The Overlook in Charlton is known for many things. For example, we’re known as the premier retirement location and the top Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in central Massachusetts, and we’re also known for our incredible residents with their rich stories. So, when we ask members of our community what they like most about living here at The Overlook, a common response we receive is how much they enjoy our fresh, flavorful and healthy cuisine. That makes sense because—between our five-star executive chef and our wide variety of menus and meals—we put a lot of love into our incredible culinary program! That said, the culinary program at The Overlook goes far beyond just the food. That’s why we compiled this helpful list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) that we get from active, older adults like you who are interested in getting a feel for the flavors to be found on our hilltop in Charlton. Let’s dig in! 1.On a basic level, how does the culinary program at The Overlook work? Is there a meal plan? Yes, we offer a flexible meal plan that includes around $500 per month, per person, of dining credits to be used at either of the restaurants on campus: the elegant Acacia dining room or our laid-back Tucker’s Café. 2. Restaurants? Tell me more! The Acacia dining room is our full-service, upscale option for lunch and dinner as well as special brunches and seasonal events. At Acacia, you’ll find delectable entrees prepared by our skilled chefs with the freshest ingredients—many of which come from farms and farmers right here in Worcester County. For a preview of what Acacia has to offer, click here. For a more casual, flexible option that also offers breakfast, you can stop by or order takeout from Tucker’s Café. It’s an open-kitchen restaurant with a wide variety of tasty, bistro-style favorites. Tucker’s also offers carry-out so you can enjoy your meal in your home or at your favorite spot on our beautiful park-like campus. 3. Do I have to use the meal plan? What if I want to cook in my new home? While many community members enjoy regularly cooking for themselves in their residences at The Overlook (which all include fully functional kitchens), the meal plan ensures that everyone always has guaranteed access to balanced, nutritious and tasty meals. The meal plan is one of the countless amenities that is built into every resident’s monthly service package. 4. Does the meal plan balance “roll over?” No, at the beginning of each month, you start with the same balance of funds in your dining plan account. We craft the dining plan based on real, actual data on how our community members use our dining venues, so most people end up with a nominal or no dining balance at the end of each month. Plus, with this setup, you will never need to worry about running out of funds in your meal plan balance! 5. I have special dietary needs. Can The Overlook accommodate them? Of course! Our team can easily accommodate special dietary needs, so don’t worry if your meals need to be gluten free, dairy free, sugar free, vegetarian or vegan. Our menus have been crafted with everyone’s needs in mind, so you can enjoy fulfilling foods—prepared fresh—regardless of your needs or preferences. 6. Can I have meals delivered? Yes, and right now as we navigate COVID-19, members of our community can have all of their meals delivered free of charge. In normal times, meal delivery is available for a $5 fee, which is waived if you’re feeling unwell and can’t make it to one of our restaurants. 7. What can I do if I want to tell someone about a dish that I loved—or didn’t enjoy so much? Join our “Food for Thought” resident group that regularly meets with our executive chef! It’s just one of the countless clubs and groups on campus that makes a real difference here. With your feedback and the expertise of our culinary team, we’re constantly adapting and evolving our menus to ensure that they offer dishes that will nourish and delight you. 8. Why am I getting hungry all of a sudden? We don’t blame you! The culinary program at The Overlook is all about giving you a choice to enjoy balanced, delicious meals alongside neighbors and friends. To get a real taste of what it’s like to dine at The Overlook, get in touch by calling 508-434-2318 or clicking here. When circumstances allow, we’d love to have you here for a meal!