Culinary Blasts from the Past

Whether it’s a greasy spoon, a classic diner or a restaurant that serves dishes you rarely see on menus, it’s possible to find it in New Hampshire. If you close your eyes and tap your heels twice, we’ll take you there.

Hillary Davis is the author of "Cuisine Niçoise: Sun-kissed Cooking from the French Riviera" and "French Comfort Food."

What and Where Description Tip

 ’50s Diner Throwback Menu Item: Chocolate Malted Milk Shake
Lou’s Restaurant & Bakery
30 South Main St.
(603) 643-3321

You have to try this. Trust me. Made with four scoops of chocolate ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup and malt powder, this super-thick and luscious shake is served in a classic lunch counter tall glass and is topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Pair it with their BLT, made with Cob-smoked bacon and you’ll enter a time warp you won’t want to leave.

The cakes and pies are amazing. Don’t leave without a slice or two.
 ’50s Diner Throwback Menu Item: Cinnamon Bread French Toast
Roger’s Redliner Diner

2454 Lafayette Rd.
(603) 436-7777
From their all-day breakfast menu, delectable cinnamon swirl French toast with a shower of confectioner’s sugar offered in a chrome-and-red leatherette booths environment. The bread is from Me & Ollie’s Bakery, which is also owned by the diner’s owner. Worth the trip to experience an authentic restored 1950s gleaming metal diner with a big neon-red “Diner” sign in front. Background tunes also from the ’50s.

Cars and Coffee meetings every first Sunday when classic cars fill the parking lot.

 ’50s Diner Throwback Menu Item: Tuna Melt
Tilt’n Diner

61 Laconia Rd. Tilton
(603) 286-2204

The kind of place where you want to show up in a pink Cadillac wearing your bobby socks. Browse the ’50s ephemera before you slip into a booth. Order a frosty root beer float, a classic tuna melt made with mounds of tuna salad, tomatoes and melted Swiss on Parmesan bread, and finish with a hot fudge sundae with hot fudge dripping down the sides, whipped cream, chopped nuts and a cherry on top. They cook fresh turkey every day so anything with turkey will be as good as it gets.

  ’60s Fine Dining Menu Item: Veal Oscar
 Stonehurst Manor

3351 White Mountain Hwy.
North Conway
(603) 356-3113

Bet you haven’t seen this on a menu for a while. Veal Oscar was a dish created in honor of King Oscar II of Sweden, who loved the combination of ingredients. Stonehurst’s Veal Oscar is made with buttermilk-soaked, breaded veal, topped with lump crab meat and asparagus, then elegantly draped with Hollandaise sauce.

Watch for specials during the year when the room rate includes breakfast and dinner. Also look for Thursday night dinner specials for two.

  ’60s Fine Dining Menu Item: Beef Wellington
The Wellington Room

67 Bow St. Portsmouth
(603) 431-2989
 Named after the iconic dish Beef Wellington, this restaurant takes pride in preserving its place in dining history. Theirs is made from filet mignon brushed with Dijon, coated with sherried-mushroom duxelles wrapped in puff pastry, baked and served in a glossy dark amber pool of Madeira sauce. Fridays only. They only make so many of their namesake dish, so call ahead to order and reserve yours.
Categories: Slice