The summer I turned 10, I attended sleep-away camp on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee. There were games, campfire stories, s’mores, arts & crafts, and swimming (I remember the lake being frigid even though it was July).
The latest culinary venture from Common Man restaurants caters to former campers like myself looking for a chance to bask in nostalgia and experience upgraded versions of some old summer dining favorites.
Camp is located in Meredith, New Hampshire’s historic Mill Falls Marketplace which just so happens to sit directly across from Lake Winnipesaukee.
The building itself resembles a rustic log cabin from the inside with checkered curtains, a canoe suspended over the bar, and a mounted moose head over the authentic fieldstone fireplace.
The Common Man clearly spared no expense in decking Camp out with dozens of subtle touches, including old family photos of canoing families, fishing equipment, and hunting clothes hung all over the walls.
The pine dining tables feature carved inscriptions – couples’ initials enclosed in hearts and expressions of “So-and-so was here.”
The servers wear black T-shirts with “counselor’’ emblazoned on the back. Need the restroom? Ask your counselor for the “outhouse.’’
But the menu is where Camp really shines. Signature dishes feature the comfort foods of your childhood with a grown-up twist.
Appetizers include mile-high stacks of onion rings, deviled eggs, barbecue chicken wings and customer favorite, “camp crackers’’ – homemade flatbreads topped with cheddar and gorgonzola.
In the mood for a classic corn dog? How about a fresh Maine lobster tail dipped in cornbread batter instead? For dinner choose from classic mac and cheese, ale-battered fish and chips, chili, ribs, steak tips and meatloaf made from venison, ground beef and sausage.
The buttermilk fried chicken is served with apples and a gouda sauce served atop a mound of mashed potatoes.
And for dessert? S’mores of course! Camp’s take on this childhood favorite has been updated and modernized. The trats are served deconstructed in a skillet packed with marshmallows and Hershey’s chocolate syrup. The classic Nabisco Honey Maid Grahams you remember from after-school snacks are served on the side for dipping.
If you need even more inspiration to visit Meredith, New Hampshire, the Mill Falls Marketplace where Camp is located offers quaint shops and a “sculpture walk” featuring the works of more than 30 New England artisans.
There are also some pretty incredible views of the lake!