5 Thai Bistro in Portsmouth N.H. (40 Pleasant Street) became an instant favorite after one bite of one of our appetizers! Don’t get me wrong we really enjoyed our entire lunch but there is something special about their chicken dumplings ($7.95) these dumplings are filled with steamed ground chicken and covered in a creamy coconut milk. I don’t typically like dumplings but I could have eaten that entire plate. Hands down the best dumpling I have ever had! Jim loved them as much as I did and I think if we were not in public we would have been fighting over who was going to lick that plate clean! I kid you not! Funny thing is, we also ordered their fried chicken wings as I knew I would not be eating the dumplings, little did we know!  We did enjoy the chicken wings ($6.95)…in fact they were the crispest wings I have ever had. I also liked that they served the sauce on the side, so the chicken does not get soggy as it sits in the sauce. I would order these wings again any day.

In my rush to tell you about those amazing chicken dumplings,  I almost forgot to tell you we went for Jim’s birthday and before we were served our appetizers we were given a complimentary salad that was light, fresh and came with a crispy won ton. That was a great start and because we had never been there, we did not expect the salad.

For our main course (we went for a late lunch, both the lunch and dinner items are the same just bigger portion sizes). Jim had the Pad Thai Deluxe ($ 9.95 lunch portion).  This Pad Thai has so much going on, it smelled amazing and was filled with rice noodles, stir fry chicken, shrimp, tofu, egg, bean sprouts, ground peanuts, scallions in a Pad Thai sauce and a sprinkle of chili flakes for a little heat. I had a taste and really liked it, but Jim cleaned his plate and absolutely loved it. I had one of the specials they had that day.  It was the mango chicken and shrimp curry. ($19.95).  This had snap peas, onion, carrots, mango, chicken and shrimp. Of course in a yellow curry sauce served with white rice.

 

 

 

 
I loved my dish but as you can see it’s a big portion especially after eating everything we had already had, but no worries they have take out boxes, so I was able to enjoy this dish a little later in the day.

To our surprise the wait staff all brought over a dessert for us to celebrate Jim’s birthday and sang Happy Birthday to him. What a fantastic way to end our lunch.  I have to tell you this dessert was not anything like I have had before.  It was a banana wrapped in an Asian wrapper and deep fried then topped with strawberries, chocolate and cream ($7.95).  This was a special they had that day. I don’t know how we could have possibly eaten it all…but we did!  It was light, crispy, creamy and delicious. It’s also something I would order again!

As you can see our lunch was spectacular. I can’t begin to tell you how hard it is to finish this post and not get in the car to go there! We had a nice variety from the menu but they still have so much more. They also have a number of vegetarian and gluten free choices as well as a full bar. Jim had a beer and I had a Mai Thai. Lots of great appetizer choices. I know the next time we go we will of course have those chicken dumplings.  I really like fried calamari, so I will be trying their version that is served with a spicy mayo as well as a sweet and sour sauce. They have lots of soup and salad options too.

I’m going to jump to the main course as they have such a great variety. Both of the curry dishes as well as the noodle and fried rice dishes come with several of the same options that you can add to your dish. You can add any of the following to your main course, tofu or vegetables, chicken or pork, chicken and shrimp, beef, shrimp, squid, or scallop. Crispy duck, seafood combination with shrimp, squid and scallops. So as you can see the curry dishes and the noodle or fried rice dishes have lots of delicious options. I can honestly say the chicken and shrimp in my dish were cooked beautifully and that’s not always easy as we know how easy it is for shrimp to be overcooked. With all of that being said they also have a number of chef’s special dishes; things like spicy crispy duck, BBQ pork and drunken chicken to just name a few.

And let’s not forget dessert.  If you see the dessert we had it was really tasty but they have rice pudding, mango sticky rice and Thai tea Creme Brûlée to name a few.  Check out their website for hours, location information and of course the full menu.

http://5thaibistro.com/

Enjoy!

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If you have been following me for awhile you know that I already wrote a review on the Tuscan Market in Salem NH. After waiting as patiently as I possibly could, the Portsmouth location is finally open and I can’t wait to tell you all about it! The new location is at 581 Lafayette Road,  Portsmouth, NH. I am so thrilled to have this restaurant and market so close to us as the Salem location is an hour away and I would always bring a cooler with me so I could take home all of their amazing dishes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you are from the New England area, you may have heard of the Phantom Gourmet. This is a show that reviews New England restaurants. The show is hosted by the Andelman Brothers. Not only do they review various places, they also have various events throughout the year. They have BBQ Festivals and a number of events at Fenway park, but also participate in grand opening events. Well, when I heard the Tuscan Kitchen was having a grand opening event that was going to include the Phantom Gourmet, I knew I had to go! This post is going to be a little different as I will be sharing lots of pictures from the grand opening event. I will also share my typical review as we went back a second time for our anniversary. The Portsmouth location is their biggest location, although as of this post the market side of the restaurant in Portsmouth is not open…but should be open very soon! At the grand opening we were treated to many items that will be sold in the market and all of it was just incredible.


Ok, so…I’m going to give you a quick overview of the grand opening event to start. This event was held the night before the restaurant was open to the public.  Everyone going to the event had to register for free tickets through the Phantom Gourmet and only so many were available. Needless to say, I signed up right away! The night of the event they had the red carpet out as you walked up to the door. As you walked in you were handed a glass of Prosecco and welcomed by all of the staff. They had a number of stations set up around the restaurant starting with a slice of Parmesan in truffle honey, a bread and cured meat station, then onto the pizza station where you could sample a number of their creations. This is just the beginning! Next was the seafood station where you had so many choices, shrimp, lobster, and oysters.  Then onto the fresh mozzarella station, wine tasting, pasta and being finished off with a wheel of Parmesan and a carving station with prime rib.  Are you hungry yet? Still not done…they had a huge table filled with various cookies, pastries, cakes and cannoli’s.  Last, but not least, they had a gelato station with a number of different kinds of gelato.  We tried the pistachio gelato and it was spectacular! Not only could you go to each station as many times as you wanted, they also had waitresses walking around with various other selections for you to try. This event was hands down the best opening event we have been to.  We were so stuffed when we left. If you ever get a chance to go to any event hosted by the Phantom Gourmet, you will not be disappointed.


We went back just a few days later for our anniversary, so here is my review of that visit! We made reservations right from their website and I would highly recommend getting reservations anytime you plan to visit. We were promptly seated with menu’s and a plate of bread and dipping oil to enjoy while deciding what we wanted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We decided on the Calamari Fritti to start.  This is a fried calamari and cherry pepper dish with a lemon basil aioli. This was one of our favorite dishes. The calamari had a light crispy coating and paired with the lemon basil aioli…was just delicious! We cleaned that plate pretty fast!

I ordered the Ravioli ai Quattro Formaggi “di nonna”.  I know that’s a mouth full, but this is thin pasta pillows stuffed with Parmegiano, Reggiano, Burrata, Fontina and fresh ricotta with sweet Italian sausage in a roasted tomato ragu with torn basil. This dish not only looked great but smelled amazing. One bite was all it took to know this was going to be a favorite. The ravioli was so light, the sweet sausage and the roasted tomato ragu makes this the perfect dish. I would eat this any day of the week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jim also had a pasta dish with spinach, pine nuts and Parmesan in a brown butter sauce. His dish was slightly sweet and just as tasty as mine! Needless to say we cleaned both plates. We don’t always order dessert, but it was our anniversary, so we decided to share the Torta Calda al Cioccolato. This is a warm chocolate cake, milk chocolate sauce with toasted almond gelato and candied almonds. This dessert was absolutely sinful.  I’m not sure how we possibly finished it, but we did. This will make any day an amazing day. Tuscan Kitchen made it special with the “Happy Anniversary” message.

After eating all that food I bet you think we were done?! Well, not just yet. When we came for the grand opening their was one pizza dish that we could not get over and wanted to take it home with us…so that’s exactly what we did. We ordered the Fichi pizza to go. This pizza is so good!   It has black mission figs, Parmesan, rosemary, house made burrata cheese and thin slices of prosciutto. It’s sweet from the figs and savory with the prosciutto, an amazing combination.

As you can see they have some amazing dishes and the service could not have been better on both occasions.  Check out their website for more information and to make reservations!

http://www.tuscanbrands.com/Kitchen/Salem/locations-and-hours/

Enjoy!

 

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A couple weeks ago my friend Nikoll posted her dinner from Bamee/Azure Restaurant in Durham NH (12 Jenkins Court, Suite 1) on Facebook.  It looked really good and according to Nikoll’s son, Sam Lauze, it was delicious! So delicious he took Nikoll’s noodle bowl and finished it for her. Here are a couple pictures of Sam enjoying his dinner, how cute is he?!
Sam not only knows a good dinner when he tastes it, he is oh sooo grown up, sophisticated and polite. He asked to speak with the chef so he could personally thank her for such a delicious meal! If that isn’t an amazing testimony about this new restaurant, I don’t know what is. I’m not sure you need to hear it from me but Jim and I did go to Bamee/Azure for lunch and here are our thoughts!
Bamee/Azure is a small fun place and not your typical restaurant. When you first walk in, there are a few smaller tables but as you go on in to the restaurant there are a few long tables for family style dining. It has a little bit of a self serve style dining. There is an area where you pay and order as well as an area where you bring your tray and dishes when you are done.
The menu is not huge, but it has a nice variety.  Although we did not get an appetizer, they have several starters that look really good. You can order crispy rolls at $5.00.  These are filled with marinated mixed vegetables and glass noodles served with house plum sauce.
I had heard the Crab Rangoons at $5.00 are very good and a little different than your average Crab Rangoon. These are crispy wontons with cream cheese, imitation crab meat, real crab meat, onion, curry powder and scallion stuffing. I am looking forward to trying these next time. You can also get chicken wings.  Maybe if you are looking for something a little different you would like the quail eggs at $7.00, fried quail eggs with Thai soy sauce, white pepper and scallions.

Jim and I both ordered from the rice corner of the menu. Jim had the Gra Prao at $9.00.  He had this with ground chicken as you have a choice of chicken or pork. The chicken is sautéed with onion, bell pepper and Thai gra pao leaves served over jasmine rice. This is one of their spicy dishes. Jim did not think it was overly spicy, but I thought that it had a good amount of heat! Jim loved his dish just as much as Sam loved his.

 I had the Massaman Curry with Crispy Chicken at $12.00. This is made with Thai famous Massaman curry, crispy chicken, potato, tomato, onion and peanuts served on a hot platter with a side of jasmine rice.  My dish was also very good, lots of great curry flavor and the chicken was crispy on the outside, but incredibly tender.  The rice was the perfect compliment to the dish. I would certainly order that dish again but they have so many tasty sounding dishes!
Bamee/Azure has a great selection in the noodle soup and more section of the menu as well. Miso soup, Noodle Soup with Roast Duck or Wonton Noodle Soup with your choice of noodles, minced pork and shrimp, wonton, roast pork, scallion and Chinese green vegetables in a clear broth.  These soups can be ordered in extra large and triple size bowls…that’s some serious soup!
Bamee/Azure even has various salads to choose from along with desserts. The desserts are written on a blackboard at the front of the restaurant. Check them out on their website and on Facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/Bameedurham/

Do yourself a favor and take Sam Lauze’s recommendation and take a trip to Bamee/Azure.  You won’t be disappointed…just ask Sam!

Enjoy!

 

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A few weeks ago while my friend Jenn Gibson was cutting my hair, I asked her if she had been to Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery yet. Her salon Tanzania Beauty Studio is in the same building in Dover at 835B Central Ave. in Dover, NH.  Jenn has worked in restaurants so she knows good food! Somehow we always end up talking about our favorite restaurants. Jenn said they have an amazing curry chicken sandwich and a friend of hers had a smoked salmon bagel sandwich that was also really good. Well, as Jenn finished up my hair, I then decided to grab a couple things from Earth’s Harvest to take home and share with Robby.

Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery is a farm to table restaurant with items that you can grab and go if you are in a rush.  They have some tables and chairs to sit, eat and relax too! They are open at 8 am everyday and serve breakfast all day.

Let me start by telling you about some of the grab and go items. They have a rotating variety of fruit scones and choice of harvest muffins. These include apple cinnamon, apple and oat or, how about a banana muffin? They all looked delicious. Another item that really grabbed my eye was the buttermilk choice biscuits.  These are made daily and are a house favorite!

This is not a big restaurant, but they have a nice variety that will please everyone. A number of the breakfast items looked really good but I decided on the smoked salmon bagel $9.00.  They use house cured smoked salmon with garlic and choice cream cheese, tomato, red onion, cucumber, capers and sprouts on an everything bagel! Sounds good doesn’t it? Well it was damn delicious and to my surprise Robby liked it too!
Some other breakfast choices are the morning plate that includes eggs served your way with roasted potatoes, fresh fruit, house made grain loaf toast, with your choice of bacon or chicken sausage for $11.00
Or maybe you would like the morning biscuit sandwich for $5.00 with two farm fresh eggs scrambled and stacked on their house made cheddar/choice biscuit. You can add bacon, ham or chicken sausage for an additional $2.00.
I mentioned that I was going to pick up a couple things. Are you wondering what else I picked up? Well I, like Jenn, also love curry chicken anything, so I had to try the curried chicken sandwich after hearing how much Jenn loved it.

I definitely agree with Jenn, this sandwich was amazing! The Curried Chicken is served on house made bread with lettuce, tomato and Bermuda onion. I told you Robby liked the bagel sandwich. Well he tried a bite of this sandwich and it was no longer my lunch…it was his! He devoured it at $11.00.
If you don’t want the Curried Chicken on a sandwich they also have a Curried Chicken Salad with mixed greens, shaved apple, toasted torn pita with a curry dressing for $12.00.
The lunch menu is just as fabulous as the breakfast menu, so many great choices.  They have many other things to choose from. Maybe a Corned Beef Rueben with pickled cabbage, Swiss, 1000 island, on house made rye bread. I also like the looks of the 603 BLT with bacon, lettuce and tomato, pickled onion, garlic mayo on focaccia bread! Yum!
Now, as the restaurant’s name says, it’s also a juicery.  Let me tell you about some of the juices and smoothies they whip up! They have a number of raw juice fusions to pick from with some fun names to them.  How about a Green Monster with apple, cucumber, kale, parsley, spirulina and chlorophyll.  The Refresher also looks good with cucumber, pineapple, apple, pear, kale, ginger and mint. These juices and smoothies come in two sizes. So if those juices are not your thing maybe these smoothies will tempt you. The Orange Crush sounds refreshing with orange, banana, yogurt, almond milk and raw honey or the Hampton Beach might be something you would like with peach, pineapple, orange, strawberry, lemon and hemp.
No matter what you choose from Earth’s Harvest Kitchen & Juicery you will love it. Check them out on line for more information and as always send them some Facebook love! https://www.earths-harvest.com/
Thanks so much for the recommendation Jenn.  I can’t wait to see where you send me next time!

Enjoy!

 

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I know this is not a restaurant, but I just have to write about this amazing store and it’s just around the corner from Moxy Restaurant, that I wrote you about yesterday! The salt cellar has three locations we go to.  The Portsmouth NH store (7 Commercial Alley) is a must every time we are in Portsmouth.  The Salt Cellar has the most amazing variety of finishing salts I have purchased many for myself, as well as many for gifts. I always have the garlic salt on hand but have tried the ghost pepper salt, fleur de sel, onion salt as well as the smoked Chardonnay. I can’t possibly list everything they have, but I think you get the idea. Every time I go in I find something new. I already know what I will be getting next time I am in…any guesses? I am thinking the lemon salt and the lime salt will be great for the summer cooking! So that’s next!
The salt cellar also has a large variety of bath and spa items. Hand cream, Dead Sea soap, Kiwi Mango Scrub, Peach and Honey Scrub to just name a few things. They even have a men’s after shave for your favorite man! Maybe home and kitchen things are on your list? They have salt lamps, salt blocks, salt shot glasses and even a salt swizzle!
The best thing about the salt cellar is that everyone can order from them. Not only do they have three stores, they also have a fantastic website where you can order all of the fun things I have mentioned.  If you make a purchase of $75.00 or more you get free shipping. This is one of my favorite places and I think it will be one of yours too!

Portsmouth, NH

Enjoy!

 

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