This past weekend, I crossed the Connecticut River and visited the town of Norwich. A friend told me about a great restaurant there called Carpenter and Main. The fact that Bruce MacLeod, chef and owner of the restaurant, graduated from Dartmouth in 1984 piqued my interest, so I eagerly called the restaurant to make my reservation.
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I needed an experience to lift my mood after the stress of midterms, so my partner and I headed to White River Junction again this weekend. Since we had such a pleasant time at Tuckerbox, we thought we’d see what else the town has to offer. After walking around the narrow, one-way streets, packed with parallel-parked cars on either side, we decided to check out a curious cafe on the corner of North Main Street: Juel Modern Apothecary.
As a Dartmouth student, there are times I need to flee from the stress of campus life and the monotony of Hanover. In these moments, I often find myself seeking refuge just over the Connecticut River in White River Junction. Most of us have been there at least once — quickly accessible on weekdays by Advance Transit, the town can provide a full day of outings with its many restaurants. These foodie stops vary greatly in both their cuisines and prices, from the chic Thyme bistro to the casual millennial fusion Trail Break taqueria to the flavor-filled Taj-E-India — which gives Jewel of India a run for its money. This week, however, my partner and I spent an evening in White River Junction at a bustling and warmly lit restaurant whose facade faces the confluence of the White River and the Connecticut: Tuckerbox.
It’s hard to believe that Thai Orchid is already rounding out its second year. In 2013, Thai Orchid replaced another Thai restaurant called Mai Thai. Originally, Mai Thai was owned by Robert Lamprey, who closed the restaurant and reopened it under the new name of Thai Orchid, handing over the management to his wife, Chansuda Lamprey. It now offers various Thai dishes — including fried rice and pan fried noodles — and is a staple in most students’ takeout or dine-in options in town. The Kaeng Pet Pad Yang (duck curry), Kao Pad Sopparot (pineapple fried rice) and Pad Thai are must tries for any student. Although the service can occasionally be, let’s say, confused, the food is well worth it.Best dish: Drunken noodles
One of the newest editions to the town’s culinary repertoire, Base Camp Cafe — yes, that’s a reference to Mount Everest — just opened its doors in August. The Nepali restaurant makes a splash with its commitment to organic products, including various dumplings and jackfruit curry. For more adventurous diners, Base Camp Cafe also offers relatively exotic options for Hanover, such as wild boar ribs, goat tarkari and buffalo dumplings. The owner, Bhola Pandey, is a Nepali restaurateur with a degree in research nutrition who aims to create healthy dishes. Salubre Trattoria, an Italian restaurant, previously operated in the venue in which Base Camp now resides.Best dish: Lamb and mushroom tarkari with basmati rice
If you’re taking a stroll near the back of Lebanon Street, you might stumble upon Jewel of India, housed in a white building that looks more like a cottage than a restaurant. The place nevertheless offers students a wide variety of tasty Indian fare ranging from lamb curry to its signature mango lassi drink. When they’re not making use of Thai Orchid and The Orient, student organizations frequently call upon Jewel for its party platters. It’s very popular for its unlimited Sunday lunch buffet for only $10 — the perfect recovery for shedding a lingering hangover. Some of the must-try items on the menu are the naan with curry sauce, chicken vindaloo (boneless chicken and potatoes in a curry sauce) and the lamb biryani (basmati rice with lamb, dried fruits and nuts).Best dish: Tandoori chicken
You’ll find Canoe Club, which opened in 2003, on 27 Main Street. It replaced another restaurant called Mojo’s Bistro when it arrived in downtown Hanover, and it now offers bistro food in a pub-like atmosphere with live music. Its name actually has no ties with the Ledyard Canoe Club. Rather, it is named after a restaurant in Connecticut where John Chaplin, its owner, celebrated his 50th birthday. Not only does this restaurant attract professional musicians, but undergraduate student performance groups, graduate students and faculty have all been known to perform at Canoe Club. And while much of the town seems to wind down early into the night, Canoe Club it is open until 11:30 p.m. — with drinks still available for more than an hour later — offering upscale meals for some of Hanover’s night owls. Some appetizers you shouldn’t miss include the short rib nachos or hot lollies (grilled shrimp with Asian noodle salad). It might be a little gauche to recommend a burger, but the Canoe Club cheeseburger makes an affordable choice and a nice change from the special at the Courtyard Café. If you’re feeling fancy, though, the mango-glazed salmon makes for tasty fare. To top it all off, finish with a scrumptious tiramisu or the blue moon sorbet.Best dish: Grilled bistro steak
Located on 5 Allen Street, Everything But Anchovies has been operating since 1979. Contrary to its name, this pizzeria does serve anchovies, along with 30 other toppings. Currently, it is operated by the Dowd siblings, including Charlie Dowd, after whom a pizza special is named. The restaurant didn’t always have its signature quirky name — it used to be called Maureen’s Cafe until they held a town contest to rechristen the establishment. Other than its signature pizzas, EBAs also offers wings, pasta and sandwiches, among a variety of other options. Because it’s open later than any other restaurant in Hanover, it’s become the go-to source for drunk munchies and the final option for necessary sustenance on long all-nighters. Some of the best orders include the barbecue chicken pizza, Tuscany bread, garlic parmesan wings, bacon fries and buffalo chicken sandwich.Best dish: Meat lover’s pizza