I moved to the Upper Valley in late 2006 from California (I lived in LA & SF for over 20 years) and always turned away from going to Jessie's as I was completely turned off by the log cabin style architecture along with the name of restaurant which included tavern, seafood and steak. Taverns are definitely not my thing. Seafood...well, I like it raw. And steak? Well, not my thing at all. Finally, after being nudged by two friends who highly recommended it and frequent Jessie's, my partner and I decided to go over the summer. Well, were we ever blown away. WOW!
First off, we seek out restaurants with a very specific criteria. Musts for us are: a bar that we can sit at to both drink and eat; great reviews; a hip or unique atmosphere including interesting people to meet and socialize with; a big HDTV or two with sports (big sports fans here); oysters; a creative and, ideally extensive, martini menu that includes large, full and strong cocktails; food that is delicious; and, most importantly, A-MA-ZING service. Service is absolutely key. There's a lot of hideous service out there and way too much mediocre--especially around here. Well, we were absolutely blown away. One word: SARAH!
Sarah has absolutely set the bar for all bartenders--period. And really, anyone in the service industry in my opinion. She's exactly what we look for when we go out. She is sassy, smart, beautiful (with great hair!), a mind like a steel trap, personable, sociable, funny, has bionic ears, makes THEE best drinks ever, remembers our drink and food history, and texts us with her most recent vodka infusions and any 'special' oysters that may have come in that day. She's done a number of other things for us that are extraordinary, but I dare not say what they are, as I don't want the whole world to expect the same. Honestly, most customers out there couldn't truly appreciate what Sarah offers. I can't say enough great things. Plus, she has two little minions (they're really young, attractive men) by her side that are nice bookends. Just know that Ms. Sarah's in charge--always.
In closing, plan ahead. This place is packed everyday that they are open. I have never seen so many people come through a restaurant's doors. Thankfully, it's a big place, but you'll still have to wait. Be warned that their 'tater tots' are made with crack...their oysters are the best we've had. I just wish they did sushi!
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