Fireworks Restaurant now open in Keene, NH
Brattleboro based Fireworks Restaurant (http://fireworksrestaurant.net/) opened in Keene, NH on 12/21 adjacent to the newly renovated Lane Hotel. The menu is the same as the Brattelboro menu (including nightly pizza, pasta, and salad specials) but the draught beer list is slightly different.
Taking over the space that used to be hotel lobby/bar, it's a hugely positive addition to Main Street in Keene. The space is quite nice, with a large front room with huge windows looking out on to Main Street, and plenty of space in the back room/bar area, including exposed brick walls and an open view of the beautiful brick oven for pizzas (the regular kitchen is closed off in back).
We started with the arugula salad- fresh spicy greens with sweet sauteed onions and really fresh tasting halved cherry tomatoes. They were willing to accommodate our request for the shaved parmesean to come on the side. It was all lightly dressed in a simple vinaigrette.
We each also ordered a pizza- since we were relatively hungry, we decided to each order our own, though I could see that at lunch or if you weren't that hungry, splitting an appetizer and one pizza would probably be ok. The pizza is done in the brick oven, comes on a large serving plate cut into six pieces. The crust was perfectly blistered with a little char along the outer edges, and the cheese was perfectly melted. My husband had "The Meat Pie"- a pizza with sausage, pepperoni, chicken, bacon, tomato sauce, and fresh mozzarella. I was amazed that a pizza with that many toppings didn't appear soggy anywhere on the bottom crust, not even right in the middle. The bottom crust was crispy through to the last piece. Additionally, there was almost no grease, not even with all that meat. He loved it. I had the simple Margherita. It was topped with fresh mozz, sliced tomatoes, and ribbons of basil (added after it came out of the oven). Again, the crust was perfect on the bottom and along the edges. My first bite was a tad on the bland side, but I added a very light sprinkle of salt and pepper, and that really brought out the flavors. What stood out was the rich taste of the olive oil that had been drizzled on top right before serving- that really made the whole pizza.
With one beer each, our per-person total came to exactly $30 after tip. I am so happy to see this place in Keene and wish them lots of success. They are currently open from 4-10pm, but I hope they consider opening at lunch because I'm sure they'd do well at that time of day.
As a local, I recently stopped by for diner at the bar. I was certainly put off by the substandard servic. The bartenders clearly did not appreciate the presence of someone who was just having a pizza and a beer. They were quite busy serving shots to friends though. Pizza came and I did not even get a set-up, and had to request one.. I asked for a little oregano, I received the reply "I dont have any." I am a professional who sometimes goes after working late for a bite. It is not an issue of being inappropriately dressed or something like that. I believe it is a management issue as I have been going to the Brattleboro location for years and have always liked it there as have my friends. The food is also better there. Keene's was disappointing, especially considering the price. The Keene space is quite nice though and I hope that they get it together. However, I will not be going back.