Breathtaking BBQ in a simple but friendly ambience, very kind and attentive service, outstanding beers, as they brew by theirself. The choice of beers is really huge and BBQ was great. Moreover, the waiter suggested us to order just one portion because it was enough for both of us. As they get paid through the tips, it never happened to me in the US that a waiter suggested us to take one portion instead of two. Thanks to that, we left a good tip for her! Definitely deserved (I hate to waste food and as a tourist a doggy bag is quite useless!)
After our day on the train we picked a place to go to eat that would be close to the condo and would be a short drive afterward. So looking thru the restaurant guide, we picked the Red Parka in Glen which was right down the street from Bartlett. We made a good choice. We were braught to the upstairs dinning room in an attacted Train Car . Felt almost like being back on the Conway Scenic Railroad, hahaha, only much nicer decor.
Our choice was also good because the food was great!
Favorite Dish: The dish I had was:
PARMESAN LEMON CHICKEN
Tender boneless breast with a scrumptious Parmesan cheese crust topped off with a lemon mushroom sauce. Yumma-yumma!
A Staff Favorite! Boneless breast coated with Dijon mustard and sour cream, then lightly breaded with seasoned crumbs, and baked .
We were both Happy!
For some reason I can't remember what the guys had, but they weren't unhappy, so it must of been good. Must of been steak!
I've already written an extensive "hotel" reservation for the Darbyfield Inn. I think they also deserve to have a special "restaurant" tip logged as well.
There are quite a few decent places to eat in the Conway area, as well as in the surrounding towns and villages. But, if you're looking for a place a bit off the beaten path, a place that you can have an excellent, relaxing, romantic gourmet meal at a most leisurely pace, and with attentive, friendly and yet unobtrusive service, I suggest that you head out to the Darbyfield. YOU WILL ABSOLUTELY NEED TO MAKE ADVANCE RESERVATIONS.
Again, for more about the Darbyfield itself, please see my hotel tip. Down below, let me share some menu information to whet your appetite for this excellent dining option. This is a special place, go there with someone special. :)
AND.... if you're just looking for some pub grub and maybe a quiet drink or two, there is a small and friendly little pub at Darbyfield. It's called Littlefield's and it's definitely a nice place for a nightcap - even if it's just 2 pm. :) They have access to the same excellent wine list as the restaurant, and you can get an excellent Angus burger, some hand-cut seasoned fries, or whatever floats your boat on the side.
Favorite Dish: Let's look over the entrees.... that'll give you a feel for the place. Like the Darbyfield, it's a small and intimate restaurant, so you are not going to find a four page menu. What you will find is excellent food lovingly prepared and served with style and grace. OK, now on to the entrees...
Roast Duckling – A half duckling, roasted crisp, and accompanied by homemade raspberry sauce.
Grilled New York Strip – Fresh herb encrusted sirloin cooked to your liking and finished with a gorgonzola pan sauce.
Rack of Lamb – Coated with Dijon mustard and Panko bread crumbs, roasted to perfection. It's served with a roasted onion and a port wine reduction.
And, there are usually "seafood specials" that your server will describe upon your arrival.
(...THEY ALWAYS SEEM TO HAVE SOME EXCELLENT VEGETARIAN OPTIONS, more than just an afterthought...)
Butternut Squash Ravioli - tossed in a chili cream sauce and topped with toasted pecans.
I guarantee that you'll be impressed with their wine list, MUCH more extensive than you'd guess given the size of the inn and restaurant.
If you enjoy a good cup of coffee, you'll have zero problem finding solutions in North Conway. Let me recommend highly the place we stopped during our little shopping adventure - the Met Coffeehouse. Located on the main road through town, and just abeam the Kankamagus Scenic Railway station, the Met has what you're looking for when it's early, cool, a bit rainy and blustery or maybe a combination of such times and weathers. They brew an excellent hot cup of coffee if you're just a purist, and there are scads of special lattes and such if you're a foo-foo coffee drinker. (FWIW, my wife calls me a non-purist because I do like cream and a bit of sugar in mine, she's a plain coffee fan)
In addition to the coffee, there are muffins, bagels, breads and other such accompaniments to pleasure your visit. I also believe there is free WiFi for your enjoyment.
When you enter, it may seem a bit small, but don't despair... there are more seats around and behind the front area, as well as places to sit upstairs.
Favorite Dish: COFFEE. A good cup of "Joe" as they say. They're open daily 7am - 9pm, and until 10pm on weekends.
Oh my goodness, was this place ever wonderful. Everything you'd want in a small gourmet inn in New England. Excellent service, a small but varied menu, excellent wine list and fantastic/attentive service.
The Oxford House is a very small inn about ten miles away from Conway, NH - just over the state line in Fryeburg, Maine. They have four or five rooms, if you'd care to stay in a small place like Fryeburg (which is listed as the oldest chartered township in western Maine). I'm sure that it would be quiet and comfortable.
And as for the food - incredibly well done and presented. Inn owner/chef Jonathan Spak has created a gastronomic treasure in a tiny Maine village - another example of the treasures one uncovers in New England. The wine list is small but quite impressive - boasting entry after entry laden with 90+ ratings from WS and the like. Bonnie and I did a small split of an Italian sparkling wine that evening - as it WAS our 30th anniversary celebration. Bubbly equals special for us.
I'll talk a bit about the menu below, but I do suggest that you hit the website and read it all over...and then you'll know why I decided that we'd be trying Oxford House on our visit to the area.
Favorite Dish: We each had a simple salad and shared an order of the brie, apple and roast chicken quesadilla appetizers.
My main course is not NOW on the online menu, but it was an exquisite American Kobe Beef sirloin, perfectly prepared. Steak the way steak is meant to be. Bonnie went for a tenderloin of pork dish that was an evening special. I gave it a try and the accompanying reduction sauce was fantastic.
OK dessert.... I decided to really try something different. I had the "Warm Indian Pudding", which came with (of all things) a bacon brittle and fresh whipped cream. It was interesting and satisfying, and definitely not a "sweet" dessert. Bonnie tried some of their site-prepared Belgian chocolate icecream. Also very very good.
VERY good food, I'd love to go back.
I have a sixth sense about restaurants and hotels. I carefully research them and usually am very successful in finding THE perfect place to stay or dine. I try to read the response and gauge the customer service attitude and that leads me in a good direction. I am almost always successful. ALMOST.
Stonehurst Manor was kind of a failure, although in retrospect I think I should lay much more of this at the feet of Denise, our pathetic excuse for a waitress. Perhaps I should be more kind - she kind of reminded me of one of those "I"m losing the kids if I lose this job" people you'd see on Judge Judy... sunken eyes, banal conversation, disorganized air and that empty, empty stare. In this case, I kind of think that nobody was home AND the lights weren't on.
The Stonehurst itself is a beautiful place, and it advertises itself as a "boutique" hotel/establishment. IMHO, it's way too large and spread out to be a "boutique" anything. This place is much more cruise ship in demeanor, and I have a feeling that they really, really cater to the busloads of leaf peepers and their AARP-approved tour guides. The place was packed the night we got there, and even though we had a reservation, we had to wait about 20 more minutes to get seated. That's fine I guess, but it really kind of seemed like they were surprised that we had a reservation and that we actually showed up. It seemed to me that several larger groups were eating together - it did smack of some "tour" activity.
OK, we finally get seated, although the radical notion of enjoying a glass of wine in the lobby before we were seated seemed to put a real monkey wrench into everything... they just couldn't figure out how to transfer it to the tab we were about to run up. So, I pay the people at the front reservations desk for our wine and we moved on. OK back to the story... we sit down. We were greeted pretty quickly by the water guy and were told that Denise would be taking care of us that evening. Well.....tick tick tick. We finally meet the notorious Denise about ten minutes later...she comes over and gives me that empty look and tried to smile, saying "I'll be right here, I have to go clean three other tables first", and left us with menus and a wine list. Hmmmm, should have left then. Well, let's just say Denise isn't a very fast three table cleaner.
Maybe another ten minutes and she comes over to take our order. Sensing that Denise was no cuilinary Secretariat (race horse analogy for all of you VTers outside the USA), we decided to just have a couple more glasses of "our wine" and went ahead and started to place the orders. Just as I start to ask a few menu questions, Denise walks away and returns in maybe five minutes with the wine. OK, now let's order..... I'd been looking over the Stonehurst's extensive menu for a week or two online ahead of our trip. I had decided that I really wanted to try their lobster beggars' purses for an appetizer, so I immediately requested them. Bonnie wanted to just have a bit of salad and then her main. For my main, I decided to try the house specialty, their aged prime rib. And away goes Denise....
Five minutes....ten minutes....fifteen minutes.... we see Denise zip in and out of the kitchen area a few times. Once or twice, she glances at us in that empty style we'd already seen enough of. Finally and maybe after twenty minutes, here she comes with our mains. I ask her what's what with the beggars' purses and she says "oh, I'm sorry I guess I forgot to put that order in... I wrote it down right here (and she shows me the ticket) but I forgot to put it in. Do you want it ordered now?" Knowing that our flight home was leaving in a little less than 72 hours, I figured that I didn't have time to wait out the appetizer and decided to pass.
We ate our dinner, and the food was good. Not fabulous, but I would have been more than happy if the service hadn't been so lacking. We were so bummed by the whole deal, we decided to skip dessert and just head back to the Darbyfield Inn (our B&B), where we went to the tavern and had a few nightcaps.
In closing, my revenge was financial.... Denise forgot MY beggars' purses, so she didn't get very much from my purse in service compensation. I am usually a very very generous tipper, but I left an amount small enough to indicate exactly how unhappy we were with the service.
If you go to Stonehurst - and honest to goodness, there are other nice places in Conway, go somewhere else - make sure that you don't get a Dullard Denise. My guess is that she's no longer working at Stonehurst, but you never know. Life sometimes rewards the incompetent.
Favorite Dish: Well, the ONLY dish I actually got to eat was their special Prime Rib, and it was good. I'd give it 7 out of 10 on a scale. The menu is extensive at Stonehurst, and another of their specialities is gourmet wood-fired pizzas....maybe worth a try later in the evening. But unless you truly feel it's your life's destiny to eat at Stonehurst, I'd find somewhere else.
I recently went back to North Conway for a short weekend get away. And we stopped at a restaurant a bit north on the Strip. It was dark and the restaurant had pretty lights on outside, and it looked very inviting. The parking lot was really full, so we expected the restaurant to be very full as well, but I think they just need more parking.
We went inside and discovered it was an Irish restaurant. Having just come back from Ireland, I was all for that. The decoration was a bit foofy and "Oirishy", with the obligatory maps of Ireland, and the retro Guiness advertisements. But it was very warm and cosy inside. And best of all all the food smelled great!
I had a big spinich salad with feta cheese and grilled peaches, and they allowed me to add a small steak for only $3. Which I think was a great deal. It was completely luscious. I was temped by the Irish stew, which comes the traditional way, with lamb chunks. Someone near me had it and it looked great.
I was very happy with it.. Id say try it if you are in N. Conway.
There is no shortage of restaurants in North Conway and you will never have any trouble finding a place to eat. One of the great things about the town is the fact that most of the places are Mom ‘n Pop and don’t have the names of the big chains. It is for this reason that I love Mario’s. Although it is basically a hole in the wall and offers none of the glamorous advertising that some of its neighbors do, the quality of food and service has yet to disappoint me. It’s larger inside than it looks on the outside and the minute you walk in the front doors you’re accosted by fragrant smells. So far, I have witnessed most everything on the menu, even though I haven’t ordered it all myself. During one lunch, eight of us dined and everyone ordered something different. Whether it was pasta primavera, stuffed shells, or pork chops nobody complained and everyone walked away happy. I myself have tried the spaghetti, stuffed shells, and penne arrabiata. And the tiramisu. With each entrée you get fresh hot bread and the salad bar. It’s very reasonably priced and the staff take good care of you.
Go to Peaches Restaurant in North Conway. Its on the right side as you are heading North through North Conway. It's got a small sign so you can miss it if you arent looking carefully. My friend Sue kept going on and on about how great it was, and she really had to talk us into going there, but once we did. Oh my stars! Ill be back. The food was amazing. I had a bacon and cheese omlette and we all shared some of their famous peaches and cream coffee cake, which was the best Id ever had!
They also have glass topped tables, and under the glass are hundreds of notes of appreciation from former customers. Here is my friend Graham writing his own note.
You can also see that the decoration in Peaches is charming and adorable. It is so sunny and cheery, you cant have a bad time there.
One word of advice about Peaches!! GO!
Our friends ate lunch here and we had breakfast with them here the next day. They loved the lunch, but I wasn't very happy with the breakfast. The bacon was under cooked and everything was cool when it was brought to the table. The rye bread didn't even taste like rye to me.
Favorite Dish: But Ruth & Jerry did love their lunch the day before, so maybe I'll give them another try someday. Could have just been a bad morning for them.
A variety of food is served here; Soups made from scratch, full plate salads, pastas and fresh fish dishes or chicken, as well as the basic hamburgers.
This place has two floors and seems to be always busy. But we could see why, the food was fantastic!
Favorite Dish: I had
PISTACHIO PESTO CHICKEN
Grilled Statler breast of chicken in a crust of pistachio pesto, pan-crisped & oven-finished.
Served in its own pan juices with potato & fresh vegetables. $14.95
It was so good, I would love to go back!
They brew their own beer. We tried one flavor and it was fantastic. They specialize in Smoke House burgers and sandwiches, wood grilled pizza and Southern Style entrees. Well their own version of Southern Style that is. It was good/
They have fantastic views of the mountains from the Porch dinning room!
Favorite Dish: Loved the sweet potatoe fries!
Guildies is a small A frame yellow building on the east side of Rte 16. They serve breakfast all day and have a special for $3.99- eggs, bacon or sausage and pancakes. What they don't tell you is that the pancakes are the size of a medium pizza! They are enough for a table of 4. But they are delicious.
Favorite Dish: Banana blueberry pancakes
No specific one. There are several good pubs and restaurants in North Conway. Some of them flooded with tourists.