People around the country may be able to enjoy filet mignon, crab cakes, and other elegant American fare, but not with the same flavors as The District. That’s because the restaurant crafts its seasonally inspired menus with ingredients from more than 15 local farms. Aside from delighting taste buds with pan seared local cod and bourbon glazed pork tenderloin with plum barbeque sauce and house sauerkraut, the chefs hand cut their fries and pair them with homemade ketchup and create ice cream flights made from local snow people. Hand crafted cocktails allow clients to imbibe on local flavors such as the cider press cocktail made with absolute pear and house mulled NH cider or The District’s local rhubarb mojito.
Owner Jacqui’s healthy take on homestyle cooking shines through in every entree at Serenity Cafe & Catering, whether she’s cracking eight eggs to make breakfast pizza in the morning or baking housemade dough for the oven-roasted turkey BLT. A bulk of the menu is dedicated to sating noontime appetites, with fruit smoothies, deli sandwiches, and a hummus wrap stuffed with roasted red-pepper hummus, sprouts, and avocado. Even the dessert menu, with the Wacqui Jacqui brand of gluten-free cookies, sticks to the healthy-living program
Every day is Mother’s Day for Chef Sam. The family’s matriarch, Sam’s mother, Assia, recreated the recipes of her girlhood in Revorno, Sicily, filling her home with tantalizing smells and her children with a love of family-style cooking. Sam puts these values on display at La Bella BYOB Italian Restaurant, dishing out Southern Italian staples including lemony chicken francese and veal cacciatore in a softly lit dining room decorated to resemble a rustic Italian countryside home. He also invites diners to bring their own alcoholic drinks and enjoy them without a corking fee, though they must still be 21 and have the ability to recite the Greek alphabet backwards in order to consume alcohol. Fulfilling his promise to make everyone feel like family, Chef Sam also makes La Bella's dishes available for catering for as few as 10 or as many as 1,000 eaters.
Floor-to-ceiling windows frame crashing ocean waves on the Hampton Beach sands at Breakers Restaurant & Bar. Local fishermen pluck many of the catches that end up in Executive Chef Derek Kucharski's kitchen from those waters, from the Maine lobster meat in his lobster rolls to the local haddock in his Sam Adams fish ‘n’ chips. Beyond seafood, his dinners may include slow-roasted barbecue pulled pork sandwiched in a buttermilk biscuit, and butternut ravioli flavored with dollops of maple-syrup cream.
Along with lunches and breakfast on select days of the week, dinnertime feasts unfold amid custom millwork, a raised stone-hearth fireplace, and a granite-topped bar that wraps around the entire dining area. The space—situated in the 1912-built Ashworth by the Sea hotel—also includes a recently enlarged dance floor, which fills with dancing masses each Friday and Saturday night when DJs spin classic tunes and rousing ol’ sea shanties.
At Breakers Restaurant & Bar, executive chef John Adams presents a tempting menu that's steeped in local traditions of fresh seafood, North Atlantic lobster, and fine chops. Admire ocean views through the dining room's oversized windows while sharing a steamy bowl of mussels, bulked up by garlic-infused white wine and buttery artisan bread ($9). The Beach Special sandwich embodies New England fare, topping a brioche bun with enough Sam Adams–battered haddock to fill an average-sized boat shoe ($11), as does the Maine lobster pie, delighting palates with a multi-textured mix of freshly shelled meat, sherry cream sauce, and a cracker-crumb topper ($25). Those with ocean-restrictive diets may peruse Chef Adams's turf menu, where he adorns Ocean Boulevard steak tips with bourbon steak sauce and beer-breaded onion rings instead of mermaid tears ($17).
"Food is love" is one of the mottos of Leanne Cusimano, who bustles around the eatery, forging a menu designed to convey that warmth. The scents of breakfasts snapping against skillets drift from Amore Breakfast’s sand-hued cottage exterior, which conceals the gleefully mismatched tables and checkerboard accents of a '50s diner. Servers tote thick slices of french toast stuffed with cream cheese or topped with berries and fluffy omelets enfolding veggies, meats, and cheeses. Wreaths of steam from cups of the house blend coffee encircle them as they bear trays to the dining area, where patrons marvel at spotting a toaster’s face in slices of toast.