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Must Try Restaurants Within an Hour of Hanover, NH?

I go to Dartmouth and am always looking for new upscale restaurants to try with the girlfriend on special occasions, or with the parents when they come out. I love Stone Soup (a delicious restaurant in Strafford, Vermont), and have heard much about Simon Pearce but have yet to go. I would greatly appreciate any advise that anyone might have. Price range $40-$100 per person. Thanks.

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  1. Is going to Concord out of the question? I had a wonderful birthday celebration at Granite Restaurant in the Centennial Inn:

    I'm looking forward to their sunday brunch soon.

    1. Just got back from Simon Pierce in Quechee, VT: So good. Split the "Bangers" for an appetizer (excellent sauce with mustard seeds and brown sugar), Lamb burger with dill aeoli and a medeteranean salad with sun dried red peppers, feta and olvies, and an amazing raspberry pastry with almonds and homemade ice crteam for desert. I'm going back for sure!

      4 Replies
      1. re: cscott4313

        I go to Dartmouth as well and one of the places I go to is Tip Top Cafe in White River Junction, Vt. It's a lot cheaper than Simon Pearce, but is nice enough for a date. They also have outdoor seating when the weather's nice. I've heard Carpenter and Main in Vermont is good too. Also, Mark Bittman wrote about a couple of restaurants in Vermont and I think maybe NH within the past year, so those are worth checking out to see if they're within an hour's drive. He wrote about Hen of the Woods and...some other places that I don't remember.

        1. re: gkang

          Looked into the Bittman articles. Grest suggestions thanks!

          1. re: gkang

            I will recommend against Carpenter and Main, we have found Simon Pearce to be more reliable. Another outstanding restaurant that will just make it into your one hour criteria is Burdicks in Walpole NH. A lovely drive as well if you go early enough in the day....maybe lunch or a drive to dinner before it gets dark. And don't miss the chocolate shop and their wonderful Walpole Village Market for amazing cheese selection, local produce and specialty items.

          2. re: cscott4313

            Simon Pearce - looking forward to next time. We were there last night. If it's your first time there, i would suggest arriving at least 30 minutes early so that you can enjoy seeing the glassblower, the turbine, waterfall and all the beautiful creations.

            Our timing was perfect and we were able to take advantage of the Spring Delights Menu. Sunday-Thursday, 6-9pm, Prix fixe, 3 course, $32.

            I had the Curried Steamed Mussels (fresh large mussels with a flavorful broth), Crispy Buttermilk Chicken (very moist piece of chicken breast) with mashed potatoes, corn and gravy... it was like high-end comfort food! For dessert, the Chocolate Duo... a scoop of chocolate mousse on top of a piece of flourless chocolate cake.

            My husband had the Seasonal Greens and the Cavatelli Pasta and Grilled Artichokes. The pasta was flavorful and the fresh grilled artichokes - none of that "jar" stuff.

            I would highly recommend Simon Pearce!

            Simon Pearce
            Quechee Main Street Quechee VT, Quechee Main Street Quechee, VT

          3. how about trying peyton place in orford, nh. quite good if you can tolerate the hostess-she is a bit too smarmy for us. then there is home hill in plainfield, nh great place and good food. there is a great restaurant in brandon, vt, but i forgot its name. also go into woodstock, vt for pane e salute, also prince and the pauper and the woodstock inn.
            that should keep you busy for a while!

            1 Reply
            1. I wholeheartedly recommend LA Burdick in Walpole, New Hampshire. Known for it's chocolate, LA Burdick also has a restaurant and my god, the food is delicious! We went for a late brunch, but I would love to try it out for dinner some time. They also have, hands down, the best dark chocolate hot chocolate I have ever tried. It's irresistible.


              Kristina Y.

              L.A. Burdick Chocolate
              47 Main Street, Walpole, NH 03608

              4 Replies
              1. re: kristinayee

                I ran into a couple who suggested this to me haha great to hear a second! They also said the Chocolate and brunch were great!

                1. re: kristinayee

                  Forgot to support Kristina's recommendation: Burdick's in Walpole,NH, is worth the treck!! The best croissants other than Allechante Bakery (Woodstock and Norwich) for breakfast or Sunday Brunch. But their dinner menu is simply exquisite and their wine and cocktail menu spot on. DELICIOUS and quite romantic.

                  1. re: kristinayee

                    And another endorsement for Burdick in Walpole. Yeah, its a hike from Hanover, but you would think you were in a great brasserie in Paris. The food is wonderfully executed and a bargain for the quality. With a glass of wine, two appetizers, two small entrees, and one desert, we were out $100.

                    I've been to Simon Pearce twice this winter and there is no comparison. Simon Pearce is in a beautiful location and a great building, but I was disappointed in the food. Certainly good, but not worth the price or the effort to get there for me.

                    1. re: pmevans

                      Given the overwhelming support for Burdick, I will certainly go there. My impression of the dishes Simon Pearce has been outstanding, however, and I am wondering what you ordered and if you were there for dinner, brunch, ect.? Anyways, Burdick sounds amazing! Thanks for all the correspondence everyone and I look forward to hearing more.

                  2. Burdicks for sure - we like Pane Salute too. A little further but worth the ride in Hen of the Wood (Waterbury). Also for a real treat check out The Inn at Weathersfield

                    1. The Barnard Inn is a short drive from Woodstock in Barnard VT and is really good...you can eat in the bar without a reservation...

                      1. I recently at Carpaccio's, a quaint Italian eatery located near the Orient. The food was excellent as was the ambiance. I highly suggest this restaurant (especially their Chicken Parmesan with fresh mozzarella) for not only their food but also their wine selection (if you are old enough to partake).

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: pestopower

                          I've recently read that Carapaccio closed. That place was really good though so I hope it is not the case. Thanks for the suggestion though.

                          1. re: cscott4313

                            Hmm, I ate there just a few weeks ago. I'll swing by and check it out.

                            1. re: kaszeta

                              Carpaccio is closed. It was a week or so ago.

                              1. re: JOronte

                                Thanks. I noticed the "restaurant for sale" notice in the paper.

                                I can't say I'm suprised, since while the food was good, I always got a "we don't care" vibe from the staff.

                                1. re: kaszeta

                                  Yeah Rich, I have heard that quite a bit. I met the chef and he was
                                  very pleasant to me. His wife who was in charge of the front of the
                                  house was just about the opposite. One of the guys who works with
                                  me said his girlfriend who happened to work there was laid off a few
                                  weeks ago.

                        2. If your willing to drive an hour - The Rabbit Hill Inn is quite nice. All 3 visits have been great. Most recent was spectacular - found out that a new chef was on board. Plan on spending $140 for 2 ( but that's soup to nuts - including tip. We don't drink much.) Worth the ride. Someday, we'll stay over too.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: 718

                            Sounds great. I'll have to check it out sometime. Thanks.

                          2. Just had our anniversary dinner at Simon Pierce this past weekend. Again, the service and ambiance was excellent, though the food was not as impressive. My Sirloin was a touch overcooked (though, I prefer a rarer steak than most), and certainly less flavorful than it has been at Canoe Club (Hanover, NH) recently. The "good instead of great" argument aside, we will certainly return, at least for brunch. The Canoe Club (now the "Canoe Club Bistro"), on the other hand, is getting better and better. They consistently impress with their desserts (try the "Apple Galette") and mains, and their truffle fires with garlic aioli are out of this world. Although we see few seasonal changes to their menu, many of their dishes are winners and, with such reasonable prices for the quality, it is hard to opt for Simon Pearce on the regular.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: cscott4313

                              I hadn't noticed the name change at the Canoe club, but they seem to consistently be able to satisfy me, whether I just want drinks, a later night snack, a light dinner, or a full dinner.

                              Simon Pearce to me continues to be an excellent high-end lunch destination, and a good-but-overpriced-for-the-quality dinner destination.

                              1. re: kaszeta

                                I think the perception of the name change is due to the fact that
                                The Canoe Club put up a sign. It is a rather large sign, too.
                                If you remember, there never really was a sign announcing the
                                name of the restaurant. So now the sign saya it is The Canoe Club