October 15, 2019
Oh, you thought we were just going to stop talking about seasonal food? This is our Superbowl, guys. (Please refer to our social, for some lovely seasonal dishes, like this smoky braised chicken-and-pepper casserole with sweet corn crust.) Help us help you - and check out our tried-and-true fall favorites in the Greater New England area.
First the food: Apple cider donuts, spicy corn chowder, St. Louis Style ribs, barbecue brisket, fresh kettle corn, caramel apples...the delightfully lengthy list of comfort food continues. Believe it or not, though, the farm is known for much more than its expansive menu. In the fall, they feature a giant corn maze, apple-picking, a zipline, petting zoo, cow train, silo slides, a jumping pillow, tree houses, apple cannons (!!), and a paintball gallery. If it says “fall in New England,” Connors farm already has it covered. With any luck, you’ll be rolling yourself and your freshly picked pumpkin back to your car by the afternoon, happy and exhausted.
Highlighted by our friends at The Food Lens, this festival features “over 25 food trucks and restaurants” and “a beer, wine, and margarita garden.” In true October spirit, there’s also a Día de Los Muertos costume contest with cash prizes! Replete with sugar skulls, tamales, and champurrado, the festive comfort food will be off the charts, as will the fun. Nothing beats an autumn block party.
Sweaters! Fire pits! Romance! Alcohol! I’m calling it now - fall is unofficial date season. What’s cozier than sidling up to someone special with a plate of barbecue in one hand and a rich, chocolatey stout in the other? The answer is nothing - and luckily for all of us, New Hampshire’s White Mountains provide the stunning fall vistas for such culinary canoodling. A not-so-hidden gem, Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company in North Conway, NH is just about the perfect place for a cozy, laid-back fall evening. The smoky, cajun-leaning barbecue is seriously flavorful for a tourist-destination town, and the in-house beer list has variety to match. Oh - and there are mountain vistas everywhere you turn, plus top-notch fall foliage, if that sweetens the deal for you.
Don’t have the time to get away? Well, for those of us who best take in the change of seasons curled up, gazing pensively out the window at the falling leaves (who doesn’t love a little drama), there’s plenty to eat from the comfort of your couch/chair/fireplace. The Boston classic: apple crisp and maple bacon donuts from Union Square Donuts. Or how about a crisp Downeast Pumpkin Blend to round out your evening? Our absolute favorite solo activity? Surprise, it’s cooking. With the rich flavors and spices available at farm stands and markets far and wide this time of year, it’s the perfect time to dive into some new recipes. Bring the tour straight to your kitchen.
Some recipe inspiration to get you started:
Wild rice and Kale Stuffed Delicata Squash - Delish Knowledge
Pumpkin Twists - The Novice Chef
Cranberries, Three Ways - WBUR
For those that want their fall treats with a side of R&R this season - as well as our very own chef-created specialties - you know the drill! Give us a call. We’d love to cook for you, your family, or your next big party. Cheers to a new season!
September 25, 2019
Oktoberfest starts as soon as the sun goes down on August 31st. And while we may not have the historical records to back that up, we do have the court of public opinion, which loves to kick off the fall with some quality craft beer. It’s as familiar to fall in New England as pumpkin picking, football tailgating, and road trips to Salem. And who better to guide us on an autumnal journey of complex flavors and hefty ABV than our very own Tiny Spoon Chef and brewery veteran, Chef Matt.
While Matt’s not a licensed beer sommelier, he has worked in multiple breweries, socials clubs, restaurants, and as a personal chef over the course of his career - so it’s fair to say he’s dabbled. An important caveat: he doesn’t believe in beer snobbery. No gatekeeping or beer-shaming here, which, frankly, is a welcome break. Just some real-life favorites from your local foodie with a passion for fermentation. Gone are the days of Googling “beer near me” for recommendations, folks (seriously - it’s a top hit on Google) - here are the Tiny Spoon top 5 picks in Greater Boston this fall:
Already located in Salem, Notch is basically begging you to kick off your fall beer tour with them. A tap room founded on the dream of fitting session beer (read: beer with low ABV) into the “U.S.’s hoppy beer infatuation,” Notch is all about really good flavor without an instant hangover. Put simply on their website, “beer enhances our times together, session beer extends them.” Good beer, good friends, and no regrets.
Tucked in the corner of Somerville’s Bow Market, Remnant has the kind of atmosphere (and indoor-outdoor garage door setup) that makes you want to stick around and hang out - and a beer list that basically requires it. While they likely have an IPA or two on draft, they’re equally “passionate about funky saisons, using local and wild ingredients,” meaning they’ll “always have something interesting resting in a barrel.” Their Dream Pop oat ale - Chef Matt’s #1 pick at the moment - is currently on draft. Rumor has it that you may even recognize a familiar face at the bar...
If you’re more comfortable tailgating than you are discussing the nuanced brightness of a craft brew, then Parlor Sports might be the perfect place to test the waters. With an unassuming, comfortable vibe, a game on TV, and a program of local, American, and international craft offerings, it checks off the “good beer, no snobbery” box for the less seasoned beer explorers among us.
A local favorite that’s been getting pretty big as of late is Night Shift. What started as a homebrewing project in a residential kitchen in Somerville is now a decently large distributor - having retained all the passion for interesting and flavorful beer options as it started out with in 2007. Highlights include a great selection of fruity sours and, of course, a variety of New England pale ales. Night Shift tap rooms are currently open on Lovejoy Wharf and in Everett.
Okay fine, this one is technically a restaurant, but it deserves an honorable mention for its killer local beer list. With craft brews from Maine, New York, and all around the Northeast, its commitment to sourcing locally is matched only by its dinner menu, which adheres to a local and sustainable standard. So please, pair your cast iron cheddar cornbread with an extra Belgian saison. It’s for the sake of local industry.