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Impressed by the William Tell Inn in West Alton, NH

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Impressed by the William Tell Inn in West Alton, NH

MC Slim JB | Jul 4, 2006 06:08 PM

I've been by here for a couple of dinners and a brunch or two over several years at this longstanding (20+ years) Swiss restaurant near Lake Winnepesaukee, but had never had as uniformly excellent a meal here as I did at a recent dinner.

An oustanding appetizer of Luzerner pastetli, a dozen tiny, gorgeous veal meatballs in white mushroom gravy served with a flaky pastry shell. Still thinking about that one. Salads were above average, featuring argula and some excellent lightly-pickled vegetables, notably beets and carrots, and not overdressed. Entrees were superb: the best sauerbraten I've had in a long while, a heap of very tender eye round, with a fine sweet/sour gravy, sour cream, and a side of excellent red cabbage and well-crusted rosti potatoes. A sliced chicken breast (also a rather large portion) featured a lovely wild mushroom sauce and excellent spaetzle, nicely crusted on one side. The one non-Swiss dish we ordered was a grilled salmon with a fresh mango sauce and those rosti again, a welcome option for a diner who doesn't care for rich Swiss sauces.

Loved the dessert of baked meringue with ice cream and caramel sauce, liked the white chocolate bread pudding. Good decaf that was probably not decaf.

One puzzle was the wine, a disappointing 2003 Cotes du Rhone whose extracted cork read "2005 Châteauneuf-du-Pape" from the same vintner. How is that possible? The wine was opened tableside. Nefarious rebottling? We enjoyed the rest of the meal too much to investigate further, but it was odd.

Excellent service, a pleasant wooded view out the windows. $130 inclusive for three. Way above average for this neck of the countryside.

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