At Fratello’s, a wood-fired brick oven bakes bubbles into pizza dough as chefs sauté shrimp with fresh garlic, butter, and white wine. Aside from serving nine varietals of pizza, the 16,000-square-foot restaurant stays busy cooking up the hearty sandwiches, pasta dishes, and antipasto that fill their menu of casual Italian eats. Connected to the restaurant is an event facility, where Fratello’s caters events such as weddings, holiday parties, and baby’s-first-burp celebrations.
The original owner of the picturesque two-story house—a daffodil-hued farmhouse with hunter-green shutters and a matching front door—invited guests into his makeshift tavern for a bowl of porridge and a nap at 12 cents a pop. More than 220 years later, the house in Bristol still entertains a revolving door of guests as The Homestead Restaurant. Inside, a brick fireplace radiates warmth across tables scattered with teriyaki-glazed steaks and alaskan king-crab legs dipped in drawn butter. The chefs also swaddle meatloaf wellington in a puff-pastry shell, and peppercorns burst sharply across sirloin with brandy and cream sauce. A dedicated gluten-free menu caters to diners with health issues or a tendency to remember the terrifying dinner-roll scene in Jaws.
A second location of The Homestead Restaurant in Merrimack is just as inviting inside with exposed wooden beams, an antlered chandelier, and a second-floor bar affording a perfect eagle’s-eye view of the tables below.
Tucked into the rolling greenery of the White Mountains, The Woodshed Restaurant resides in a converted 19th-century farmhouse and barn. The decor reflects the rustic charm of the setting, but the menu features plenty of modern treats. Chefs coat duck breast and confit leg in a cherry port wine reduction, or age steak tips in a sweet bourbon marinade. Though inland, they're still close enough to the sea to get fresh scallops, which they wrap in applewood bacon and serve alongside fire-roasted corn salsa. They follow up meals with all-American desserts such as apple crisp with vanilla ice cream, Denver chocolate pudding, and the chef's choice of flavored cheesecake.
Chuckster's draws in fun-seekers of all ages with its sprawling haven of outdoor games, activities, and attractions. With 12,000 square feet of emerald carpet darting in between nine streams and ponds and 1,000 tons of boulders, Chuckster's remarkably long mini-golf course challenges putters with water features and inclines. Across the grounds, straining knuckles steer two-seat go-karts around the speedway, swing at fast- or slow-pitched balls at the batting cages, and grip onto colorful holds to ascend the 27-foot climbing wall. Duos can square off in a game of Shoot-N-Shower, a timed free-throw shooting challenge where the player who sinks the fewest freebies gets doused with water and scolded by an omnipotent Reggie Miller. Picnic tables nestled in the cool shade of umbrellas cradle patrons as they rejuvenate with ice cream, frappes, and soft drinks after a day at play.
Wolfe City Brick Oven Pizza’s artisan chefs flip, top, and bake thin-crust masterpieces cloaked in a choice of six different cheeses. The multitudinous menu imparts the memoir of pizzas made from whole-wheat dough ($9.99), which features the recurring characters of fruits, meats, and veggies ($1.50 each traditional, $2.50 each gourmet) and conveys a delicious dénouement. Those who prefer pre-designed pies can sample expertly concocted combos such as the Two Men from Tuftonboro's italian sausage and pepperoni ($14.99) or the Wolfe City Nacho Pizza's bacon, veggies, and alfredo sauce ($14.99). Dessert pizzas assume the identities of classic post-dinner bites, including bananas foster ($12.99) and s'mores ($8.99), and beers, wines, and sodas slake artichoke-induced thirsts. Wolfe City's chefs can convert dough into gluten-free compositions quicker than Clark Kent's switch into Superman or Spiderman's transformation into Sir Edmund Hillary ($12.99).