Lemon Grass - June Quick Look




Located just past the village of Center Harbor on Route 25, over the town line in Moultonborough, a touch of Asia exists in the Lakes Region in the presence of Lemongrass. Having taken ownership in September, Unraiwan Svisuksai offers pan-Asian cuisine, using the freshest ingredients, organic whenever possible. Originally opened by Mike Love, the Lakes Region’s legendary restaurateur, the restaurant appears to have made a seamless transition. In addition to table seating in the main dining room, there are Asian-style low tables (please remove your shoes!) in the side rooms. A small bar area offers more than 10 different varieties of sake and plum wine as well as the usual bar selection; dining is also available at the bar. For sake aficionados, a chart in the wine list simplifies sake — how each one is made, fermented, filtered, diluted and pasteurized. At the other end, the open grill with seating allows the diner to view the chefs working their magic with wok cooking. Attractively wrapped chopsticks at each place setting contribute to a high-end Asian atmosphere. The menu features a wide range of appetizers (from $6-$10), an extensive sushi roll selection ($9-$12), as well as soups, salads, vegetables and rice. There is an interesting selection of entrées, mainly poultry and fish ranging from $16 to $ 20. We ordered the Crispy Shitake Spring Rolls that were served with a Vietnamese dipping sauce ($7) and Crispy Lemongrass Calamari (which could have been crisper), accompanied by Saigon Slaw and three dipping sauces ($8). Particularly enjoyable was one of the evening’s specials, Green Demon Sushi Roll, which consisted of asparagus, salmon, Ahi tuna with slivers of fresh ginger and garnished with chives. The Lumpia (egg roll) was a cut above the average, and grilled sake-glazed wild salmon hit a high note. Desserts ($6) are decidedly non-Asian, with the exception of fried ice cream, in coconut, ginger or green tea flavors. The lunch menu features three different Bento boxes; I tried the shrimp and scallop box on a previous visit and enjoyed it immensely. Our enthusiastic waiter provided a wealth of information about each dish. Service was quick and efficient. Lemongrass is open 7 days a week, Sunday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m-9 p.m. Reservations accepted at (603) 253-8100. A sample menu is featured at www.lemongrassnh.com — Barbara Lauterbach
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