A rich history, a vibrant future
Originally the family home of several generations of sturdy New England dairy farmers, our building dates from 1800. The Kittredge family’s original concept for The Farm Table – believe it or not – was a very modest lunch counter with just a few tables, offering soups, sandwiches and salads. Maybe some pizzas, too. At the outset, the idea of creating a full-service operation was far from the collective imagination. But the vision slowly changed as we sought to create something with greater ultimate value for our community and the region. The vital importance of sourcing wholesome foods locally, preserving farm jobs and open land, keeping agricultural dollars in our regional economy, employing green initiatives and many other factors soon led us in quite another direction.
The physical building process was a great adventure in and of itself, as the original house erected on this site by the Hale family in 1800 was only partially salvageable. Over the decades the structure had been expanded many times as their dairy operation grew. We sought to preserve as much as possible, but the rickety old dairy barn and a major portion of the extended homestead could not be rebuilt to meet modern building codes. And so, the current bar/lounge area and Carriage House rose on the footprint of the old additions.
Many legacy materials live on, however; dozens of huge hand-hewn beams, hundreds of venerable wide boards, and literally tons of artisan bricks, stones and fill were re-purposed right on-site. Even scores of former roofing slates were cleaned and reimagined as charcuterie platters. Most fortunately, the stately front of the house remained virtually intact and has been wonderfully renewed; it greets the morning sun each day as it has for two-plus centuries.
So while the exterior treatments favored the traditional, cutting-edge technology was simultaneously arriving behind the scenes. Installation of an extensive geothermal heating and cooling system was rapidly underway. Nearly five dozen wells were drilled (averaging 500 feet in depth) to utilize the constant-temperature 52-degree groundwater. The system uses not one drop of fossil fuels to help comfortably warm and cool The Farm Table, along with the neighboring Kringle Christmas Barn. Virtually all of the kitchen appliances are also integrated into this geothermal network, slashing our traditional utility bills and generating zero greenhouse gas emissions.
The greening of the Farm Table doesn’t stop there. Most of our hardwood chairs were hand-crafted by a furniture maker in nearby southern New Hampshire. Our onsite laundry eliminates countless truck deliveries of linens and uniforms while any edible food waste goes to local livestock operations. Nearly all of our tableware is vintage, including pieces from some of New England’s grandest hotels. And there’s more to come! Kringle Farms, literally across the street, will contribute more and more items to our kitchen as the seasons pass.
Of course, every good restaurant must have a leader. Executive Chef Brent Menke is often referred to by Mike Kittredge II as “The best chef in the world without a TV show.” The pair met in the demanding world of private yachting, where Brent fine-tuned his already-outstanding culinary skills, incredible presentations and expert grasp of international cuisine. Relocating his family to Massachusetts from his native Arizona was a bold step that demonstrated Brent’s unwavering commitment to excellence. He swiftly took charge, creating a fabulous menu that changes with the New England seasons, emphasizing fresh, local, organic and gluten-free options wherever possible. And simultaneously, Brent assembled a team worthy of serving you with charm and enthusiasm.
The Farm Table opened November 7, 2011 to great excitement and tremendous curiosity. There was an immediate and unprecedented demand for tables, and in those opening weeks and months, we all worked very hard to ensure our guests received the level of cuisine, service and ambience they expected and deserved. We were thus deeply honored to learn that, after barely 100 days of operation, our eatery had won Best New Restaurant honors in the Valley Advocate’s “Best of the Valley” awards, and other recognition for service, staff and access for the disabled have quickly come our way.
Despite this acclaim, we never, ever rest on our laurels. We strive diligently to ensure that your experience here is truly enjoyable and memorable, and nothing could be more gratifying for us than to have you speak well of The Farm Table to others. If you have any comments or questions please don’t hesitate to let us know; you may reach us online, by phone, by letter or of course by speaking directly with any member of our team.
Again, the Kittredge family welcomes you to The Farm Table. Enjoy your time with us.