NASHUA, NH – Longtime caterers Jason and Stacy Lamountain recently celebrated the grand opening of City Moose Cafe and Catering in downtown Nashua. City Moose Cafe held its soft opening on April 9, and celebrated its grand opening on April 20, 2018.
Prior to opening the cafe, Jason was educated at the Culinary Institute of America, and worked at the Marriott’s Flagship Cooperation in New Orleans, Tupelo Music Hall, and most recently, City Moose Catering in 2016.
City Moose Cafe can be found at 30 Temple Street, suite 202. Ample off-street parking is available in the back of the building (note: parking is numbered but not assigned!). When asked about selection of location, Jason stated that he met with the property manager who had an opening in Nashua’s Premiere Commercial Office Suites. Sampling of food was arranged and planning began around October of 2017 when the deal was solidified. About six months of preparatory work went into effect, including contacting local farmers, vendors and representatives about product and ingredient selections.
The grand opening was bustling with curious customers taking in the cafe for the first time. City Moose Cafe has a modern yet rustic feel upon entry – a combination of metal and wooden tables, New Hampshire-themed decor and aerial shots of the Greater Nashua Area shot via drone hang on the walls. A running list of local ingredient-sourcing locations is listed on the wall by the counter. The cafe has a warm and sunny ambiance, with natural sunlight flooding in through large windows from all corners of the room – pleasant and welcoming vibes.
Major renovations began once Jason and Stacy became the tenant of suite 202, as they were more than ready to bring their dream cafe to life.
“We rebuilt the entire counter area for checkout. A bench was installed along the wall around the room and barn board was added under the windows. New light fixtures were added into the ceiling and custom boards were brought in to make some of the signs,” said Jason “Really the only thing we didn’t change was the flooring. Some of the tables are made from real wood while others are metal. We really wanted that rustic feel and purposely selected bigger tables for family-style seating.”
Beyond the renovations, City Moose Cafe is committed to serving up only locally-sourced, farm fresh ingredients. When discussing menu creation and ingredients, Jason said it’s not a competition with existing eateries – and he believes he’s filled a niche.
“Downtown Nashua has a great amount of restaurants. We really did not want to compete with dinner, but recognized a need for more breakfast and lunch locations. We wanted to offer quality-driven food that is both locally sourced and fresh. Frankly, as a chef, we get excited about food that is farm fresh and in season,” says Jason. “It makes a great connection when I can speak face-to-face with farmers who have a passion for growing. And I have a passion for cooking. It just makes a great connection. You’ll find that everything is delivered fresh: produce, meats, etc. Usually only picked within the last two days max.”
Jason and Stacy are also offering up their cafe as a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) drop-off location, where farmers can drop off a bundle of produce each week in the form of cross promotion.
A note on City Moose Cafe’s website explains what they see as the benefit of choosing their cafe as a CSA drop off:
“Companies have a vested interest in keeping their employees happy and healthy and a CSA share is a great way to extend benefits to their employees. This may be as simple as a workplace will agree to be a drop point for your CSA and tell their employees about your program. 30 Temple Street currently has about 200 employees in the building Monday – Friday. This is like so many of the best CSA marketing approaches: it allows your farm to capitalize on networks that already exist rather than needing to build your own.”
One farm has already signed on so far and they are looking forward to getting the word out and expanding their CSA network!
Even though they’ve only been opened a few weeks, Jason says there are some favorite menu items emerging.
“Our most popular sandwich right now seems to be the Chicken Caprese Panini. It’s got fresh marinated chicken, pesto mayonnaise, mozzarella, thick tomato slices on ciabatta. The Farm House Salad has also been our most popular salad so far with roasted butternut squash, hydroponic greens, dried cranberries, local blue cheese crumbles and candied walnuts with apple cider vinaigrette,” Jason says.
“Most of our items are simple with four to five ingredients, max. At lunch time, you’ll have a hard time getting a meal downtown in less than an hour. Our goal is to beat that. We want people to be able to come in to the City Moose Cafe and get a fresh hot meal in less than 15 minutes,” Jason says.
I asked what his favorite meal was to cook. Jason said the Reuben, hands down – with fresh corned beef, local swiss cheese and sauerkraut.
“Such a simple sandwich but still with quality,” says Jason. We tried hard to make sure the menu provides a good lunch for $10-$15. A good sized sandwich with chips and a pickle to get your money’s worth with a fresh drink too.”
A few tidbits:
- The City Moose Cafe is doubling as a catering service for activities ranging from simple family functions to more elaborate weddings and corporate events. Jason noted that they have already been catering corporate lunches on a regular basis, sometimes serving over 100 people at one event. For more information on catering services, contact City Moose Cafe at 603-413-0060 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org/catering!
- With Mother’s Day fast approaching, be sure to check out their special Mother’s Day Menu and make a reservation. The City Moose Cafe is working hard to dish up a fresh delight for the whole family!
For the full menu be sure to check out: http://www.citymoosenh.com/cafe-menu/. City Moose Cafe is open Monday – Friday: Breakfast is served 7 – 11:30 a.m.; Lunch is served 11:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Alec Biron is a general reporter for ManchesterInkLink and will also be reviving the Manchester Bites foodie beat. He enjoys covering local events and highlighting spots to dine and unwind! Other topics of interest include education, real estate, and writing op/ed pieces. Alec graduated from Southern New Hampshire University in May of 2017 with his B.S. in Business Administration and currently works as a STEM advisor at SNHU for online students. In his spare time he enjoys hiking, reading, running and traveling to new places. Email Alec at email@example.com with story tips and foodie trends.