It’s lunchtime at Republic Café, and most of the tables are full by noon, including the outdoor tables. A local grower drops off a box of oyster mushrooms the size of tortillas, and a “last of the season” cod shipment is due in from the Gulf of Maine later that night.
Menu specials are recited by servers, including which local farm their menu items originated from.
Chef Edward Aloise at Republic wouldn’t have it any other way.
His speciality is locally-sourced ingredients, from beef and goat cheese, to flora and fauna. This is exactly what has put him on the local restaurant map, and he does it because it’s the way he believes food should be done.
Yes, it takes more time and effort than most eateries have to give. Aloise says he won’t skimp, or take shortcuts when it comes to partnering with local farms for the freshest, most local ingredients available.
“Right now we can name the provenance of everything on your plate, including the flowers,” says Aloise.
Republic has a European air with a Mediterranean flair, offering daily blackboard specials as well as go-to menu staples, like the cold antipasti – your choice of three petit dishes for $10.
If it’s not one of your favorite downtown restaurants, you probably haven’t been there yet. So go, already.
Republic Café is located at 1069 Elm Street, Manchester, NH. Hours: Kitchen – Sunday-Thursday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. / Friday & Saturday 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. / Cocktails: Sunday-Thursday until 10 p.m. / Friday-Saturday until 11 p.m.