at 9 p.m.

The Derryfield (625 Mammoth Road, Manchester, 623-2880, thederryfield.com) will serve brunch from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m, featuring a carving station, bread station, salad station, dessert station and main buffet line with various breakfast items and entrees including chicken, turkey, seafood and more. The cost is $36.95 for adults, $34.95 for seniors 65+ and $21.95 for children under age 12. Call for reservations.

Firefly (22 Concord St., Manchester, 935-9740, fireflynh.com) will serve Mother’s Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. Reservations are recommended.

The Flying Goose Brew Pub (40 Andover Road in New London; 526-6899, flyinggoose.com) will celebrate Mother’s Day with brunch specials from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner specials from 2 to 8 p.m. The regular menu will also be available.

The Foundry Restaurant (50 Commercial St., Manchester, 836-1925, foundrynh.com) will be open for brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fratello’s Italian Grille (155 Dow St., Manchester, 641-6776, fratellos.com) will serve a brunch buffet, with seatings at 11 a.m and 2 p.m. There will be an omelet station, a waffle bar, a grand buffet, a carving station, and more. Reservations are required and can be made through Fratello’s website.

Fulchino Vineyard (187 Pine Hill Road, Hollis, 438-5984, fulchino-vineyard-inc.square.site) will host a celebration of its new sparkling wine on Mother’s Day. The event will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Each participant will have one glass of wine (your choice of sparkling, or still wine or granita) and enjoy an assortment of six gourmet small plates including Caesar salad, New England clam chowder, arancinis, butterfly shrimp, burrata, ravioli and a meatball. Finish with a signature Italian dessert. A children’s menu is available for ages 12 and under for $25; this will include chicken tenders, mac and cheese, french fries and a beverage. The cost for adults is $69. Tickets are available through Fulchino’s website.

Gauchos Churrascaria Brazilian Steak House (62 Lowell St., Manchester, 669-9460, gauchosbraziliansteakhous.com) will serve a Mother’s Day brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call for reservations or make them through Gauchos’ website.

Giorgio’s (524 Nashua St., Milford, 673-3939; 270 Granite St., Manchester, 232-3323; 707 Milford Road, Merrimack, 883-7333; giorgios.com) will serve brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., featuring salads, breads, appetizers, entrees, a carving station, omelet station, dessert station and more. Reservations can be made through Giorgio’s website.

Granite Restaurant (The Centennial Hotel, 96 Pleasant St., Concord, 227-9000, graniterestaurant.com) will serve a special Mother’s Day dinner menu on Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, from 5 to 9 p.m. with dishes including New England crab cakes with avocado and blood orange, Faroe Island salmon, petite filet mignon with shrimp, honey-mascarpone cheesecake and more. Each mother will receive a special gift.

Granite State Candy Shoppe (13 Warren St. in Concord, 225-2591; 832 Elm St. in Manchester, 218-3885; granitestatecandyshoppe.com) is offering 15 percent off select gift boxes of chocolate, in-store and online, through Sunday, May 12.

The Hills Restaurant (Hampshire Hills Athletic Club, 50 Emerson Road, Milford, 673-7123, hampshirehills.com/the-hills-restaurant) will serve a Mother’s Day brunch from 9 a.m. to noon. Dishes will include pulled pork eggs Benedict, swordfish tacos, a Korean BBQ breakfast burger, coconut cake and more. Reservations are available through the website.

The Homestead Tavern & Restaurant (641 DW Highway, Merrimack, 429-2022, homesteadnh.com) will feature a special Mother’s Day menu featuring dishes including bacon-wrapped scallops, beef tenderloin, rack of lamb and more. Make reservations through the Homestead’s website.

Jamison’s Restaurant (472 Route 111, Hampstead, 489-1565, jamisonsrestaurant.com) will feature a special Mother’s Day menu with dishes including seafood stuffed halibut, shrimp scampi, goat cheese stuffed roast chicken and more. Call for reservations.

KC’s Rib Shack (837 Second St., Manchester, 627-7427, ribshack.net) will serve an all-you-can-eat Mother’s Day buffet from noon to 6 p.m. The buffet will feature smoked spare ribs, pulled pork, beef brisket, smoked sausage, mashed potatoes, cornbread, and more. Moms eat free.

LaBelle Winery (345 Route 101, Amherst, 672-9898; 14 Route 111, Derry, 672-9898, labellewinerynh.com) offers a la carte dining on Mother’s Day at The Bistro in Amherst and Americus in Derry. Brunch, lunch and dinner menus will be offered, plus special Mother’s Day dining specials and add-on upgraded dining experiences.

Makris Lobster & Steak House (354 Sheep Davis Road, Concord, 225-7665, eatalobster.com) will serve a Mother’s Day buffet from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The buffet will include peel-and-eat shrimp, roasted lamb, maple-Dijon salmon, homemade pastries and more. The cost is $36.99 for adults, $31.99 for seniors, and $14.99 for children under 12. Call for reservations.

Manchester Distillery (284 Willow St., Manchester, 978-308-2867, manchesterdistillery.com) will host a Mums & Mimosas event Saturday, May 11, from noon to 5 p.m. Enjoy cocktails and mocktails from the distillery’s tasting room as you sip, shop and hang out on the patio and backyard.

Mike’s Italian Kitchen (212 Main St., Nashua, 595-9334, mikesitaliannh.com) will feature a special Mother’s Day menu in addition to its regular menu. Make reservations through Mike’s website.

Mile Away Restaurant (52 Federal Hill Road, Milford, 673-3904, mileawayrestaurantnh.com) will serve a prix fixe dinner that includes one appetizer, such as a fresh fruit with sorbet or Swedish meatballs; a salad; an entree, with options like pork tenderloin, veal Marsala, maple-glazed salmon and more; and one dessert, such as chocolate mousse cake, carrot cake or flourless chocolate ganache cake. The cost is $49. Call to make a Mother’s Day reservation with a credit card. Table size is limited to eight guests or fewer.

Mr. Mac’s (497 Hooksett Road in Manchester; 606-1760, mr-macs.com) is open Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. with dine-in or Take and Bake that can be ordered in advance.

New England’s Tap House Grille (1292 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, 782-5137, taphousenh.com) will serve brunch from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The entire restaurant will be converted into “Brunch Heaven.”

Pembroke Pines Country Club (45A Whittemore Road in Pembroke, 210-1365, pembrokepinescc.com) will offer a Mother’s Day Brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The cost is $29.95 for adults and $12.95 for children.

Van Otis Chocolates (341 Elm St., Manchester, 627-1611, vanotis.com) has many seasonal Mother’s Day chocolates available on its website, from floral gift boxes to gift assortments of all sizes and chocolate shoes and purses.

The Weekly Dish 24/05/02

News from the local food scene

Duck-fat fries and adoptable dogs: The Rockingham Brewing Co. (1 Corporate Park Drive, Derry, 216-2324, rockinghambrewing.com) will host the Darbster Dog Derby on Friday, May 3, from 2 to 4 p.m. Meet, and possibly adopt, a new best friend courtesy of Darbster Doggy (109 Dover Road, Chichester, 635-4495, darbsterfoundation.com/darbster-doggy), drink good beer, and eat special pizzas and duck-fat fries from pop-up caterers Abeetz and Frites.

Kentucky Derby party: Break out your seersucker suits and giant hats. On Saturday, May 4, The Peddler’s Daughter (48 Main St., Nashua, 821-7535, thepeddlersdaughter.com) will host a Kentucky Derby party from 2 to 7 p.m. with prizes, giveaways, and samples from Bellavance Beverage and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. Proper attire is strongly encouraged.

If you’re feeling fancy: The Oscar Barn Wedding Venue (191 W. River Road, Hooksett, 340-8361, oscarbarnweddingvenue.com) will host a Champagne High Tea Sunday, May 5, at 1 p.m. Tickets are $65; this includes one glass of Champagne, food, tax and gratuity. This is a 21+ event and formal attire is requested. Tickets are available through the Oscar Barn’s website.

Three-Dollar Tuesday: Every Tuesday home game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium (1 Line Drive, Manchester, 641-2005, milb.com/new-hampshire) is Three Dollar Tuesday. Hot dogs are $3. Popcorn Is $3. Sodas are $3. On Tuesday, May 7, the New Hampshire Fisher Cats will play against the Harrisburg Senators at 6:05 p.m.

On The Job – Dr. John Schuessler

Doctor of Chiropractic at Crossroads Chiropractic at Bedford

Explain your job and what it entails.

As chiropractors we analyze the spine or what we call subluxations, so misalignments in the spine, putting pressure on the nervous system. … Our main goal here is to remove interference from the nervous system…

How long have you had this job?

We graduated in June and we had an externship that we had to complete, so we officially graduated in September.

What led you to this career field and your current job?

Within chiropractic we have what’s called our chiropractic why. A lot of people associate chiropractic with, ‘Oh, my back hurts, I need to come in and get checked.’ For me, I actually grew up in a not so great home in Cincinnati, Ohio … I always grew up wanting more for myself. I was in Boy Scouts, attained Eagle Scout. I joined the Air Force … chiropractic actually kind of found me. Before my first adjustment I was experiencing anxiety on a very consistent basis … I also experienced GERD, [gastroesophageal] reflux disease…. After being adjusted and being adjusted consistently, I don’t experience those things anymore.

What kind of education or training did you need?

As chiropractors, it’s a doctorate of chiropractors so we had to go get our undergraduate degree. My undergraduate degree was exercise sciences. … After your bachelors you go for three and a half years for your doctorate and we went to, both Dr. Brooke [Mills, also a lead chiropractor at Crossroads in Bedford] and I, went to Sherman College of Chiropractic down in Spartansburg, South Carolina.

What is your typical at-work uniform or attire?

I usually wear dress pants, dress shirt. Brooke will be usually in the same, maybe a sundress.

What is the most challenging thing about your work, and how do you deal with it?

I want to be able to take care of every single person in my community. … we’re definitely trying to attain that … go out to the community and meet new people and explain to them what chiropractic is and why we want to care for them….

What do you wish you had known at the beginning of your career?

I wish I had known about chiropractic right off the bat … I would have gotten out a little bit quicker.

What do you wish other people knew about your job?

I wish that people knew it wasn’t just for aches and pains. I wish that they knew that caring for your spine, spinal hygiene is just as important as going to the gym and brushing your teeth. It’s not something that you do only when you’re in pain.

What was your first job?

I actually had a landscaping business when I was 14 I started on my own.

Zachary Lewis

Five favorites
Favorite book: Atomic Habits by James Clear
Favorite movie: Avengers: Endgame
Favorite music: country music
Favorite food: steak
Favorite thing about NH: I love the lakes because I grew up in Cincinnati, like I said, and we judged our lakes [by] the Ohio River, and don’t swim in the Ohio River because you might come out with a third arm. And up here you can pretty much drink the water. I love it.

Featured photo: Dr. John Schuessler and Dr. Brooke Mills.

Kiddie Pool 24/05/02

Family fun for whenever

May the Fourth

• Celebrate the other pop culture holiday happening this Saturday with a screening of Star Wars Episode I — The Phantom Menace (PG, 1999). The now 25-year-old film will begin screening at O’neil Cinemas at Brickyard Square in Epping (oneilcinemas.com) on Friday, May 3. Multiple screenings per day are listed through May 9.

Make a wood craft

• The Canvas Roadshow (25 S. River Road, Bedford) invites kids and adults to join them for a fun craft time at their open studio walk-in on Sunday, May 5, at 11 a.m. Visitors can choose from a variety of wood projects and craft it right then and there, according to their website. Most projects take 45 to 90 minutes depending on what you choose, and price is based on project but no registration or reservation is needed to attend, according to the same website. Projects start at $10. Visit thecanvasroadshow.com

Animals

• Head to Strawbery Banke Museum (14 Hancock St. in Portsmouth) for Baby Animals: Heritage Breeds at the Banke to learn about domestic livestock typical on coastal northern New England farms on May 5, from 10 a.m to 4 p.m., according to their website. Demonstrations are included with event tickets. Combo tickets are available to access Baby Animals and tour Strawbery Banke Museum’s historic houses, exhibits and heirloom gardens, according to their website. Adults ages 18 and older are $36, seniors and students are $32, children between ages 5 and 17 are $22, children ages 1 to 4 are $12, children under 1 are free, and family tickets (two adults plus children) are $80, according to their website. Baby Animals Event tickets by themselves are $12 for nonmembers and children under 1 are free, and general admission to the museum is free for members, according to the same website. Visit strawberybanke.org/baby-animals or call 433-1100.

Gaelic sports

• Eight teams are slated to play in the Saturday, May 4, hurling tournament held by the New Hampshire Wolves Hurling Club at the Anheuser-Busch Sports Fields (221 DW Highway in Merrimack), according to the club’s Facebook page. The first match starts at 9 a.m. Kids can get involved at 2 p.m. when the club will host an “Intro to Gaelic sports” featuring football, hurling and camogie. according to a post, which says the event is free for kids to “jump in and learn.” Find the club on Facebook for more information.

Scottish dance

• New England Scottish Arts Centre is offering a free Highland dance course called “Tartan Tots” for kids ages 4 to 6 starting Sunday, May 19, at 1 p.m. at the Creative Dance Workshop (1355 Route 3A, Bow) with instructor Marielle Webster, who was the Highland dance instructor at Lyon College. Dancers typically start with the basic motions and then begin the first Highland dance that all beginners learn, the Highland Fling. The first lesson is free; after that, the charge is $15 per class, with family discounts available, according to the site’s FAQ. Visit nhssa.org/dance.

• Scottish Arts also has ongoing Highland dance classes for kids 7 and older with the first lesson always free and subsequent lessons $15 per class, according to their website. Classes are held on Sundays at noon and will be at the same Creative Dance Workshop in Bow, according to the website. Visit nhssa.org/dance.

Review books, read books

• Gibson’s Bookstore (45 S. Main St., Concord) is looking for aspiring book reviewers for their Student Reviewers Club. Interested readers under age 18 can sign up at gibsonsbookstore.com/student-reviewers-club. Gibson’s will provide the book, and they ask that you bring it back with a short review telling them what you thought about it and a star rating of 1-5. When the book is released, Gibson’s will include your review on display. Reviewers will be given a $2 certificate toward a new book.

• The Whipple Free Public Library will host a junior book club for children in grades 1 to 3 on Monday, May 6, from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. The group is limited to 20 members, who will enjoy a book, have fun and eat snacks, with parents taking turns to provide snacks and drinks, according to their website. The book for this Monday is Mr. Tony Is Full of Baloney by Dan Gutman, copies of which are available to be picked up, according to the same website. Visit whipplefreelibrary.org or call 487-3391. — Zachary Lewis

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