The Renaissance Hotel's five luxurious floors sprout above Twenty8 Food & Spirits, where executive chef Jason Ward shares his creative take on breakfast dishes, sandwiches, steaks, seafood, and flatbreads. He's developed his style over the past 20 years, earning certification from the American Culinary Federation and drawing on inspiration from regional farms and fisheries. Likewise, he and his kitchen staff reach for local ingredients as they make egg dishes and buttermilk pancakes for breakfast; sandwiches and salads for lunch; and meaty dishes such as roast PT farms pork chop and hand-cut sirloin steak for dinner. They knead flatbread dough from scratch and load it with toppings before tossing it into a flaming stone-hearth oven. Feasts unfold inside a modern space with flickering flat-screen TVs, a 60-foot bar with signature cocktails, and a lounge area splashed with zebra-print upholstery. Outside, a knee-high brick wall surrounds the outdoor terrace, where a fireplace casts a warm glow on nearby Gillette Stadium. When guests have events, they can also decamp to the family or private dining rooms for larger events.
Tavolino is Italian for "little table." Noticing the trend of careless service and cooking that pervaded so many chain restaurants, the folks at Tavolino wanted to create a different kind of space—one where the chefs searched for the freshest local ingredients possible and where each "little table" felt supremely cared for. In addition to making their own breads and pastas, the staff infuses their own alcohols with fruits, herbs, and vegetables. The wine list was curated just as carefully, giving diners plenty of reasons to linger in the contemporary, earth-toned space complete with tile mosaic floors.
The crispy pizzas and artfully sauced pastas back up an entree selection that ranges from grilled lamb loin chops to stuffed italian meatloaf made with sweet sausage and served with housemade tomato-basil ketchup. A separate gluten-free menu ensures diners with special diets feel at home, just as the various seafood dishes on the regular menu ensure mermaids feel at home. In his search for the freshest flavors, executive chef Brian Boudreau frequently mixes up the menu with seasonal offerings; butternut-squash tortellacci, for example, summons the flavors of fall with brown-butter-sage sauce, dried cranberries, and an apple-cider glaze.
Jalapeños Grill's open kitchen and terra-cotta-colored walls please patrons' scanners, and authentic south-of-the-border dishes treat tongues to sweet and spicy flavors. Diners polish taste buds with appetizers such as shrimp vallarta, sautéed jumbo shrimp hot tubbing in chipotle-honey-mustard sauce and melted cheese ($10.99).
The deft meal makers at Café Dolce craft traditional café fare with ingredients culled from local farms, all served alongside delectable coffee and fine tea. Hot and cold beverages stimulate patrons' groggy bodies and enable them to climb into their office via window. Morning and afternoon munchers snack on bagel sandwiches like the smoked salmon bagel with capers, garlic-herb cream cheese, vine-ripe tomatoes, and red onion ($9.50), and others enjoy eggwiches made with meats such as bacon ($3.50) or pancetta ($4.50). Breakfast eats include the Dolcé French toast, made with challah bread ($6), as well as a more straightforward egg-on-toast plate ($8), called "Birds in a Nest" in honor of the animals that originally wrote the Constitution.
Hoping to revive the culture of the neighborhood butcher shop, with its personalized service, attention to detail, and artful products, restaurant-industry veterans Justin Rosberg and Jason Parent took a gamble on their first New Hampshire butcher shop in 2003. Dubbed The Meat House, their store quickly earned a foodie following, spawning additional franchise locations across the country. Today, The Meat House’s many locations stock fine cheeses, prepared side dishes, other gourmet grocery items, and hundreds of wines alongside the usual selection of traditional and exotic meats. Butchers also explain how to prepare each hand-carved cut of meat, sharing recipes, best slicing practices, and cooking techniques for giving pork chops the flavor of justice.