A Great Farm to Table Restaurant

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | April 26th, 2010 | Restaurant News

I had an interview scheduled with Ed Aloise last Monday at 10:00 a.m.  Ed is the co-owner and restaurant manager of Republic in Manchester, New Hampshire.  I arrived at the designated time and was informed that Ed was not there but would return shortly.  My initial impression was that perhaps he had forgotten the interview.  However, after a few moments waiting, I received a phone call from Ed; he hadn’t forgotten.  However, his restaurant had had a greater crowd than anticipated over the weekend. Therefore, he was trying to restock before Monday’s lunch diners arrived.

When Ed arrived a little after ten, we were able to talk about Republic and what it takes to run a restaurant such as this.  Located in New Hampshire, it is difficult to provide all produce locally throughout the year.  However, all of the proteins, such as beef, lamb, chicken, and eggs, are from farms within a 100 mile radius of the restaurant.

There are fabulous benefits to using local sources.  All animals are grain fed and free range.  Orders for meat are placed on a Monday, the animals are slaughtered on Tuesday, and the meat is delivered later in the week.  How many restaurants can boast that their food is that fresh?  Not only does this provide delicious food for the diners, it helps the local economy.

Ed and his wife, Claudia Rippee, have been in the restaurant business for quite some time.  If you’ve lived in New Hampshire in the past two decades, you should be familiar with their work. They owned and operated Café Pavone in Manchester from 1990-2000.  They also operate Milltowne Grille at the Manchester Airport. In addition to running restaurants, they have a consulting firm, E & C Hospitality Consulting Services.

The menu at Republic is filled with a wonderful variety of Mediterranean inspired dishes. The term Mediterranean is used loosely, as menu items were inspired from travels to Spain, Italy, Lebanon, Greece, the Czech Republic, and France.  Having dined at this restaurant a few times, I can vouch for the excellence and freshness of the food on the menu.  To read about a typical lunch here, read our February review.  From amazing hand cut frites to a delicious tuna and egg panini to scrumptious freshly baked pastries, there are so many wonderful meals to try.

While running a farm to table restaurant may mean that you need to spend a morning driving to the local fish market or trying to locate some locally raised chickens, it seems well worth it to me.  The dining experience that these fresh ingredient provides is absolutely delightful.

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