THE MOONBEAM CAFÉ (LANCASTER, NH)
Fresh food lovingly prepared and a seasonal menu complemented by year-round favorites have patrons returning again and again to savor the flavors of the dishes at The Moonbeam Café.
Initially located on Exchange Street in Gorham, owner Dr. Christine Fatterusso and Chef Shannon Williams moved the restaurant to Lancaster and opened the doors to their new eatery this summer, right on Main Street next to the Rialto Theatre.
Fatterusso and Williams are so committed to using local ingredients whenever possible that they grow many of the vegetables they use in their own greenhouse, and plan to add a couple more greenhouses next year to keep up with the demand. They also source many of their products from local farm stands, farmers markets and from trusted producers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont.
All of the meals at The Moonbeam are prepared from scratch, including the handmade breads (Anadama, whole wheat, white, seeded rye, Portuguese sweet and a gluten free sweet bread are among the varieties offered), pastries, soups, salad dressings, jams, and jellies.
Fatterusso describes the menu as “rustic with a beautiful presentation,” and “comfort food at its finest,” with a dinner menu highlighted by wonderful Italian accents that complement the fresh local ingredients.
Food selections include a full breakfast menu (7-11:30 a.m.) of eggs, omelets, apple-smoked bacon, sausage, ham, pancakes, French toast, muffins, garlic home fries, black bean burritos, and fresh salmon hash, and have enticing names like The Northerner and The Fair Grounds Big Breakfast. On a recent morning, the Caramel Apple-Topped Crunchy French Toast and Cranberry Walnut Pancakes with Handmade Orange-Spiced Cranberry Sauce on top were flying out of the kitchen!
Fall lunch offerings (11:45 a.m.-2:30 p.m.) feature American comfort food. Look for homemade soups and hearty sandwiches like fried haddock, grilled veggie, hot open turkey, and the Moonbeam Café grilled cheese with bacon and tomato, served with handcut fries or a salad. Among the lunch entrees are fish and chips, a mixed bean cassoulet, mac and cheese, and an extensive burger menu.
Beginning in November, The Moonbeam Café will be open for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings, including beer and wine selections, with plans to extend dinners to Thursday through Sunday as the season progresses. Dishes using fresh local ingredients with an Italian accent include Braised Local Pork Shanks with Risotto, Fresh Cod Sicilian (roasted cod on a bed of garlic greens topped with cherry tomatoes, Kalamata olives and capers in a white wine reduction sauce), vegan specialties like Butternut and Spinach Cannelloni with Almond Cream, monster-sized rib eye steaks on the bone, and Chicken Marsala Christine (chicken topped with sage, ham and handmade mozzarella in a Marsala mushroom pan sauce).
While the food is the main draw, don’t overlook the restaurant’s charming ambiance and the helpful and attentive waitstaff, who keep the water glasses filled and cheerfully offer to write up separate checks for parties of multiple patrons. The restaurant’s creamy white walls with red accents, comfortable tables and chairs, photographs of local scenes and red, white and blue pendant lamps are an invitation to linger over a morning cup of coffee and muffin, a delicious fall soup and sandwich, or a savory dinner entrée.
Phone: (603) 684-1140
Address: 70 Main Street
Lancaster, New Hampshire 03584