Dining Outside the Home: Ray’s Seafood in Rye, New Hampshire! Baked stuffed lobster doesn’t get any better than this. No cracking the shell and digging for the meat. The chef at Ray’s Seafood takes care of that for you. As the server places the plate of succulent lobster chunks bathed in high-quality sherry and parmesan seasoning on the table, take note of the buttery cracker topping. It’ll makes your taste buds drool. Not what you’d expect from an ordinary fish shack. Ray’s is a cut above the rest. Go for the freshest seafood and house-caught lobster. But also go for an outstanding ocean view.
Dining Outside the Home: Country Tavern in Nashua, New Hampshire! If you like a dose of haunting history served with a rustic dinner in a circa 1741 farmhouse, Country Tavern is the place to be. Not only is the wait staff eager to share their own personal tales of lights “flickering” and ghosts “bumping” in the night, the tavern even provides a full page newspaper article describing details about the resident apparition, Elizabeth Ford. But back to the meal, I recommend the hand-cut filet mignon with béarnaise sauce. It’s delicious, especially if it ends up being your last meal.
Dining Outside the Home: Petey’s Summertime Seafood in Rye, New Hampshire. The menu said “Award-Winning Clam Chowder”, just the facts sprinkled with a second helping of bragging rights. As the waitress swept by our table, balancing a tray of four steaming bowls of clam chowder surrounded by cracker packets, it left behind an amazing aroma too tempting to resist. First course decided. Next up, an incredible dish known as “Baked Stuffed Lobster Pie ‘n Butter”. When the staff recommends something they eat (often) themselves, prepare to enter Lobster Heaven. It truly does exist.
People are drawn to the water, that’s for sure. It’s no different today than it was a century ago. If buildings could talk and wharfs could whisper, you’d come to know the bragging rights of sailors who boast over the fish that got away. The next time you’re in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, gather down around Martingale Wharf where together the Old Ferry Landing sets the stage for open-deck relaxation, warm-hearted conversation, waterfront dining, and an unbelievable view of bobbing tugboats on the Piscataqua River. Listen carefully. You never know the stories you’ll hear.
Dining Outside the Home: Joey’s Diner in Amherst, New Hampshire! Cruise down the highway to a 1950’s-style diner where cherry cokes are the real deal, like soda fountains served in the past. Stroll by the long counter of bar stools, beyond the juke box where the atmosphere is casual and the decor is retro. Did you see the glass dessert case filled with homemade pies and cakes? Pull out a chair where the chrome is hip and the Formica tabletop is the cat’s pajamas. Joey’s Diner serves up meat loaf (like your Momma used to make), grilled burgers, crispy french fries, classic club sandwiches, and hand-blended milkshakes. Decisions, decisions. They’re open every day for three square meals. Check it out Daddy-O!
Dining Outside the Home: Petey’s Summertime Seafood in Rye, New Hampshire. Sometimes you just need to go to the shack. The seafood shack, that is. Located right across the road from the beach, on the scenic route through New Hampshire, sits a casual restaurant that practically never closes. Petey’s is famous for the freshest seafood, generous portions, and the best clam strips my husband has ever eaten. If you don’t believe him, drive by sometime. The parking lot is always full. Always. I’m a lobster-lover, so I’ve tried everything from a cracked lobster dinner to lobster-on-a-stick, with drawn butter of course. The juicy, tender, bite-size chunks can almost make me swoon. They practically come from the ocean to the table. Sound like Paradise? Pinch me, I must be dreaming.
Dining Outside the Home: Atlantic Grill in Rye, New Hampshire! Patio dining is such a plus this time of year. The sun is warm, the coastal breeze is cool, the drinks are perfectly chilled, and the seafood is spot on. For starters, the buttermilk-fried calamari set the tone for generous portions. The rich cherry peppered marinara sauce was a condiment companion that released the flavor within. Chunky Seafood Chowder was next on deck. The first slurp from the bowl was enough to see why it was tagged “award-winning chowder”. It was thick and creamy with a blend of clams, scallops, shrimp, lobster, and haddock. Definitely five-star, in my opinion. The Sandwich Board proclaimed the Lobster Roll as Maine tail and claw lobster on a brioche bun. It was indeed. No fillers here, folks! The entire meal left us feeling overstuffed. Pamper yourself and enjoy the seafood.
Just north of the Hamptons on the Eastern Seaboard is a small community called Rye, where lobster is plentiful and people drive there to eat seafood. Yes, please. We indulged ourselves in a monstrous lobster roll, broiled lobster on a stick, crispy fried clams, and chunky clam chowder. Thank you, Leah, for the exceptional service!
“Tree-top spires and exterior gables
Form the image of New Hampshire stables
And three-story homes along misty shores
With waves playing leapfrog across porch floors
Where foamy bubbles turn creams to sables.
Screaming seagulls perch on walls of wet stone
Not reading the signs of “Caution: Flood Zone”.
O’er head more birds drift on wings of the fog
While caps of high tide slam a ship-wrecked log.
And tourists, amazed, get drenched to the bone.”