When of my favorite restaurants, the Pinkerton Tavern in Derry, closed in 2011, I was disappointed. It was known for quality food at great prices and a wonderful atmosphere, and its closing was a huge loss to the dining community. So I was thrilled when I found out the owners, husband-and-wife team Guy Streitburger and Jen Lutzen, had embarked on a new venture.
The High Street Farmhouse in Goffstown opened in December and it features many of the same great qualities that could be found at their previous eatery.
The Farmhouse, like the Pinkerton Tavern, exudes a homey, quaint atmosphere. You feel as if you are walking into someone's very comfortable living room and you are welcomed as such. When we walked in we were greeted by every employee we encountered. That's always a great start.
The menu has plenty of choices, but isn't overwhelming. The items are what you would expect to find in a place where you feel at home: Macaroni and Cheese, Grandma's Chicken Pot Pie, and Tuscan Pork Tenderloin, just to name a few.
I had ordered the Butternut & Honey Crisp Apple Bisque as my appetizer, but was told that they had just recently discontinued the menu item, so I chose the Slam Chowder ($7) instead. They describe it as the "ocean in the crock." No arguments here. The rich and creamy chowder base featured a number of seafood items, but primarily fish. The consistency was perfect; not too thick, not too thin, and was well seasoned. Before I knew it I had finished the bowl.
In keeping with the seafood theme, The Dining Companion chose the Maine Crabcake Sliders ($8), which had been my second choice. The two patties were topped with a lobster sauce that met the advertised billing of freshness, and were served on a bed of spinach. TDC said the sauce that lightly covered the crab cakes delivered a flavor-packed punch that left him wanting for more. The cakes had an enjoyably slight sweetness with a light and fluffy texture. Squeezing the provided lemon on top added a nice tart citrus note to these sweet and delicious cakes.
How about a little turf to go with the surf? TDC and I both decided to have steaks for our entrees. I chose the Grilled Garlic Delmonico Steak ($19), a center-cut Angus ribeye with shallot pepper seasoning, and served with house made steak sauce. While the generous cut of beef was cooked to my liking, a medium-rare, and I enjoyed the bold flavors, especially the steak sauce, the meat was chewy and even tough to cut in some spots. I would have eaten more of the steak if I could, but I was getting frustrated at trying to cut around the gristle. I will say that the mashed potatoes served with the dish were excellent. The potatoes were creamy and put under a broiler to give them this great crispy crust on top.
The slow roasted Choice Angus Prime Rib ($19) was TDC's beef of choice. The prime rib, like each entrée, came with a choice of side and vegetable du jour, which was a mixed bowl of green beans and carrots. A cup of au jus was also provided for dipping.
TDC said the first thing he noticed was that the cut had a large amount of fat, which of course isn't out of the ordinary for prime rib, but it just seemed to have more than usual. He also ordered the prime rib medium rare, but it was closer to rare. The meat was more chewy then tender.
We were both anxious to see how dessert would fare given that the meal had started strong but slipped with the entrees. There isn't a dessert menu per se; instead the server read us a list of offerings for that day. I couldn't resist the Chocolate Mousse Cake ($7), a giant slab of fluffy chocolatey goodness served with house-made whipped cream. I savored every bite of the mousse, which is some of the best I've had. I like that they added chocolate bits for texture and that it wasn't overly sweet as chocolate desserts can sometimes be. I took the rest home with me and enjoyed it a second time the next day.
Having lost out on the chocolate mousse, TDC went with the Cookie Sundae ($5). He, too, was immediately struck by the size of the dessert when it was brought over by the server. It was a full-scale sundae with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, and large bits of cookie pieces with syrup drizzled over the lot. The soft cookie pieces reminded him of the dough his mom would allow him to taste. He couldn't keep his spoon from going back for more until there was nothing but an empty bowl.
Admittedly we were baffled at the inconsistency from one course for the next and can't help thinking that the steaks we were served may not be indicative of the overall quality of the entrees. Aside from the steaks, we really enjoyed the rest of the meal.
Just like the Pinkerton Tavern, we found that the prices were reasonable and we were pleasantly surprised when we received the bill. Also, the service from start to finish was spot on. Our server was attentive and polite, and not overbearing. She could answer all of our questions, and even though we were one of her last tables on what was a busy night, you couldn't tell from her attitude. That alone is worth going back for.