Last night, Luke and I needed a break from cooking, so we headed to our favorite restaurant in Manchester, Republic Cafe. I love Republic not only because their food is delicious, but because it is a “certified local” restaurant. All of their meats are from farms in New England, and their vegetables are also from local farms if they are in season. Quality ingredients really add to the wonderful flavors of all of their dishes. It’s great to know that we can go out to eat and know where our food is coming from!
Our meals were both exceptional, as usual, and it actually may have actually been the best meal we’ve had at Republic to date (and we go there a LOT). We started off with an antipasti, “Whipped Fresh Spicy Feta with harissa” served with grilled pita bread. It’s my go to appetizer, and very similar (but a little better :)) than the Spicy Feta Red Pepper Dip that I make at home.
For dinner, I had the grilled atlantic swordfish (a special) which was topped with an eggplant tapenade, and served with saffron parmesan risotto and roasted brussels sprouts, and a blood orange gastrique and hot harissa sauce on the side. It was delicious! The swordfish was cooked to perfection, the risotto was creamy and cheesy as it should be, and the brussels sprouts were really enhanced by the blood orange gastrique. I wasn’t a huge fan of the harissa sauce, but it was on the side so it did not take away from the dish at all. Overall, it was extremely good and I wish they would add it to their regular menu.
Though we always switch our entree plates halfway through our meals – so really we shared – Luke had another special, New Hampshire grass-fed short ribs (beef) served with fingerling potatoes with capers, olives and lemon, and topped with crispy shallots and jus. The beef was braised for six hours and it was scrumptious! It was also a large serving, so Luke gets to enjoy the leftovers today :).
We’re always too full for dessert, so that was our delicious meal! If you live in New Hampshire or are ever in the area, I would highly recommend grabbing a bite at Republic. Their food is delicious, their staff and owners are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, and the restaurant has a great philosophy of serving high quality local food.
I’m off to get some errands done and a workout in, but I’ll be back later today with a great recipe for all you dog lovers out there, per Teddy’s request :).