Hampton Falls, NH: Applecrest Farm Bistro

Let's Eat by Kitty Kaufman

applecrest farm Applecrest Farm Bistro in August is how we like it: bees, flowers, goats, alpacas, ice cream, fruit, wine, pastry and vegetables. They've been growers for years but the restaurant's just a year in. Roseanna and I are having the last lunch of summer, outside. (We park under apple trees with fruit that's still green. Since we were there, they harvested Jersey Macs, Paula Reds and Gravensteins.) They say they're the largest, oldest apple orchard in New Hampshire; the apples and everything else are new.

happy chef It's lunch, and server Rebecca's got us seated on the slate 50-seat patio. Here's a wide open menu: charcuterie, cheese, field and garden salads and pickled vegetables. Sandwiches: vegetable panini, pastrami, a wrap of chicken salad, burgers, and lobster rolls. We did lobster last lunch so we're going land. Roseanna's turkey has bacon, lettuce we guess was grown here, ditto tomato, cheddar and arugula pesto on gluten-free toast. She slathers my herbed mayo; maybe they forgot the pesto, I don't know. The turkey's from Misty Knoll, a farm in New Haven, VT.

blueberry nice turkey

Blueberry basil soda is, we guess, their blueberries. It's cool, without being sweet. Basil, which I pair with tomatoes and cheese, does have a fruit lean. If we're in health mode, and when are we not, we would say this many berries cancel out any amount of bacon. Would beer? And it's not the Cheesecake; no auto refills, not that you could drink another.

Pity the purist, who has not had a BLT in two years, finding Applewood bacon, lettuce and tomato on bread that's spent quality time on the grill. (They offer it with chicken or a fried egg, but why?) Applewood can mean smoking bacon with wood from apple trees. Or not. (There is an Applewood Farm in East Chatham, NY where they have pigs but pigs are not their main business so it's not them.) Sandwiches come with pickle, apple slaw and chips made here. Forget sweet pickles, but the slaw's a winner with creamy cider dressing. Today's super-salty thick chips sit in a vat by the kitchen. They come in a bag on your plate.

bare blt There's dinner, dessert and a full bar none of which we had. After lunch, shop fruit, vegetables, and baked stuff like hot cider donuts, which are a thing here. There are cheeses, some of which they make, and provisions you expect to find like honey, jam and syrup. They grow peaches, berries, sweet corn and pumpkins not all of which are ready today. But there are peppers, onions, beets, carrots, lettuce, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. In addition to a happy lunch, today brings home again how much better food is when it comes without the train ride.

onions beets


Though we like it better when animals are free, the barn does front on Exeter Road. Everyone looks well, despite a New Hampshire summer that's been drier than Massachusetts. Animals seem used to having company and pay us no mind. Right by this barn is the ice cream stand or as they call it, the creamery. Ice cream is made by Memories, also on Exeter Road in Kingston, that uses Applecrest's fruit and cream "from happy cows."

farm friends

Plan on picking apples through September and pumpkins through October. You can design and pick your own flowers; they are magnificent.

to pick and buy

Applecrest Farm Bistro
133 Exeter Rd
Hampton Falls, NH 03844
603. 926. 0006

© September 9, 2016 Roseanna Spizziri knows food and wine and she cooks. Kitty Kaufman is a Boston writer. See more of their adventures at Corporate Edge and follow Kitty on Twitter
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