A Look Back at NH Magazine's Best New Restaurants

To celebrate the13th edition of Best New Restaurants, our food editor takes a look back at her former picks.

Looking Back
Our annual Best New Restaurants issue is here, and I thought it would be fun to reflect back over the last 12 years to see which of the past years’ best (or hot, as we once called it) survived the change of tastes, economy dips and the owner’s whims and pocketbooks.
-Susan Laughlin

Here is the roundup of those featured from 2015-2016:

Those with asterisks and bold remain up and running, some with new owners.


  • *Takumi, Nashua
  • *New London Inn Several changes of chefs and owners
  • French Bistro, Milford One of the most missed restaurants. Space was used briefly by the Seedling Café.
  • 55 Degrees, Concord The former chef, Cory Fletcher, now has his own Revival Kitchen & Bar in Concord, which is included in the 2017 Best New Restaurants.
  • Little Louie’s Fish House, Dover Owner Jay McSharry has since opened several other restaurants, including the very popular Moxy in Portsmouth.


  • *Buckley’s Great Steaks, Merrimack
  • The Dunaway, Portsmouth The space gave way to Mombo
  • Carpaccio, Hanover The space is now the home of Base Camp Café
  • Commercial St. Fishery After several more iterations, the space is no longer a restaurant.
  • *Giorgio's Ristorante & Bar, Milford
  • *Lemon Grass, Moultonborough
  • *Hanover Street Chophouse


  • Ciao Baby, Manchester The space has become Mint Bistro
  • Brazo Closed in January of 2017 and is now the Clipper Tavern
  • *Popovers on the Square, Portsmouth This successful eatery now has another location in Epping.
  • *Tim-Bir Alley, Littleton A sweet bistro that is surviving with the times.
  • Intermezzo, Peterborough The space is now an Irish pub.
  • Coe House, Center Harbor Now Lavinia’s
  • Z Food & Drink, Manchester Chef Tom Puskarich now runs Restoration Café in Manchester, the former Z space was once N’awlins, and is now Lorena’s Cantina.


  • *Epoch Restaurant, Exeter Epoch has had several executive chef changes but is going strong.
  • Four Restaurant, Portsmouth This space became Cure
  • Damian’s On the River, New Boston The space is now Sliders of New England
  • *900 Degrees, Manchester This Neapolitan pizzeria now has a second location in Epping.
  • *Holy Grail Food & Spirits, Epping Their newer location in Laconia was recently closed, but the original restaurant remains open.
  • Aylmer’s Grille at the Woodbound Inn, Jaffrey The space is now The Grove at the Woodbound Inn.
  • Blue Trout Grill, Keene This beautiful space in now a Ramunto’s Brick Oven Pizza.
  • Nonni’s Italian Eatery I can’t find evidence of any of the Nonni’s surviving.
  • *Cork’s A Wine Bar, Bedford Village Inn


  • Sunny’s Table, Concord The space recently gave way to Chef Cory Fletcher’s Revival Kitchen & Bar in Concord
  • *Ichiban, Concord
  • *O Steak & Seafood, Concord
  • *Mint Bistro, Manchester Under newer ownership
  • *Firefly, Manchester
  • *Ignite, Manchester Under newer ownership
  • *XO, Manchester
  • Cantine, Peterborough Cantine gave way to new owners who opened Bantam Grill
  • Wine Thyme, North Conway This short-lived place is now Frontside Grind Coffee Roasters.
  • *Stella Blu, Nashua Survives under new ownership
  • Adria, Nashua The space now O’Brien’s Sports Bar.
  • Estrabrook Grill Many places have come and gone in this location, which is now Arbor Restaurant, owned by the folks from The White Birch function hall in Hudson.
  • Common Man, Portsmouth Now Domo Japanese Restaurant
  • *Wolf’s Tavern, Wolfeboro


  • *Mombo, Portsmouth
  • Kiki’s, New Boston Now open as Molly’s Tavern, and has undergone several changes of ownership.
  • *Republic, Manchester
  • Chef’s Table, Portsmouth The constant road repair on State Street doomed the location, now for lease.
  • Rustic Leaf This space is no longer a restaurant, but chef/owner Josh Enright moved on to Robie’s in Hooksett.
  • 106 Kitchen, Portsmouth Owner Jay McSharry reopened this space as Moxy with Chef Matt Louis.
  • *Tavern 27, Laconia
  • Lucia’s Tavola, Brookline The Ayer, Massachusetts, location remains open.
  • *Bavarian German Restaurant, Hooksett
  • *Homestead, Merrimack


  • *Tuscan Kitchen, Salem Other locations have opened in Portsmouth, Burlington, Massachusetts, and will open soon in Boston’s Seaport district.
  • *Tek-Nique, Bedford
  • *Hooked, Manchester New owner
  • Mint Bistro, Manchester New owners
  • Delux This space now Gale Motor Co. Eatery
  • *Mint Bistro Sold to new owners
  • Terra On Main, Bethlehem This building is no longer a restaurant.
  • Crush, Nashua This is now Pigtale with new ownership, but using the same wood-fired pizza oven
  • *Waterhouse, Peterborough
  • *Surf, Portsmouth
  • *The District, Portsmouth


  • Bonta, Hampton This space is now Chuck Rolecek’s C.R.’s The Restaurant.
  • Surf Sushi, Portsmouth Space open only for events.
  • Poppers at the Mill, Newmarket This is now the Joinery Restaurant.
  • Napa East, Nashua This space is now an Elks lodge.
  • Unums, Nashua This space is now Taj India.
  • *Stages at One Washington, Dover
  • Neville Pereira’s Sizzle, Molly’s and Divots on the Green All are under new ownership.
  • *Bantam Grill, Peterborough
  • 11Eleven, Manchester This is now Gale Motor Co.
  • *Martingale Wharf, Portsmouth
  • *Demeters Steakhouse, Portsmouth New owners
  • *Hungary Buffalo, Loudon
  • *Local Eatery, Laconia


  • *Salt, Wentworth Hotel, New Castle
  • Red Sauce Ristorante, Nashua Space is no longer a restaurant
  • Moonbeam, Lancaster Now the Granite Grind Coffee & Tea
  • *Pine, Hanover Inn
  • HIghstreet Farmhouse, Goffstown This popular restaurant recently closed by chef/owner over leasing agreement.
  • Graze, New London This is now a Tucker’s location.
  • N’awlins, Manchester Recently sold and is now a Mexican restaurant, Lorena’s Cantina.
  • Mixteca Grill, Durham Now another location for Lexie’s burgers.
  • *Eagle Mountain House, Jackson
  • BluAqua, Amherst Plans to relocate failed, and the space remains empty.


  • *Cure, Portsmouth
  • *Drae, Derry
  • *Revolution Cantina, Claremont
  • *Tomo Hibachi & Sushi, Salem
  • *BRGR Bar, Portsmouth
  • Shack N’ Cheese Now a Walpole Creamery scoop shop.
  • *Campo Enoteca, Manchester
  • *Joinery, Newmarket


  • *Pigtail, Nashua
  • *Hayseed, Hampton
  • *The Foundry, Manchester
  • *Applecrest Farm Bistro, Hampton
  • *El Colima, Nashua
  • *Domo, Portsmouth
  • *Franklin Oyster House, Portsmouth
  • *Revolution Taproom & Grill, Rochester
  • *Taj India, Manchester
  • *Atlantic Grill, Rye
  • *C.R.’s The Restaurant, Hampton
  • Funktion Spirit & Spoonfuls, Manchester Space is now The Birch on Elm


  • *The Birch On Elm, Manchester
  • *The Grazing Room, Henniker
  • *Gale Motor Co. Eatery, Manchester
  • *Suna, Sunapee
  • *Green Elephant, Portsmouth
  • *Bar One, Milford
  • *Tinos, Hampton
  • *Tavern on the Square, Claremont