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Joanie | Jun 1, 202106:28 AM     2

By the time I realized how crappy Mem Day weekend was gonna be, it was too late to cancel the hotel. So we slogged around but still had a good time, here's what we hit. Drove up Sat. (from Boston) to the Airfield Cafe (North Hampton) but it was too crowded so we went to the Copper Lantern instead. It was good not great. Nice old atmosphere and the waitress was super nice but said the corned beef hash (in our omelette) was homemade. If so, they're doing their best Hormel imitation. I did love the Anadama toast (they have all sorts of interesting homemade breads), home fries ok, but unfortunately their old fashioned and apple cider donuts looked better than they tasted. After hitting the Adidas outlet, we finally checked out Wentworth-by-the-Sea (esp. since we'd recently been to the Mt. Washington hotel). Both are beautiful. The bar at Salt Kitchen looked cozy but we walked down to Lattitudes by the water for nice cocktails (tequila and grapefruit w/ thyme for me), chatting with the bartender and a couple who used to live in my Boston hood when it was a lot less yuppified. That evening it thankfully cleared up so after catching a great sunset, we were able to sit at the bar of Jumpin' Jay's. I've had this place on my list forever but had never gone. We had a great time but the fried calamari, which got a big thumbs up from the bartender, wasn't that great ($12). Especially the big rings part which were not crisp at all, tho the tentacles were fine. However, the chowder we split was tasty, the bread was good and the Grüner Veltliner was cold plus we had a fun conversation with our bar neighbors. We ended up at BRGR Bar to watch hockey and split a delicious duck patty w/ goat cheese, blackberry jam and tater tots (about $16) and a good grapefruit cocktail. Great place for that sort of thing.

Sun. we waited in line at Elephantine Bakery and unfortunately were too late for the orange cardamom palmier so went with a huge choc. almond croissant ($4.75) The pastry was excellent but overall not that flavorful. Got an iced coffee at Cup o Joe which I loved, plus the dark woodwork and old bar in there gave it a cool atmosphere. They do cocktails and have happy hour every day it seems (hello espresso martini next time). The weather sucked so a good time to visit the USS Albacore then grabbed chips to hold us over for our 6PM at the bar of Black Trumpet. The pork belly I'd seen online was not on the real menu so we ended up with a mezze plate of a tiny fish cake, grilled pork in peanut sauce and some eggplant ($14). Tasty but a good thing we got bread with that, plus the gin/grapefruit cocktail was excellent (as you can see this was a theme during the weekend). Then for more filling food, we went to the Clipper Tavern to watch the Celtics with the locals. Got an interesting fried avocado and lobster salad app ($11) and 3 sliders w/ way over-seasoned fries (would have been good otherwise, $14). This grapefruit martini wasn't so successful but it was kind of a fun place (if you can get past the loud bad music). We were a little too early for their 10PM Sun. happy hour. They had a lobster roll w/ fries that I wish we'd gotten for only $11.99, two for $20. Lobster prices didn't seem to be insane in Portsmouth.

Checked out Café Espresso on Islington St. for a humungous blueberry scone to save for Tues., all of $1.90. No rain so walked by Strawberry Banke etc. before splitting a lobster roll at Bennett's Sandwich Shop for $19.99, done perfectly on a buttered and grilled bun. We took Rt. 1 back and ended up in Rowley at the former Spudd's, now Blue Boat, a stand serving slightly overpriced seafood. But for $28 we got a pretty perfect plate of fried scallops, fries, onion rings and cole slaw. They've closed the inside, you can only use portapotties but it was tasty.

Lantern

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