Arthur Martel and his partner Erin Tripp have opened a new restaurant and gathering spot on the Oval in Milford. His first restaurant there, Verve, will serve as a location for his business, Metropolitan Catering. He has called the new restaurant Toro, a reference to high-grade sushi tuna. Indeed, he has taken the diner area and turned it into a raw bar serving some of the area’s finest sushi-grade fish.
Beyond the bar is a small area for sitting at high-top tables and a step down is the formal dining area where Martel will be showing his innovative cuisine. He is a big fan of the innovative Spanish Chef Ferran Adria of Barcelona and the tome he produced experimenting with creative food preparation. Adria was the one who first served appetizers on spoons and used foams, now commonplace.
Downstairs, Martel has built a gathering spot for sipping wine, drinking martinis and listening to live music. Souhegan River views are just beyond the velvet curtains. There is a separate menu here and it includes a lobster burger and other upscale takes on pub food.
In Manchester across from the Verizon Wireless Arena Tim Madden has opened Wally & Bernie’s (WBs). Madden has created a gorgeous setting for gathering after work, before or after a Verizon event or late night for dancing to a DJ. In the entry, an archway of birch tree limbs sets the tone. Inside beautiful hardwoods on the floors and walls, along with interesting lighting and a flock of flat-panel TVs, create a hip ambiance. Chef Colin Rourke, formerly of Manhattan on Pearl in Nashua, is striving to make the best pub food around.
Toro on the Milford Oval, (603) 673-1815, Wally & Bernie’s, 20 Old Granite Street, Manchester, (603) 641-2583.