Sunday, July 8, 2012

A New Find in New Hampshire

So last week, James and I were in the mood for a great meal but frankly, I just didn't want to cook.  Taking the suggestion of one of James' co-workers, we decided to vista Tecknique in Bedford, NH.  I think we may have found our new go-to restaurant... and in our backyard nonetheless.

The ambiance of the restaurant is refined, yet casual.  They managed to create a space where you'd want to celebrate an elaborate occasion or just go relax at the bar with a cocktail afterwork.  It's definitely not stuffy at all.

Although their cocktail list is quite innovative, we opted for more simple selections... a Hendricks and tonic with muddled cucumber and a Maker's 46 Manhattan.  Their wine list also proved to be quite varied and exceptionally reasonable.  Being 95 degrees out, we wanted to keep it simple and on the lighter side with the drinks.

Although we had a the same initial intention with our meals, our choices unfortunately didn't gravitate toward that direction.  For our first course, I opted for a bacon-wrapped, bone marrow risotto and crispy potato turban in veal jus while James choose a scallop and pork belly dish over an Israeli pearl couscous with fresh English peas.  The biggest complaint we could come up with was that the portions were enormous!   I would have been more than content with 1/3 of the risotto (but leftovers managed quite well the next evening nonetheless).

Our second course was a salad of blanched brussels sprouts, Great Hill bleu cheese, peppered almonds, poached pears and dried cranberries, which we split.  This may have been the best preparation of brussels sprouts I've ever had.  Blanching them just took out the characteristic bitterness of the greens and left a light, refreshing palate cleanser after a rich, creamy first course.  

For our entrees, I opted for a duet of duck - a perfectly grilled breast and a confit leg paired with a creamy quinoa and edamame pilaf and broccolini.  James choose a pecan crusted short rib with house made barbecue sauce, root vegetable hash and roasted fingerling potatoes.  He officially dubbed it the best preparation of short rib he's ever eaten.  This is trumping my braised bison short rib may I add.  When we asked our server how exactly they managed to crust a spoon tender piece of meat in crushed pecans and have it maintain shape, she elusively described the process in such a way to not divulge the secret but still answer the question.  

To follow up on the service aspect, Carrie, our server was attentive, detailed and managed to make me want every dish on the  menu she choose to describe.  Unfortunately, we were stuffed and didn't have room for dessert.  New rule, next time, we split portions.