Every house on the Holiday House Tour was a star. But the kitchens were really special for the season, filled with little trees decorated with slices of tangerine, cookies and candies. Stacks of cookbooks. Fireplaces were lit. Tables set and ready.
Ornaments were food related in so many of the kitchens and houses we visited. So much so that I was soon getting hungry just looking at all of them. One tree was hung entirely with antique forks, knives and spoons.
And this table was brilliantly set for the kind of meal I would love to have served at Christmas: escargot!
There were grand wreaths of bay leaves and rosemary. And more culinary ornaments! Doesn't the chef on the right look like Bobby Flay?!
There were huge glass cloches with impossibly scrumptious looking cakes and cookies within. Wines lined up on the counter next to festive glasses. And one house had a wine cellar inviting us in for a peak.
So after hours of viewing homes and kitchens and taking pictures and drooling over the foodie presentations, my girlfriend Susan and I decided it was time to head out for dinner.
We ended up at Safron Bistro in Nashua, New Hampshire. I had never been before and she was certain I would like it.
Yes, please! We slid up to the bar and claimed our quiet space. It was early and in a way it was perfect with few people there. Our bartender was a fun person and a foodie, so the three of us ended up talking about each and every dish on the menu and how it was made. Then Chef Joe Drift came out and since Susan knew him he joined us to talk about how he trained with a chef from Lyon.
We ended up sharing everything, as we usually do. First, Risotto Balls with Ricotta. They were light as air. A cloud in the mouth. Less rice, and more ricotta. Heavenly.
After my spying the escargot forks at one of the tables at the Holiday House Tour I had escargot on my mind and wow, Saffron Bistro had some. Huge. Amazing lobster buttery saffron flavored deep sauce. This dish was a winner in every way. Going back for more!
Then we split a simple Caesar Salad. I am a huge fan of Caesar Salad and am continually disappointed when I order it out. Not here. Wow again. Lemony. And the chef used the fresh vinegary white anchovies, not the mushy brown ones out of a can. So it had a zing and then a crunch of cold romaine lettuce….well, yes, I am going back again for some more!
Ok, so we had talked for hours, toured houses, and had a great dinner out. Next? Put up the tree!!! We drove back to Susan's house and did just that. However, she had received a wonderful gift and wanted to share it with me. So while we put up and lit her tree we had a night cap made from the same roots and herbs that root beer is made from. It was made by a friend of hers. It was called: ROOT.
Saffron Bistro, 80 Main Street, Nashua, NH