Six courses on Main Street

Annual farm-to-table event serves 300

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Great American Downtown executive director Paul Shea welcomes the 300 diners to Sunday's fourth annual Dinner on Main Street as servers began bringing out the first of six courses.

NASHUA – For about four hours Sunday afternoon, Mayor Jim Donchess and Ward 4 Alderman Tom Lopez saw first-hand just how hectic things can get for the men and women who serve food for a living.

Joined by a team of professional servers who also volunteered their time, Donchess and Lopez took part in the well-choreographed process that, for the fourth year on Sunday, brought some 300 people six courses each of some of the best farm-to-table culinary creations to be found in Greater Nashua.

Dinner on Main Street, a unique fundraiser for Nashua’s Great American Downtown, has had a habit of filling to the 300-person capacity since it made its debut.

Sunday was no exception, as GAD executive director Paul Shea observed while welcoming the diners.

“We’ve got 300 people out here in the middle of Main Street,” Shea said before introducing the first course of the evening: roasted tomatoes, marinated mushrooms and red pepper hummus from Stella Blu, accompanied by Great Harvest Bread Company’s black olive focaccia.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Travis Tessier of Odd Fellows Brewing Company, one of several local restaurants that took part in Sunday's Dinner on Main Street, helps prepare the appetizer course, one of six courses that patrons were served at the fourth annual event.

Shaunae Nolet, the event’s coordinator, likened the months-long planning process to an “orchestra” of individual contributions that all came together on Sunday.

The family-style setting “is an experience like nothing else,” Nolet said.

Milford residents Rocky Cardalisco and Barbara Cochrane, along with Carel Chapman of Nashua, found the unique seating arrangement different and enjoyable.

Looking for a way to capture themselves in the moment, Cardalisco handed a passerby his phone and asked him to take a photo of them.

Donchess, when he finally got a chance to take a break from his guest service duties, praised Shea and the others who put everything together.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Sitting at the end of one of the long rows of tables set up in the middle of Main Street Sunday, Rocky Cardalisco, left, Barbara Cochrane, right, and Carel Chapman, second from right, begin the salad course with other patrons at the annual Dinner on Main Street event.

“It’s always a wonderful event,” he said. “Everyone I’ve talked with is really enjoying themselves.”

Dean Shalhoup can be reached at 594-1256, dshalhoup@nashuatelegraph.com or @Telegraph_DeanS.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Assisted by Mayor Jim Donchess, Janette Lopez serves the soup course to guests at Sunday's Dinner on Main Street, the fourth year Great American Downtown has put on the unique, farm-to-table event.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup MT's Local server Aquiel Porter begins serving the soup course to Dinner on Main Street patrons seated at one of the long tables in the middle of Main Street Sunday afternoon. Six courses were served by the time the event wound down around 7 p.m.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Sitting at the end of one of the long rows of tables set up in the middle of Main Street Sunday, Rocky Cardalisco, left, Barbara Cochrane, right, and Carel Chapman, second from right, begin the salad course with other patrons at the annual Dinner on Main Street event.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Server Janette Lopez, with tne assistance of guest server Mayor Jim Donchess, delivers the soup course to Barbara Cochrane of Milford and Nashua resident Carel Chapman at the outset of Sunday's fourth Dinner on Main Street event.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Nashua Alderman Tom Lopez, right, a guest server at Sunday's Dinner on Main Street, and Great American Downtown director Paul Shea scan the field of patrons to make sure everyone was served the salad course. All 300 tickets were sold for the fourth annual event.

Staff photo by Dean Shalhoup Servers undertake the task of distributing 300 bowls of soup to each of the patrons sitting at long tables in the middle of Main Street Sunday. Six courses in all were served during the fourth annual Dinner on Main Street.