Best of NH 2015 American & Seafood Restaurants
In this section you'll discover where to find the best burger, smoky brisket, New England clam chowder, crab cakes, fine seafood dining and more!
From left: Readers' Poll BBQ winner KC's Rib Shack (photo by Susan Laughlin), Editor's Pick Hobbs Tavern and Brewing Co., Readers' Poll seafood restaurant winner Surf Restaurant (photo by Susan Laughlin) and Readers' Poll lobster roll winner The Beach Plum (photo by Liz Davenport).
Brisket: Good brisket is succulent and smoky in flavor. At Goody Cole’s Smokehouse in Brentwood, the hickory wood fires are always burning and the fans are in line for the beef, the pork, the turkey and the sides. The place looks just like a BBQ joint should too.
Game Dinner: On a frosty autumn evening, nothing satisfies like Chef Bob Nabstedt’s game dishes at the Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield. Enjoy smoked wild boar bratwurst, delicate pheasant sausage made with cognac, rainbow trout crusted in chopped pecans, elk and venison sausages with blueberries and port, venison osso bucco, elk medallions with huckleberries and pinot noir or buffalo short ribs braised in smoked Porter.
Garden-to-Dinner: A stroll in the beautiful kitchen garden beside The Horse & Hound Inn in Franconia on the al fresco dining terrace will give you a glimpse of the evening’s menu, and a whiff of the herbs you’ll taste in your breakfast omelets. Raised beds, trellises and a sparkling greenhouse combine to assure that summer and fall menus are filled with the vibrant flavors of fresh-picked organic produce.
Gastro Brew Pub: Great food, craft beer and New Hampshire history can be found at Hobbs Tavern & Brewing Co. in West Ossipee. The cozy tavern and brewery are located on the former Hobbs family farm that dates back to the 1800s. Upstairs is a striking function room and bar where modern meets rustic.
Hot Dog: The tiny roadside hot dog stand tradition is alive and well in Milford at the Dog House on Rte. 101. You can get your standard, kosher, veggie or buffalo dog on a grilled homemade bun.
Pulled Pork: As anyone from elsewhere will tell you, NH’s not the best place to find great barbecue. Arnie’s Place, a popular drive-up ice cream stand in Concord, may seem like an unlikely place to find an exception to that rule, but trust us. Their pulled pork is tenderly succulent with a range of textures and tones that invite you to experiment with the variety of sauces on hand. Oh, and then there’s ice cream.
Seafood Chowder: Too buttery, too thick, too many potatoes — whatever the complaint, it’s hard to find a seafood chowder that is “just right.” But head to Milford, and you’ll find it at Yankee Chef. Maybe it’s because the restaurant is owned and operated by a self-described “True New England Yankee Chef,” but the chowder there is definitely just right, with a satisfying amount of shrimp, scallops, haddock and clams in a not-too-thick, not-too-buttery, not too potato-y base.
Slow-smoked Ham: At Fox Country Smoke House in Canterbury lean and smoky, but not so much that you can’t taste the rich meaty flavor, ham just doesn’t get any better. This old-fashioned smokehouse doesn’t stop with ham. Equally delicious, each with just the right smoky flavor balance, are chicken, turkey, duck, pork loins, kielbasa, rainbow trout and salmon — even smoked provolone and mozzarella.
Take-out Pot Roast: Sure, you can buy the all-natural, grass-fed beef at Two Happy Butchers in Milford and cook it yourself. But, if the kitchen isn’t your thing, you can still serve delicious pot roast. It’s made in the store, slow-cooked to cut-it-with-a-fork tender with just the right amount of spiciness. Their beef brisket and pulled pork are just as amazing. Add sides of mac ‘n cheese and cornbread, and you are all set for a great meal.
True Farm-to-Table: The Farm Bistro is located on the working Applecrest Farm in Hampton Falls and serves breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, dinner from Wednesday through Saturday and a Sunday brunch. Enjoy the bounty of the seasons with ingredients grown right there on the farm.
Two-for-One Lobster Rolls: Yes, this is a big deal. When you splurge for a New England lobster roll, it’s consumed all too quickly. But, get your fill at The Tuckaway Tavern & Butchery in Raymond. On Monday and Tuesdays you get two rolls for the price of one. Choose either — with mayo or hot with butter. But get there early because the word is already out that it’s #tuckingood.