My boyfriend, Nick, is a wonderful guy. He has treated me to many a fun time recently, and I wanted to treat him to something nice in return. I decided to take him out to for a change. But where to? I decided to consult my Best of NH 2014 issue of New Hampshire Magazine. This has been my go-to since for finding local spots to visit (or plan to).
Featured under “Best Sliders” was New England’s Tap House Grille in Hooksett. While I wasn’t really interested in sliders as my food choice, I read the line that said “you can choose from more than 50 fresh and cold craft beers on tap to slake your thirst”. I knew that was something Nick would enjoy. When I texted him my restaurant of choice, it turned out that he had already been there a couple of times before for business networking and would like to go again. So, we met up and off we went!
It was a beautiful evening and I needed to get some fresh air. As we made our way to the restaurant from my apartment, I hoped that there would be outdoor seating. Luckily upon arrival, I saw that there was indeed a patio area with available tables. When we entered the Tap House there was a bit of a wait, so the hostess asked for Nick’s phone number and said she would send a text when a table was ready. I thought that was a kind of cool feature for table notification that I’d never used before. As we sat on the bench in the waiting area, I observed a room next to us full of all the different beer kegs. It was a neat viewpoint!
Once ready, we were led outside and could pick an outdoor table of our choosing. I liked the decor on the patio – white lights strung around the gate enclosure that I’m sure would have lit up the area with a summery vibe had it been darker out. There was also a decoration on the table comprised of a mason jar with a cider company logo on it, filled with little pebbles around a flameless tea light. I admired it, and still have plans to make them as decorations for my apartment!
When the waitress arrived, Nick had picked out his beer of choice – a pale ale named 603 Brewery 18 Mile Rye Ale. He thought the name was very unique, but unfortunately, they were all out of the 603 that night. Other people must have liked the sound of it too! Nick went with another option under the pale ale offerings, the Moat Mountain Iron Mike. I’m terrible when it comes to menu decisions, and couldn’t decide yet, so I just ordered a water to start.
For his meal, Nick ordered a cup of New England Clam Chowda and the Southern Style Smoked Pulled Pork sandwich, which was topped with beer battered onion rings. He devoured it! I ordered the Margherita Flatbread. Margherita pizzas are an obsession of mine. When it arrived, it looked just as delicious as it tasted. It was loaded with mozzerella, both shredded and fresh for an extra cheesy bite – just the way I like it!
Because pizza tastes so much better with beer for some reason, I knew I had to just decide on one and order it. It was a bit of a chilly night, and I felt my urge for all things fall taking over. I had made a pact with myself to just enjoy the end of summer and not move on to pumpkin beer until September 1st, but my willpower quickly vanished when I saw that the Tap House had my favorite kind available – Jack-O Traveler Shandy. I had first discovered the Jack-O Traveler last fall when perusing the beer aisle at Market Basket (pre-controversy) and spotting the eye-catching, super Halloween-y label. I’m a sucker for an awesomely designed product label. In my opinion, Jack-O has the most satisfying pumpkin taste, distinct but not overpowering. Once that first taste hit my tongue at dinner, I forgot all about my personal pact and just savored the moment. Yum!
After our meal, I was thoroughly satisfied in appetite and happiness. Overall, New England’s Tap House Grille was a perfect location for a casual date night with affordable prices, a menu with something for everyone and a beer list that goes for miles. Oh, and they also pride themselves on using many locally sourced ingredients, points in my book. I will be back sooner rather than later I’m sure!
New England’s Tap House Grille – 1292 Hooksett Road, Hooksett, NH 03106