Pickering House Inn Owners Open Pavilion Restaurant
How about some good news (especially for foodies)? A new restaurant, featuring sophisticated dining and top-shelf service, has opened in the Lakes Region — and things are going well.
Husband-and-wife team Peter and Patty Cooke first met while working at a restaurant, and now they’ve brought fine dining to their beloved town of Wolfeboro with Pavilion, located right next door to their Pickering House Inn.
Several years ago, the couple purchased the historic yellow Pickering building, restored it, and turned it into a beautiful inn. The Cookes then saw the need for a higher-end, special dining experience in town. “We know good food, we eat good food, but we don’t know how to cook good food,” jokes Patty. When the opportunity to buy a building right next door to the inn arose, they jumped at the chance.
Opening a restaurant during COVID-19 is no easy feat, given the potential setbacks and uncertainties caused by the pandemic — in addition to all the usual industry challenges — but the Cookes were determined to go ahead with their plans. “I guess we’ve never been ones to shrink from a challenge,” says Peter.
Patty’s design business, Peter’s expertise in real estate and finance, and Executive Chef Jon Hudak’s culinary skills made the perfect team.
Pavilion was designed by Patty’s company, Wentworth Style in Wolfeboro, to have a comfortable and intimate atmosphere. The dining room features a cozy fireplace and an exquisite private dining room — with a balcony — that will be available this spring/summer.
The handcrafted food, hospitality, and ambiance have attracted Pickering House Inn guests and locals alike to the new restaurant.
Chef Hudak’s talents have been praised in The New York Times Dining Review. He and his wife are avid hikers, and they hoped to someday move north to be closer to the mountains. He was amazed at the Cookes’ work at the Pickering House Inn, and how they turned “their vision into reality,” he says. He knew they’d be great partners for this restaurant project.
“Ingredient-driven” is how Hudak describes the cuisine, with a focus on local, quality ingredients. Everything — down to the crackers on their cheese board — is homemade. Hudak works with local farmers and fisheries, and has a herb garden on the property.
Dishes range from comfort foods, such as red wine braised short ribs, to more adventurous plates, such as the grilled Spanish octopus. “Some of the dishes you may not expect to be the popular ones have been, so that’s been a very good sign for us — for what we want to do and try to kind of push the boundaries a little bit,” says Hudak. Pavilion also offers an extensive specialty cocktail, wine, and beer lists and a dessert menu.
Pavilion has been well-received by the community, with some guests having returned 10 or 12 times since their opening just over six weeks ago.
Located at 126 South Main St. in Wolfeboro, it currently offers reduced capacity, socially distanced indoor dining, and is serving the full menu. They also offer Pavilion at Home, a take-home food service. They plan to offer outdoor patio dining in the warmer months. Pavilion is open Thursday through Sunday, from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.