Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Poop Cake FOUND

Thank you to Tom Robinson the owner of the delicious York Lobster and Seafood in York, Maine for coming through with a baker & cake decorator that could make the special birthday cake of a certain someone one he will never forget!

Thursday, November 4, 2010


*****Attention deal-seekers! Featuring special 3-course prix fixe menus: lunch $16.95 per person, dinner $29.95 per person (does not include beverages, taxes or gratuity) at participating restaurants throughout Portsmouth and the Seacoast. Restaurant Week Portsmouth is a bi-annual culinary event which spotlights Greater Portsmouth as a culinary and cultural destination. Please go to http://www.portsmouthchamber.org/restaurantweek.cfm for a list of the participating restaurants and view the menus!
Wine & dine, shop & gallery hop, visit the theatre, and make it a getaway. Area hotels and inns offer special rates & packages during the event as well.
*Please note: Restaurants will not accept discount cards or other offers during Restaurant Week. Reservations highly recommended - diners must contact the individual restaurant(s) of their choice.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Gordo's Burritos & Tacos

64 Freetown Rd
Raymond, NH
Open for lunch & dinner Tuesday thru Sundays, Gordo's is conveniently located right off exit 5 on 101. I had a few people recommend that I go check this little Mexican restaurant out so I finally was able to make it in. I didn't like it. Maybe I am spoiled by the really fresh Mexican burritos and tacos available at Las Olas or Dos Amigos, but rightly so I figure. All of the items on Gordo's menu are priced the same at $6.95. Set up cafeteria style, you order at the counter and get your drinks there too before you pick your seat in the dinning area. when you food is ready, someone from the counter or kitchen will bring it out. the decor is great and I like the idea of the hot sauce bottle shelf, but the food is below average. My tacos were overcooked while my dinning companions burritos were undercooked. The owner was there and she did not seem friendly at all. We had another friend of ours join us since we had to discuss some business things and the owner actually came over and asked how much longer we were going to be there and since the additional member that joined us was sitting at the table with his laptop and NOT ordering, she wanted us to scram, said she had a large party coming in any minute and this didn't look right. wow, we finished our beers and left. I will not return. For a restaurant owner that is struggling and that only had one other table of guests there in addition to us to say something like that was completely rude. I'm going to safely guess that Gordo's just doesn't have what it takes to make it as a successful Mexican restaurant.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rudi's Portsmouth

20 High St
Portsmouth, NH
Open Daily Lunch & Dinner
11:30 a.m. - close (Late Night: Bar/ Lounge)

Rudi's Portsmouth is a tucked away neighborhood gem. The atmosphere inside has an old town feel to it and has a great little piano bar lounge that I often will start a relaxing weekend at with friends and listen to the live music (which they have 5 days a week). The menu features dishes that use local farm ingredients and is varied enough that I'm sure you will be able to find a few that tempt your taste buds. I have 2 favorite dishes at Rudi's Portsmouth, my top choice is the Sesame Encrusted Atlantic Salmon ($25). It has a homemade teriyaki glaze, Napa cabbage salad, pickled cucumber slaw and served on a bed of basmati rice. I think it is one of the best salmon dishes served up in the area. My second favorite dish is the Fresh Lobster Ravioli ($28). It is served with sauteed leeks, roasted grape tomatoes and a fresh basil chiffonade in a white butter truffle butter. I have also indulged a few times and have had the Grilled New Zealand Lamb Rack ($28). Served with a cranberry-mint demi glaze, roasted garlic mashed potatoes and sauteed spinach. I usually request the basmati rice as my starch instead of the mashed potatoes, but either accompanies the lamb very well. Wow, just typing these dishes makes my mouth start to water. Rudi's Portsmouth has strong roots in Portsmouth and is one of the locals favorite restaurants. They have a wonderful Sunday Jazz Brunch menu offered weekly from 11am -3pm. Upon all of my visits here, the service has been courteous and prompt and always helpful with any special food requests or recommendations from the menu. I also want to mention it's one of the few Portsmouth restaurants that actually has their own parking area too which is very convenient. Rudi's Portsmouth is also a FIRA member which if you haven't taken advantage of joining, I would check it out at http://www.localflavor.org/ for more details. If you haven't had the opportunity to visit Rudi's Portsmouth for dinner yet, I invite you to give it a try and just relax and enjoy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

4th Annual Portsmouth, NH Cocktail Competition

The 4th Annual Portsmouth Cocktail Competition is to be held on Sunday, June 6, 2010. Starting at the Portsmouth Gas Light Co. restaurant and wrap-up party at Ri Ra Irish Pub. Tickets cost $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets include cocktail samplings at 9 downtown Portsmouth restaurants, Souvenir Shot Glass, Event Map and entry into the Wrap Up Party with LIVE music by the band FLUSH and LIVE broadcast by WXGR 101.5 FM. New this year, get Poked by Poken Social Business Card! Poke new friends by simply putting your "poken" cards together when you meet someone at the event. Your information is digitally exchanged and stored on the USB device and ready for download to your computer. Participating locations this year include the Portsmouth Gas Light Co., Dolphin Striker, Riverhouse, TJ's, Hilton Garden Inn, Rudi's, The Page, Sake and Ri Ra Irish Pub. This is a really enjoyable event that you can take part in and vote for which restaurant takes home the title of "Best Signature Cocktail of Portsmouth"!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Maxwell's Pub- Ogunquit, Maine

243 Main St
Located right smack downtown in Ogunquit, ME, Maxwell's has prime real estate for a great restaurant...too bad it isn't one. I wanted to get this up on the blog because I know so many people will be traveling through Ogunquit this summer and I wanted to let you know that if your looking for a good casual restaurant to grab a decent bite, this is NOT where you want to stop. Sure, it's as good as any other bar for a drink and gets quite the crowd on weekend nights for libations, but you can't really mess up a beer. There are several fine establishments around Maxwell's that have good food at good prices that I would recommend you try instead while visiting this quaint little seacoast town.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bonta- Hampton, N.H.

A beautiful Italian restaurant & bar located at 287 Exeter Road in Hampton, NH, right off Exit 13 on 101 serves up some outstanding regional Italian and Mediterranean dishes. The decor is simple, warm and elegant, with a country Italian feel. Well known for their fresh, flavorful food and their cozy, upscale bar, I have yet to be disappointed in my dining experiences at Bonta.
Off of their Appetizers menu, I have enjoyed their rich Tuscan White Bean soup ($8) and their Mussels Fra Diavolo ($11) which does have a bit of a kick. They offer quite a few dinner selections and also a daily specials menu. I like that with their main pasta dishes, you can have either a full order or opt for a smaller portion at a lower price. The smaller portions of pasta are perfect if you are in the mood for either an appetizer or saving room for one of their desserts or both!
For a main dish, I recommend the Tagliatelle alla Bolognese ($12/$23) that is made with fresh, homemade pasta which always makes a big difference in taste when dining out for an Italian meal. If you aren't in the mood for pasta, I recommend their Tuscan Chicken under a Brick ($25) served with a creamy Gorgonzola risotto, broccoli rabe and a house-made gravy. The chicken is juicy and tender, and consistently cooked perfectly. During my visits at Bonta, the waitstaff has been very friendly, attentive and willing to make menu suggestions if you are having a hard time deciding what to enjoy. It’s also worth mentioning that Bonta has an outstanding wine menu that has been the recipient of the Wine Spectators’ “Award of Excellence” for outstanding wine selections for the last eight years. The staff has been very knowledgeable and helpful with pairing recommendations. I love my vino and it's nice to indulge in one or two wines that I haven't explored. The Mahogany Bar at Bonta is well known with the locals. It's small and comfortable and I have enjoyed the service by bar manager Al who has been at Bonta since it opened. He has a great smile, is always friendly and on top of his game. The Bar menu is quite wonderful and has small plate options, sandwiches and also some great signature Artisan flat breads. From the bar menu, I am a big fan of their Margherita flat bread ($9) that has house made tomato sauce, fresh Mozzarella cheese and basil and also the Chicken Picatta dish ($11) with sauteed chicken, lemons, capers, white wine, stewed tomatoes served over Gemelli pasta.
You don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy a really nice evening out at Bonta and if at all possible, try to save room for dessert. It's actually one of my favorite dessert menus on the Seacoast.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Restaurant Week Portsmouth: March 26th - April 3rd, 2010


It's that time of year again my fellow foodies! The Portsmouth, N.H. Chamber of Commerce proudly puts on this bi-annual culinary event and this time around it has over 30 restaurants participating in it from around the Seacoast! It's nice to see some new additions taking part this year.
Portsmouth Restaurant Week is a great opportunity to dine out at some of the restaurants you either haven't been able to try yet or have been wanting to, but may be out of your budget range. The restaurants will be featuring a 3 course prix fixe dinner menu for $29.95 per person and some of the restaurants also will be featuring a 3 course lunch prix fixe menu for $16.95 per person. The Portsmouth chamber website will have the menus posted as soon as they become available so that you can see which ones where sound the most delicious to you.
I love this event and I think it is especially welcomed in times like today where the economy is "not so hot". Reservations are HIGHLY recommended and there are also many area hotels and inns offering special rates and packages during this event.
I hope you are able to make it to one or two and that you enjoy your time spent here on the Seacoast. See you around town!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seaglass Restaurant- North Salisbury Beach, MA

4 Oceanfront
North Salisbury, MA

Located in the Pavilion at Salisbury Beach, the Sea Glass Restaurant and Lounge seems a bit out of place. The panoramic ocean views are phenomenal. I can't think of another seacoast dining spot that can match them. Large windows on the oceanside of the dining room seem to put you right on top of the waves. The decor is classy contemporary. A large mantled fireplace is the focal point of the dining room. The lounge area features a horseshoe shaped bar that is surrounded by smaller tables and seems to catch a fairly nice little crowd in the evenings. Sea Glass Oceanside offers a well rounded wine list as well. I enjoyed the house Jacob's Creek Cabernet ($5).
Beware, Sea Glass can be pricey, The menu is a la carte, but has a great selection of fresh seafood, farm to table vegetables, and a nice selection of steaks and meat dishes as well. There are a few vegetarian options as well. Even the most finicky of eaters can find something on the menu and Sea Glass is very accommodating in preparing your selection as you would like.
My companion and I could not pass up the Chilled Seafood Platter appetizer (market price $32). It had a selection of lobster meat (half a tail, half a claw), raw oysters(3), raw mussels(3), shrimp( 2), crab meat (a decent serving) and calamari (it does change depending on what the chef has in house that day). It was delicious, but the platter is much larger than the portions served on it which makes it seem like more than it is. I noticed several diners enjoying sharing this appetizer on their tables as well.
The specials' menu does not list prices and when I asked, my waitress said the Executive Chefs, Richard Lambiase and Scott Brandolini do not like to list the prices because they do not want your decision to be based on price. I don't know how I feel about that. Seems a little haughty. They will gladly quote prices if you ask. I always ask. I once was at a restaurant that didn't list the specials pricing and went with a surf and turf. It cost me $75! It wasn't worth it, but that taught me to always ask. My dining companion reminded me to mention the bread basket (you know who you are). The rolls were warm and the accompanying garlic & herb butter was amazing. They change the butter flavor almost weekly. A nice extra I thought. The menu at first seems a bit scattered, but the waitstaff will walk you through it if need be. I chose the fresh catch of Salmon ($17) for my entree and opted to have it grilled topping it with the red onion plum chutney (an additional $2). All fish and steak choices can be prepared grilled, blackened, pan-seared or baked. You can add a sauce to any fish or steak dish for the $2 upcharge. The salmon did not disappoint. I sampled my friend's Icelandic Haddock that had the honey balsamic glaze and that too was very fresh and perfectly cooked. ($18 + $2 for the sauce). An entree comes with choice of 1 side, but the sides are definitely large enough for 2, so you can easily enjoy a starch and a vegetable sharing both. We shared a baked sweet potato and creamed spinach. Post dinner we entertained ourselves by reading the dessert menu, but neither of us had the room, but I will say the selection will make your mouth water a bit, hahahaha.
The service was prompt and very knowledgeable about the menu. We never felt rushed which always enhances my dining experience.
This is an excellent restaurant for a great date, dinner with good friends or a special evening with family when you are looking for a little extra something, the great ocean view, and are willing to pay for it.
They also offer a Sunday Buffet Brunch By The Sea for $25 from 10:30am to 2:00pm. I will definitely return to Sea Glass and try the Sunday Brunch. I want to enjoy the view during the day.
Despite the enjoyable meal and setting I'm not sure that Sea Glass will be able to carry based on location. Although this area of Salisbury Beach is improving, it still has a long way to go to before it reaches upscale. It's a work in progress. It would be nice to see Sea Glass last though because it was a truly enjoyable dining experience.
Sea Glass is open Sunday thru Thursday, 11am-10pm and Friday & Saturday, 11:30am to 11:00pm.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Mission Oak Grill- Newburyport, MA

26 Green St
Let me ask you this, when you are craving a perfectly grilled, juicy steak, where do you go? Do you know of a steakhouse on the Seacoast that hasn't let you down? I do. It's Mission Oak Grill in Newburyport, MA. Located up from the harbor a bit on Green St, Mission Oak Grill is my favorite Seacoast steakhouse. It's in an old church space which formally was the Kiwi Grill. It's open 7 nights a week and serves up hand cut meats that are perfectly grilled time and time again. As soon as you walk through the inner set of large wooden doors here, you will feel you have come to the right restaurant for your meal. The decor is simple, but exactly what I seek in a steakhouse atmosphere with its rich leather seating and dark woods. There is a long bar area to the side of the main dining that is always busy and they serve up a great bar menu that is half off - Sunday thru Friday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. The dinner menu covers you from Kansas City Sirloin (to die for at $28) to Alder planked Salmon ($23). I even indulge from time to time in their Bistro Cheeseburger ($12) which is 12 ounces of what a burger SHOULD be and often isn't. Another highlight for me with this restaurant is that they use a lot of local ingredients which I always like to see happening on menus. Time and time again, the service here at Mission Oak Grill has been top notch. I have not had any bad or disappointing dining experiences ever and I have been enjoying this restaurant for a few years now. This is where I often will take friends for special occasions or guests that are in town for a visit because I know how impressed and satisfied they will be with their meals. Thurs-Sun the restaurant is really bustling for dinner so reservations are highly recommended. The extensive international wine list is very impressive (and you know I am a huge wine fan) and the waitstaff is trained and prepared to answer any questions you might have about their wines and pairing options. They use to offer a really nice 3 course prix fixe menu that included a glass of wine, Mondays-Wednesdays I think it was that was an amazing bargain at around $29 and I was sad to see that they don't have that anymore, but would love to see them bring it back.
Upstairs from the main dining room, they do offer the Mission Oak Room for private functions and are often hosting comedy nights and special musical acts.
If you crave a great steak and a truly enjoyable dining experience, make your next stop here.
You can't teach taste and you can't teach style and Mission Oak Grill has both.