First-rate dinner within 45 minutes of Dover, NH
My wife and I will be enjoying the hospitality of some friends the second week of July and we want to plan a really good dinner. Since we live in the Midwest I, of course, would love to take advantage of the wonderful seafood that we don't normally get to enjoy. On the other hand, most goods restaurants in the region undoubtedly serve good seafood so I'm open to any suggestions. This could either be a fine dining establishment or else someplace that simply knows how to prepare food in a way that will make me glad I went. Ideas, please?
Anneke Jans in Kittery Maine (next to Portsmouth) gets my vote. A small bistro, excellent food and service. You can reserve on Open Table. I love fisherman's Catch in Wells, but you should know that it is casual (picnic tables with rolls of papertowels hanging overhead), crowded and noisey. Not for a relaxing dinner.
We had a superb dinner at Black Trumpet last Monday night. I can't recommend it highly enough. Great service, fresh ingredients, extremely creative preparation. I had the seafood chowder and the paella. Every flavor popped and the combinations all worked. Others at the table derived similar pleasure from their meals. We shared a wonderful fruit crisp for dessert. A hit. A small service note: the waiter noticed that my wife put some ice cubes in her red wine (something she almost always does) and brought her a taste of a chilled rose, suggesting it might be to her liking if she wanted a second glass. Smart guy, and observant.
This place is a gem and was far and away the culinary highlight of our week in New England.
We also had a very good meal at Pepperland on Thursday night. Not the same kind of fine dining but some extremely tasty food.
I have clients and friends in Portsmouth, a *great* restaurant town. My favorites for dinner are:
Black Trumpet (French bistro style)
Jumpin' Jay's (San Francisco-like fish house)
Blue Mermaid (funky, fun - try the Pad Thai)
There are also a few nice places in New Castle, just south of Portsmouth.
But you almost can't go wrong in Portsmouth, due to competition. Good fine dining, ethnic, pizza/beer/wine, etc.
Places tend to come and go.
Black Trumpet Bistro
29 Ceres Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Jumpin' Jay's Fish Cafe
150 Congress Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801
Wentworth by the Sea Marriott Hotel and Spa
588 Wentworth Road, New Castle, NH 03854