Drawing from decades of experience, a restaurateur quartet is bringing a well-known Goffstown gathering place back to life in a bold way.
The High Street Farmhouse, creation of former Pinkerton Tavern owners Jennifer Lutzen and Guy Streitburger and former Village Trestle owners Lorraine and Steve Pascucci, has been going through renovation and re-invigoration since September. The eatery, formerly Patrick’s Country Restaurant, is set for an opening sometime before the end of the year.
The Pascuccis approached Lutzen and Streitburger about a possible collaboration after the Pinkerton was seized by eminent domain. With them on board, the Pascuccis sold the Village Trestle, and the foursome began pouring ideas in to the High Street Farmhouse which, given its central location and years of being an eatery under different names and owners, has become a recognized Goffstown haunt.
“You walked in and it was great, it was a place to be. People like to come together and be in the lounge-type area. We want to get that feeling again, the good atmosphere, the good service and the good food,” Lorraine Pascucci said.
The four new owners have decided to take a menu full of simple food and design it outside of the box while maintaining affordability and beating back boredom by changing it quarterly.
“People should be able to come in twice a week and eat. They might not get a steak both times, but it should be affordable food that’s creative, but not overly chi-chi. To stay ahead of the curve, you can’t just be vanilla, but it needs to be done the right way,” said Streitburger, who is also the executive chef.
Taking nods from the Pinkerton and the pub fare from the Village Trestle, the Farmhouse’s food is comfort food by nature, but creative in its character. Soups du jour, Slam Chowder and butternut and honey crisp apple bisque can be served on their own or all together in a soup flight for the indecisive. There are inspired versions of classics like diver scallops, either wrapped in bacon with maple mesquite glaze as an appetizer ($12) or pan blackened with honey jalapeno tartar ($22), and The Hay Stack sandwich ($12) of smoked pork and prime rib with sweet onion jam and espinaca dip.
The buffalo short ribs ($14) are served over riced-based, gluten-free grits and cooked with New Hampshire maple syrup. The pulled pork sundae ($14) is a stacked homestyle plate with gravy- and barbecue-sauce doused pulled pork layered atop buttermilk mashed potatoes, two times over. Both dishes will be prepared in the smoker, an outdoor addendum to the kitchen.
Also outside is a garden, which won’t yield much until the second season of business but is a symbol of the owners’ locavore philosophy, something both former restaurants employed on their menus.
“If people are enjoying smoked wings on the patio, and they see someone come out and pick a vegetable they’re going to be served, or they see the mint picked off the porch for a mojito, they get it, they get that it’s the High Street Farmhouse and what we’re about,” Streitburger said.
The new lounge area in the rear room, where an expanded bar has been relocated, features curtains designed by Lutzen and made locally, and stained glass pieces crafted by Steve Pascucci. Potted herbs are being grown on the front porch, which, along with a new back patio, will provide seasonal seating.
The main dining room mirrors the rustic menu and is divided into three rooms with natural light brightening each. Decorative fireplace mantels, and antique and yard sale furniture, which the four owners drove around collecting while setting up, add to the exposed beam ceiling and newly stained floor, which they found after pulling up a rug, built circa 1862.
Between the renovations and Hurricane Sandy holding up their freezer delivery, the opening has been delayed slightly, but they are planning on it by the end of the year.
“There have been some minor setbacks bringing it up to code and renovating bathrooms, but it’s coming together. A lot of people have been responding too, wanting to come up. Everybody knows this place in Goffstown,” Steve Pascucci said.
High Street Farmhouse has no set hours yet, but it will start with dinner only, beginning at 3 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Themed dining nights with Italian, Western or big game prix-fixe or three-course menus, special wine tastings or dining in the dark are being planned for the future.