Hitting the deck at the Derryfield

Our Gourmet
New Hampshire Union Leader
July 18. 2012 8:32AM

During the summer, one of the main attractions in the city on nice days is the deck of the Derryfield Restaurant and Lounge, which overlooks the Derryfield Country Club. It's already a popular destination because of the entertainment on the deck seven days a week, so we wanted to see if it was a great place to have a meal, as well.

Menu: 6/10

The menu has a little bit of everything from salads to pasta, seafood to steak. It's an American menu with few surprises; you'd find this type of menu at many restaurants in New Hampshire. They do have a good selection of appetizers, small bites and sandwiches that would be great to nosh on while you have an adult beverage or two with your co-workers after a long day at the office.

Appetizers: 12/20

Our Gourmet: One of my favorite sandwiches is a steak and cheese sub, so I thought I'd try one of the more unusual items on the appetizer menu, the Philly Steak and Cheese Rolls ($8.50), shredded steak and cheddar cheese filling in a crispy, deepfried shell. I was surprised to see that the appetizer only had four small rolls. The filling was bland, and there was not a lot of it. I did enjoy dipping them in the chipotle ketchup served on the side, which punched it up a bit. (5/10)

TDC: I had the Seafood Stuffed Mushroom Caps ($6.95). These bite-size mushrooms are filled with a seafood stuffing and topped with cheddar cheese. The stuffing was fairly bland without much of a seafood taste. The mushrooms, however, were juicy and flavorful, making this a satisfying starter. (7/10)

Entrees: 14/20

OG: I was in the mood for seafood, so I went with one of the many daily specials, the Fish and Chips ($12.99), deep-fried haddock served with french fries, cole slaw and tartar sauce. Fish and chips is a simple dish, but if there are any missteps in the preparation, this classic favorite can quickly become a bad dish. This fish was crispy, as were the fries. Overall the dish could have used more salt. (7/10)

TDC: For my entrée, I decided to give the half-rack of St. Louis Style Ribs a go ($10.99). I wouldn't normally order ribs from a restaurant that doesn't specialize in them, but I was in the mood to get messy. I was pleasantly surprised. The meat was juicy and fell off the bone as advertised. The barbecue sauce started sweet and ended with a touch of spice that kept my taste buds intrigued. The rack of ribs was served with sweet potato waffles fries and a large piece of delicious cornbread. (7/10)

Desserts: 15/20

OG: I ended the meal with Apple Crisp, which is exactly what you think it is. No surprises here. It was served warm with whipped cream (I opted out of the scoop of vanilla ice cream) and plenty of topping. Personally, I like a lot of buttery oatmeal crumb topping, so it was fine with me. But if you want more apples than crumbs, you may be a bit disappointed. (6/10)

TDC: For dessert I had the Tiramisu ($5). This Italian layered cake came served as a single slice with whipped cream on the side. The ladyfinger sponge cake was light and fluffy and mixed just right with the soft and tasty mascarpone cheese. The caramel drizzled over its sides added greatly to its overall flavor and made it stand out and above other tiramisus I've had in the past. (9/10)

Final thoughts: 25/30

The attraction at The Derryfield is certainly the impressive 3,200-square-foot deck that was part of the rebuilding of the original restaurant and banquet facility in 2005. On a summer night, there's nothing quite like it, well, until the mosquitoes start to swarm. But the servers were nice about reseating people inside who thought the bugs were a bit too much. For the most part, service was good, although we always get a bit uneasy when you are asked to seat yourself because you are never sure how long it is going to take to be attended to. It took a while for our entrées to be prepared, but we were content, probably because we were sitting outside on a beautiful night. While we were left underwhelmed by our meal, we would definitely head back to the Derryfield for all the amenities it offers beyond what a typical restaurant does, including the entertainment, ambiance and view.

Total: 72/100

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