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Richard's Bistro, Manchester NH - So VERY solid, always so wonderful!

Had lunch today with a fellow business owner at Richard's Bistro - I'm always soooo impressed with them, not sure why I don't go more often. I love their economy specials too. We both did the $5 salad that was greens, red onions, strawberrys, almonds, and feta cheese in a wonderful citrus vinagarette. We also both did the $5 entree which was this fantastic potato pancake topped with the most tender and delish steak tips. I have always had fantastic meals here - the bread basket alone is to die for. This time was a wonderful sour dough, a ciabatta with artichoke, sundried toms and cheese, maybe a corn bread type muffin and a cheesy braided roll. Wowsa. I couldn't resist a mini dessert for $3 of nice warm bread pudding topped with whipped cream and strawberries.

Service is top notch. I know a lot of new restuarants are cropping up all around in Manch (always a good thing) but don't forget the oldies but goodies. I totally impressed my Boston dining companion. She loved it.

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Richard's Bistro
36 Lowell St Ste 1, Manchester, NH 03101

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  1. This place is awesome!! You cannot beat the lunch menu prices, but seriously, I would pay triple what they charge because is IS that GOOD!

    1. AH and who do you have to thank for introducing you to this treasure :)

      1 Reply
      1. re: gryphonskeeper

        Ahhhhh, thank you muchly! :-) I would still write rave reviews if I only went for the bread basket and three sides (garlic herbed creamed butter, sweet butter and a chutney). It's a meal in itself BEFORE the meal comes. :-)

      2. We like Richards but used to like it more before the chef from Baldwins started.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jread23

          The food is always great. I could go there for the bread basket alone !!!

        2. So, twice in one week is a great thing! Two of my sisters were traveling through (with my Mom in a wheelchair) and 4 kids so 8 of us ended up here at 2ish for lunch yesterday. I didn't realize they closed at 2:30 but our server didn't bat an eye. You add the fact that everyone was on a budget as they all just were heading home from a 2 day excursion in RI - our bill for 8 came to $55. Everyone loved their food, experience. The adults are looking forward to it again without kids. I've been a waitress before and you may have even caught me frowning at us in the back when you put the timing, low price tag, 4 kids all together - but our waitress was a pro putting through her best service. (unfortunately I dont' remember her name, very dark hair, maybe 20 something). We left her a good tip.

          Food was fantastic - I got the petite entree with cajun blackened shrimp on a potato pancake and green beans. So fantastic, shrimp was cooked perfectly, potato pancake was moist and full of herby flavors, I don't like gr beans - loved these. A lil drizzle of aoili over everything. One sister got the $5 sandwich/wrap which was filled with veggies, artichokes, roasted peppers and swiss cheese - she loved it. 2 kids got the salad, 2 other kids got dessert.

          This $5 deal is wonderful, it makes you want to come back for a lot more and more often.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lexpatti

            We went for dinner last night--Matt has rolled out the new spring menu. Some nice items, including the duck breast and duck confit entree I had. There was a wonderful typo on the menu: "crispy crap and lobster spring rolls"--they were delicious. The service was fantastic, and yes, the bread basket is worth the trip! We love this place.

          2. Adding my two cents; the place is a gem. Chef Matt has a PHD in Foie Gras, the latest iteration baked over giant peruvian Limas and ramp. Dinner is not inexpensive but I have never felt overcharged, cannot wait to try the duck in a jar.

            8 Replies
            1. re: bonasa

              I'm heading there tonight for an early Mother's Day dinner. So excited after reading this thread! Now the problem is how to decide on an entree; the online menu looks fabulous.

              1. re: Tante

                It doesn't matter EVER what I order, I'm always overwhelmed with the attention to every tasting detail - Keep in mind though, you will want to eat all that bread. :-)

                have a great dinner, report back

                1. re: lexpatti

                  I'm afraid our dinner out last night wasn't quite as good as we were hoping. I hate to be a complainer and I don't think I'm overly critical, but there were several factors that led to this being a rather disappointing experience for us.

                  The good:
                  We arrived about 10 minutes early for our reservation, but were seated immediately.
                  Our server was fantastic and attentive throughout the meal, asked if we had any questions about the menu, was knowledgeable about each entree; overall, couldn't have been better.
                  The drinks from the bar were outstanding.
                  And of course, the bread basket! I can't recall exactly all of the types of bread--a corn bread, a plain French roll, a bread baked with cheese and tomatoes, and others, with three excellent spreads--blue cheese, garlic/anchovy aioli, and a heavenly butter.

                  The not-so-good:
                  My husband's NY strip steak, ordered medium, was cooked medium-rare, though it was cooked unevenly. It also had a good deal of fat and gristle (and not the good kind of marbling). Disappointing at the price, since I can get better at my local butcher shop. (He had hoped for the lobster risotto, still listed on their website, but we were told they had just updated their menu yesterday and it was no longer available.)
                  I had the red snapper with fiddleheads and lobster; the fish was under-seasoned, and the lobster was overcooked.

                  As we were finishing our meal, Richard, who was acting as the host, was escorting another party to their table, beyond ours. They stopped to talk with the people at the table next to us, and Richard stood with his derriere in my husband's face for about 3 minutes. I know, this might sound overly picky--it's a small space--but as it's his restaurant, he should be familiar with the layout. It's a minor thing, I guess, but really detracted from my husband's enjoyment of the evening.

                  It was a busy Saturday night, and maybe they were having a problem keeping up with orders. I don't know. We don't go out as often as we'd like to, and as this was a Mother's Day treat, we left disappointed that we were underwhelmed. I feel bad for posting this, since so many of you have had such good experiences there.

                  1. re: Tante

                    Tante to be honest the only bad dinner I have ever had at Richards was on a busy Saturday night. Almost the same issue, my food was overcooked and very under seasoned. (In fact my stuffed lobster looked more like a lobster shell with nearly whole Ritz crackers tossed on as an afterthought) Try going on a mid-week evening or even lunch. Sorry you had to have the "Rump stare" I too had that happen to me in a small restaurant... not a very pleasing experience.

                    1. re: gryphonskeeper

                      ...but Richard has such a cute butt...

                      1. re: whs

                        LOL, whs! I might have thought so, but my husband did not. :)

                        gryphonskeeper, if I'm ever in Manchester in the daytime, I might try them again for lunch. I can tell from the reviews here (and the fact that the place was packed) that they must be doing something right. I can accept an off night now and then; I'm especially glad, based on what you wrote, that I didn't go for the $38 stuffed lobster, which I was really tempted by.

                        1. re: Tante

                          Tante, RB is a Manchester institution; Richard is 80+/- years old and knows everybody in town. He was probably sucking up to a regular, or charming an old lady he once slept with. I hope you'll keep going because when the staff knows you, you are golden. Matt is a wonderful chef--he loves feedback and will gladly accommodate your requests. Go during the week.

                          1. re: whs

                            whs, I almost choked on my wine when I read this post... LOL

            2. Matt Provencher is now owner/chef. The re-decoration is very nice--pale shades of grey green and eye-popping window treatments. The bread basket remains. We took friends out for dinner, and had a great evening. Many new items on the menu: The lobster "chowder" was fantastic--a split, roasted lobster tail served over a creamy sauce enhanced with truffles; a veal "rack" that was superb, the fresh pasta course was sublime. They've kept the $3 mini-desserts--thank god. Service was attentive; Matt stopped by the table to help us with the menu, and after dinner to see what we thought of the changes. All together, a class act and a great iteration of a Manchester institution.

              3 Replies
              1. re: whs

                going to get my son here on this visit. I know he'd enjoy very much!

                1. re: lexpatti

                  I think I may go for lunch this coming week. I miss the bread basket.

                  1. re: gryphonskeeper

                    wish I could join you, crazier schedule then ever these days! have fun