Monday, September 29, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
Having lunch or dinner or just drinks at the Portsmouth Brewery is so much a part of my regular routine, it's about time I add it into the blog. It has such a well rounded menu, anyone will find something they would like. I have become a huge fan of executive chef Rob Martin who keeps the menu at the Brewery fresh and I look forward to seeing what tasty dishes he adds to the small plates and the entrees that change every few months on the Brewer's Table section of the menu. Secretly have my fingers crossed that the next Brewer's Table menu repeats last winter's Pumpkin Gnocchi. My most recent visit to the Portsmouth Brewery was for dinner. For a change of scenery, my dining companion and I decided to sit downstairs at Jimmy Lapanzas bar. I had a glass of Cabernet (just the house, I love my red wines) and my friend had a glass of the newly tapped golden German ale, Kolsch that was recommended for him to try by our bartender/server Melissa. It is fermented at a slightly cooler temperature than the other Brewery ales and then it is cold age it. It's a light, fruity version of a German style beer, but still has that clean, crisp finish that you would expect. For an appetizer, we shared the Crab Rangoon Dip $7.95 which is served with fried won tons. If you like Crab Rangoon, you will love this dish! Its made with real crab and is a very rich appetizer, that's good to the last bite! If you run out of won tons, no worries, they will bring you more! For my entree I ordered the Frenched Pork Chop $17.95, a dish from the Brewer's Table section of the menu. A 9oz. naturally raised bone-in pork chop, grilled to temp, served with mashed cumin roasted plantains, whole roasted figs and a demi glaze reduction with fresh sorrel. It was fantastic! It was cooked medium and it melted in my mouth. I also really enjoyed the creative side dish of the mashed plantains(I am a big fan of plantains although I can't ever cook them as well at home). Chef Rob Martin again completely satisfied my hunger and will keep me coming back for more. The service by our bartender Melissa was great too. She really knows the menu well and can give you some great suggestions for both drinks and food. It's a real treat to go out to eat and not only find a place with great food, but also great service. When I asked Melissa what her signature cocktail to make is, she says to ask her for a Hot & Dirty Martini! I will definitely be back for one of those in the near future!
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Friday, September 12, 2008
I was in the mood for a good burger the other night and since I have heard so much about the WIMPYS (burgers) that The Rusty Hammer serves up, I figured, what the heck, why not give it a try! I sat with my dining companion in the bar area at one of their high tables so he could watch the NASCAR interviews that were on one of the TVs. The specials board showed that they Crab Pearls (which I had heard where good), but when our waitress came out, she said they didn't have any more of those and hadn't for a couple of days (since they were closed Sun/Mon I guess). We split a side (appetizer) order of Red Hook beer battered shrimp $7.95. Although these little morsels were quite tasty, there were only 9 little ones in the serving so at almost $1.00 each, soooooooooo not worth it. I had a Wimpy with cheddar cheese and mushrooms with a side of seasoned waffle fries. It was good, but nothing to rave about. My dining companion ordered a steak which was exactly what I thought it was going to be, a BAD idea. It came out cooked medium to temp, but was tough and he didn't think anything special. Of course not, it's the Rusty Hammer. The waitress wasn't that friendly from the get go and never returned to our table (she kept hanging out up by the front door, I don't know, looking for love perhaps?) until I asked for the check. I think your best bet with the Rusty Hammer is skip the food and go right for the drinks in the bar. They do run some good Beer Bucket specials right now thanks to the Red Sox.
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I caught The Barn Tavern on one of their last Lunch serving afternoons (at least for a while they said due to the economy). Although I find the atmosphere of this restaurant very charming and really enjoy their deck that looks over the river, the food leaves too much to be desired. I started off with 3 of their Bacon Wrapped Sea Scallops that are tossed in a butter, brown sugar and maple glaze ($2.25 each). For being Sea Scallops, they were more like the size of a hunky bay scallop and the presentation of the plate wasn't very appealing. My dining companion ordered the soup special of the day which was a Pineapple Gazpacho (he is a Gazpacho FREAK). It didn't have the look or texture of a Gazpacho at all. Looked more like a cold tomato soup with big chunks of vegetables and pineapple in it. I could tell just by the look on his face when the dish was placed in front of him, he was disappointed. The French Onion Crock looked good though that my other dining companion had and was priced fair at $5.50. She didn't think it was anything special though and she really enjoys her French Onion soup. For my lunch, the waitress (who was very pleasant) suggested the steak tips or a salad, but I went for the chicken pot pie. It wasn't good. It wasn't very hot and looked more like a bowl of chicken stew than anything remotely resembling a pot pie. Oh well, maybe it was an off day for the chef, or maybe The Barn Tavern is better at dinner than they are at lunch. What ever the case may be, I think the next time I am in the Dover area, I will look somewhere else to have lunch.