Jackson, NH trip report: White Mtn. Cider Co. rocks!
SO and I and another couple make an annual winter jaunt through northern NE for x-c skiing and eating, and this year, Jackson was our destination. To start with the good news, White Mountain Cider Company in Glen was a wonderful find (thanks to a CHOW report last week). All of us agreed that everything we ate was well-conceived and delicious. Can't list everything, but highlights included the house-made potato chips as a table starter: crispy, well-flavored, and different. We agreed that the sriracha aioli was the best topping Among the pas, Winter Calamari with blood orange and chili sauce was great, and the Brussels sprouts and celery root salad (warm) was outstanding. My crab cakes with fennel-apple slaw were good, but overly creamy to my taste. Best entree awards from our group of 5 included the sea scallops with crispy polenta (nice method) and truffled carrot sauce: who knew this could exist? Pan roasted duck w/ sweet potato was perfectly cooked, as was my ancho-rubbed pork tenderloin. Only criticism here was that the faro underneath was so flavored with thyme that it blocked the nuttiness of the grain. We shared desserts, including the house special, cider donut with ice cream; and a reasonably good espresso pot-de-creme. Wines are interesting and very fairly priced, if a little directed to CA for me. Service was superb: attentive, knowledgeable, but not cloying.
Our 2nd night dinner, at the Wentworth Inn, was pretty boring. The menu is much more "traditional" resort fare, with nothing awful but little of interest: no flavors, under-seasoning, forgettable. The house did comp a bottle of wine in response to our comments (which had been requested by the front end manager), which was more than necessary and appreciated. Wines are horribly overpriced: most 3.5 times retail or more for wines I know well.
A nice surprise on the lunch front was the bakery in the middle of Jackson. All the baked goods are made on premises, and the young couple who run it have a deft hand: anything with layers (strudel, biscuits, scones) were outstandingly light and flaky; grilled panini very tasty; nice selection of coffees.
JTown Deli, on the other hand, which is near the x-c center, is a miss: sandwiches and wraps basically just a pile of stuff in the bread, no flavors, short on dressings.