Dave and I recently celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary, so I decided we should go to dinner at Mint Bistro in Manchester, NH. Even though it’s been there for years, we’ve never gone, probably because up until recently I always thought it was a sushi restaurant. While this is true, it is also much more than that! They have quite a varied menu with all kinds of things, and I knew Dave and I would both find things to agree on.
Sadly having an anniversary in mid-October means there is pretty much no chance of having any natural light left for photos of the food at dinner time. When we walked in, I realized the restaurant has a very dark ambiance so I was a little bummed because I thought I wouldn’t be able to take photos. However, we did have a candle on our table, so I was able to make do with that single little flame.
food and drinks by candlelight
As I looked over the cocktails menu, I liked how in addition to listing the ingredients of each drink, they also described the flavor profile which helped me dial right in to what I enjoyed very much. I was able to avoid the fruity drinks and head straight for the more savory ones. I chose the “Hunter’s Poison” which was perfect for fall: bourbon whiskey, vanilla liqueur, blood orange liqueur with muddled blueberry and orange.
Dave and I looked at the menu and decided that we would get a few shareable small plates rather than two entrees. Our first one was the Asian Short Rib Nachos, which seemed to be the most popular dish after reading the Trip Advisor reviews. We loved it! It was described on the menu as: “Tender Braised Beef Short Rib, Smoked Cheddar, Roasted Corn, Scallion, Red Onion, Thai Bird Chili, Napa Cabbage, Sesame, Mushrooms, Homemade Crispy Wontons, Spicy Sour Cream, Sweet Soy.” Absolutely delicious!
Tapas & Shareable Plates
Next we tried the Crispy Calamari and Bay Scallops. This one was mostly for Dave as he likes the seafood more than I do. Next course was the Hazelnut Goat Cheese Fritters which I enjoyed very much. If you like eating a big wad of melty cheese, which I DO, then this is for you. The spinach leaves actually helped to cut some of the heavy cheesy feeling in each bite (and I don’t give credit to spinach very often).
Midway through the meal we realized that ordering a selection of tapas was a great idea. We enjoyed sharing these small plates, and trying a variety of flavors with each one. The pace of the dishes coming out was just right, and our waiter was very attentive in making sure he put the orders in so that each dish was on deck when we were ready for the next one. Our last dinner selction was the Sweet & Spicy Pork Belly: Puffed Rice, Cucumber Kimchi, Fried Egg, Roasted Garlic-Lime Mayo. I would never have guessed it, but the fried egg was actually amazing with the pork belly. Very interesting dish, and the sauces were quite good.
And lastly, we decided we had room for dessert since it was our anniversary. The Ice Cream Profiteroles sounded great, and featured 3 kinds of ice cream: cinnamon, coconut, and green tea. Very yummy and pretty light, even with all the pastry.
We had a really lovely evening at Mint Bistro. We liked the dark ambiance, even though it was tough for photos, it was good for a date night. Our waiter was wonderful and kept everything coming at the perfect pace. We also enjoyed sampling a wide variety of flavors with so many different dishes which were just the right size for sharing a few. I wish we hadn’t waited so many years to go to Mint Bistro!
1105 Elm St, Manchester, NH 03101
Check out more area date night restaurants here: