Having lived in England for a number of years recently, my husband and I are drawn to New England places that remind us of gastropubs of the Lake District. Brasserie Pip is right up there in our estimation. It's very satisfying to sit at the copper-topped bar, try wines recommended by a savvy staff, and partake of some tasty food. A few weeks ago, the main course my husband was served was not the one he had ordered. The server whisked it away, and mine too --a perfectly fine swordfish I had already started --made up a new dish for my husband and another for me, and served both with a flourish and an offer of dessert on him! Fond of true French baguette, my husband asked to purchase one to take home. The server told us the chef did not think the bread that evening was his best and would rather not have us take away an inferior loaf. Very charming, and also the mark of a professional and attentive chef. When we returned this week, the server recognized us and asked if we would like to take home the evening's exceptional baquette, on the house. We also enjoyed a wonderful pinot-ish blend recommended by the staff and offered for a taste. Amidst pleasant banter, we enjoyed local striped bass, homemade pappardelle with seafood, and a flourless chocolate cake. Pip serves up the kind of engaging atmosphere and small-menu local delights that make England's country pubs so heartwarming. What's not to like?
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