It’s 3 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon at the Tuckaway in Raymond, New Hampshire. At this hour, one would expect there to be a period of down time before the dinner rush, but there’s still a wait for lunch. That’s normal for the tavern and butchery, though. Owner Paul Simbliaris and Executive Chef Bobby Marcotte know that on most days they’ll be working nonstop until 9 p.m.
The red, barn-like building gives a rustic farmhouse feel from the moment you walk inside. Before you reach the dining room, an expansive glass cooler full of meats in the butchery is sure to catch your eye. There’s everything from chicken breasts to wings, tenderloins, bison, steak tips, and all kinds of sausages. Try the Chicken Parmesan, Three Pigs (pulled pork, ground pork, and bacon), or the Steak and Cheese Beef sausages. The butchery also supplies the tavern with all the meats on the menu, so patrons can take home the exact cut they had at lunch. As you continue into the restaurant, a large wraparound bar sits across from sliding barn doors. Farther back, guests dine under an exposed wooden beam ceiling.
The beer menu is on a level of its own. There are 24 tap lines for craft brews and an impressive cellaring program, where approximately 15,000 bottles are aged and released in limited quantities. “They mature and ferment over time to become a whole new beer,” Marcotte says. “It’s just like wine, only we do it with beer.” The Tuckaway also has a selection of wines and mixed drinks, like the Almost Better Than Sex Martini. It combines Stoli Vanil, Baileys, butterscotch, and Godiva chocolate and is ﬁnished with crumbles of Heath bar on the rim.
Creativity is key at the Tuckaway, as Marcotte made sure to have a little fun making the dishes—and naming them too. Start lunch with the Rooster Balls, the Tuckaway’s version of buffalo chicken ﬁngers. Shredded chicken and cream cheese are mixed together, breaded, fried, and then drizzled with honey buffalo and cilantro ranch sauce. The ﬁrst bite gives you the perfect amount of crunch leading to the warm and spicy center; you won’t be able to have just one. Another must-try is the Nach-Yo Normal Nachos; they live up to their name. The Tuckaway fries homemade pita chips (instead of the usual corn chips) and piles pulled pork, chili, cheddar cheese, and green onions on top. “We tried to take what people know and make it our own,” Marcotte says. “Probably one of my favorite apps.”
If you’re in on a Monday or Tuesday, take advantage of the buy-one-get-one-free Lobster Rolls, made with mayo or served warm with butter. Choose from two sizes—the original, which has locals ﬂocking to the restaurant because of the massive amounts of meat loaded on the roll (you’ll need to use a fork ﬁrst before you’re able to pick it up) or the slightly smaller version of their signature portion. “We’ve done everything big,” Marcotte says. “Big portions, good quality, making people feel like they’re really getting a bang for their buck. I think that’s what made us very popular.” Otherwise, order one of their burgers, the lunchtime go-to. With the butcher shop right next door, the meat is ground hourly, ensuring freshness in every patty. A feat worth taking on, the Whole Tuckin’ Farm gives you a bit of everything between two buns. A piece of fried chicken is placed on top of a 10-ounce Angus beef burger, followed by a hearty helping of smoky bacon, cheese, and Tuckaway’s house sauce. The one-pound serving of Steak Tips also ﬂies off the stove all day, every day. Not only do they melt in your mouth, but the restaurant’s Midwestern beef has held up in taste tests as the best around.
Don’t leave the Tuckaway without dessert, speciﬁcally the Bloo Balls. Pieces of blueberry cheesecake are fried and placed over a sweet blueberry jam sauce. Two scoops of Gifford’s blueberry ice cream and a large dollop of whipped cream accompany the dish. You get a delicious blend of warm, cool, and creamy in every mouthful—the perfect way to end the meal.
The Tuckaway Tavern & Butchery
58 Route 27, Raymond, NH