Thursday, March 15, 2012

Restaurant Review, The Wellington Room, Portsmouth, New Hampshire, A special place

My guess is that most everyone out on the seacoast is aware of the Wellington Room, however, for the rest of us it is a special place that should be experienced. I have been thinking about going for a couple of years and finally had the opportunity.

The Wellington Room is exactly that, a small room on the second floor of a building that overlooks the harbor in Portsmouth. As you enter, think of a warm, cozy, inviting space with low lighting, candles, pictures and sea themed items sprinkled throughout. There were a small group of tables on the right and a cute little bar to the left.

We were seated by the hostess in the back at a quiet table near a window that overlooked the water. As I looked out, the water was still and meandering moving back and forth through the lights in the distance. It was a calming effect that I could have viewed for hours. If you go to the Wellington Room try to score one of these seats next to a window overlooking the water.

I took a few minutes to take it all in and thought, this is going to be good. Our waitress turned out to be the owner, Karen Sharlot, who along with her husband Matt run The Wellington Room. My wife took me here for my birthday and there was a handwritten card and some birthday confetti on the table. It was refreshing to see that she made sure that all the little details related to this were taken care of.

They have a small wine list so I decided on one of the Merlo’s and my wife went with a blueberry/pomegranate martini, she commented that the later was very good.

As I looked over the menu it was not large and I think they decided to go with the keep it simple method that allows the chef a smaller number of items that are all done very well. We started out with what Karen explained was one of their specialties, the mushroom crepes and in my opinion a must try if you do decide to go to The Wellington Room. They were unbelievable. We also had the roasted beet and warm chevre salad with a sherry vinaigrette and it was fabulous.

For dinner we both had the grilled filet mignon with Yukon potato puree and finished with a Madeira -mushroom demi-glaze. All I can say is bravo Chef Matt, the meat was tender and the potatoes had a light butter flavor and were hot which was a nice change because lately it seems like all my potato dishes have been lukewarm at best.

We finished with a dark chocolate mousse that was a nice end to what was a wonderful meal.

Our server and owner Karen did a great job!

And so I do strongly recommend The Wellington Room, a special place that needs to be experienced and you will understand what I mean.