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Glowing review of Waterhouse in Peterborough, NH

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After spending too much time poking around here for a nice place to eat in Southern New Hampshire on my own (and yes, I love Burdicks, but that was a little too far), I ended up wandering into Waterhouse in Peterborough last Friday. It’s inspired my first post here, because I want to spread the word.

I had a Caesar salad, which was nothing extraordinary, but fresh and crisp and with an excellent garlicky dressing. Then I had the wild boar and fennel Bolognese on their homemade linguine, which—don’t be shocked here—may have been as good as the similar dish at Babbo in NY a few months ago. The sauce was beautifully balanced, just the right amount of fennel, and the fettuccine was al dente, rough-hewn, and fabulous. (By contrast, the tagliatelle at Babbo was a giant clump under the sauce.) It came with a generous dollop of fresh house-made ricotta.

Dessert was a perfectly fine chocolate mousse, and the coffee was excellent. The restaurant itself was elegant but not stuffy—right for anything from a pre-movie dinner to a really special event.

The clincher? My whole meal, glass of wine and generous tip included, came to $35.

There was a downside—I heard that they just got new owners, and all the staff is new. The service was very uneven—some waiters seemed overly chatty, while mine (maybe uncomfortable with a woman dining alone?) was somewhat scarce and slow. Clearly they’re still working out the kinks on timing—the pasta should have been hotter--and for such a lovely place, I’d have liked a little more professionalism. But that was a small price to pay—I only wish I lived closer so I could go back soon. Go and enjoy!

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  1. Just remembered--I paid for my wine at the bar. So it was closer to $40. Still a fabulous deal.

    1. They just got new owners, or just re-opened? If they had new owners already, that would not be a good thing. I am wondering if you misheard; the location used to be Aqua Bistro for many years; it closed last winter and re-opened as the Waterhouse last spring, so it's less than a year old.

      I have only been a few time but the service is definitely uneven. I think part of the reason is that Peterborough in general has a pretty shallow pool of applicants since it is so small - service is weak at most places in town .

      2 Replies
      1. re: Msample

        I certainly could have--I got my information from a brief chat with someone at Twelve Pines, who seemed knowledgeable. Maybe he meant that the chef was new? He did say that for some reason all the waitstaff was new--but who knows if he was an accurate source. Nonetheless, the food and price trumped the service issues in my view.

        1. re: thisbe

          I was there for my second visit this past Saturday. The waiter who served us was the same waiter who had served us drinks last summer. My first visit was pretty rocky although they did a good martini. Saturday was quite good and we'll be back.

      2. Had an excellent meal last night. Gorgeous setting, cocktails were perfect, spinach gnocchi was superb. The soft shell crab blt app was a little strange - it was a tasty crab next to a BLT sandwich - more of a lunch sandwich item than an app. Inventive sorbets made in house, favorite was a blueberry lime that was just tart enough.