Shaker Village gets a new restaurant
Communal comfort food is the goal
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
The restaurant at Canterbury Shaker Village has changed its name and ownership.
The new Greenwood’s at Canterbury Shaker Village will offer a Shaker-style dining experience with comfort foods at an affordable price.
“We are trying to keep the menu as close to Shaker true as we can but also make it palatable for today’s diner,” co-owner Robert Adams said.
Adams and his business partner, Chef Adam Olson, have been with the Village and the previous restaurant’s management for the past four years. Adams managed the restaurant while Olson took care of the kitchen. They learned what worked well in the Village setting and what didn’t cut it, and have made two significant changes for Greenwood’s.
First, communal seating has returned. The Shaker dining tradition had villagers called to a meal together where they would sit at long tables to enjoy the repast. Greenwood’s guests will gather together at communal tables like the Shakers of old, except the modern-day diners will be able to share their experiences and travels with their tablemates, whereas the Shakers ate in silence.
“We’re trying to recreate the Shaker dining experience of everyone sitting together. We want people to discuss what they’ve seen or are going to see” at the Village, Adams said.
The second major change is affordability. All the entrees are priced at $9.99, and the soup, salad, and desserts are all $4.99. Diners can enjoy a complete three-course meal for $17.99 and still make it to their Village tour.
The entrée selection is full of Shaker favorites, such as the popular macaroni and cheese made with local cheeses; chicken pot pie with roasted chicken, potatoes and vegetables in an herb gravy topped with a flaky crust; New England pot roast in a savory sour cream herb gravy; and the traditional Shaker fish and eggs, a dish of baked haddock layered with hard boiled eggs, potatoes, and cream. Olson said the dishes are “what people were expecting when they came to visit. We want them to experience Shaker cuisine. They had fantastic food.”
The restaurant serves beer and wine and will only be open for four lunch seatings each day, which have been coordinated with the Village to allow guests to enjoy a meal before or after a tour. It was a system Adams and Olson created to work with the bus tours from all over the world that come to the Village on a near-daily basis throughout the summer season. The restaurant will no longer be open for dinner except for special events such as the traditional candlelight dinners.
Olson is an area native who spent part of his childhood in Canterbury. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and worked for some of the New Hampshire’s best restaurants, including the Carriage House in Rye. His focus is on the use of local products from area farmers and culinary artisans.
Adams has been a front-of-the-house restaurant guy since he was a breakfast server at age 16. Also from the area — Northfield — he is a farmer in “real life,” raising fiber animals such as angora goats and Icelandic sheep. He also grows produce used in the restaurant.
The restaurant gets its name from the last Shaker brother to live in the Village, Irving Greenwood, whose picture hangs in the lobby.