Reed’s North (Warner, NH)

Before the Covid pandemic hit, we had a handful of favorite restaurants around the small Town of Warner, NH. Halfway between the Upper Valley and the Concord area, this made it a nice place to either take a break from the drive, or for meeting up if Carol and I were on separate itineraries. Two of our favorites were The Foothills and The Schoolhouse Cafe, but neither of these fine establishments survived the pandemic (and a third, The Local, closed during the pandemic but has since re-opened down the street in the former Foothills space). But starting with some of our hiking trips through there in the last few years, we noticed a new place opening up, Reed’s North. A recent trip of mine that had me returning from the Seacoast was a good chance to stop in and finally check them out.

Located right on the west end of downtown Warner, Reed’s North is a bit of a cozy place; the entire restaurant is basically a single dining room with a bar on one side (and you can tell they occasionally rearrange so that musical acts can play in there). But despite the small-ish space, it’s actually quite inviting and nicely decorated, and the staff is particularly friendly and welcoming.

Reed’s is definitely a bar in addition to a restaurant, and they’ve got a rather nice tap list that primarily focuses on regional local beers (several from NH, and Maine Brewing’s Lunch, a reliable stalwart), a decent wine list, and a nice list of house cocktails. Deciding I was in a mood for a cocktail, I went for their Cranberry Bog, with Mi Campo blanco tequila, triple sec, cranberry juice, and sour mix. While not a particularly fancy cocktail, it was an enjoyable combination, and the overall drink was pretty close to a “Cranberry Margarita”, and this combination actually works well.

Reed’s North bills their menu as “New England Comfort Food creations”, and that’s actually a pretty good overall summary of the menu: classic pub fare, pub-style dinners, and a selection of salads and sandwiches. One particular menu item drew my eye, and that was the “egg roll of the day” with “chef’s choice of filling”. I thought this was interesting, since the other place in town for dinners, The Local, also does the same thing. So I guess the folks in Warner really like egg rolls. In the case of our visit, these were “Shepherd’s Pie Egg Rolls”, an unusual and unexpected choice, but after biting into one? It actually works pretty well. I’d definitely get these again.

For my main course, I went for one of their house burgers, the “Flannel Burger”. A generous 6 oz. Angus Burger, cooked to a perfect medium-rare with a nice crisp but still pink interior, topped with 4 oz. of corned beef, pickles, and coarse mustard on a brioche roll. This combination actually worked quite well and made for a particularly flavorful burger, although it was a bit messy to eat. Add in some nicely-executed fries, and this is one of the area’s better burger options.

Carol, however, availed herself of one of the specials, the Corned Beef Dinner. Being a few days before St Patrick’s Day (hey, I’ve been traveling, so I’m back to my usual ~6 week lag time!) this was an expected special for a tavern like this, and their rendition was quite good: the corned beef generous and tender, the potatoes nicely mashed and fluffy, and the carrots and cabbage nicely tender and flavorful. Overall, one of the better renditions.

I don’t usually get dessert when dining out, but I actually saw several folks get some tasty dessert cakes, so I decided that we’d look at the dessert menu and split something. Opting for a Reese’s Pie, this was actually a pretty flavorful dessert pie without being too sweet.

Overall, Reed’s North was a great spot. The location is convenient for dinner stop-offs on the way home, the food tasty, the prices reasonable, and the service really friendly. One thing I did see a lot of locals ordering that looked rather good was the shrimp and chips; we saw several plates of nicely-prepared fantailed shrimp pass by on their way to other tables. I think I’ll have to give that a try on our next visit. There will definitely be a “next time.”

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