The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, September 16, 2005


Starfish Grill
33 S. Commercial Street
Manchester, N.H. (603) 296-0706

What were we doing in Manchester, New Hampshire last Sunday evening? We were checking out the route to the Manchester Airport, where we plan to fly out on Thursday to visit our very new grandson. For those of you who remember our son Jacques, he and his wife Judy are the proud parents of a week-old son named Javin — how's that for slipping a birth announcement into a restaurant review? Now for the Starfish Grill delights. Set in an old knitting mill in downtown Manchester, the restaurant is bright, decorated in an original manner with the artwork of high school students. Magnificent huge paper-maché, chicken wire and metal fish are suspended from the very high, old ceilings.

The menu features fish, shellfish and, if you absolutely must, chicken and steak. We started with sharing a bowl of divine lobster bisque. It was incredibly smooth and tasted like essence of lobster. I could have stopped there and just gone on eating lobster bisque all night, but we had already ordered a house salad with house dressing. This was iceberg and romaine with shredded carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and olives with a light buttermilk herb dressing. We also ordered Starfish creamy coleslaw. I wondered if this would come dripping in too much creamy dressing, but it was perfect and the $1.75 mound of coleslaw would have fed six diners.

Starfish Grill features a menu section called Stars of the Sea, with fish delivered that day. The fish is prepared pan-blackened with a Cajun remoulade sauce or wood grilled with a variety of sauces that you may request on the side. All the Stars of the Sea are accompanied by house rice pilaf and braised zucchini-tomato vegetable mixture. I had grilled rainbow trout for $15.99 and Alex had salmon at $15.99 There were other selections at that price and one of native wild striper at $18.99. The fish was fresh, generously portioned and grilled the way requested (they usually cook it slightly underdone.)

For dessert, we shared Toll House cookie pie. This was gilding the lily, as it was topped with vanilla ice cream and whipped cream. In case you take the kids, it was definitely child friendly with Little Fish of the Sea selections such as chicken nuggets or tenders, pizza and salmon with house pizza. Additionally, each kid gets a bag of Swedish fish to bring home. Alex requested a bag ostensibly for our grandsons, but since they came to visit yesterday and he forgot to share them, I suspect it was for someone else. There is lots of parking at Starfish Grill and I think you will enjoy the whole experience.

Directions: In New Hampshire on Route 293 North, take exit 5 onto Granett Street. Go east on Granett over a bridge crossing the river. Take an immediate right onto Commercial Street. Go to number 33.

2005 The Carlisle Mosquito