Monday, February 23, 2009

Where to Eat In Concord, NH

Picture of me doublefisting some gelatos in Rome to prove that I may not be a gourmet, but I am certainly a gourmand.

I get a lot of questions about where to eat in Concord after visiting the gallery. I usually give people the caveat that they are receiving recommendations from someone who is a celiac (allergic to gluten and all things wheat). But I figure if a restaurant can hold the interest of a non-wheat eater then it can't be too bad. This list is not all inclusive, it is just the places that I have eaten at and can personally recommend.

Angelinas - Medium priced. Charming & quirky in a little out of the way alley only two blocks from the gallery. It serves Italian food. My favorite is the Filet Mignon with bleu cheese.

Barley House- medium priced. This place is fun! Always crowded and for good reason. It is across from the Capitol, about 3/8 mile from the gallery, so you get a rowdy mix of legislators, lobbyists & locals. When I fall off the wheat wagon I have one of their Irish Whiskey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries. Sinful! The owner, Brain Shea, serves with me on the board of Main Street Concord so this could be a shameful plug... but it isn't. His place is really good! He has also recently instituted a gluten free menu.

Bread & Chocolate- low priced and excellent food. This is a bakery that makes sandwiches. They are all premade and there is a huge selection. When I could eat wheat (years ago) my favorite was tuna on oatmeal bread- mmmmmm! If you go at lunch there is almost always a slow moving line. Franz, the owner, just does things his own way- and thank God! The sandwiches are huge, so if you are not a big eater consider sharing with your date or saving for later. Be sure to save room for dessert! They are right around the corner from the gallery on South Main Street.

Celery Stick Cafe at the Concord Food Coop- low priced and less than a block from the gallery on South Main Street. If you are looking for tasty and healthy food- this is the place for you. It is self serve, but has a separate eating area with windows that look out to the sidewalk. They have the only gluten free granola bar I have ever seen- drizzled with chocolate! My favorite dish, when they have it is black rice with sweet potatoes. And they have fabulous soups for the cold weather months.

Constantly Pizza- low priced and good! It is right around the corner from the gallery on South Main Street and serves pizza, sandwiches & homemade soups. It is a local hangout for nearby businesses and state workers. It is friendly & noisy- a lot like walking into someone's large family kitchen.

Elizabeth's Kitchen- low priced. Greek Food, only open for breakfast and lunch. This has just relocated to the Capitol Building (under the big gold dome). From the outside this place doesn't look like much, but the food is authentic. The chicken lemon soup is wonderful and the stuffed grape leaves are worth ordering again and again. Try it, you'll like it!

Gamil's - low priced and fabulous! This is right around the corner from the gallery on Pleasant Street and relatively new. It serves Egyptian food.... which I can't say I have had before. You will recognize may of the items as being Mediterranean: toubeleh, baba ghanoush, grape leaves, spanikopita. The owner was an Olympic swimmer back in 1969! I love little facts like this and that you can find it out in a short conversation with the waitress while also getting food recommendations. We ordered their tasting platter which was more than adequate for 4. I will definitely be going back and telling all my friends about this restaurant.

Granite Restaurant- a little more expensive but worth it. Their staff is topnotch, as is the food. You can buy 1/2 glasses of wine, which I like. My favorite thing to do is order a few appetizers instead of a whole meal. I definitely recommend the lamb lollipops, although their menu changes frequently. Only about a mile from the gallery on Pleasant Street- unfortunately not open for lunch on weekends. Reservations recommended.

Hermanos Cocina Mexicana -medium priced and conveniently located right across the street from the gallery. Live Music Sunday through Thursday evening. They are pretty tight about opening right on time, don't expect to get in at 10 minutes before 5, but they are open 7 days a week. My favorite is the garlic chicken nachos.

Moritomo's- medium priced Japanese cuisine. I would walk here but most people might want a car to get there from the gallery- about 3/4 of a mile away. It is on Fort Eddy Road off of Loudon Road. Good sushi and good service. Be sure to get the edamame.

Siam Orchid- medium priced. I like Thai food. Some people don't. If you do, this is a good one. The rice is always perfect and you can specify the amount of heat you want. About 1/2 mile from the gallery, across from the Capitol- an easy walk with lots of window shopping on the way.

Sunny's Table- located on Depot Street just two blocks from the gallery, this Asian Fusion restaurant is a welcome addition to the Concord scene. It is a casual, upscale place featuring local goods and produce. While a little pricey it is definitely worth it and the service is great. Treat yourself- especially to the zingy squash soup!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Love, Lust & Desire

There was a positive sea of people at the gallery for the opening of Love, Lust & Desire! You almost couldn't move, but somehow people managed to pick out their favorites and buy them.

Here is Jessica Pappathan, assistant curator at St Anselm College with Amanda McGowan. Jess brought her sister Cassandra Pappathan, a new young writer for the Concord Insider. Cassie wrote a wonderful article about attending the opening called How To Behave At An Art Reception, which is a great primer for first time gallery attendance. As you can tell by the photo- it involved a lot of fun!
Many of the artists were baffled by how the show would go up on the walls with just clips. They had never seen anything quite like it. I have to confess that I took the idea from another gallery which had one wall devoted to "affordable art" hung in this manner.

It has also appealed to a lot of buyers! We have had streams of people coming to the gallery to check it out. The different interpretations of the theme have intrigued viewers. Often times they will go through the show 2 or 3 times because they have missed seeing pieces.

It has been an ever evolving show too. As the artwork is sold, new pieces go up. This has allowed people to take their valentines home.

Another wonderful article appeared in the Concord Monitor, written by Melanie Plenda- you can read it here.

Jay Surdukowski, pictured second from left, a former assistant to me and now a high powered lawyer at Sulloway & Hollis is pictured here with some of his friends. He had several pieces in the show- and definately won the award for bringing the most fans!