Friday, August 24, 2007
The Mosquito Dines Out
J's at Nashoba Vallley Winery
100 Wattaquadoc Hill Road
Bolton, Mass. 01740
My husband Lee and I spent a recent Sunday afternoon under the arbor at J's at Nashoba Valley Winery. We sampled the abundant buffet, sipped the crisp wines made on-site and took in the views. Later, we strolled the orchard and grounds, then tasted a few more wines as we perused the gift shop that offers locally made crafts as well as Nashoba's wine, beer, cider and brandies.
The family-owned Nashoba Winery on 52 acres in Bolton has developed and sold fruit wines since 1978. The restaurant in a restored farmhouse was added in the late '90s, offering dishes "inspired by farm-grown ingredients and our own award-winning wines," according to its web site (www.nashobawinery.com). Since then the operation has doubled in size, adding cider, beer, and distilled spirits, as well as many more varieties of fruit. For the past five years grape wines have also been produced.
J's offers dining in a rustic setting indoors, as well as on the arbor-covered porch. The porch holds eight tables, and during our visit two remained empty in spite of the lovely day and mid-70- degree temperatures. I dined on dandelion bisque (creamy with only a mild dandelion taste), a very tasty coq au vin braised in blueberry port, pizza with sirloin tips and gorgonzola, smoked trout, baked beans with Gruyere, and a variety of salads that included an interesting seaweed slaw, tortellini and pesto, and dandelion with vinaigrette. My husband also enjoyed the coq au vin, pronounced the sausage delicious, and the egg strada with zucchini and Sterling chevre good but unexceptional. Also available was cinnamon French toast with blueberries and Vermont maple syrup that neither of us had room for.
I don't consider myself a lover of fruit wines, but found my dry pear perfectly complimented my dishes. Lee very much enjoyed a Gravenstein apple which he later sought out at the shop. For dessert a sampling of cheeses and fruits was offered, as well as peach foster with pecans and maple caramel, and small éclairs, tartlets, and cream puffs. We chose the peach foster, happy to have a dessert that took advantage of the fresh fruit of the season as opposed to the usual chocolate overload.
Our walk around the orchard revealed the source of our dessert — the peach trees were laden with fruit. Too bad we'd eaten too much to have any ambition to pick our own. Instead we spent our hard-earned currency on wines and beers for the larder and gifts for out-of-state relatives.
All in all, we found our visit to J's at Nashoba Winery a very enjoyable way to honor the gods of summer.
If you go
Bolton is about 40 minutes from Carlisle. Brunch, at $18.50 for adults without wine or tip, is available only on Sunday. For those coming with kids, prices are graded according to age (as low as $4.50 for ages 1 to 3). During the week and on Saturday a lunch of soups, salads, sandwiches and burgers is offered at around $8 or $9. Dinners average in the mid-$20s. Reservations for meals are recommended. An outdoor function area beside the restaurant was not in use when we visited, but could be noisy if an event were going on. You are also welcome to bring a picnic and purchase wine or beer to enjoy at one of the many picnic tables beside the gift shop. See web site for times and details of winery tours, fruit and berry picking, and other events and activities.
© 2007 The Carlisle Mosquito