North End Bistro
I was so impressed by my first (but certainly not last!) visit to the North End Bistro on Elm Street in downtown Manchester, NH. Honestly this was the best dinner my husband and I have had in a long time. We made our reservation for 5:00 on a Tuesday because upon calling, there were no other openings until about 7 or 7:30. I really had no idea it would be so popular, or so small! It’s a small place with maybe a dozen-ish tables, so you do pretty much need to make a reservation.
Our server was Natasha who was pleasant, knowledgeable, and kind. She even offered to take a picture of me and my husband because we were sitting under the beautiful mural of Tuscany. (No, I will not post the picture she took because I looked awful. But it was a wonderful gesture.) The restaurant is spotlessly clean from the crisp white tablecloths to the sparkling menus. One thing I always notice is the condition of the menus, whether they feel sticky or grubby. The menus at the North End Bistro are pristine, and I feel like that’s a good indicator of overall cleanliness and attention to detail.
Appetizers and Entrees
Now, the food! When the crusty bread with delicious dipping oil came out, we knew we were in for a treat. It was unexpectedly GOOD bread, and the oil was garlicky with a hint of heat from red pepper flakes. We had the bruschetta ($12) for an appetizer, and the grilled baguette was piled high with gorgeous tomatoes, mozzarella, garlic, fragrant basil, and balsamic vinegar. They do garlic so well at this restaurant! If no detail is too small, I even liked the way the cherry tomatoes were sliced in a way to maximize the texture and flavor.
My chicken rollatini ($28) was fantastic, and I loved the garlic cream sauce.
My husband had the Old Man of the Mountain burger ($17) and he loved it. He generously shared with me a couple of bites, and you first notice the wonderful flavors of the grilled onions, bacon, and pepperjack cheese but then that bit of maple dijon mustard hits and it just sings.
Sadly there was no way I had room for dessert, so maybe next time! My 2 cocktails were delicious and strong. Can’t wait to go back! They have great looking weekly specials. I’m also very interested in their lunch menu, in which they have a few things not offered at dinner.
New Hampshire Food Photography
Erika Follansbee is a published Goffstown, NH food photographer whose job is to make food look amazing. She is available for hire to help small restaurants and cafes to create beautiful images of their dishes to use for marketing, websites, and social media. Magazine-quality food images are the best form of advertisement.
Erika is also a wedding photographer. Visit www.erikafollansbee.com for more information.