Chop House opening is Berra of good news
by Dave Long
Iím at the party for the opening of the Hanover Street Chop House and
Yogi Berra pops into my head. You know Yogi, heís the baseball
philosopher with a one-of-a-kind gift for mangling a phrase to make it
sound both odd and logical at the same time. I was wondering how he
might describe Manchesterís newest restaurant, which is nothing like
weíve seen in town. And I mean that in a very good way.
Iíve got my own unique way of sizing up places, too. For instance, if I
donít like the logo or name, I ainít going in. Donít ask me why. I guess
Iím just about first impressions. Itís the same with uniforms in sports.
I hate the color purple, so naturally I hate the Baltimore Ravens. I
wouldnít root for them if they were playing the Russians during the Cold
War. The only purple team to ever get an exemption is the original
Minnesota Vikings. There was something about watching Fran Tarkenton
dodging frustrated lineman while scrambling 30 yards behind the line of
scrimmage in the white jersey, purple pants and white socks that made me
like those babies. Ditto for when Jim Marshall scooped up a fumble and
ran it into the wrong end zone to give the 49ers a safety.
mind changed gears when I saw the Dolphins and Chargers (who I like
because of their vintage powder blue jobs from the old AFL days) on the
TV over the bar. Good, I said to no one in particular. Now that theyíre
getting healthier and starting to play like the real Patriots again I
donít want them to clinch the AFC East now. They need to get sharp.
Some guy, whose name I never quite caught, asked me about the Red Sox as
I was trying a lusciously tender steak-tip skewer of some kind. The hot
stove was raging last week with the winter meetings in full bloom; Manny
being pedaled to everyone but the Nashua Pride and Edgar Renteria
shuffling off to Atlanta. No short stop? No problem. On cue Miguel (you
say tomato, I say) Tejada spouts off about wanting to leave Baltimore.
Though old friend Mike Flanagan got into the act, it quieted down almost
as quickly as it took me to scoop up the lobster dip concoction I
dropped on the floor. So even though they ainít getting Miguel for
Manny, I was in good spirits because that lobster concoction turned out
be heavenly after a fresh trayful wandered by.
ran into Monarchs prez Jeff Eisenberg while searching out the menís
room. I thought he was skipping out on a game but it turned out, for the
first time since the Clinton administration, his Ms werenít playing in
town on Sunday afternoon. So he got points for not being a slacker, but
lost a couple a short time later for not knowing his alma mater beat
Tennessee in football for the first time since probably Billy Wade was
playing QB for Vanderbilt. For Commodore alums, thatís akin to being an
American hockey fan in 1980 and not knowing the Olympic team knocked off
After that it was back upstairs for a chat with former SNHU president
Dick Gustafson, right before I had a delicious, dry merlot from the
interesting wine list dumped right in my lap by a friend. We had a short
chat about the heartbreaker the Penmen had lost the previous day in
Lowell. I was there doing the game with partner Charlie Sherman and told
him it followed a familiar script. They jumped out to a big lead. Lowell
spent the game chipping into it until winning it in the final minute.
Bad ending, but a great game.
Finally I got a chance to thank Chuck Rolecek for inviting me. He was
beaming, though Iím not sure if it was for opening the doors to his
great new place or because his son, Steve, was starting to get some
serious PT for the Harvard hockey team. The Crimson, who upset UNH
earlier in the week, is coached by former Monarch Ted DeNato and I only
mention it to show Eisenberg I know my Ms lore with the best of them.
Speaking of lore brings me back to Berra. The new place with the valet
parking brought to mind my favorite Yogism of them all. It came after a
teammate suggested going to a restaurant in Minneapolis. To which Yogi
frowned and said, ďnobody goes there anymore, itís too crowded.Ē I donít
know if it translates directly to the place on Hanover Street with the
cool name and great logo but I can say this ó the food is out of this
world and since I pretty much spill things on myself everyplace I go, I
felt right at home.
Iím betting when you give it a try, you will too.
Dave Long can be heard nightly from 6-7pm, on Sports Night with Dave
Long on 61 WGIR-AM.