Summer Travel: Food
Down on the Farm Connecticut: Rumor has it Martha Stewart has shopped at the Pickin’ Patch (Nod Road, Avon, 860-677-9552, http://thepickinpatch.com). If you share her picky-picky perfectionism, you’ll love it, too. Wannabe farmers can get their hands dirty throughout summer and fall at the Avon acreage harvesting gorgeous strawberries, blueberries, peppers, tomatoes, watermelons, and more.
Napa East Massachusetts, Rhode Island: If you drive the entire 182-mile Coastal Wine Trail from Westerly, Rhode Island, to Truro on the Cape in one day, you may not have time to visit all nine wineries. Better to take your time. But if there’s just one don’t-miss glass, it’s whichever sparkling wine Westport Rivers is pouring when you stop by; the bubbly there is so good that Boston’s L’Espalier has long commissioned private-label wine. http://coastalwinetrail.com
Locavore escape Vermont: You could read about tiny Hardwick, Vermont, in Ben Hewitt’s new book, The Town That Food Saved, or you can taste for yourself at Claire’s Restaurant & Bar. Chef Steven Obranovich practices what he calls “New Vermont Cooking”: whole grilled trout from Mountain Foot Farm in Wheelock served with potatoes from Pete’s Greens in Craftsbury, parsnips and spinach from Hazendale Farm in Greensboro, and house-cured pancetta. In fact, he sources an impressive 75 percent of his ingredients from within 15 miles of the kitchen and much of the rest comes from in state. The herb starts for his kitchen garden are from Perennial Pleasures Nursery, which, in addition to selling plants, serves English cream tea on a patio surrounded by lush gardens. Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery supplies the creme fraiche, cultured butter, and chevre, and you can stop in to learn about the cheese-making process Tuesday through Thursday mornings. Farther afield, near Burlington, is Shelburne Vineyard. It’s open for tasting and touring and is, of course, where Obranovich gets his cooking wine. Claire’s Restaurant & Bar, 41 South Main Street, Hardwick, 802-472-7053, http://clairesvt.com; Perennial Pleasures Nursery, Brickhouse Road, East Hardwick, 802-472-5104, http://perennialpleasures.net; Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery, 40 Pitman Road, Websterville, 802-479-9371; Shelburne Vineyard, 6308 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, 802-985-8222, http://shelburnevineyard.com
Hipster Oasis Massachusetts: If you’re just driving by, you might think it’s a mirage. The Rendezvous is the kind of retro-hip hangout you’d expect to find in Somerville, not a village in the Berkshires. It bills itself as a bar with food (avocado crab cakes, Fluffernutter-inspired panini), but with an eclectic mix of events like bingo, live music, book readings, and Donnie Darko screenings, it’s much more. 78 Third Street, Turners Falls, 413-863-2866, http://rendezvoustfma.com
Get Wet Rhode Island: The distance from farm to table doesn’t get much shorter than this. At Rhode Island’s Matunuck Oyster Bar, you can eat the briny bivalves (raw, fried, or in a stew) just steps from a saltwater estuary where they’re cultivated. Before your meal, pull on a pair of waders and join owner Perry Raso for a tour of the farm. 629 Succotash Road, South Kingstown, 401-783-4202, http://rhodyoysters.com
Mexico on the Sound Massachusetts: Restaurateurs Angela and Seth Raynor of Nantucket’s Boarding House and the Pearl are spicing things up on the island with their new Latin-inspired restaurant, Corazon del Mar. The atmosphere is festive and the flavors – in dishes like pork carnitas and littlenecks with piquillo peppers – are bold. There’s also a seviche bar and the best tequila selection on the island. 21 South Water Street, Nantucket, 508-228-0815, http://corazonnantucket.com