NASHUA -- The Radisson Hotel is a landmark for many crossing the New Hampshire border on Route 3. You've seen it; it's the big castle-like structure on the left.
Now the noteworthy building has more to offer than just unique architecture -- a restaurant that boasts a menu lined with comfort dishes done right.
"If we're going to have mac and cheese, we're going to have seven cheese mac and cheese," said Eric Kirchberger, director of sales at the Radisson.
Shade Bar & Grill opened on Jan. 31 in what most recently served as function space at the hotel. The eatery is open to the public and serves three meals daily.
"We wanted to have an option not only for hotel guests but a restaurant of standalone quality that just happens to be at a hotel," Kirchberger said, adding that there is a dearth of dining options around the hotel.
The décor at the 130-seat restaurant is crisp and modern -- Kirchberger said some of its design was modeled after the Nashua mills -- and its burnt orange half-booths and dark wood tables and chairs are accented by blue linen napkins. Fifteen flatscreen TVs line the space and, if that still isn't enough entertainment for you, a Wii is set up on the back wall.
"We're hoping to draw an after work crowd," Kirchberger said, noting that happy-hour specials are offered daily and often feature a complimentary dish. Most recently the buffet was set up to allow after-work guests to make their own potato skins.
To further accommodate local businesses, Shade offers a 30-minute express lunch of sandwich and salad specials daily, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Most entrees on the full menu at the restaurant are available in small plate portions to allow for customers to try more dishes.
"There's nothing intimidating about (the menu)," said Tony Jarvis, restaurant opening director, "It's food everyone knows, recognizes, and enjoys.
"There is no arrogance, not pretense ... it's food you've had before, just done right."
Shade Bar & Grill at the Radisson Hotel
11 Tara Blvd., Nashua, 603-888-9970, shadebarandgrillnh.com
- Hours: Daily, 6:30 a.m.-1 a.m. The full menu is offered daily until midnight.
- Parking: Shared with the hotel; Shade has its own entrance on the conference center side of the building and can also be accessed through the main lobby of the hotel.
- Atmosphere: Clean, crisp, and modern
- Price range: Entrees $10-$23.
- Menu: Three meals a day of comfort classics, starting with a breakfast buffet and traditional a la carte breakfast dishes
- Beer: Shade has 20 beers on tap, including local microbrews.
- Try this: The Full Monty (a classic Monte Cristo made with shaved ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese on Texas toast, dipped in egg batter and grilled), Seared Ahi Tuna (rolled in black and white sesame seeds), Spare Ribs (St. Louis-style), Mac & Cheese (elbow pasta mixed with Velveeta, gruyere, sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, New York cheddar, pecorino romano and muenster), and Black & Blue Scallops (sea scallops lightly blackened, served in creamy gorgonzola sauce).