Portsmouth is old town with numerous buildings dating back to the 1800's. And then there is the Strawberry Banke section where Mombo is located. This area dates back to the 1630's. Mombo is at the entrance to the Strawberry Banke Museum (an area of buildings) and across from Prescott Park. So across the street are beautiful gardens and areas where you can walk along the riverfront. Mombo is in a building that looks like an old house. The inside has old exposed wooden beams and a lot of character. A bar and dining on the first floor and a second floor for dining that is like a balcony over the bar. Mombo has won "Taste" awards for the last two years in a row. There is a parking lot adjacent to the restaurant.
We went there as part of "Restaurant Week". Portsmouth has these in the spring and fall as a way to bring in new customers to the restaurants. There are about 20 restaurants that participate. Each place will have a special menu for $30 per person. Mombo had a choice of three appetizers, three entrees and three desserts. Their Restaurant Week menu did not have items that were on their normal menu - this is why I only gave it a four rating. We would need to go back and have their normal menu items. Also, because of "Restaurant Week", it was difficult to tell if they were on their best behavior just for this week.
My wife started with the asparagus and watercress soup (with a spiral of morel Mushroom cream on top) and I had the crab pierogi (a single semi-circle of dough containing crab that was deep fried) with a side of pea shoot salad. We both enjoyed our dishes. For entrees, my wife had the espresso bean crusted steak and I had the Pork 2-Way (crispy pork belly and glazed pork ribs). My wife's steak was undercooked (not medium as requested but closer to rare) and it was hard to identify that espresso bean added anything to the dish. The Pork 2-way was delicious. For dessert, my wife had the lemon curd with blueberry compote (very good) and I had the milk chocolate mousse. The milk chocolate mousse was a half of a ball with banana pudding on the bottom and it also had a small pot of chocolate ganache for pouring over it. It was good but I could not get much banana flavor. However, to be fair, I had been fighting a cold so my taste buds weren't at their best. But chocolate ganache can make a sneaker taste good.
Their were also two drink specials. One was unusual but I can't remember the name of it (and not because I had that many). The waitress told us it was a concoction that their bartender came up with for a competition. I would have to say the bartender has talent because we both enjoyed it.
Our waitress was excellent (Laiken). She was very personable and knowledgeable and could explain everything on the menu. Probably the best we have had in a while. The floor manager was also very attentive. Even the hostess who checked our coats was very welcoming and refused a tip. Keep in mind, this was Restaurant Week. We enjoyed Mombo very much and look forward to returning. As the weather gets warmer, I would not try to go there without a reservation.
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