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Recent finds in Manchester(-ish), NH??

Has anyone found anything new and worthy around Manchester, NH? Or is there any old favourite that you'd like to promote?

I'm a Torontonian spending time in NH who often has trouble finding somewhere to eat. Money is not an issue. I do like somewhere atmospheric where you can linger and cocktail. I have an adventurous palate, so type of food is open, as long as it's authentic (no fake "Italian"). I don't like chain restaurants. Cotton is my current local favourite, Baldwins was good, CR Sparks is OK but sometimes feels a little too big to be intimate. I liked 55 Degrees in Concord... ideas?

Rab-bit!

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    1. Italian--Piccola Italia
      Nepali--Cafe Momo
      Vietnamese--Golden Bowl
      Hungarian--Lala's
      Indian--India Palace
      Soul Food--Premier Palate
      BBQ--Down n Dirty
      Upscale contemporary--Richard's Bistro
      Poutine--Chez Vachon
      Local color/glorified greek diner--Back Room at the Puritan
      Upscale country inn--Bedford Village Inn
      Chinese--Chen Yang Li
      Brazilian churrascura--Gauchos
      Fish--Commercial Street Fishery
      and if you wish to venture further afar:
      Seafood (probably the best in NH) Surf in Nashua
      Sushi--Takumi in Nashua
      Italian--Cucina Toscana in Nashua
      Thai--Thon Khao in Nashua
      Asian-Fusion--YouYou Bistro in Nashua
      Chinese--Lilac Blossom in Nashua
      Mexican--La Carreta in Nashua (I think they just opened in Manchester too)
      Italian--Angelina's in Concord
      Mexican--Los Hermanos in Concord

      5 Replies
      1. re: whs

        Fabulous list for manchester area! Can we update this for 2008?

        I'd add the new St. Louis style BBQ place City Flame Smokehouse. It's amazingly good, very moist meat with great glaze, and very friendly owners and staff. I'm not normally a big meat or barbecue eater, but we lived in Texas for a while so I know from brisket. We got a sampler plate and it's all good there - chicken, ribs, brisket beef, pulled pork. The usual sides are all good, the mashed potatoes are amazing, and even the Bulgarian owners specialty roasted red pepper salad is great with the meat.

        www.cityflamesmokehouse.com
        363 Chestnut St, Manchester 603-622-6022

        I'd also add El Mexicano Jr. and Consuelo's Taqueria for Mexican even instead of La Carreta (there is one in Mancester)or Hermanos in Concord.

        I just read recently that Premier Palette will be closing because the owner is moving to Philly. Sad.

        1. re: starvinginNH

          Sadly, we have to take Premier Palette and Down n Dirty off the list. Word on this board is that Gaucho's and Piccola Italia have slipped. I would add Z Bistro and The Way We Cook to the list as worthy additions to the food scene. 900 Degrees seems to be "hot" right now (sorry). Gill's for Indian food is a great choice. Seven Hills has wonderful Turkish cuisine in Nashua. Also in Nashua--Saffron Bistro is a chic little spot.

          1. re: whs

            Had lunch at "Z" and was not impressed. Had the Asian Nachos and iceberg wedge salad with chicken. Nachos were OK, though sour cream was not substantial at all (two little drips), and the salad was terrible...five dollars more for two small pieces of (cubed?) chicken. Would not return.

          2. re: starvinginNH

            To update for 2008 add:
            Sushi- Yuki Japanese Grill So. Willow St. Manchester
            Indian- Gill's on Valley St Manchester
            Drop Gauchos, it has slid far down the scale.

            1. re: gryphonskeeper

              We just enjoyed a wonderful dinner at Yuki Japanese Grill on S. Willow St. - fabulous tuna tataki, several sushi's (salmon, shrimp, eel, mackral), the best edamame EVER (I always get this), really great miso soup and a very creative maki. Very pleasant place and excellent service.

              http://www.yukijapanesegrill.net/inde...

        2. Fantastic, whs!!

          But if you were to pick one place to take Mr/Ms. whs and hang out for the night (dining and drinking... the whole relaxing-grown-ups-out-at-night schtick... where would you go?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Rabbit

            Well, then I would have to concur with gorgo--Richard's Bistro is intimate, relatively sophisticated, and makes a good martini. http://www.richardsbistro.com/
            We miss Baldwin's, which was a little more "edgy". You might also consider Michael Timothy's in Nashua, which to my taste offers a more interesting product: http://www.michaeltimothys.com/
            CR Sparks feels a little corporate, but we like eating at the bar. Service is a little more attentive, and it's fun to interact with the bartenders.

            1. re: whs

              Oy! - is Baldwin's gone??

              Agree that bar-dining is the only way to go chez Sparks.

              We seem to be on the same page - so I'll try out Richard's ASAP... and see if we can get to Nashua.

              1. re: Rabbit

                Nathan Baldwin folded his tent and disappeared into the night. I miss his foie gras appetizer.

                1. re: Rabbit

                  Yep, sadly Balwin's is gone. What a major loss for Manchester!

                  1. re: Rabbit

                    You'll be happy to know that the NEW (Partner) Chef at Richards is the former Chef at Baldwins. His name is Matt Provencher and he also spent some time as Sous Chef with Michael Timothy at his Surf Rest. in Nashua. Matt has revamped the menu and a spring menu is on the way.

                    1. re: masiehosie

                      I hope it is out by next tuesday, I wanted to make reservations.

              2. I'm finding I have very similar tastes as whs:

                Just discovered LaLa on Elm - loved it. Love love love Goucho's - best Brazillian and I've been to several (Boston and north). Love Cotton. and Piccola. Richards is on my list. Best Mexican - La Carratta (hooksett/manch) and Hermano's in Concord

                All of Michael Timothy's places great - I've been to Michael Timothy's in Nashua and going to Surf either tonight or tomorrow but hearing great things about his place in Merrimack too. http://www.mtdininggroup.com/

                2 Replies
                1. re: lexpatti

                  Yes, forgot to mention Buckley's Great Steaks in Merrimack--the tavern menu looks more reasonable and quite interesting.

                  1. re: lexpatti

                    Personally, I much prefer the tavern menu at Bucley's, and the appetizer menu at Surf (never been a Michael Timothy's fan), the onion soup at Buckley's and the mussel appetizer at Surf are favorites of mine, and either makes a nice light meal with wine.

                    Also agree with Lexpatti about La Carretta, although we've had uneven experiences there, but still love their tamales.

                  2. A bit outside Manchester and just a strip mall eatery, but I've had very excellent Italian at Pasquale's in Candia. Two other places seldom mentioned, but very good, Tiya's and the Schezwan House - both oriental and downtown.