Where to celebrate my brother's 50th around Portsmouth?
Against all odds, my brother will be turning 50 at the end of April, and we (his 5 siblings and others) would love to do something nice for him. But we are a crowd, at least 12, perhaps as many as 16. The ideal would be someplace we could linger, a good meal and drink, a bit of atmosphere (maybe a fireplace? maybe a piano?) His birthday is a Saturday night, so we will need to deal with the weekend crowds.
He actually lives in Kittery Point, so we're open to anything in the area, but off season my guess is we'll end up in Portsmouth, hmmm?
This brother truly deserves a little spoiling, so please, 'Hounds, help us out?
Lindbergh's Crossing would be lovely. It's one of my favorite restaurants anywhere.They have a rather small dining room, your party would certainly take up most of the tables, but I imagine you could get an early reservation. I'm certain it would be a very memorable birthday dinner. Make sure to save room for the medium rare chocolate cake. It's deee-lish!
Here are a few ideas for you:
Victory 96 is a really attractive space and they have private dining areas. I have actually only done drinks and apps. in the bar, so I cannot speak to meals there, but it may be of interest to you.
Dunaway Restaurant across from Prescott Park, is a great space too, supposedly they have outside patio dining in the warmer months.
Dolphin Striker and or Spring Hill Tavern might be nice. The upstairs dining is a bit more formal but the downstairs tavern is really neat, complete with Koi fish in the well at the end of the bar. They also have live bands, but it can get very crowded.
On the more casual end, The Portsmouth Brewery has a large table in the back of the main dining area and you can also rent the downstairs lounge for parties.
I like Lindbergh's Crossing also, though I haven't been in a few years. I think I've actually been there for a birthday meal in the past. For "old school" italian, I like the Rosa; they've been there forever and should be able to handle a big crew.
Another to consider is heading north to MC Perkins Cove (http://www.mcperkinscove.com/). I have not yet been, but it is on my list.
I definitely would take him and your friends to Pesce Blue.
By far the best food in the area and great dining experience. I like the other restaurants mentioned above, but Pesce is my fav.
I agreee with Anneke Jans! Such a nifty place with excellent food and service. With that crowd you need to call ASAP. BTW it is in Kittery.
I don't think Lindbergh's Crossing could comfortably accommodate your group. I vote for Dunaways; there's plenty of room, the service is great, the room is beautiful and the food is excellent. I've used up all my adjectives now...
I would stay far away from the Portsmouth Brewery. My brothers book a 12 top there for my batchelor party, put a deposit down and when we show up they were rude and said they are to busy to give up 12 seats. They make more money from seating 2 and 4 tops. Asked why they didn't call us to cancel or why they even took the reservation and deposit in the first place? The manager said, " Call me in the morning I need to deal with customers. It took a week to get the deposit back.
Go somewhere cool and special. I would pick the Dolphin Striker.
Lindbergh's Crossing was, in fact, bought by the chef, Evan Mallett. We've now reopened as Black Trumpet. We spent two weeks doing some wonderful improvements and feel that if anyone ever liked Lindbergh's they'll love it now! We had our opening night last night with great feedback. The diningroom is warmer and we've really brought out the beauty of the brick and stone. The menu is better than ever and the whole Lindbergh's staff is still there. You can see the menu online at blacktrumpetbistro.com. The dining room could easily seat 12 for a party. Come by for a peak, you will be pleased.
Denise (wife of the chef / co-owner)