We broke one of our dining out rules – to never try a new restaurant on opening weekend. Having heard on the radio that Canoe in Bedford was opening on a recent Friday, we wondered when we should visit and we both agreed to give them a few weeks. However, on Saturday, we re-evaluated the situation and decided to check it out for ourselves.
In full disclosure we have eaten at Canoe in Center Harbor and enjoyed the experience. We’ve also eaten at O’s in Concord and did not have a good experience. We were hoping for a repeat of the former and not the latter. When we arrived, we found a parking space fairly easily and no wait at the door. We were quickly seated at one of the banquette style tables (booth on one half, chair on the other). It took a long time for a server to approach the table but when she did she was friendly but wasn’t well versed on the menu and she spoke very softly which wouldn't have been terrible except there was much commotion so it was difficult to hear her. The first thing that struck my wife as odd is that there wasn’t a cocktail list which was surprising given the fact that they have an enormous bar as you walk into the restaurant. She settled on a martini and I ordered a glass of wine.
After much discussion we finally chose the Canoe pops as our appetizer.
Essentially they are a meatball served on a skewer. The meat is combined with blue cheese and bacon sitting on a spicy sauce. We enjoyed this very much. After a bit, we wondered if there was bread service but not seeing any on the tables around us we assumed there wasn’t. Upon the waitresses return I asked about bread and was told that it’s only served upon request. A few minutes later this small, white bag appeared with the bread.
Having ordered a second round of drinks, our food arrived. My wife stuck to her usual selection, filet mignon.
Each steak is served with the choice of one side and there are plenty to choose from. On this evening she opted for the mac ‘n cheese which she liked more than the steak! The meat portion was small and the flavor was lacking but she ate it since we were hungry.
I ordered the pork tenderloin which was served with creamed spinach bacon mashed.
This was covered with a tomato jam that complemented the pork nicely.
The one thing that we both noticed immediately was that our sides weren’t hot so we sent them back to the kitchen and new sides were soon at the table.
Not ones to shy away from dessert, we ordered the chocolate cake. It was a pretty decent portion and it was only $6 which we thought was a good value.
Speaking of value, I have to take a minute to rant about the price of the martinis. I was surprised to see that the bill came to $25 for two martinis. I have paid and expect to pay that price in big cities and fine dining establishments but sitting in the former site of a Bugaboo Creek, I was shocked that they were charging that much for drinks.
Our overall experience left us ambivalent – we didn’t love it nor did we hate it. I hope that over time the few hiccups with the service gets ironed out. We might go back but it won’t be anytime soon!