Looking objectively at Nick Peters Bond’s career, it’s easy to say he’s got a pretty cool gig. After more than a decade working in restaurants, he’s now executive chef and co-founder with Meghann Basque of Kitchen to Aisle Catering & Events. He knew he wanted to enter the culinary world since middle school. “I didn’t have that one thing that I was good at or that I was really passionate about besides cooking,” Bond recalls. “When you’re a teenager it’s not really cool to love to cook.” That didn’t deter him, though; by the time he entered high school, Bond secured his first job as a line cook in his hometown of Stoneham, Massachusetts.
A New Hampshire native, Bourassa’s passion for hospitality began when he was in high school, with classes at the Manchester School of Technology Culinary Arts program. He went on to Johnson & Wales University, receiving a BA in Food and Beverage Management, with a concentration in entrepreneurship. He worked at various top restaurants and hotels, including M.C. Perkins Cove in Ogunquit and the W Hotel in Boston, before returning to New Hampshire. At CR’s The Restaurant, Bourassa has created a Wine Spectator Best of Award of Excellence wine list.
Restaurateur Al Fleury has created a unique experience in each of his three Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, restaurants and bars. While all are lively and comfortable, each has its own personality. Want a vacation to the Caribbean? Try the seasonal Bernie’s Beach Bar. Get a rustic, down-home feel in The Goat, and walk across the street to Wally’s Pub for some of the best live music on the Seacoast.
Kingston has seen a few restaurants with the name “Rick’s” on the sign over the years. Chef Rick Korn’s latest, Rick’s Food & Spirits, is just the spot to bring in locals and destination diners alike. Korn has been in the restaurant business since he was 14, starting at the Kozy Korner in Kingston. In 1998 he opened Rick’s Cafe and Grill, followed by Rick’s on Mill Pond and Rick’s Pond View. After a two-year hiatus from the restaurant biz, Korn is back to the career he loves, in the space on Main Street he’s been before, cooking creative dishes like ﬂaky short rib empanadas, innovative craft burgers, and entrees with ﬂavors from all over the globe.
At ﬁrst glance, you might drive by without noticing STREET, which might suit locals in the know just ﬁne, as the restaurant has emerged as one of Portsmouth’s most popular eating destinations. Located in the back portion of a shopping plaza just a mile or so outside the Port City’s downtown, STREET features everything from falafel and pho to burgers and bibimbap. It’s owned by husband-and-wife team Josh Lanahan and Michelle Lozuaway. Lozuaway handles the front of the house, while Chef Lanahan is responsible for the kitchen.
Laney & Lu Cafe offers food and attitude Seacoasters are eagerly embracing. Founder Jennifer Desrosiers presents progressive ideas in drinks (like an invigorating Matcha or Turmeric Latte) and eats (like a protein-packed kale quinoa bowl and a sunﬂower seed burger), plus a new lifestyle shift that helps support the community as well. The eatery, named for Desrosier’s niece Laney Lu, is in a welcoming gray clapboard building with outdoor seating on a brick patio.
David Vargas, Vida Cantina’s owner and executive chef, is a second-generation restaurateur. He learned the secrets of cooking traditional Mexican food from his parents’ Casa Vargas when he was growing up in southern California. Locally sourcing many of his fresh ingredients, Vargas combines ﬂavors and spices to bring the Seacoast a true taste of Mexico with a contemporary twist. Vida Cantina was named Best of Taste’s “Best New Restaurant” when it opened in 2014, and its popularity and recognition continues to grow.