Portsmouth chefs reveal their personal menu preferences A LOT OF THOUGHT AND WORK goes into creating a restaurant menu. It must personify the restaurant’s philosophy and stay true to its mission. It should be varied enough to offer a little something for everyone. And, in the best of worlds, it reﬂects the creativity and inspiration of the chef at the helm. So, what are chefs looking forward to putting on their menus this season? We asked some of Portsmouth’s best chefs to reveal their favorite dishes. Here’s what’s cooking.
We crave warm, comfort food as the temperature drops: thick soups, slow-cooked meats, creamy carbs. Maybe it’s our instinct to bulk up to survive the cold weather. Or maybe it’s because it’s dark and miserable outside; we’re dressed in thick layers, and why not indulge? When we get the need, we head to the come-as-you-are, convivial Farm Bar & Grille. Kittery is the fourth location of this local chain, owned by brothers Brad Atkinson and Ryan Cox and their cousin Noah Goldstein. The Farm serves up heaping platters of cozy soul food—instant cures for whatever ails you.
We’d been missing out. That was our thinking on our ﬁrst visit to this upstairs, upscale Greek-inspired restaurant in Hampton, New Hampshire. The vibe was lively and contemporary, the service was warm and friendly, and the food was seriously good. Why hadn’t we been here before (and often)?
By uniting favorite ﬂavors from China, India, Malaysia, and Thailand, Green Elephant proves that great food knows no borders; and by serving a wholly vegetarian menu, it demonstrates how indulgence and gratiﬁcation go hand in hand with health and compassion.
The quaint Seacoast town of Newmarket, New Hampshire, runs along the banks of the Lamprey River and Great Bay. New businesses found their home in the community’s historical textile mills, and a ride along the Route 108 corridor will lead you to a charming waterfront view. The downtown area has plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—whether you’re on the go or looking to stay a while.
“Eat Better. Drink Better. Have More Fun.” That’s been the motto and the philosophy of the Barley House Restaurant and Tavern since it opened in Concord some 16 years ago. It’s been a winning formula; the convivial Concord restaurant consistently gets rave reviews and ratings. And now, with a second location in North Hampton, owner Brian Shea is bringing that same laid-back atmosphere and modern twist on comfort food to the Seacoast. “Think of us as a favorite old leather jacket,” Shea says. “Come in, let your shoulders down, and relax.”
The ﬁrst thing we do at Sonny’s is ask Mark Ryan, the tavern’s talented bartender and co-owner, to bring us a cocktail. We leave it in his hands. Perhaps it’ll be the Lemon Meringue, a frothy, light dessert concoction made with gin, egg white, vanilla liqueur, and lemon. We don’t even like gin, but we love this. Or maybe the award-winning Mingus, with Buffalo Trace, Dolin Rouge, cherry liqueur, Green Chartreuse, and lavender bitters. Somehow it all works, and we may order another. Or, if it’s a chilly night, he could bring us a Bearded Lady. “It tastes like smoke and leather,” he says. “It’s a little Mad Men-esque, but a lot smoother."