Growing up we had a saying in our house,
You’ve been at school and practice all day
You’re tired, you’re hungry
What do you want…Brownies!
We at the CTK definitely can say this call to comfort, is replicated by the folks at,
Tuckerman’s Restaurant & Tavern, (603) 356 5541, www.tuckermanstavern.com
In the scenic Mount Washington Valley – North of Jackson and Conway, NH where one can partake of plenty of outdoor activities, your day too will end seeking a recharge for the next day’s adventure. Tuckerman’s Restaurant & Tavern (located on the Intervale Resort Loop, 336 Route 16A, Intervale, NH) is a respite from the day’s adventure. A gem of the north woods that you should positively check out.
Tucked away in the pines of the Mount Washington Valley in a truly New England setting, Tuckerman’s Restaurant & Tavern truly lives up to its name sake. As Adam and Todd (owners/chefs) note, “New Hampshire’s Hidden Gem – offering delicious dinners…Totally independent, Totally Family Friendly, Totally Delicious”. We offer up freshest ingredients prepped simply and delectably, great value and unique experience, inviting – friendly staff, simple yet delectable deserts. It is the independent spirit, the diehard mantra to fresh and delectable dishes (some traditional, some off-piste), and true New England atmosphere that makes Tuckerman’s Restaurant & Tavern a true respite of comfort.
The day of our visit we had just come from visiting the namesake, better yet the mountain on which the name sake is located…Mount Washington and Tuckerman’s Ravine. Windswept and bone chilled not only describes the Mount this day but us too. Mount Washington and Tuckerman’s Ravine are unique environments where one’s independence can be tested and felt. As famous ski videographer, Warren Miller, noted “Skiing down Tuckerman Ravine once is a fine experience, skiing it twice is a dumb experience.” We at the CTK can attest, experiencing the culinary treats at Tuckerman’s Restaurant and Tavern is a must… dining once at Tuckerman’s is a joy, not going back is dumb. Here’s why.
I am terrible with remembering names so I ask for the indulgences of the staff for my generalities. We were greeted and served cheerfully by the host who was engaging and a delight to talk with. Her personality added to the dining experience rather than taking away from it. She knew the menu well, and with a few short questions was quick to point out what would be a fantastic dinner. Tuckerman’s certainly offers an eclectic menu, with far ranging cultural influences and unique food fusions. There is something truly here for everyone. We were in ski country and rather than select a “bunny slope” offering, we elected to go “off-piste” and select from the evening specials and test the culinary skills of the chef that night.
Fish was still on our minds and Tuckerman’s specials lineup for the night did not disappoint. Our New England excursion so far seemed to have a couple of running themes, one was fast becoming a tour of New England Clam Chowdah offerings. Tuckerman’s provides a traditional offering, perfect to warm our chilled bones. It’s a few hours to the coast but sitting back partaking of Tuckerman’s Chowdah you’d swear you were seaside. Mouthful chunks of tender potatoes, soft-velvety chunks of our favorite and succulent mollusk, in a simply seasoned creamy broth, you’d want to curl up with a bowl in front of the fire place. The chowdah is fresh, not a can fallacy, the clams are as if they were freshly taken that day from the sea and melted in the mouth. The cream broth was thick, spiced pleasantly to enhance the clams, and brought the rosiness back into our cheeks. As much as we could dwell on the Chowdah, this off-piste travel gets even better…
As an entrée Mary got herself the lobstah roll, first time the whole trip and first time in her culinary experiences. Served with fries, the plate said comfort all around with the lobstah as the star. This far inland I cautioned that the lobster meat might be frozen compared to where we had been eating. My initial caution was that her first lobstah roll ought not to be frozen, we had had enough of frozen things on the Mount. Chef Todd was not doing frozen this night. Served on a toasted buttered bun, the lobstah’s knuckle and claw meat was as succulent and soft as we had all over the New England coast. The sweetness of the lobstah meat stood out against the bitter greens and light mayo aioli with a little pepper to boot, Mary would have a big ol’grin on from ear to ear. She finally had her lobstah roll for the first time and Tuckerman’s did not fail.
I balanced the night with the selection of traditional fish and chips, and I was surprised pleasantly. I thought okay, I will get some strips of white fish in a thick battered, deeply fried…..Chef Todd was not going to have any of that. He served up a full filet of haddock in a light beer batter that could put any England or New England fish monger to shame. I have had inland fried fish and its always over cooked, and rarely haddock. Not at Tuckerman’s, this truly was the best inland selection of fried fish possible. The haddock retained its soft flaky texture without being either inundated with oil or dried to a crisp. The batter was light and not overpowering; the focus was on the haddock as it should be. Even the addition of a light dip in malted vinegar could not take away from the flavor of the fish. Plated with a traditional slaw and fry offering, this fish and chips plate was a surprise.
The care taken to prepare these dishes, to not have them represent a worn out standard offering, boosts Tuckerman’s above the standard fare offered in any resort town. But even this was out-shined by the deserts.
Mary selected the hot fudge and caramel mud pie that could bring the youth right back into ya. Thick cut, dripping with fudge and caramel this ice-cream treat was devine. The Oreo crust, layers of cookie and chocolate ice-cream were tasty. Sometimes however simplicity offers the best is temptation…My selection had me pondering “where have you been all my life you tasty little morsel”.
Simple in its presentation, the warmed cinnamon roll with vanilla bean ice cream was truly the best desert of our whole trip. Words cannot measure the level of sublime comfort this desert provided and yet it is so simple. Though I have replicated it a few times, with store bought components, my counterfeits don’t measure up. The root of this desert is by far the best cinnamon roll I have come across in my travels and if you can ever get the recipe do. The icing compliments the cinnamon of the roll with both a crunchy exterior and warm moist, gooey center…the kid in you will jump for joy.
Mount Washington and its valley gems are a joy to visit, you just need to go prepared for the unknown. One thing that is known as a sure thing, visit Adam and Todd’s Tuckerman’s Restaurant & Tavern and you will have the opportunity to be treated to New England comfort. Whether a local and known by the staff or a visitor, you will be treated to the best meal and comfort you can find near the top of New England. From its Shaker Cranberry Pot Roast, Forager Linguine, Roasted Haddock, Wasabi Salmon to their Baby Back Ribs, Short Rib Mushroom Marsala or Lobster Carbonara, you will find comfort is at the root of this culinary excursion.