New eats in bloom
Restaurants revitalize menus for spring
By Susan Reilly Ware firstname.lastname@example.org
Fish go south
South American flavors at Commercial Street Fishery
At the Commercial Street Fishery, chef Justin Lyonnais has changed the menu three times in the past year.
Driven by freshness, availability and his whim. But changing the menu is tough to do when a designer and printer need to get involved every time.
“The old style of menu made it tough to keep changing things up. Now we are doing them in house and people will see it constantly changing and evolving based on the seasons and what is available,” Lyonnais said.
Lyonnias has just put out a menu that he feels is perfect for warm-weather dining.
“I can’t really label the menu. I think it is fun, it eats light and it screams spring,” Lyonnais said.
Lyonnais has added flavors from South America and the Caribbean to the mix. The combination of ginger and sweet potatoes appears twice on the menu, as fries with the small plate of sweet and spicy short ribs ($12) and with the pink pepper yellow fin tuna ($27), where a ginger tomato confit escorts a sweet potato spring roll as the side dish.
More fusion — a small plate of PEI mussels ($9) gets dressed with coco lopez, sambal, cilantro and lime and Korean style shrimp ($22) is served with a ginger cilantro jasmine rice and a jicama mang slaw.
“The new menu has a global feel. I have paella from Spain along with local Chatham cod and Massachusetts clams,” Lyonnais said.
In terms of keeping things light, Lyonnais switched up orzo for mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes for Russets and even the hanger steak ($24) is getting an airy gorgonzola potato hash, a less heavy option in the warm months.
While fish is the focus at Commercial Street Fishery, there are a couple of well-executed plates that cater to the chicken and beef crowd.
There is the forementiond short ribs ($12), a balsamic grilled chicken breast ($19) served with a fresh mozzarella, and tomato lasagna with a calamata olive puree. Lyonnias says that the lasagna is very light, not a hefty chunk of oil-heavy pasta and cheese, mainly because it has no ricotta and it is made to order.
The grilled Hanger steak ($24) has been popular since the place opened.
“I put it on the first menu and haven’t looked back,” said Lyonnias. For spring this steak gets served with the hash, grilled asparagus and a tomato bourbom demi.
A French breakfast
The French Bistro adds brunch & new entrees
Zoltan Kosa is sprung about spring.
The French Bistro’s sunny patio has just been opened along with the quaint, walk-up ice cream shop. Sunday brunch, new at The French Bistro, has come to life and chef Kosa has even put out a new menu with a focus on lighter spring flavors.
“It is a very exciting time right now. The weather is warm and everything that we have going on reflects all of these changes,” Kosa said.
Kosa explained that loyal customers have long been requesting a Sunday brunch. At its debut last week, brunch had more reservations than the Saturday evening prior.
“We are really looking forward to brunch. It is so great to stretch,” Kosa said.
There is a three-course brunch, the cost based on the entrée you choose: French toast with a pineapple-walnut compote ($14.95), pancake with maple syrup and crème fraiche ($14.95), Hanger steak with grits, an egg any style and maple pork sausage ($18.95) and salmon with spinach salad, pickled onion and tomato ($18.95).
Along with your entrée, you choose appetizers such as French onion soup gratinee, house-cured salmon or duck rillette with frisee. Your meal comes with a basket full of crossaints, baguette and jam and choice of homemade desserts such as vanilla crème brulee, Key Lime pie and the crepe of the day.
The French chef has also put together a menu of classic egg dishes, such as eggs Benedict, eggs Cocotte, poached eggs with crab hash and Maltaise sauce and an omelet with ham mushroom and chive.
The bistro’s dinner menu got a spring lift with the addition of many light dishes and the subtraction of heavy braised meals. Spring peas get the star treatment in the St. Jacques Poelees ($21.95), which is scallops with pea Cavatelli, radish, carrots and a pea sauce. Asparagus gets paired with langoustine in the Lagoustine aux Asperges starter ($11.95).
Hit The Deck
Derryfield offers dining and fresh air
If you’ve spent any time in Manchester, it is likely that you have sipped cold drinks and noshed on appetizers on the deck at The Derryfield Restaurant.
Overlooking the 6th fairway, The Deck — as locals call it — has been the summer place to see and be seen for years. A makeover in late 2005 brought more space (pictured above in a photo courtesy of the Derryfield) and a highly functional center bar. Today, the menu has been vamped up and the deck and adjacent restaurant is going strong.
“The deck here at the Derryfield is so popular because it really has the best scenery round, a fun, lively atmosphere and great food,” said manager Jeff Plamondon.
The golf course is owned by the city of Manchester, and the restaurant is co-owned by Billy LeBerge, of Billy’s Sports Bar, and Mike Lanoie.
The Derryfield’s menu covers everything from quick snacks to hot entrees. A bargain dinner special runs Sunday through Thursday offering dinner for two (total cost: $13.95) and you have a choice of eight entrees and a salad.
The menu is presented in a cork binder and it is huge. The Derryfield has struck the fine balance between country club favorites, pub snacks and hearty New England meals.
For starters, look for a crab dip ($7.95) made with lump crab meat and cheeses and served with pita points and a sliced baguette; spicy quesadillas ($7.95) in chicken or beef with all the fixins’; and ahi seared tuna with sesame ($7.95). The Derryfield is known for its nachos — regular ($7.95) and the ultimate ($8.75).
There is a selection of soups and salads, including a Caesar ($5.95) or with grilled chicken ($8.25) or steak tips ($9.25) and chili ($4.95) topped with jack cheese and served with tortilla chips. For sandwiches, look for a Rueben ($6.50), French dip ($8.95), hot pastrami ($5.50) and The Greens Keeper ($6.95) a treat made of a grilled chicken breast with Swiss cheese, roasted red pepper and prosciutto. Beef burgers are 8 ounces here and include the popular, low-cholesterol bison burger ($6.95).
The owners, along with the kitchen have put together an entrée menu that is full of classics, like chicken picatta ($13.95), chicken marsala (13.95), pork tenderloin ($16.95) or marinated steak tips ($13.95). There is a 16 ounce cut of prime rib ($18.95) on Fridays and Saturdays until it is gone and fish choices like grilled swordfish ($16.95) with a cracked pepper Boursin sauce and a pan seared haddock ($13.95) served topped with a crab veloute.