Guest article contributed by Spoon Business Director Diksha Gautham ’15.
Enter PINE and you will be transported to a New England oasis that’s classy, modern, and stylish, but somehow rustic, cozy, and down-to-earth all at the same time. PINE, the restaurant at the Hanover Inn, is one of Hanover’s finest dining establishments. The restaurant holds a strong farm-to-table philosophy, which showcases seasonal, local ingredients. Regardless of the season, these local ingredients mean fresh, creative food year-round.
On Tuesday, March 18, PINE celebrated its one-year birthday by giving all diners that evening a commemorative gift of chocolate truffles in a First Anniversary box. Acclaimed Chef-Restaurateur Michael Schlow, who owns several other restaurants such as Radius and Via Matta in Boston, founded the restaurant in March 2013. Executive chef Justin Dain, who has trained at the New England Culinary Institute and worked at Boston Harbor Hotel, runs PINE’s kitchen. Dain has been featured on the Zagat culinary website, and the restaurant’s Hanover burger, has been featured in New Hampshire magazine.
I had the luck of winning a complementary dinner for two on PINE’s birthday. Together, my boyfriend, and I went to the restaurant where we got to meet the cheerful chef Justin Dain, and then sat down for a sensational meal.
Our evening started off with a grilled, slightly smoky, calamari that came with a roasted, celery leaf salad, cannelloni beans and chorizo. We also munched on its homemade fries, dipped in a creamy, tangy parmigiano aioli. For the main course, we got its seared sea bass: mind-blowingly soft, with the edges perfectly crispy and warm. It came with jet-black imperial rice, arugula, wild mushrooms, and bacon & truffle vinaigrette.
We also got PINE’s grilled swordfish, its texture softened with a creamy white bean & thyme puree, and its flavors highlighted with an eggplant caponata and pistachios and currants. We rounded off the meal with a phenomenal crème brûlée, sugar cooked to a crunchy, caramel perfection, which balanced out the silky custard underneath.
Happy birthday, PINE, and thanks for a great meal. I’ll be back to feast on your “peanut butter bomb,” the Hanover Burger, and some more of those aioli-dipped fries…
Location: 2 East Wheelock Street Hanover, NH 03755
Hours of Operation: Mon – Wed 11:30am-10pm, Thur – Sat 11:30am-11pm, Sun 10am-10pm