Got together with family in Nashua last week and went to the Black Orchid for the fist time. I hadn't heard much about it but a couple people in our party had been before and thought it might be worth a shot.
Quick take: Prices a bit high for blah entrees and apps. Good service and bartending. Probably best to stick with a steak for the best value.
My BF and I have been marveling over this experience for days. In some ways this will be a long-remembered night out. The scene being far more memorable than the food.
Started with cocktails in the "bar" area. The wine list is pretty weak. By the glass options are very limited, not so great and over priced. $9 for an okay glass of sauvignon blanc. Martinis looked like they had potential to be good. (Have noticed a recent martini trend in Nashua that's kind of interesting.)
Starters were mussels and calamari. Calamari looked fine although I didn't try it. Mussels were good. So far so good.
Three in our party got the fillet special ($30). Another selected the regular menu fillet ($28) and I ordered the pasta special, a saute of chicken, shrimp, scallops, garlic over linguine ($35). The steaks were well prepared but served with pretty meager sides. The pasta dish was terribly bland which was a major disappointment because the shrimp and scallops were actually cooked quite well. It just didn't really register on the flavor scale.
All in all the food wasn't terrible but it wasn't great either. I think they need to revise the pricing a bit or make steaks the focus. Better yet, close and re-open as a steak house. Just MHO... Really though, they can't compete with the Italian food down the street at Michael Timothy's. I did think they had the edge over Villa Banca, which I think is horrible, but without the Main St. frontage they probably get overlooked.
What made this night out remarkable was the live entertainment. Jeff is a one-man-band. He plays keyboard and guitar and seems to know everything and anything rock/pop from the 1960's-1990's. He was kind of unreal. He looked like a lost Baldwin brother, and when he spoke he sounded like one too. He went from the Bee-Gee's to Robert Palmer to The Beatles with ease. He managed to mimic every vocalist in every way possible. Truly unbelievable. Only problem was that as the evening wore on and parties departed (the place wasn't even half full when we got there) his volume increased. It got to point where we were shouting to hear one another over the music. Don't get me wrong, he was wildly entertaining, but good Lord was he loud. I didn't hear much conversation at our table after a certain point. And boy did he have some stamina! We were there for nearly three hours and he didn't take a break. On another night I might have really enjoyed a couple cocktails and his version of "How Deep Is Your Love" at full volume but I couldn't really get into it during a family dinner.
The Black Orchid won't be some place I eat at again, but if I'm in Nashua on a Thursday evening I might go in for a drink and a chance to catch Jeff again. Sadly there's a real campiness to his performance in that environment that really shouldn't be funny, but it is and it's got to be seen to understood. Think the Barry Gibb Talk Show on SNL without the costumes.
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