Glowing review of Waterhouse in Peterborough, NH
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!
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.
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 .
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.