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Jan 25, 2007 02:11 PM

55 Degrees, Concord NH, Anyone been?

I am really interested/excited in trying this place. Missing Baldwins on Elm in Manchester and having a chef that worked under Nate operating this place I have very high expectations. Anyone been?

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  1. Just had a lovely dinner there. Started with a great cheese and olive plate. Main courses are small, but purposely so. The wait staff will recommend you order one or two. My party had the scallops, duck and pork tenderloin, all of which were wonderful. (The scallops plate was rather small, but the others were modest but filling portions.) Atmosphere is more upscale than most NH restaurants but chatty and comfortable. I highly recommend.

    1. Only once, and over a year ago (Concord is a bit of a haul for us).

      But we too had a lovely dinner and do intend to return. We sat at the bar and played with different wine recommendations (enjoyed the atmosphere and the helpful staff). Can't remember quite what we ate (think we started with the cheese too), but this shouldn't be taken as a sign of disrespect as I remember all the food as good.

      We liked 55 Degrees better than Baldwin's. My memories are really much as dbnh describes... we really must get back to Concord soon!

      1. The original comment has been removed
        1. Can anyone compare 55 Degrees with the restaurant in the Centennial Inn on Pleasant St? I liked the atmosphere at 55 Degrees but I would like to try the Centennial Inn. My husband prefers going to a clam shack but I have a birthday coming up so I'd like to have a special dinner someplace in the Concord area.

          1. re: dfrostnh

            I have heard (but haven't been myself yet) that a new chef is doing great things at the Canterbury Shaker Village - just north of Concord if you are looking for something special. I went years ago and was fabulous. I believe the award winning Chef Paige from Cotton in Manchester made one of his marks there. check it out- menu looks fabulous, I know the place is very romantic and special.

            1. re: lexpatti

              We're transplanted New Yorkers who thought that we would die from starvation in the culinary wasteland that is Concord and have probably eaten at every place in and around town trying to find anything good. While atmosphere and ambiance is nice our favorite places are usually dives or places where the service makes up for less than spectacular food.

              We've been to 55 Degrees and have very little positive to say about it. Palatable and stuffy pretty much sums it up. Unless something drastic changes there I doubt that we're inclined to return - the food seems to rely upon its pricing and lovely descriptions in the menu to to enhance its mediocre reality. Service was not memorable one way or another but the pretentious atmosphere certainly was.

              We found the Centennial Inn to be a nice surprise - the food was quite good and the service excellent. The only negative was the hotel bar atmosphere created by the big TV.

              The Shaker Table is our all time favorite in the area - the food is solid and the service, while not white glove, is always beyond fantastic! Plus the location could not be any nicer - if you have time definitely check out the village - and if you live nearby, a membership to the village will save you 10% on purchases, including meals at the Shaker Table.

              1. re: wongadon

                We had lunch at The Shaker Table and the food was beyond terrible, way overpriced, and the service was completely unremarkable.

                1. re: observor

                  Yes, we've pretty much stopped going there primarily since the dinner menu became increasingly limited and the quality was on the decline (and we were gorging on our CSA bounty all summer!). There seemed to be a shift in priority to their catering and function business and changes in staffing. Certainly a shame, they had a good thing going for a while but not the clientele to support it I suppose. Sorry for your bad experience...

          2. Can you say more, please johnwynne... I keep thinking about going back to 55 Degrees, but your experience makes me wonder if it's gone downhill??

          3. Per Hippo Press, 55 Degrees has closed.

            1. WHS, 55 Degrees is alive and well (you had me worried!)...

              6 Replies
              1. re: jtjazzman

                55 Degrees closed suddenly last fall- rumor was that a sale to the chef was about to go through. The sale fell through and the owner has decided to reopen.

                1. re: edinaeats

                  55 degrees had closed for a period. Friends of mine know the owner and commented that selling was an option as the restaurant/wine bar thing wasn't going as planned. They felt like the clientele was much to hard to please, and especially snooty. Especially when the St Paul's school parents were in town for the weekends. They were looking for a more laid back, classy, comfortable atmoshphere instead.

                  1. re: snl1129

                    That's an interesting comment- I haven't been myself, in part because two of my friends who have been said they went looking for a laid-back, comfortable atmosphere... and instead found snooty. The server went so far as to suggest they were out of their price range. Still, it's nice to know that's not the intended ambience!

                    1. re: happybellynh

                      I had a similar experience. I went with two friends to 55 degrees a few years ago. The restaurant was completely empty, except for one table, and they looked us up and down before telling us they were "booked for the night." I worked in the restaurant business for a long time, and I could tell that only a few tables had been set aside for reservations. I guess we weren't classy enough--too bad, we ended up spending over a hundred dollars at a nearby restaurant. I'll never go back.

                    2. re: snl1129

                      That's like going to a McDonalds and expecting them to call the hamburgers "Steak Hache"... Too bad, Concord needs some good restaurants.

                      1. re: snl1129

                        I ate at 55 degrees several times before it closed, and in fact am going there tonight for my first visit since it reopened. Its a very nice restaurant, with a good and interesting wine selection, and tasty food. But, it is definitely ironic to read the info about the owner's views of the clientele. When I interacted with the owner, I generally found her to be uptight and snooty, and not particularly warm to customers. Definitely not laid back! Regardless, its still a nice place. Apparently, they've moved away from the reliance on small, sharing dishes to a more traditional starter-main course menu. I think that is promising, as the old menu was somewhat perplexing.