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“D_E_L_I_C_I_O_U_S” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Chef's Table

Chef's Table
13 Hanson St, Rochester, NH 03801
(603) 319-8451
Website
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Ranked #1 of 82 restaurants in Rochester
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Rochester, NH
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“D_E_L_I_C_I_O_U_S”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 30, 2013

Love the food and presentation here. They are like a duck out of water in Rochester. They would do fabulous in a location like Portsmouth or Portland. People in Rochester simply can't afford to eat there.
Clam chowder is to die for. Rack of Lamb...mmmmm delish.
Lousy hours, but worth making a reservation for that special occasion

Visited May 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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28 reviews from our community

92% Recommend
    23
    3
    0
    1
    1
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Strafford, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
37 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Sorry to say our favorite restaurant is CLOSED”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed May 22, 2013

Sign on door and web site Closed due to the economy.

They closed in Portsmouth NH some time ago and then re-opened in Rochester for about 2 years and closed again. This is sad, the food was the best.

Visited May 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dover, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Very good value, but a few shortcomings”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2013

The Chef's Table is found on Hanson Street in Rochester. It's not the best neighborhood, but it's not dangerous either. It's just sort of run down. The restaurant itself could use a makeover as well. While it is a small restaurant (10 or so tables and a bar), they've been open for about a year and a half. That's far long enough to (a) replace a well-stained carpet and (b) put some decor into the place. Instead, you have a quiet, dull and lacking atmosphere. The walls are mostly bare, the lighting is poor - a combination of overhead lamps, track lighting, and table candles. If it wasn't for the rest of the experience, they would be closed tomorrow. But...

There is no greeter, but our server Mary was quick to come over and seat us near the front window. Mary was one of two servers on the floor and also served as the bartender. These two servers never left the front, and waited on as many tables as were full (6 or so) and handled the 5-8 people seated at the bar. Despite this, her service was very good. She was knowledgeable about the food and drink, as well as its presentation. She took her time with us, was friendly, and was happy to be working there. So an A+ for Mary.

We were presented with water served in thin 'flower vase' style glasses. Instead of the usual bread and butter (or oil), we received a plate with crackers and cheese, pineapple, veggies and a garlic-dill-cucumber dip. It was different and satisfying, but not the most attractively plated dish.

For drinks, we ordered a lime and coconut martini which my wife loved. My rum and Coke was fine, but served in the same vase glass (which I found a little difficult to drink from). Pricing was $8 and $6 respectively. We were not asked about refills until we were nearly finished our meals, and thus passed. A little odd considering how much restaurants rely on liquor sales. Had we really wanted more, we were confident that our server was a nod away.

The menu was a little confusing as it stated in one place that all entrees included a soup and starter. While other places indicated that they included a starter and dessert. It turns out that they include two starters.

I should state that their menu is very easy to negotiate. All soups, salads, and starters are grouped in one single section - making your selection of two starters quite easy. Desserts are listed next. Then the rest of the menu - and there's quite a bit to choose from - is entrees. That's it. Choose and entree, choose your two starters, then hope you have room for dessert. We didn't. Their choice of entrees is quite vast - from house specialties, to pasta, to seafood, to steak. A very nice selection.

For starters, I got the clam chowder which had a suspiciously and ridiculously large amount of clams. Despite not using a microwave on the premises and making everything fresh, I couldn't help but think that the clams had to have been from a can. I have a hard time believing that this could have been included in the price of my entree and that the restaurant wouldn't go out of business. That being said, it was one of the best clam chowders I've ever had. And I go to the Chowder Fest in Portsmouth each year. Thick, with more clams than potatoes, and GREAT flavor. Could have eaten that all night long.

My second app was less successful. It as a pesto-based cheese pizza. It was a single slice of pizza. While it was hot, it didn't seem very fresh. And the presentation of a single slice was a little off-putting. An individual, small round flatbread would have been more appealing. Instead, I felt like there were 7 other people in the restaurant sharing my starter. Flavor was decent for what it was.

My wife started with a spinach salad with goat cheese and cranberries. We both thought the goat cheese was the best we had ever tried, and the salad was dressed perfectly. She enjoyed it very much.

Her second app was a poached egg and mushrooms served over bacon on a slice of Texas toast. Smelled like breakfast coming out and she polished that off. Again, a huge hit for her. (The bacon was yummy. I had some.)

The apps were typical-sized with the exception of my pizza slice which was on the small side. It's the only one I wouldn't order again.

For our entrees, I got the chicken parm ($21). VERY nicely done with baked chicken (rather than fried) which was not flattened out. Instead the breast meat was left thick and cooked perfectly. And, perhaps best of all, was the use of VERY little cheese. Just a thin slice on top of each of the two pieces of chicken. The sauce was SO very good that it made the meal on its own. A good-sized portion which was very filling. Would have liked to see even a basic roll on the side, however. But no bread whatsoever.

My wife got the beef tenderloin ($27) which was served with a spinach and rice mix, baby carrots, and sauteed vegetables. The steak was cooked to medium - not the medium rare as ordered. However, she stated that it was butter soft, and seasoned perfectly to allow the flavor of the beef be the star. She was very happy with her meal.

Our meal included two entrees, two drinks, and the four included apps. Check including tip came to $80. Overall, reasonable.

Overall, best in Rochester. I would recommended the Chef's Table for the creativeness, quality, and value of food. But a facelift is sorely needed to take this place to the next level.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Seacoast NH
Top Contributor
71 reviews 71 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
70 helpful votes 70 helpful votes
“Great food and service”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 23, 2013

This is a hidden gem located in an unassuming storefront on a side street in a quiet little downtown area. We were greeted warmly, seated quickly and felt like the staff were genuinely happy we were there. The dining room is wide open, with plenty of space between tables. The menu was explained to us in detail by our attentive waitress. The appetizers, salads and entrees were nicely presented and very tasty. The rack of lamb was exceptional and my wife enjoyed the seafood pie. There is a full bar, good choice of reasonably priced wines, and delicious desserts. The chef came by to ensure everything was satisfactory. Two of us ate like royalty for just under $100, a meal that would have cost much more elsewhere. We were delighted to get a reservation on a Friday night, but I am guessing that will become more difficult as word spreads about this excellent place.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Milton, New Hampshire
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
62 helpful votes 62 helpful votes
“The best restaurant in Rochester, period!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2013

We went here on a cold Wednesday night to celebrate our anniversary. I am so glad we chose this place. The place was nearly empty so if I wasn't a nearly life long local that would have concerned me. Rochester has become something of a welfare town where most locals only dine on burgers, pizza, or Chinese food. Not that those aren't good sometimes but I like a little fine dinning mixed in as well. This is fine dinning in a relaxed and casual atmosphere. The chef is out standing. The food is creative, flavorful, and well presented. I'm surprised that Rochester finally has a great restaurant but delighted for it. If you are looking for Rochester's best restaurant this is definitely it. I had the rack of lamb and it was freshly prepared exactly as I requested. It was amazing and for what they served surprisingly reasonable in cost. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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