Vincenzo's Ristorante & Bistro's owners understand that people have different tastes, or sometimes just feel like a different experience. So, they decided to split their space in two. In the ristorante, they ferry fine Italian cuisine to candlelit, white-linened tables. In the bistro, they serve deliberately more casual fare as live singer-songwriters ply their trade at the piano with jazz and blues standards.
Nashoba’s owners and baker bromantics, Stuart Witt and John Gates, make everything in their breadbasket with a special slow-rise method. Each loaf rises slowly over the course of 24 hours, fueled by a unique starter developed by co-owner Stu that produces a profoundly pillowy texture and a beautiful, glossy, full head of crust. Every day, hundreds of these mesmerizing loaves float out into the world from Nashoba's 32,000-pound French-made bread oven like so many doughy dandelion spores buoyed by a warm, yeasty breeze. And each of Nashoba’s plethora of riseable dough varieties can take you someplace different. Transport yourself to shores lapped by wine-dark Mediterranean waters with an olive loaf ($5.50), or trick nearby turkeys into roasting, basting, and slicing themselves with a too-toothsome-to-resist rosemary garlic breadball ($4.45). Trek to an oasis of thick, chewy dates on the camel’s back of a seven-grain ($5.50), and avenge the pigeons that killed your father with pieces from a sourdough loaf laced with combustively spicy pepper jack ($4.10).
Minute Man National Historic Park preserves the scene of the first Revolutionary War battle 1 mile north of Concord's Colonial Inn. Official and self-guided tours originate at the Minute Man Visitor Center where a multimedia theater presentation elucidates Paul Revere's Ride, the Lexington Green showdown, and the "shot heard 'round the world." Outside the center, the revolutionary spirit propels travelers down Battle Road Trail, a 5-mile stretch of restored colonial landscape between Concord and Lexington that approximates the path of the American Revolution's first battle and the road traveled by the minutemen. One mile east of the Colonial Inn, The Orchard House, former home of Louisa May Alcott, enchants visitors with its rich 19th-century history and authentic family heirlooms and foosball tables. During guided tours, the clapboard manor house where Alcott wrote and set her literary masterpiece Little Women reveals itself to harbor a multitude of period pieces that populate the beloved novel. Perched on an orchard of apple trees, the family home may have hosted legendary intellectuals including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. Amos Alcott, Louisa's father, purchased the original property in 1857. It has undergone few structural changes since the family left in 1877, as ongoing preservation efforts help to retain its authentic charm and character.
New American Cuisine | Seasonal New England Ingredients | French Technique | Classic Cocktails | Relaxed Atmosphere
When to Go: There's a five-course tasting menu Thursday through Saturday from 5:45 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Though guests don’t know what the dishes will be in advance, the menu always features unique ingredients and preparations. Be sure to make reservations since this experience is limited to only 24 diners per week.
Inside Tip: If you’re a fan of classic cocktails, try a gin and tonic—the tonic is made in-house with quinine powder.
Aromas of sizzling shellfish, spiced tomatoes, juicy steaks, and roasted fruits waft through the sleek modern interiors of Serafina, where chefs craft seasonal Italian dishes with a focus on the Tuscan style. At the raw bar, staffers serve dozens of oysters, jumbo shrimp, and littleneck clams on the half shell. In the dining room, servers ferry complex gourmet dishes whose ingredients complement one another. They serve Italian seafood stew, Tuscan-style sirloin steak, long island duck breast, and pizzas topped with roast pears and figs or barbecue chicken. It’s food that has been praised by reviewers from such publications as the Boston Globe and the Concord Journal.
Behind the bar, floor-to-ceiling wine racks house more than 60 wines from regions throughout Italy and the United States, as well as Chile, Argentina, and New Zealand. The sounds of general merriment are accompanied by regular live piano, bass, or sax in jazz and contemporary styles.