Shade Bar and Grill Nashua NH, You just gotta try it!
I'm going to tell you right off the bat that this restaurant happens to be located within a hotel, so if you have any prejudices against "hotel restaurants," put them out of your mind. This is a whole different world.
Shade is impressive. What can I say. I'm in love with this restaurant. And it hasn't been open long enough to be as great as it is by most new restaurant standards, so that brings me right off the bat to the fact that no one who conceived or executed its arrival is a neophite, they're all well seasoned professionals and as far as I'm concerned, having seen a lot of restaurant formats, this quiet arrival outdoes itself. Bigtime!
First, what is it? It's not what you'd think of if I said Sports Bar, it's tamer than that. It's not an internet hole-up, but every table has full USB hardwire connection and electrical as well as wifi. It's not quite what I'd think of by the term "family restaurant" because it's more upscale and personal feeling than that.
Yet it's all those things together, and it's each one of them. Only better.
This is the place where a single female diner can eat alone and not feel conspicuous (we do tend to). You can sit at the bar and strike up a conversation, or you can choose a table in that area which feels more active, or you can choose a table or booth farther away, and it's more private. Trust me, it's a comfortable, casual atmosphere where you will feel very much at home. And you could also have a serious meeting in one of their huge booths, and be secluded.
Booths are huge, high-backed and private. Full electrical, USB connectivity and table TV sound if you want it.
Onward. The food. I took my daughter and granddaughter to try it just the other night. As I like to do when checking out a new restaurant, we ordered a variety, then let each other do tastes. Daughter Jenny had the Lazy Man's Lobster which is To. Die. For. I'm obnoxiously judgmental when it comesto lobster, I rarely find it hasn't been cooked to the rubbery stage. This was so tender I wanted to marry it. I ordered 1/2rack of BBQ Ribs, another dish I think easily falls short inone way or another. This is now my benchmark. The saucewas unbelievably delicious. The right amount of tang, notoverpowering. The meat extremely tender. Every bite justleft me wanting more. My side was Sweet Potato Fries, and these are delicious here. Jenny's was Broccolini, and ditto. Forthe little one, we ordered child's portion of Pappardelle and Meatball which is a wide, hearty pasta (similar to a Lasagna shape) and the large meatball was cooked perfectly, all in an extremely nicely balanced Marinara sauce.
I could eat any one of them 3 times a week and never get bored. There was no way to fit in their signature Macaroni & Cheese (I really want to try that next time because rarely do I find one as good as mine.) I think I will here.
You will probably laugh when I tell you what I couldn't wait to write about. Potato chips! Oh, stars in the sky, these are a house specialty appetizer. Not at all what you'd think, these are homemade to order. Hard to describe, they have some crunch, but they also have some bite. Not one or the other, but both. I have no idea how to describe them better. Their flavor is out of this world if just eaten by themselves, but you don't do that. They're served on a plate, sprinkled with fresh tomato chunks, gorganzola cheese, scallions and their house dip. ARG! I can't stop thinking about these. They're just $5.99 and worth driving there JUST for those.
We also had two desserts and shared. Were we stuffed? Yes, but we ate them anyway. By now I'm perversely looking for some part of this meal that would fall short. Again, it shot my expectations. Carrot cake is usually very dense. This is light! I've tried Tira Misu in various restaurants, and this was the best I've ever had. By a long shot. It's layered, and the taste and texture is just outstanding. I want more. Again!
The service was perfect. There when you needed it, not there when you didn't. We had a high chair and they brought coloring pages and crayons. The wait staff was incredibly helpful in accommodating a little one, but yet I know that somehow the way this restaurant was built out, if I'd been at another booth, even the next one over, I wouldn't have been bothered. They're high backed and accoustics in the room are excellent.
Huge menu, lots and lots to choose from. Everything is cooked to order, all really fresh top quality produce, the meats were extremely tender... not one single thing on either of our wish lists. I can't say enough good about this restaurant.
Last but not least, it has its own entrance, you don't have to go through the hotel. Nothing about it is "hotel restaurant."
Otherwise, their tag line is "Your Kind of Gathering Place," and we could see that it lives up to it. Draft Beers include local microbrews (and we have some excellent ones), Happy Hour (4:30-6:30 week days with buffet), full sports packages (including the big games) on their many TVs, and your table has a private listening device for any one of them. And if, like me, you don't particularly like TV sounds if you want to converse, you don't hear them as a result. Yay!
You just must try The Shade. We will definitely go back. So convenient to reach, too, it's right off the Spitbrook Road exit, and plenty of parking.
Shade Bar and Grill :: 603-888-9970 :: 11 Tara Boulevard :: Nashua, NH