When Ben Elliot took over his family’s West Concord property, Saltbox Farm, after nearly two decades working in places like No. 9 Park, he hoped to escape the daily restaurant grind. Over several years, he added chicken coops, beehives, and apple trees, and then began teaching cooking classes at a cottage on the premises. A catering business came next. Now Elliot is ready to give the restaurant world another go—albeit on his terms. “I realized that I can have time for my family, work on the farm, and cook,” he says.
Which is why this spring, he’s opening Saltbox Kitchen, an eatery just 3 miles from the farm and around the corner from the West Concord commuter-rail station. There will be breakfast (sour-cream-biscuit sandwiches), light lunch (buckwheat crêpes with goat cheese), and elegant plates in the early evening (seared scallops with savoy cabbage), with grab-and-go dishes like the cauliflower salad above. Completing the locavore experience this spring? Beers brewed in house by fellow No. 9 Park alum Ralph Fiegel, using hops grown on the farm.