Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Underwhelmed at The Homestead in Merrimack

Having visited the Homestead in Merrimack a few times in the past and their sister restaurant Fratello's in Manchester I had never been overly impressed. Looking for a nearby restaurant to check out we decided to go in for a visit. With cautious optimism we saw the silo in the distance knowing that we had arrived at our destination.

On our way in we were quickly seated in a small room to the left shortly after entering the restaurant. A cozy spot with dim lighting and quilts hanging throughout makes you think you are in a rustic surrounding.

They do have plenty of space. In addition to our room there is another larger one across the way, a bar and more seating at the end of the first floor. The second floor has more of the same with many tables and another bar. I think they are going for the relaxing, comfortable like grandma's house that they pull off with this atmosphere.

The last time we were here was a few years ago around Thanksgiving so we had to familiarize ourselves with the diner menu. They have just about everything covered, appetizers range from potato skins and stuffed mushrooms to nachos and crab cakes. On the tavern side there are comfort foods aplenty, sandwiches, burgers, flat breads and panini's along with meatloaf wellington, mac n cheese and chicken pot pie. Main entrees range from seafood items with scallops, haddock, salmon to Italian dishes like chicken Marsala and veal madeira and a variety of steak house selections such as filet mignon, ribs and roast prime rib.

It took us awhile to decide but finally we picked the steak and cheese spring rolls to start. After asking our waitress how many you get she said 4 and I thought this is going to be good.

I assumed wrong that there were going to be four large spring rolls and instead they were two small ones cut in half. Understanding that these are an appetizer I wished there had been a lot more and unfortunately, they were overdone.

Along with my entree I ordered a cup of their seafood chowder:

Large chunks of shrimp and scallops throughout did not disappoint.

My wife opted for the French onion soup.

The flavor was good but she complained that it was very salty. If you know my wife, you’ll know that she doesn’t shy away from the salt shaker so it must have been pretty potent since she mentioned it.

My entree selection was the roasted chicken.

This was overcooked and very dry.  The chicken breasts are marinated in olive oil and spices according to the menu but were lacking in flavor.

My wife chose the teriyaki steak with mashed potatoes.

The steak was cooked as requested and the potatoes were good but the sauce again was way too salty. 

Our waitress was professional and attentive throughout the evening.

So there you have it, our recent visit to The Homestead left us underwhelmed by the food more than anything else. We think the menu is too large and perhaps a better strategy is to cut back on the number of entrees to make preparation easier for the kitchen and to ensure the delivery of high quality food to their customers. We will probably visit the Homestead again in the future and I am hopeful they will do better next time.

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