Manchester Bites: March Madness

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The first leg of March saw many of us ditch our winter coats and look toward the spring. As we shift from cold and blustery to warm and breezy, new restaurants and outdoor events will begin to take on new life once again. Add the imminence of St. Patrick’s Day and Maple Weekend, and there’s plenty to celebrate.

From Corned Beef Specials to the opening of a New Indian Restaurant, here’s some prominent food news for our most transitional month.

Luck of the Irish

Several restaurants around town are to offer Irish-inspired nosh on St. Patrick’s Day. New England’s Tap House Grill in Hooksett is celebrating from 3/16-3/18 with specials such as “Reuben Balls”, Fish and Chips and Corned Beef and Cabbage. House Made desserts include Baileys Irish Cream Cheesecake and Guinness Cake.

Manchester’s The Derryfield Restaurant will be stockpiling the corned beef to be served as traditional corned beef and cabbage and sandwiches. From 6:30-9:30, the space will feature live music from Eric Grant.

The Shaskeen, Manchester’s premier Irish pub and music venue, will host their own celebration, replete with traditional food and drink. For those not yet comfortable with going out, they’re also offering a to-go package of a corned beef dinner and two cans of Guinness. The pub is also hosting a variety of tastings and “Keep the Glass” promos throughout the month of March. Check their Facebook for more info.

The Shaskeen is ready for Take Out Tuesday with a corned beef special that includes “two cans” of Guinness and glassware while it lasts.

For a more refined Irish-inspired celebration, visit Labelle Winery’s Amherst location on 3/13 for their St. Patrick’s Day Beer Dinner featuring

Able Ebenezer Brewing Co. A Labelle Wine and an Ebenezer beer will be paired with each course. Additionally, Labelle will be hosting a St. Patrick’s Day-themed cooking class through their “Winemaker’s Kitchen” series on 3/17. The socially-distanced, demo-style class includes instruction for three dishes with samples and wine pairings. 

March Maple 

March is Maple Sugaring Month in New Hampshire. Organized by New Hampshire Maple Producers Association, the month highlights the flowing of sap from trees throughout the month of March, when the weather is optimal for syrup production. This is the best time of year to support local producers by purchasing their products, which you can often do right at the source.

This year’s maple weekend will take place 3/20-3/21. Many local, independent Syrup producers across the state will open the operations for tours and samples. Visit to find a sugarhouse near you.

Burger Madness!

The Philly Cheesesteak burger at Backyard Brewey is a 1/2lb. Burger topped with sautéed onions and peppers tossed in beer cheese with arugula on a pretzel roll.

You’ve heard of March Madness, right? Well, Manchester’s Backyard Brewery is holding their second annual March Burger Madness. Each member of the BB kitchen team was given complete creative freedom in developing a burger, all of which are being made available to the public. The burgers, all $15, will compete in a bracket-style competition based on sales. There may be no better time to belly-up to a burger.

Destination: India

Destination India, a brand-new Indian restaurant located in downtown Derry, recently opened their doors to the public. They’ll be holding an official ribbon-cutting ceremony 3/12,  at 11 a.m. As Derry’s only Indian restaurant, it’s the premier destination for authentic flatbreads breads such as naan and paratha, tandoori dishes, curries and more. Vegetarian options are plentiful. 

Sugar Bombs

Remember those hot cocoa bombs that everyone went insane over recently? Well Culture, a from-scratch sandwich shop located in Milford, is taking the trend a step further by introducing “Sundae Bombs.” These milk chocolate shells come filled with popular sundae toppings like oreos, M&Ms and sprinkles. Prop one on some ice cream, pour hot fudge or caramel sauce over the top, and watch them melt, unveiling a cove of goods inside. These little dessert TNT’s will be available in the shop’s pastry case starting the week of 3/14.

Got foodie news to share? Send it to Nicholas VonShantz Ricci at for a future edition of Manchester Bites.

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Nicholas VonSchantz Ricci VonSchantz-Ricci