Best of NH 2011 Pizzerias and Ethnic Food Restaurants

Try something from around the world – Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Italian, German, Greek, French – and more with these international winners.

*Editor's Picks
Readers' Poll Winners

*Alfredo: Lucia's Tavola in Brookline is a great find for lovers of Italian cuisine. Tucked in a small plaza off of Rte. 13 you will discover all the Roman classics, but especially nice is the Alfredo sauce, made with a triple—rich butter and freshly grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese.

*Asian Crepes: At Crepes Island in Manchester a new type of food fusion is born. You can choose from an Asian—style crepe like the Bangkok Delight (filled with shredded pork and Thai curry paste), a traditional sweet crepe or one of their many Thai and Japanese dishes like Tom Kah Kai (Thai chicken soup) or gyoza dumplings.

*Beer Garden Food: If you want the authentic tastes of a German beer garden, the Bavaria Restaurant in Hooksett is the place to go. It was just two years ago that owners Anton and Monika Berger had a restaurant and beer garden in Munich. All the food is homemade, everything fresh. Try this specialty — rolled beef with onions, pickles, bacon and mustard. Mashed potatoes, red cabbage and gravy, too. Fill a "boot" with German beer and you are all set.

Caesar Salad: They prepare it tableside in the time—honored manner at The Colosseum in Salem on Rte. 28.

Caesar Salad (Local Chain): Have your traditional Caesar at Fratello's Italian Grille with shrimp, chicken or just the original way.

Chinese Restaurant: At Lilac Blossom in Nashua you can count on expertly prepared food with a presentation to match.

Chinese Restaurant (Local Chain): Shrimp dumplings and lamb with hot peppers are two of Chen Yang Li's delicious new offerings.

*German Fair Food: This goes way beyond what you usually find at fairs, way beyond fried dough, for sure. SCHNITZels & GIGGLES — an off-hoot from the now-closed German restaurant Alphorn Bistro in Danbury — provides fair–goers with never-before-done schnitzel on a stick as well as bratwurst, spatzle, potato salad, sauerkraut and other German favorites, and it's just as tasty as it was in the restaurant. The Graf family (did you see them on "Wife Swap"?) is still doing the serving up.

German Restaurant: The Mile Away Restaurant in Milford serves German favorites like wienerschnitzel or holstein shnitzel in a Colonial barn setting.

*Greek Food: With world cuisine, you need to push the boundaries while respecting traditions and Amphora Fine Greek Dining in Derry strikes that balance. Owner Peter Tsoupelis is steeped in Greek culture, both ancient and modern. His recipes are a mix of family treasures and Greek classics with some modern twists. Try the house fish specialty psari—sto—filo with creamy sauce in light filo pastry.

*Handmade Pasta: For 20 years Terra Cotta Pasta has been winning people over to the delights of real, freshly made pastas from linguini to ravioli and a variety of rich and savory sauces. It beats the hard—dry stuff you buy in boxes at the supermarket. If you need convincing, drop by their Dover outlet and they'll serve you up a batch or let you sample from their fresh—daily menu.

Indian Restaurant: A gentle blending of herbs and spices make the dishes at Portsmouth's Shalimar India Restaurant an authentic taste of

Italian Restaurant: Giovanni Paolini has created an authentic Italian experience at Piccola Italia Ristorante in Manchester, a 10—year Best of NH winner.

Italian Restaurant (Local Chain): Fratello is Italian for brother and, for sure, it does feel like family at Fratello's Italian Grille. Great food, too.

Japanese Restaurant: The family–owned Sake Japanese Restaurant in Portsmouth offers innovative contemporary dishes along with traditional favorites.

*Lamb Skewer: San Francisco Kitchen in Nashua is one of few places that offers hot pots with a miso or spicy broth to cook on your own table, but start your meal with the hot and spicy lamb skewers. They are done simply, but are simply delicious with no strong mutton flavor.

*Local Brews and Burritos: Maybe pizza and beer is the quintessential American combo, but Laconia's Burrito Me is making a strong case for burritos and beer. Mission—style burritos are made to order with local ingredients such as meats from area farms, and can be paired with creative New Hampshire brews.

Locally Sourced Menu: Located on a charming Portsmouth side street, the Black Trumpet Bistro's menu changes every six weeks to include seasonal and local ingredients.

*Lunch Buffet: The lunch buffet at India Palace in Manchester and Nashua is a consistently excellent and inexpensive. The delicious dishes never seem to run low no matter if the place is packed (as it often is), and there are always plenty of exotic condiments, salads, nan and delicious desserts to round out the meal.

*Maki Roll: The art of sushi and the maki roll is in the rice. At You You Asian Bistro in Nashua it is done right, not too sweet. Their Boston roll is simple, but the combination of sweet, sour, salty and umami is just right.

Margarita: The margaritas at Agave Mexican Bistro Dos in Portsmouth are the perfect accompaniment to their authentic Mexican food.

Margarita (Local Chain): Whether it's for happy hour or a full dining experience, enjoy it with one of La Carreta's refreshing margaritas.

Margarita (Regional Chain): The margaritas at Margaritas Mexican Restaurant are as authentic as their food.

Mexican Restaurant: To accompany your authentic Mexican food, Agave Mexican Bistro Dos in Portsmouth offers more than 70 (!) different tequilas to choose from.

Mexican Restaurant (Local Chain): La Carreta Mexican Restaurant, known for its extensive menu of authentic dishes, recently opened its fifth location.

Mexican Restaurant (Regional Chain): Margaritas Mexican Restaurant is a Best of NH 10 year winner. Each of their nine N.H. locations is unique, decorated with different art brought back from Mexico.

*Nacho Companions: For the key ingredients in the perfect plate of nachos, look no further than Mitchell's Fresh. Their salsa (five kinds) is branded "Fresh" and that's just how it tastes. And they also make delicious crispy corn chips that haven't been trucked half-way across the country and turned into flakes. Oh, and they make fresh guacamole, too. All locally prepared and delicioso.

Nachos: At Shorty's Mexican Roadhouse in Manchester and Nashua the nachos are fresh and loaded with the works or to your taste.

Nachos (Local Chain): Enjoy nachos Santa Fe at La Carreta Mexican Restaurant with locations in Nashua, Derry and Manchester.

Nachos (Regional Chain): Have consistently delicious nachos at any of the nine unique Margaritas Mexican Restaurants in N.H. The chain is a perennial favorite with our readers.

Outdoor Dining: Since 1982 Poco's Bow Street Cantina in the heart of Downtown Portsmouth has maintained a lively atmosphere. They draw crowds with a creative Mexican menu and a large covered deck that overlooks the waterfront.

Pizzeria: Wood-fired brick ovens that burn New England hardwoods give the pizzas at Portsmouth Gaslight Co. their unique flavor.

Pizzeria (Regional Chain): Sal's Pizza, a 10-year Best of NH winner, makes its dough fresh every day, hand-shreds the mozzarella and uses the very best tomatoes in the sauce.

Pizzeria (National Chain): Papa Gino's pizza are made from a Valerio family recipe that was handed down for generations in Italy and brought to America in 1936.

Pizzeria – Gourmet: Florentine Pesto, Quattro Formaggi — just two of the signature gourmet wood—fired pizzas at 900 Degrees in Manchester, made the way they were originally in Naples, Italy.

Pizzeria – Gourmet (Regional Chain): The dough at the Flatbread Company is 100 percent organic wheat, and they use many other organic ingredients.

Sushi: Located in Portsmouth, Sake's chef Peter-San began his training in Osaka, Japan, and has more than 20 years of Japanese cuisine experience.

*Sustainable Sushi: Eating local doesn't mean giving up exotic dishes, at least not at Vendetta, on Keene's Central Square. The sushi served at Vendetta's bar is made entirely with local—grown vegetables and mushrooms, and the seafood in it — salmon, tuna, striped bass, shrimp and scallops — are all harvested using environmentally sustainable practices. The nori wrapped around these tasty morsels comes from Maine. So you can eat your sushi and feel good about it, too. (603) 283 – 0233.

Tapas: If a light, but wonderful, meal is what you want, head to Cava located on Portsmouth's historic Commercial Alley.

Taqueria: The food at Las Olas Taqueria in Hampton is prepared fresh daily with ingredients delivered straight from the markets in Boston.

Taqueria (Local Chain): Burritos are the headliner at Dos Amigos, but the quesadillas and tacos get rave reviews, too.

Thai Restaurant: Siam Orchid in Concord uses traditional techniques and recipes that have been passed through several generations of the family.


Categories: Best of NH Winners