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The Old Salt

Featured Restaurants by Sara Beth Nelson / July, 2014

The Higgins family has operated a restaurant in Hampton since the 1980s, and for over a decade at its current location in a 1740 building. There’s a variety of traditional fare at The Old Salt Restaurant, with over 100 choices available any time of day— including an extensive gluten-free menu.

Co-owners (and siblings) Michael Higgins, Joe Higgins, and Kathi Higgins-Taylor apply their knowledge and experience in satisfying the cravings of patrons. “We infuse new cooking styles into our daily specials. This gives the chefs a chance to be more creative while keeping the foundation of the menu,” Michael explains. “Finding new ways to better traditional foods is an art form. You must have something for everyone.” And that they do. Chandeliers illuminate the original post and beam in the main dining room, while antique glass complements the vintage nautical motif, setting the stage for a cozy and casual lunch. The menu bursts with comfort food for all palates.

For starters, indulge in Canadian Poutine, French fries topped with cheese curd and gravy; an impressive Clams Casino; and Nancy’s Carolina Moons, a potato-skinstyle appetizer and tribute to late family matriarch Nancy Higgins. For a light lunch, consider the Warm Harvest Salad, featuring maple-roasted butternut squash, plump dried cranberries, and candied pecans, drizzled with subtle maple vinaigrette and set atop a bed of mixed greens. The Salmon Burger will have you saying good-bye to the old crab cake stand-by. The golden-crusted exterior of this generously portioned salmon medallion holds in the flavor of a flakey, moist salmon center.

On the heartier end, the mammoth Surf and Turf Burger is a must try, a grilled sirloin burger smothered with decadent lobster and lobster sauce and served with perfectly salted homemade potato chips. Turkey Pot Pie is a traditional blend of homemade gravy, peas, carrots, pearl onions, and liberal chunks of fresh turkey topped with a flaky puff pastry. For an intimate lunch, the Captain’s Platter for Two is sure to satisfy any sea lovers. This oversized tray, deemed a “surfboard,” is heaped with breaded and golden fried shrimp, scallops, clams, haddock, and onion rings.

A long lunch can be sweetly accompanied by the Gifford’s original ice cream flavor Maine Lobster Tracks. It contains no lobster, but tasty bites of caramel-filled, lobster-colored chocolate cups with a vanilla and éclair crunch swirl. Other delectable desserts include fresh homemade Custard, Apple Pie, and Bread Pudding.

Drink specials run daily, and a lunchtime standout is the Red Tide Bloody Mary, blissfully garnished with jumbo shrimp. Many local breweries are highlighted in the bar with 18 beers on tap rounding out a full-bodied lunch experience.

The Old Salt Restaurant
490 Lafayette Road
Hampton, N.H.
603-926-8322

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