Nate Butcher opened 33 Hilltop sandwich shop (33 Indian Rock Road, Windham, 818-8885, 33hilltop.com) with his brother-in-law in April 2015. They both grew up with fathers who worked in the food industry, and they always joked about starting an eatery of their own. When the property that was formerly Hilltop Deli and General Store became available, they stopped joking and decided to go for it. Butcher was already familiar with the restaurant business and cooking from watching his father, working in restaurants himself and studying hospitality at Boston University. Now, at 33 Hilltop, he does everything from running the counter to preparing the food and creating signature sandwiches for the menu.
What is your must-have kitchen item?
A spatula. We do a lot of grilled chicken and steak and cheese so it’d be a real challenge to work the grill without a spatula.
What would you choose for your last meal?
Probably a bone-in rib-eye steak. I’ve always been a meat and potatoes kind of guy so that’s always my go-to.
What is your favorite local restaurant besides your own?
It’s Wasabi, a hibachi restaurant in Salem. They’re good people, they put out a good product and it’s a good environment for families and date nights.
What is your favorite dish on your restaurant’s menu?
My personal favorite is the southwest chicken [panini]. It’s grilled cajun chicken with cheddar, smoked bacon, chipotle mayo and some roasted red peppers on there, and it’s on Parmesan focaccia. I usually like spicy things, and this has a kick to it.
What celebrity would you like to see eating at your restaurant?
Bill Murray. He’s always been one of my favorite actors and seems like he always has a story everywhere he goes. Also, he has kind of a cult following, so we’d have a good boost in business from that if he came in.
What is the biggest food trend in New Hampshire right now?
Definitely a focus on quality ingredients. People are willing to spend more money on food because they want to make sure they’re getting high-quality and unique items instead of your traditional ham and cheese or traditional subs. That’s why we focus most on signature items.
What is your favorite meal to cook at home?
Probably tacos, because the whole family gets to participate. I have two young kids and they can help with some of the prep work and get involved. — Angie Sykeny