Marché pleases midday noshers Monday–Friday with a menu sprinkled with french crêpes, salads, and signature sandwiches. Chef Molly Basile and her staff sate crêpe crusaders with house-made crêpes ($2.50–$15) created using Julia Child's original recipe and stuffed with flavorful fillings such as all-natural Maine lobster, sautéed mushrooms, and fresh Maine blueberries. The chickpea parmesan salad packs a healthy protein punch ($7.50), and the braised short-rib sandwich draws on the powers of house-made cherry-tomato compote, onion straws, and a floured roll to bring peace and tranquility to strife-ridden valleys of taste buds ($9). Rotisserie chicken punches up poultry by filling it with fresh herbs, garlic cloves, and Cabot Creamery butter and spinning it on a rotisserie until it's cooked and ready to rest dizzily next to green beans ($9, call for availability).
Belly dancers in traditional Arabic dress dance gracefully through the middle of the dining room to the sounds of violins, drums, and strummed ouds. Amid exposed-brick walls and the soft light cascading in from high ceilings, Naral’s transports diners to another world of rich spices, elegance, and warmth. The menu serves as a tour guide, inviting culinary explorers to indulge in roasted quail or lamb and grilled fish in tomato sauce accompanied by fragrant basmati rice. A selection of beer, wine, and signature cocktails can be paired with the fine fare, dancing, live music, and Saturday-evening karaoke.
The dough wizards at Papa John's hand toss circular masterpieces with original and thin crusts made from high-protein flour to support warm bouquets of toppings. Hand-cut produce crowns all of Papa John's pizzas, mingling with the sun-soaked sweetness of sauce made from fresh, California-grown tomatoes. By adhering to its brand promise of "better ingredients, better pizza," Papa John's grew from a back-tavern pizzeria into more than 3,500 restaurants within three decades' time, or the amount of time it takes to grow a single pizzeria from a small seed.
Live music floats over the din of conversation and toasting pint glasses at Irish Twins Pub while chefs prepare classic bar bites in the kitchen. Onion rings fried in Guinness batter kick off the menu, which also includes buffalo chicken salads, Reuben sandwiches, pizzas, and subs stuffed with bangers, or savory irish sausages. Soft drinks and a collection of beers complement each dish, poured into 22-ounch imperial pint glasses, or 16-ounce American-style glasses.
Lost Valley Ski Area founder Otto Wallingford was known for creating innovative solutions to everyday problems. Winter came around each year and left him with nothing to do on the family orchard, so he turned the surrounding area into a ski center in 1961. With that problem solved, Wallingford moved on to tackle a few other issues. He put together the state's first snowmaking system, introduced the locals to night skiing, and developed a powder maker by towing a cylindrical steel grate behind his tractor.
Skiers and snowboarders can reap the benefits of Wallingford’s efforts at Lost Valley Ski Area, which encompasses 15 trails and a terrain park. The ski area also hosts lessons and a shop offering gear tuneups and yeti decoys.
Each autumn, the tree branches at Ricker Hill Orchards begin to bow under the weight of a new generation of McIntosh apples, as they have for more than 200 years. Since 1803, the same family has cultivated the orchards, which today nurture several varieties of apples, pears, and peaches. Along with produce aisles along the East Coast, the fruit fills the baskets at Wallingford’s Fruit House, where shoppers just may save them from another fate: the bakery. There, raspberries, peaches, and blueberries tuck into pies or turnovers and hand-rolled crusts envelop apples to become fresh dumplings. The store also bakes fruitless sweets such as donuts and cookies and bottles fresh cider for pouring over a coach’s head after he wards off all the crows from the field.
In the fall, visitors can explore the orchards and pick apples themselves, hunting down such varieties as Cortland and Red Delicious. Wallingford's Fruit House’s backyard lets youngsters lose themselves in a variety of ways, from the corn maze to the petting-zoo animals’ thought-provoking lectures about delicious grass.