McIntyre Ski Area has long been one of Manchester’s gems, a modest hill where generations of Queen City kids have learned to ski. At such a low elevation, the skiing and tubing season is a tight one, leaving McIntyre idle for much of the year.
Not any more. Since opening in July 2020, The Hill Bar & Grille has made McIntyre a hot spot for the summer and fall months, a place to grab a burger and a beer, enjoy the picturesque view, play cornhole and listen to music.
We recently made a couple of trips to finally check out The Hill for ourselves. We tried once shortly after the restaurant opened but faced a long wait because the outdoor seating we preferred was packed.
Our first visit was on a Friday night, when the restaurant featured live music. The guitarist/singer working that night, Casey Roop, entertained us with songs by Don Henley, the Allman Brothers and other classic rock acts.
Specials that night included tenderloin steak, prime rib and Italian flatbread, which augmented a fairly limited menu that features a few entrees — Fish N’ Chips ($16), Sicilian Haddock ($22) and Korean BBQ Steak Tips ($22) — but is heavy on salads, sandwiches and burgers.
It’s a casual place to dine so T-shirts and shorts are fine here.
While there is ample dining space inside the lodge, which includes a full bar, outside is the place to be at The Hill. There’s a fun, family vibe, with lots of room for kids to run around.
Our plan for the first visit was to start with an appetizer, which would become our only food choice that night. My Lovely Dining Companion is a big fan of nachos. We were not prepared for the size of The Hill Nachos ($16), a double layer of tortilla chips smothered with cheese, shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, red onions, black olives, sliced jalapenos, and your choice of barbecue chicken, chili or both.
We chose the chicken, and at the request of my dining companion, asked for the jalapenos on the side.
The giant platter that arrived later was more than enough for four hungry people to share. It didn’t take us long after digging in to realize that we would have no room for anything else. While we ultimately brought some of the nachos home, it’s not a dish that travels all that well, so we ate our fill while we listened to music and watched the cornhole action.
The cubed bites of barbecue chicken complimented the cheesy chips well. This one made our favorites list, but we’ll make sure we recruit a tag team to help us eat them next time.
We returned to The Hill several days later on a weeknight, when the restaurant was nearly as busy as a Friday night. We had only recorded rock hits for the soundtrack this time, though we still got to enjoy some cornhole action, mountain bikers riding by and a couple of groundhogs popping in and out of holes near the base of the chairlift.
My dining companion chose The Hill Tenders ($13), hand-breaded and marinated chicken tenders served with sauce on the side. The batter was a bit heavy for her taste — she always peels most of it off anyway — but the chicken was tender and juicy.
I ordered the Haddock Fish Sandwich ($12), a fresh-fried panko-battered filet served on a brioche bun and topped with coleslaw and tartar sauce. The choice of sides included French fries, house-made potato chips, Mexican street corn salad or a side garden salad. I chose the garden salad — a generous portion of fresh greens and veggies that makes the $12 sandwich plate an excellent bargain.
As ski resorts nationwide add mountain biking and other outdoor attractions to create revenue year-round, it’s great to see McIntyre remain a destination even when the snow guns have gone quiet.