I couldn’t think of an obvious way to tie together the last few days of our road trip in New England, but three meals and a whale works. Bear with me as I ramble about our visit to New Hampshire and Connecticut.
Anthony Bourdain tapas
When I saw Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on the map, I didn’t know anything about the town. After searching Facebook for local events the night of our stay, I discovered it was their annual Restaurant Week.
I reviewed several restaurants and chose Moxy for our dinner. We love tapas, and don’t have a suitable tapas restaurant anywhere near our home. I was thrilled at the idea of a small plate dinner. For Restaurant Week, Moxy was offering a special Anthony Bourdain-themed prix fixe menu. Each item was inspired by something he loved, and the waitress did an excellent job of telling a story to accompany each dish.
From bone marrow toast with beef tartare to cigar scented ice cream, it was an inventive and memorable menu that we loved. (Except for the sea urchin. It was truly the most awful thing I’ve ever put in my mouth.) I only took one photo all night, and chose to enjoy to enjoy a phone-free dinner.
The Friendly Toast
Before leaving town the next morning, we ate breakfast at The Friendly Toast. It was downtown and convenient for exploring the area, but it was raining pretty heavily and we decided to get on the road instead of seeing more of Portsmouth. Hopefully we’ll return in the future, and we’ll be sure to stop in for another round of breakfast totchos.
A museum to ourselves
We drove directly to Mystic, Connecticut (about 2.5 hours), to the Mystic Seaport Museum. I haven’t written about any museums yet as part of 50 in 5, but Brandon and I love visiting museums. We are true history/art nerds. The museum had numbered buildings and boats, and with a map to guide us, we could visit them all to see different exhibitions. The weather was (you guessed it!) very cold and rainy. We had almost the entire place to ourselves as we explored and learned about New England maritime history.
We stayed until the very end of the day, before checking into our last hotel of the trip and preparing for our final dinner.
Brandon’s favorite meal
I made a reservation at The Engine Room as a surprise for Brandon because of their extensive whiskey/bourbon list. While he did love his Sons of Liberty whiskey, he still raves about “the best meal of his entire life,” a monkfish entrée that took us both by surprise. He ate it too quickly for me to grab a picture, but he did snap a photo of me with dessert: a delicious vanilla shake with cookie and pretzel pieces and chocolate sauce.
We always laugh because we never eat meals like this at home. If we’re going out at home, it’s to a local Mexican restaurant where we might splurge on guacamole, or to a nearby family-run Mediterranean spot. When we eat out on vacation, we blow our budget on food every single time. ?♀️
New England farewell
So there you have it: three meals and a whale (or “wal,” as the note in the exhibit suggests). Brandon and I always look back on this trip like it was a big, elaborate road trip. In reality, we arrived in Rhode Island on a Friday and left on a Wednesday. We covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time, especially considering that the weekend was spent all in Boston.
Every place we visited was awesome, and we want to visit them all again! We weren’t able to get to Vermont on this trip, so perhaps we’ll drive through some of these spots our way to visit the Green Mountain State. More from this trip: