Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Green Monkey for Restaurant Week

86 Pleasant St

Of course you knew I would be all over Portsmouth Restaurant week. Who in their right mind wouldn't be with the state of the economy? Tonight I dined at The Green Monkey to enjoy their fine food and libations. Owner Deb Weeks was working the floor and was excited to already be enjoying what was going to be another booked evening for the restaurant. That's a great sign of others being out and enjoying this week of special treats. Owned by partners Phelps Dieck and Deb Weeks, The Green Monkey will be celebrating its 5Th year anniversary on the 22ND of this month. Deb and Phelps also take care of their baby across the street, Brazo (another gem of mine). The restaurant has a clean, sleek modern feel to it and there was a good buzz of tables conversing which is always a good sign of happy guests. The bar is small but was consistently busy with a youthful crowd. Although my eyes wandered over their delicious menu, I wanted to make sure that tonight I took advantage of their participation in Restaurant Week and ordered off of the Prixe Fix 3 course menu for the bargain price of $29.95. I started my evening by with a Thai Mango Fizz ($10) served with their signature tail hanging monkey, I enjoyed this sweeter martini. My dining companion had a Dirty Swedish Girl ($10) which is their pour of a dirty martini and a good one at that. My first course choice was a salad served deconstructed and consisted of a slow roasted mixed beet salad, a generous cut of walnut crusted goat cheese, fresh greens and served with a thyme & Meyer lemon vinaigrette. I know its just a salad, but I haven't enjoyed one as much as I did this one in a very long time. meals were served with a basket of warm, crusty, sour dough bread accompanied by a garlic infused butter. My dining companion chose the 2ND first course option of an acorn squash and apple bisque topped with toasted seeds and cardamom cream. The bisque was smooth and very tasty. The cardamom cream I thought was a nice touch. My second course pick was the Chicken Trio with stir fried vegetable lo mein, marinated breast dressed with a 5 spice jus, crispy soy line drumstick and 2 chicken and leek dumplings. The trio was very good and I especially loved the dumplings, but left most of the lo mein on the plate as it was too salty to enjoy. The other option for your entree off of the prixe fix was the House made Fettuccine with grilled eggplant caponnata and shaved NH tomme cheese. My dining companion really enjoyed. I sampled some of it myself and thought it was really good too. Nothing really beats house made pasta! OK, ready for the dessert options? I chose the pumpkin spice creme brulee with maple sugar cookies over the cherry and cognac bread pudding and I definitely think I picked the winner. The brulee was perfect and was so rich I was sad that I couldn't finish it, but glad that someone else at the table did for me. Our waitress Betsy was great. She was prompt and friendly and always came to the table with a smile. What really made the evening enjoyable was the warm hospitality that Deb Weeks provided. When you are welcomed into a restaurant as Deb welcomes you, you know you will be back again and again. Thank you Deb, chef Patrick, Phelps and the rest of The Green Monkey staff, keep up the good work. I will be seeing you again soon for those pumpkin seed encrusted scallops!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Portsmouth Restaurant Week-Nov 10th-16th

Take a bite out of Portsmouth's Restaurant Week, it's a great opportunity to visit some of the best restaurants that Portsmouth has to offer at great prices!
Nov. 10-16, Participating Restaurants include: Agavé Mexican Bistro Dos, Black Trumpet Bistro, Blue Mermaid Island Grill, Brazo, The Carriage House, The Dolphin Striker, The Dunaway Restaurant at Strawbery Banke, The Green Monkey, Harbor's Edge at the Sheraton Harborside, Jumpin' Jay's Fish Café, The Library Restaurant, Pesce Blue, The Portsmouth Brewery, Portsmouth Gas Light Co., Radici, Ristorante Massimo, Rudi's Portsmouth and The Wellington Room.
Restaurant Week Portsmouth will feature three-course prix fixe menus for $16.95 per person for lunch and $29.95 per person for dinner (does not include beverages, taxes or gratuity). Reservations are strongly recommended.
To book reservations, diners must contact the individual restaurant(s) of their choice. On Saturday, Nov. 15 participating restaurants will only accept Restaurant Week reservations for parties seated prior to 6:30 p.m.

Details: Visit www.restaurantweekportsmouth.com or call the Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce at 610-5510