On any given night at Gordon's Fine Wines & Liquors, guests might hear staff instructors share their favorite French wines or introduce a Speyside scotch. They might also see guest sommeliers, local brewers, or winemakers discuss the production regions and flavors of their most cherished varietals. For more than 75 years, Gordon’s has been a beacon for such talented flavor enthusiasts, recruiting a team of specialized instructors that has earned the alcohol emporium the title of Massachusetts Beverage Business 2012 Retailer of the Year. These professionals have never tired of spinning out lessons—touching on wine education, beer and spirits, cooking, and wine-and-food pairings, which immerses visitors in how to successfully marry cheeses and wines without their parents getting all bent out of shape.
Yet apart from the knowledge spread therein and the discussions bubbling with poignant enthusiasm behind the shelves, Gordon’s also serves as a supplier. Its shelves abound with hundreds of wines—including kosher wines—from every continent except Antarctica, more than 500 types of craft beer, and 300 single-malt scotches.
Since 1982, Sea To You Sushi's deft chefs have traveled across the region doling out fresh, meticulously constructed sushi rolls at colleges, businesses, hotels, and country clubs. They cull an extensive supply of ingredients at their store, tapping into the well-stocked stash to guide nascent sushi-smiths through the art of constructing maki and nigiri rolls during Sushi School sessions.
The mobile gourmands also cater private parties, regaling revelers with custom menus and war stories about ferocious clumps of seaweed. Die-hard sushi fans can join Sea To You Sushi's C2U Sushi Club, which grants member discounts and special access to the company's facilities.
The concept for Savory Square Bistro developed "after years of successful 'Friday Night Bistro Night' dinners as part of Chez Boucher Cooking School," according to Hampton–North Hampton Patch. This concept stuck and the cozy, Old World-style eatery continues to share an address with the culinary training center, allowing diners to indulge in rustic meals inspired by French countryside cooking, Asian flavors, and seasonal New England ingredients. For an extra bit of homespun charm, the bistro's chefs invest a bit of extra effort into their recipes by hand cutting each order of frites, making boursin cheese, and curing salmon in in the kitchen. Even though crisp white linens adorn each table, the intimately lit space is decidedly casual. A painted mural of a provincial village swaths one large wall, complementing the room's mustard-yellow and sunset-orange accents. Various bottles of wine fill the cubbies in the mahogany-hued cube shelves that flank the mural.
Curating adventures that help visitors get the most of what the region has to offer, Activity Maine gets its subscribers in the know on a wide variety of outdoor activities year-round. During the warmer months, read about the best spots for camping, fishing, and eating out. In the winter, the magazine publishes stories on skiing and horseback riding through the snow, in which horses are outfitted with snowshoes and wooly scarves knit by their grandmas. RaceME offers a comprehensive guide to area bike and road racing, complete with event schedules, training tips, gear reviews, and other features.
Those who craft edible masterpieces find what they need at The Cake World. Part shop, part school, it outfits bakers of all experience levels with the stuff and skills they need to create towering, edible sculptures from Satin Ice fondant and gumpaste using special tips, cutters, veiners, modeling tools, and more. Rows of edible embellishments crowd shelves, shiny cookie cutters dangle from hooks, and stacks of diverse cake molds invite bakers to expand their imaginations. In the spacious cake-making studio, hands-on classes cover specific decoration topics, special guest artists lead themed workshops, and kids learn how to decorate cupcakes and cakes during birthday parties.
Professional bartenders teach in classrooms set up as fully functioning bars. The facilities present lifelike conditions for students to learn skills such as the proper shake and pour for a variety of cocktails, muddling raw ingredients, and getting the right amount of head on a draft beer. Courses also cover the technical elements of bartending, which may include setting up drink stations, understanding liquor laws and board-of-health requirements, and operating payment systems that accept both credit cards and gold ingots.