Find your way to the "OINK" flag along upper Main Street in downtown Newmarket, along the stone mill entrance built by the Newmarket Manufacturing Company in the mid-1800s, open the old wide black wooden door and prepare for a wild ride of flavors. Upon entering, you immediately see the glass-front coolers that contain the wide variety of house-made charcuterie and the blackboards listing the local vendors and farmers that supply the restaurant. Sit at the bar (open-kitchen style) or sit at a traditional table. What you will experience is not often found in the USA. There are regular items on the menu, all good and a wide variety of flavor experiences...and a list of daily specials that are also varied and interesting. Now...sit back..and remember...you're not here to eat a Weight Watchers meal..because "fat is flavor" ! But its not all nasty stuff..and probably healthier than the fried stuff you'd get at a national chain. The beer and wine list is varied enough for all needs - explore it. Your servers are polite as well as extremely knowledgeable about their wares...these folks are good ! Oh, yeah...besides the charcuterie, interesting salads with tasty things like pork confit, foie gras (yup !), there's even an elegant version of poutine - something you'd expect in a fine restaurant in Montreal. Not the kind of poutine you'd get in a Canadian hockey rink snack bar, but a finer version, nicely crispy fries, cheese curds, duck gravy (what else?) and...if you want to really go for the full flavor, add the foie gras to it - amazing paring, a portion worthy to be shared (you probably shouldn't eat one of these plates all by yourself, especially if you're there to try other delights too !). Small plates, medium plates and a few traditional entrees for those who want more "traditional fare": but traditional its not ! Try the bison short ribs: mmm comfort food. Lots of dishes served with local organic farm products that are really tasty: our winter fare included some awesome roast fingerling potatoes, root veggies such as rutabaga, parsnip and carrot. Cant wait to see what Poppers has in the summertime ! This place is a hidden gem: you'd expect to find it in more cosmopolitan Portsmouth - and then wait ages for a table with the rest of the tourists there, as well as probably paying $4-5 dollars more per entree, as well as parking. So - go find this gem and enjoy it while you can, and tell your friends - or maybe keep it a secret...shhhh !
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