For most folks, summertime means vacation getaways to the mountains and the beach…outdoor activities…parties…barbecues.
Unfortunately for me, summertime means longer hours at the office which makes me hot, cranky and often too tired to fire up the grill for dinner.
So, what’s a girl to do? I resort to my favorite thing to make for dinner – reservations!
I recently returned to The Lantern restaurant in Waterville Valley’s Town Square. My daughter, Jenna, and two friends joined me for dinner at the bar. It was the first time I’d gone back to The Lantern for dinner since the restaurant opened last December. At that time, I had a delicious dinner with excellent service. I went back a few more times over the course of the winter for drinks at the bar and always found the staff friendly and attentive.
Some Waterville Valley regulars have panned the restaurant. I don’t know if it’s sour grapes because they are unhappy the restaurant’s predecessor, Diamond’s Edge North, is gone; or, if it’s due to growing pains the restaurant suffered through as they rushed to open their doors for business during Christmas week – the busiest week of the year.
My response to the naysayers is … give The Lantern a chance and try it again.
Jenna, April, Sue and I decided to eat at the bar. The bartender knew us from our previous visits and treated us like friends. Who doesn’t want to feel like they’re at Cheers where everybody knows your name?!
Jenna ordered the Wild Mushroom Risotto with grilled vegetables. She wouldn’t stop oohing and ahing over each mouthful until I tried a forkful. I’m not a fan of mushrooms. But, this was absolutely delicious. It had a fresh, nutty flavor and a creamy texture – true comfort food. It’s inspired my daughter to try and recreate the dish at home, and my husband and I have been enjoying the fruits of her labors as she tries to master Chef John Richard’s creation.
April and Sue both decided to go with the summertime vibe and ordered Black Angus Burgers with fries. Nothin’ fancy. Just big, tasty and juicy burgers. There wasn’t much talking going on with them, so I can only assume they were pleased with their choices.
As for me, well, I may not be able to go to the beach, but I like to eat like I’m at the beach. I ordered the Lobster Roll on a toasted baguette. The chunks of lobster were huge, fresh and were mixed with a traditional mayo binder that held the salad together. I don’t like my lobster salad to be messed with. A lobster roll should be all about the lobster. Although I love fresh bread – and the baguette vessel that held my lobster salad was fresh and chewy, quite delicious in and of itself – it overwhelmed the lobster salad. I guess I’m more of a purist and prefer my lobster salad in the traditional crisp toasted and lightly buttered roll.
I will be returning to The Lantern this summer because there are so many other entrees I must try! They range from Chicken Saltimbocca for $22, to Roast Duckling with blackberry Cabernet sauce for $27. The Shrimp & Scallop Scampi is available with gluten free pasta for $25, and they offer a gluten free Wild Mushroom & Goat Cheese Ravioli appetizer for $10.
You can reach The Lantern at 603-726-5293. The restaurant is located on the second level of the Town Square – above PotBellies and The Valley Brand.