Featured Restaurants

Playing Favorites

In Featured Restaurants By Diane Bair & Pamela Wright/ Feature Photos: Kindra Clineff Photography / February 2018

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.

The Farm Bar & Grille

In Featured Restaurants By Diane Bair & Pamela Wright/Photos: Tony Scarpetta / February 2018

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.

Tinos Kitchen & Bar

In Featured Restaurants By Diane Bair & Pamela Wright/Photos: Tony Scarpetta / November 2017

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)?

Green Elephant Vegetarian Bistro & Bar

In Featured Restaurants By Kristyn Lak Miller/Photos: Kindra Clineff / October 2017

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.

Spotlight on Newmarket, New Hampshire

In Featured Restaurants By Jessica Sacco / August 2017

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.

The Barley House Restaurant and Tavern

In Featured Restaurants By Diane Bair & Pamela Wright/Photos: Kindra Clineff / August 2017

“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.”

Sonny’s Tavern

In Featured Restaurants By Diane Bair & Pamela Wright/Photos: Tony Scarpetta / July 2017

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."