The food is worth it

Filed under:General — eric @ 3:43 am

This entry got cut off. I added more at the bottom.

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.


  1. When we were in Belgium (all 10 hours of it…none of which was spent in the daylight) we ate at a great little rathsceller restaurant. You know how you get free chips with your meal in a Mexican restaurant? Well, here you got a tiny bowl of peanuts, a little pile of sausage, and a plate of snails. We were wimps…none of us willing to try the snails. I went on to have the strangest greek salad of my life while our friend got a giant pot of mussels. And oh, the fine belgian white beer!

    Comment by M — 11/28/2001 @ 4:14 am

  2. I’m happy the travel hassle paid off for you. To hear you give a review of a restaurant as glowing as this is quite impressive, given your culinary background. I hope everything else is shaping up well (you know nobody tells me anything around here), and I wish you a safe, less taxing trip home. You know, I sure wouldn’t mind some take-out from up North on Monday morning. . .

    Comment by David Walker — 11/28/2001 @ 4:27 am

  3. The Company Store sells great, cheap goose down products…there’s one in Madison.

    Hey…all week Slate has been running a journal by a bike courier named Andrew Weiner http://slate.msn.com/?id=2058945&entry=2058947

    I quite like it and can’t help wondering if he does this as a regular page. I tried searching his name, to no avail…any idea how else I might find out if he has a regular weblog somewhere? It doesn’t seem like Slate is going to tell me.

    Comment by M — 11/29/2001 @ 7:36 am

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