Dinner with a large group of serious opinions. In general, we liked the meal and found it head and shoulders above the local New Hampshire restaurants/hotel fare, but below our expectations from the reviews. Some of the elements provided were extraordinary and we were flabbergasted at some major problems. The mushroom & corn soup was good but served tepid without a garnish; the eggplant confit was delicious and completely overpowered by the pickled pepper melange served alongside it.
This petit restaurant does not share their menu online, explaining that they depend on 'what is available weekly and locally' but that provides little opportunity for the diners to prepare. I wished they would at least provide an example menu to demonstrate the style of cooking.
Five entree options were available; I tasted four chosen by our group and disliked three of the main courses. Having said that, each entree was surrounded on the plate by SEVEN delicious and amazing vegetables- from brussel sprouts in a balsamic reduction to kale souffle to eggplant puree to a delicious potato melange, roasted beets, green beans, and a baked carrot- all wonderful and far better than the fish or meat dishes I tasted. As for the entrees, each of the three I tasted were flawed in some way, either overseasoned (salmon), bland and tough (lamb), or lacking good flavor (swordfish, which was decisively fishy and tasted mostly of panko crusting and almond). The outer rim of every entree plate was doused in diced parsley in an artistic fashion that I didn't care for.
The desserts are overly complex. For fresh, local ingredients I'd rather experience some simpler dishes cooked perfectly instead of complex, multifaceted dishes that fall short of the mark. The truffles, for example can do an excellent job if cut down to a simple, uncomplicated dish.
I called in advance to request if we might bring a rare bottle of wine to mark a special occasion, and of course, offered to pay a corkage fee. The host refused, citing their liquor license. Upon our arrival, we reviewed the list carefully and felt the wine list is lacking wines with finesse. While the wines offered stay within the low end of the budget, they are all grocery-store wines so plan accordingly- something will no doubt pair with your meal, but it's unlikely to find a refined wine with great structure that can pair with several entrees, so your group may decide upon wines by the glass.
It's worth noting that this is indeed the finest cuisine we found in the White Mountains area of New Hampshire and was priced equally to meals in hotel. Bottom line? I'd go back.
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