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I would gladly endure the travel troubles I had, both directions if necessary, for the dinner I had last night.
There’s a group of restaurants here called The Common Man. I ate at the original one in Ashland, NH, celebrating its thirtieth anniversary. The meal ranks up there with the best I’ve had, all time.
I started things off with a bowl of French onion soup (topped with rye and crusty swiss cheese) and an order of escargot. I’ve only had those once before; they’re not on many menus. A garden salad followed, dressed with homemade blue cheese dressing. All this was accompanied by a Black Martini, which was equal parts Absolut, Bombay Sapphire, and three-quarters ounce of Chamborde. Fantastic! The main course was chicken Kiev, with herb stuffing and a wonderful mushroom sauce. Also on the plate was mashed potatoes and mashed sweet potatoes (with a hint of maple syrup, but just a hint). I ended things with a baked apple (which I had to order early, as they’re baked to order) and homemade ice cream. Along with a hunk of homemade white chocolate. And an “Uncommon coffee” — coffee with kahlua and brandy and fresh cream. Delightful!
I know that sounds like I was living large, and to be honest, I’d not kept up with the prices. So, I was shocked and amazed to find the total bill at only $33 — even after the New Hampshire 8% sales tax. True, it was more than I’d budgeted for a whole day’s food, but my breakfast and lunch were covered for me, so I splurged.
Now as you know, I’m a cook. So when I eat out, I’m gathering recipe ideas, guessing what I could do better, and so on. With this meal, there was only one thing I could improve upon. The escargo, rather than the traditional complete crust of puffed pastry, had individual squares of pastry over each snail. I’d guess they were cut with a dull knife, because they didn’t puff. But that’s minor, compared to the rest.
Across the street is the “Company Store”. It was closed when I left the restaurant, but I’ll be back tonight. I’m sure I’ll find some goodies for my new house.
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