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The April Wrap Up

April gave me a rare look inside Armsby Abbey’s kitchen to learn about their team’s exceptional charcuterie program in addition to their unique butchering practices. Executive Chef Sean Dacey expressed sky high expectations for his knowledgeable staff while owner Sherri Sadowski provided insight about the role that Reserve’s technology plays in streamlining guest services. As Mass Foodies live correspondent, I also had the opportunity to attend Massachusetts’ first hemp dinner at deadhorse hill, courtesy of Luce Farm. Hemp or CBD, offers a variety of health and wellness benefits. The event proved indicative of an uncharted cannabis culture that Worcester is only beginning to grapple with.

Five single origin dark chocolate bars from Goodnow Farms and the beans used to produce them. The middle one, made from Mexican beans, actually has the highest cocoa content: 77% (Erb Photography for Mass Foodies)
Five single origin dark chocolate bars from Goodnow Farms and the beans used to produce them. The middle one, made from Mexican beans, actually has the highest cocoa content: 77% (Erb Photography for Mass Foodies)

Contributing writer, Giselle Rivera-Flores continued her #SundayFunday series with an old favorite: Bocado Tapas Wine Bar, embracing a sultry communal dining experience. On the West side, Giselle got “clean and naked” with Nu Cafe where owner Josh Van Dyke is curating an organic lifestyle for his Chandler Street customers. Just up the road in Tatnuck Square, Giselle broke the news that owners of Funky Murphy’s had purchased Tatnuck Grille where they are planning to launch a new concept in the near future.

This month, Jim Eber immersed himself in craft chocolate at Goodnow Farms in Sudbury. Jim distinguished chocolate as a complex food rather than a simple candy, citing the laborious steps undertaken by proprietors, Tom and Monica Rogan. The Rogans take their beans seriously, accounting for the likes of their fresh, herbal, and aromatic small-batch bars of Ucayali from Peru. Trust us when we tell you that the $8 price tag is a steal.

The building permit for Crust's expansion as North Main Provisions.
The building permit for Crust’s expansion as North Main Provisions.

Most exciting of all was the announcement by Alexis Kelleher and Nate Rossi that Crust Bakeshop will expand to offer fine wine and cheese, a suitable match for the signature fresh baked breads that drive customers downtown in droves. The expansion makes use of a neighboring Main Street storefront, which has already undergone two months of renovation.

And, if you’ve been following the Hangover Pub’s restaurant drama (fit for a box office hit) we are pleased to report that Michael Arrastia has officially divorced from any legal ties to notorious money-launderer Christopher Slavinskas. According to the Telegram and Gazette, Arrastia received approval from officials on Thursday to reopen under a fresh license.

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Deadhorse hill Hosts Massachusetts’ First Hemp Dinner

Live at deadhorse hill with the team from Luce Farm for five hemp inspired courses.

Last night, deadhorse hill teamed up with Luce Farm to host Massachusetts’ inaugural hemp dinner. Luce Farm grows Cannabidiol (CBD) in the beautiful hills of Stockbridge, Vermont. For reference: CBD is a non-psychoactive compound in the cannabis plant with a variety of health benefits used to treat everything from anxiety to Lyme Disease. It is legal in all 50 states.

Before the first course of the evening, Chef Jared Forman emerged from the kitchen just long enough to share, “We started working with these farmers under a different name – Sweet Georgia Peach – before they became Luce Farm. As Luce Farm, they continue to operate under organic and sustainable practices. Even now that Luce Farm has converted to hemp production, the farmers have maintained the same ethos. Everything is still organic because they care what they are putting into their bodies and their family members’ bodies.” Highlights from the menu included a whole wheat flour fettuccine served with Luce Farm pork bolognese, sun gold marinara, and kiss the cow ricotta; goat roll with king of the early risers beans, maple syrup, and hemp jus; as well as wine pairings from La Garagista out of Bethel, VT.

Mass Foodies also had a chance to chat with Sophie Shillue from Luce who explained, “I started working for these farmers when I was 16, growing fruits and vegetables. Now, here we are, years later and their great values remain the same. Being able to work with deadhorse hill has been incredible. We want to make sure to connect with everyone here, speak face to face, and share a meal together; tonight gives us that opportunity.” Watch the full interview with Sophie on Facebook Live: