The Pine is the new restaurant at the Hanover Inn, which is part of the recent $41 million dollar renovation by Dartmouth College. The Pine is a welcome addition to the Hanover area and the setting at Pine is as impressive as the menu. The restaurant is a mix of New England charm and contemporary style with its mélange of exposed wood and old barn board with a large, sleek black fireplace in the center of the dining room.
The lighting at Pine is low and the candles and fire place make the atmosphere warm and inviting. The restaurant overlooks the Hanover Green and the pained glass windows are lovely. At a recent visit with friends the restaurant was well attended, but not crowded, and the service was attentive without being intrusive. Our table was in the window and felt cozy and private.
The menu is outstanding and offers an impressive array of appetizers, with the most notable the fresh oysters on the half shell from Duxbury Bay, Massachusetts. The appetizer menu also includes some very nice salads. The arugula salad was fresh and lightly dressed and came with toasted pine nuts, kalamata olives, roasted red peppers and local goat cheese from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery.
There is a variety of fine entrees to choose from at Pine, each one very unique. The grilled rib eye steak was cooked to perfection, fresh, tender and delicious and the spinach was delectable. The french fries were hot, light and crispy. The hamburgers are made with natural ground beef and are served with caramelized onions, Vermont cheddar cheese and chipotle. The swordfish was grilled, yet soft and tender, and came with a white bean and thyme puree, caponata, pistachios and currants. There are a number of fine wines to choose from to compliment each meal.
The dessert menu is small, but selective, and includes seasonal items such as Pumpkin Cheesecake and Apple Cider Creme Brulee. The S'more was amazing and came as a brownie with chocolate ice cream, graham cracker, toasted peanuts and meringue. There is a cheese plate offering the chef's choice of 3 local artisan cheeses. The dessert menu includes a variety of after dinner drinks.
The Pine incorporates a farm to table philosophy and the restaurant uses many local, fresh ingredients. The food is always wonderful. The Pine has become a favorite local place to dine and it can be a challenge to get a reservation on a weekend evening. Definitely call ahead to make a reservation. It is worth it.
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