Recently one Friday night my husband and I ate dinner at The Yard Restaurant, 1211 South Mammoth Road in Manchester, New Hampshire, a few miles from the Mall of New Hampshire. We parked, and entered what looked like the front door with a long awning. Disco music wafted from a banquet room, and some young people were milling around outside smoking. “This is a nightclub,” my husband stated. “No, it really is a restaurant,” I replied. “I read about it online.”
We walked through the hall and entered the back door to a dining room, where there were a couple of large parties. A waitress spotted us and told us to go through some doors to the “real” dining room. We walked through another doorway, past a dessert counter and salad bar. Then we found a hostess station at what was the true front door to the restaurant. Straight ahead through a doorway we saw a sports bar. The hostess shuttled us to a nearly booth.
The dining room where we at was clean, comfortable, and dimly lit. A greenhouse-style room near us had pink shades pulled down over its sloping glass front. The décor was had a dark green and mauve theme, and the booths had bordered wallpaper. The place felt very hotel-like and outdated. An older waitress attended to us. She was relaxed, friendly, and quite charming.
The restaurant had three specials, one of which I tried: salmon crusted with sourdough bread, mushrooms and tomatoes. My husband had the steak dish with potato wedges. While we were waiting, we were brought a nice selection of breads with butter. I chose the salad bar with my meal, so I went to check it out. The salad bar was clean, cold and well stocked, though some of the vegetables were dried out and lifeless. Nevertheless, it was a decent salad bar.
When my meal arrived, I was interested to see that the rectangular piece of salmon had a perfectly matching rectangular slice of sourdough bread on top of it. I laughed, as it was not what I had expected for “crusted salmon.” The salmon was set in a dish of olive oil, flanked by several large, greasy plum tomatoes.
My husband’s steak was cooked a perfect medium rare, he said, and he is picky about his steak. The potato wedges that came with his meal were not what he had expected. Essentially, they were big French fries. My salmon was cooked to perfection, also, and was very tasty, though it could have been less drenched in olive oil. I did not eat the tomatoes, as they were too large and oily. We both commented that the cook knew how to cook meat.
The desserts, which were displayed under glass at the back of the restaurant, looked fabulous, but we only had room for coffee. Our bill came to a reasonable $60.
The Yard Restaurant, in addition to its full service restaurant, has a lounge, entertainment, and banquet facilities. Complete information may be found on the restaurant’s website, http://www.theyardrestaurant.com.