Taste time in Nashua
Annual downtown event grows and divides
By Linda A. Thompson-Odum firstname.lastname@example.org
For the 16th year, the first Wednesday in June is the day to sample the best flavors of the Gate City at the Taste of Downtown Nashua. On June 2, the second-longest-running food event in New Hampshire will match some of the best and newest restaurants with local businesses so participants can enjoy terrific food and check out some of the city’s top retail shops. It’s a great way to try new cuisine or revisit favorites, and to look for the latest in retail goods.
This year features a record 29 restaurant participants, so many that a change was made in the schedule. Instead of dividing the route by entrees and desserts, this year it is divided into north and south. The locations stretch from 221 Main St. north to Railroad Square. The southern section will serve from 6 to 8 p.m., and the northern section will serve from 7 to 9 p.m.
Great American Downtown executive director Sue Butler said, “We ask a lot of the restaurants. They spend hours preparing the food and moving it to the location. And the money they spend is a big investment on their end. We’re grateful to them for doing it.”
Chef Joe Drift of the Saffron Bistro plans to serve mini lobster sliders for the evening: “There are almost 1,000 people, so we wanted something they could get quick,” he said. This is the third year his restaurant has participated.
“It’s a great night and it brings a lot of people into downtown,” Drift said.
This will be Café Europa’s first year to participate, but chef Rich Girard has been a part of Taste for the past three years as chef of the Black Orchid. He isn’t certain yet what he will serve, but said, “I’ll do something to showcase what I do here at lunch. Probably a sandwich and dessert item.”
For a newer business like Pearl St. Pizza, the evening is a way to introduce the restaurant to the community. Owner Wayne Atkinson plans to serve samples of his homemade chicken salad and pizza slices, and to make sure guests know about his ice cream and that he delivers everywhere in the area.
“I’m hoping everybody that attends will come into the restaurant. I want people to get an awareness of the homemade food we do, not the frozen stuff that comes off a truck,” Atkinson said.
This year’s participants include:
• Bellavance Beverage Co. serving within 3 Basketeers Boutique
• Café Europa serving within Cardin Jewelers
• Café India serving within The Nelson Building
• Caribbean Restaurant serving within Hamblett & Kerrigan P.A.
• Cooking Matters serving within Cooking Matters
• Crosby Bakery serving within Herner Chiropractic
• Edible Arrangements serving within Hampshire First Bank
• Fody’s Tavern serving within Bippity Boppity Baby
• Giant of Siam serving within Just Lights
• King David Coffee Roasters serving within The Hunt Building
• Margaritas serving within Triangle Credit Union
• Martha’s Exchange serving within TD Bank
• Michael Timothy’s & Surf serving within Pompanoosuc Mills
• Patisserie Bleu serving within The Hunt Building
• Pearl St. Pizza serving within 3 Basketeers Boutique
• Saffron Bistro serving within Fresh of Nashua
• San Francisco Kitchen serving within Fortin Gage Flowers
• Shaw’s Supermarket Bakery serving within Bank of America
• Stella Blu serving within Splash Bath Showrooms
• Swan Chocolates serving within Verde Salon
• Tacos Colima Mexican Restaurant serving within Slawsby Insurance
• The Peddler’s Daughter serving within The Nashua Bank
• The Sausage King of Nashua serving within Studio Mark Emile
• Thousand Crane II serving within Burque Jewelers
• Timber Grille serving within Ewe’ll Love It
• Unums serving within beckonings
• Villa Banca serving within Scontsas Fine Jewelry & Home Decor
• WineNot Boutique serving within WineNot Boutique
The event also features a cocktail hour from 4 to 6 p.m. Most of the participating restaurants with bars will have special offers for Taste ticket-holders. And once again there will be a special Taste raffle. Prizes include hotel packages, a vintage-style tandem bicycle, Chunky’s Cinema & Pub passes, gift certificates to downtown businesses, and beauty-spa packages. More prizes may be added; keep an eye on the Great American Downtown Nashua website, www.downtownnashua.org.
Tickets cost $30 ($35 on the day of the event.) They can be purchased online or at these locations:
• Great American Downtown, 92 Main St., Suite 103
• Alec’s Shoe Store, 201 Main St.
• Bippity Boppity Baby, 86 Main St.
• Fortin Gage Flowers & Gifts, 86 West Pearl St.
• Scontsas Fine Jewelry & Home Decor, 169 Main St.
• The Nashua Bank, 188 Main St.
“This is one of those great, feel-good events where everyone’s in a great mood,” Butler said. “People are wandering around downtown sampling great food. It’s that sense of community and trying someplace you haven’t tried before.