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Dining … in the Green

at Ariana’s Restaurant is Memorable

By N. R. Mallery 

Martin Murphy is the chef-owner of Ariana’s Restaurant, at the Bunton Farm in Orford, New Hampshire. A passionate lifelong goal with over thirty years of experience have finally allowed Chef Martin to create a nice warm and friendly space where people can enjoy each other’s company and experience well-prepared food.

When asked where their name came from, Murphy answered, “Ariana is my daughter’s name. It is an old Celtic custom to name your business or interests in the names of your children.”

Wine Dinners are held every other month.
They have become very popular and frequently book up
a month or so in advance so call well ahead of time.
The dinners are a 5-course meal
pairing a different wine with each course.
Starting at 6 p.m., the cost is $65 per person,
which includes meals tax but not gratuity.

Trained in classical French cooking, Chef Martin enjoys venturing into Asian and Mediterranean flavors as well. “My favorite food to prepare is seafood and you will always see an assortment of seafood selections on the menu.” They offer simple well-prepared choices, and also more complex options such as one house specialty: Seared sea scallops with mushroom and Gorgonzola risotto finished with truffle vinaigrette.

The small menu focuses on seasonal, quality and local ingredients, when in season. It is friendly to those with gluten intolerance or other allergies, and regularly features vegetarian dishes.

Hand-selected wine at Ariana’s is a nice mix of different varietals of both red and white that also changes with the season.

Beautiful local produce that is available in the Upper Valley, such as micro greens (perhaps even some lettuce that he and his wife grow) reflect the seasonal menu. One such item is their popular vegan mushroom and arugula soup, and another is a new lamb dish with a healthy mixed rice and grain pilaf with a house-cured and smoked pork chop from Niman Ranch, Robie Farm or Winsome Farm Organics.

Martin relishes creating cuisine from many of the local farms, and is influenced by the seasonal harvest, including from the dairy farm that he leases for the restaurant which is owned by the Balch family who raise Devon cows.

Martin says, “My passion is fresh, seasonal, high quality ingredients. I work closely with farms from the local valley for much of my vegetables, dairy and some meats. I still need to purchase some proteins from outside the local community but I do source healthy, sustainable and free-of- antibiotics ingredients for Ariana’s.”

Beyond the beer and wines, they include natural sodas without high-fructose corn syrup, iced tea and lemonade on the menu.

When asked about her experience at Ariana’s, Leslie Battistoni, of Bradford, VT replied,  “Arianna’s Restaurant is a local restaurant that is a unique place to celebrate a special occasion. We enjoy a birthday celebration each year with great anticipation and are never disappointed. The food is superb; the setting is pure rural New Hampshire (including a stroll around the farm yard afterwards to see the farm animals). The steamed mussels, direct from Prince Edward Island — in coconut and lemongrass, are memorable (I would drive to P.E.I. simply for their farmed mussels). Treat yourself and loved ones and make a reservation. You’ll make it your special place to celebrate good times, too.”

Ariana’s was chosen as Best New Restaurant, 2012-13 from BestOfSurveys.com. We highly suggest you “dine …in the green” with them this summer to taste why they were given this award! With only seven tables, it might be good to make a reservation, although they do take walk-ins.

Ariana’s Restaurant is located at 1322 NH Route 10, Orford, NH.  603.353.4405. arianasrestaurant.com.

 

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