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Aug 28, 2008 05:43 PM

Nice week of dining: Cotton, Manch NH - Dippsy Doodle, Northfield NH - Feng Shui, Chelmsford Ma - Tamarack, Weirs Beach NH

Wow, where do I start (and by the way I did manage to fit it my 30 min. brisk walk everyday too - thank goodness)! Tuesday, went up to visit Mom and to take her sister for a visit - we ate at the Tamarack close to the Weirs Beach for lobster rolls. Never again (I only went because of local and easiest for Mom to dine). Didn't even taste like lobster (but Mom and Aunt enjoyed). I also tried that new 24 flavors of soft serve - again, never again!!! The process to serve me just two little cones was soooo rediculous that I lost my patience and skipped ordering for me - I tasted Mom's - THAT'S NOT ICE CREAM!!!

Wed. night went to Cotton in Manchester NH - love this place. We all split an order of pan seared scallops that were fantasticly seasoned, lite and citrus flavors, slightly sweet dressing over greens. One of my scallops was a bit gritty, didn't like that but I overlooked since no one else did. My dish was the best although Hubby loved his lamb sirloin (I've gotten this before and it was the best lamb I've ever had) and our birthday girl raved about her Retro Meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Mine though, wowsa creamy mushroom risotto with bonus shrimp (like maybe 4 or 5 and I don't remember reading that on the menu, and I'm a shrimp lover), then topped with perfectly cooked asparagus (could be one of my favorite vegies) and a beautiful piece of salmon, med rare, seasoned ever so lightly. I only ate half so that's my lunch tomorrow. Dessert, again mine being the best (anyone remember Seinfeld episode - "I ordered the Best"!) was Bread Pudding (and yes, ate the whole thing it was sooooo good, perfect balance of sweet, saucy, smooth. Hubby had a fantastic round cheesecake and bday girl had pistachio gelato (again raving, although everyone loved mine).

Today (Thurs), took bday girl up to the lake for the day. On the way we stopped in Northfield to pick up two fantastic lobster rollls to take to the lake at DIPPSY DOODLE (exit 19 of Rt. 93). 1st, need to mention that we were driving through at 10am and I called before we got to the exit and the gentleman that answers says, "oooh, we aren't open until 11 but wait how far away are you and, what did you want", I said "ugh, i'm just getting off the exit, really wanted your lobster rolls", without hesitation his response (and obviously another reason these guys are awesome) "Oh, No problem, I can definately do lobster rolls, come on in, I'll have em ready, want em hot or cold?". For 10.95, you get I think maybe meat from two lobsters (huge) or 12.95 w/ side of ff or sweet potato fries added (had them before, wow). No fillers, light mayo, great roll even. I haven't had it hot with butter but I'll definately try that next time, people say it's the way to go. So, needless to say, fantastic lunch sitting on the dock by the water on an island - yes, they made it on the boat ride without us nibbling. If you haven't tried this little gem off Rt. 93, you are missing out in life.

Tonight, still not into cooking even though I picked up some wonderful corn and fingerling potatoes at the farm stand but a bit exhausted from the fresh air and sunshine. we ventured out to Feng Shui in Chemlsford, have read some great things. We were into sushi and loved it. Had our usual edamame to start with (some can mess this up, but theirs was great). We started with beef negima (hubby loves this dish, I'm ok with it but have to admit it was much better then most). another app was fantastic and I originally turned up my nose when he mentioned it - Broiled Eggplant (Nasu Dengaku) Wow, can't really explain the flavors, totally fantastic. Kind of looked like stuffed chinese eggplant with panko on top, sweet. Anyway, we got two sushi, two sashimi and two maki rolls. All were fantastic. Unagi and mackerel sushi. Striped Bass and Salmon sushimi (both excellent), Maki's were yellowtail and scallion and a spicy tuna roll. I'm anxious to try more dishes here, we really enjoyed them, very fresh and nice flavors. Desserts were great too, I got this mango, passion fruit sorbet with white chocolate around it drizzled with dark chocolate. Hubby's was even better with gelato or ice cream, coffee flavors with chocolate throughout - kind of parfaitish.

I lucked out with a wonderful selection of dining destinations this week. I'm walking extra over the next few days. :-)

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  1. Nice post Patti! we'll have to try Feng Shui--have you had the sushi at Oishii in Chestnut Hill? Worth the trip in you are in the Boston area. Also--Sichuan Gourmet in Billerica--the chicken with spicy chili sauce is amazing.

    5 Replies
    1. re: whs

      Yes, loved Oishii but it's been a while. Went once when my son was in town, small place and gets packed so we got their as they opened. Have done SG yet in Billerica, many rave about that place. I also want to try the sushi at Etsogo (downtown lowell) we did thai and malaysian and loved it. Sooo many wonderful places, not enough time. My son's place in Paris has recently been written about on Food and Wines blog. While he was here, he did a wonderful 6 course dinner for the family at the lake. Great to see him and his gf in action, doing their Hidden Kitchen thing. :-)

      1. re: lexpatti

        We're having dinner at Cotton tomorrow--I understand they've changed the menu a little bit--anything new and interesting?

        1. re: whs

          This was only my 2nd or 3rd time so I'm not the one to answer that. My special salmon was fantastic and I did notice the Mushroom Rosotto on the menu (really took the dish over the top). If you love lamb, my god - fantastic. Twice we saw this platter go by and finally asked - brushetta appetizer - might have been a special but wow!!!! Way too much on their menu that looks fantastic!!! Hubby got pork chop last time and loved it!

            1. re: lexpatti

              We had dinner last night at Cotton--while we enjoyed our food, the service left something to be desired. For a Saturday night it was quiet--probably because it was Labor Day weekend--and our waiter seemed to think it was a signal to take it easy. Everything seemed to be several beats off--the crowning blow was when we each ordered a glass of wine to have with our entrees, and they arrived as we were finishing the last bites. We chose not to make a stink, as we had been invited as guests. As for the food--my ahi tuna salad got mixed reviews--the mayo dulled the clean taste of the fish, but the contrast of silky fish and crunchy jicama was nice. Loved my lamb sirloin--it came with an almond mint pesto that added a layer of richness to the dish. Dining partner had a nice arugula and peach salad, and his grilled chicken breast was moist and flavorful. A highlight was dessert--homemade pistachio ice cream with big chunks of nuts--yum. All in all, good food, but demerits for indifferent, complacent service. Cotton remains on the rotation, but we'll try other places first.

      2. Great report! Since you mentioned route 93 I thought I"d tell you about a place we had luncjh in last month. It's the Bull-Run near Hooksett (exit 9 I believe). It's a combo meat store and restaurant ( I think there's another in Hudson NH, but now each have separate owners.).

        It's a pizza-place atmosphere, but the food was nicely prepared, inexpensive, and good portions. Very extensive menu for a place like this - much more than what they show on their website. And the meat shoppe had all sorts of goodies to take home

        1. Awesome, thanks friedclam! Been wanting to check that out, recently passed it twice (once in hooksett another time in hudson or methuen or haverhill). One of my past employees (and is now a customer) works there and has mentioned how great it is.

          1. Thanks for the update on the Tamarack. We used to go there frequently but the flavor of lobster rolls went downhill. Started going to the Red Hill Dairy in Moultonboro or Center Harbor ... right on the main road ... for lobster rolls but with the Dipsy Doodle much closer we haven't been up to the lake in a long time. What a shame about the Tamarack. I thought they were putting in too many langostinos.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dfrostnh

              I do love Sam and Rosie's lobster roll in Ctr Harbor but not better then Dipsy Doodle and DD is much better on the wallet. (they might be equal in taste, but not so on price) - S&R is 16.95 as a plate and they won't sell it solo.

            2. Thanks for the DD recommendation. Stopped yesterday afternoon on the way back from weekend on the lake. Excellent lobster roll -- perfectly buttery toasted roll and full of lobster. One of the best lobster rolls I've ever had.

              1 Reply
              1. re: jbh11

                I'm going to do a seperate review, we stopped on Sat. and finally tried the HOT lobster roll - OMG it's the way to go, fantastic!!!!