‘Dinner on Main Street’ is Sunday

NASHUA – This week, full truckloads of fresh produce are being delivered to downtown restaurants so they can stock their kitchens to prep for feeding roughly 300 people at this year’s “Dinner on Main Street.”

Now in its fourth year, Great American Downtown’s Dinner on Main Street is a fundraising event, which invites hundreds of people to dine outside in the middle of Main Street, sharing a six-course meal created by local chefs with local ingredients.

The meal will start with Stella Blu’s hor d’oeuvres of roasted tomatoes, marinated mushrooms and red pepper hummus, served with Great Harvest Bread Company’s black olive focaccia. That will be paired with a lemon basil breeze cocktail or Liquid Therapy’s Special Brew.

The first course, prepared by Odd Fellow’s Brewing Company, will be a watermelon gazpacho with tomato, cucumber, roasted poblano peppers and smoked feta cheese.

The second course will be an autumn harvest salad by CodeX B.A.R, featuring kale, honey roasted root vegetables, truffle black garlic croutons, local cheddar and a jalapeno wine vanilla vinaigrette.

The third course, Riverside BBQ’s hickory-smoked chicken thigh, will be served with Birch White BBQ sauce over charred corn succotash.

The fourth course is a vegan, cashew ricotta stuffed zucchini. It will include cauliflower, peas, red onion, tomatoes, polenta croutons, orange supreme and a coconut red curry sauce.

The final meal course will be a braised beef short rib from Fratello’s featuring sweet potato napoleon, autumn squash ribbons, lightly fried leeks, cherry-cranberry port wine gastrique.

The dessert course will be provided by JajaBelle’s and will include three small offerings of a local peaches and cream bar, coconut macaroon and baklava.

Local wine and beer pairings will be available for each course at an additional cost.

Event coordinator Shaunae Nolet is working with local farmers from places such as Gate City Farms, Country Dreams Farms and others to provide fresh produce. Even the watermelon for the gazpacho is locally sourced, she said.

The event is Sunday and begins with a cocktail hour at 3:30 p.m., with dinner to follow.

There will be live entertainment from the Nick Goumas Quartet, a welcome from chef Michael Buckley and a presentation from Isabelle Gates, the co-founder of Banyan Branch Farm. Each dinner features a local farmer to talk about his or her business and what it means to be part of the community, Nolet said.

Gates, 17, and fellow student and friend Kylie Braunius, recently launched Banyan Branch Farm. It is a small farming business and community supported agriculture-style operation on a 4,000-square-foot plot of land and a greenhouse at Sullivan Farm, the last freestanding farm in the city of Nashua.

Gates will be joined by Andrew Morin, director of ReGenerative Roots, who mentored the girls and helped get Banyan Branch up and running.

Nolet lauded the “orchestra” of the local restaurants working together for a planning process that takes several months.

“It’s an experience like nothing else,” she said.

“When you’re all sitting together in a family-style setting, breaking bread together… it’s the most connected you can get,” to your community, Nolet said.

Tickets are still on sale. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit http://downtownnashua.org/local/eatlocal/, or call 883-5700.

Hannah LaClaire can be reached at 594-1243 or hlaclaire@nashuatelegraph.com.