Three Peat at Stages at One Washington

Three Peat at Stages at One Washington

View from my Seat

This was our third time to Stages at One Washington, Chef Evan Hennessey’s award-winning restaurant in Dover, NH. Our meal and experience was once again a win on all levels. See my 2016 meal recap.

Chef Hennessey and his staff are the epitome of hospitality and we feel like welcomed family each time we visit. The food is creative, presented in the most inventive-yet-simple way and offers flavors that are pleasantly unfamiliar, intriguing and delectable. The experience of the chef’s counter, overlooking the open kitchen and food plating area, is not only entertaining, it provides a view, literally, into what goes into presenting food of this caliber that diners don’t often have an opportunity to see.

Guests entrust their meal selections to the kitchen staff, typically Chef Hennessey and a sous chef. On the evening we visited, Chef Hennessey was joined by Chef de Partie, Elena Faltas. One can opt for a four, eight or 10-course menu, all very affordable – we actually feel that our eight-course meal with ingredients of this level, prepared with such finesse should cost more than $100. The meal began with an amuse bouche followed by eight courses consisting of savory and sweet courses. To say dishes change with the season and based on what’s local would be the understatement of the year. Chef Hennessey and his staff are constantly foraging ingredients from the forest and the seashore. For a fascinating view of their foraging efforts, follow Chef Hennessey on Instagram. It’s truly eye-opening to see the level of efforts that goes into their food.

Here was the menu when we dined at Stages in mid-July:

Complex flavors and textures aren’t easily achieved. Stages pickles, preserves, smokes and uses other intricate methods to accomplish the savors in each inventive dish. I personally appreciate the heck out of this talented team.

The wine and beer list is smart with some unusual (in the best possible way) finds that pair beautifully with the food. I opted for the wine pairing while my husband ordered from the craft beer list that’s heavily influenced by Bad Lab Beer Co., a local brewery Chef Hennessey is developing a neat restaurant concept for that should be opening very soon.

Our special trip to southern New Hampshire and Stages rewarded us with yet another fabulous meal. For fellow food-obsessed friends, dining at Stages at One Washington is very much worth the drive from the NY metro or Boston area.

Wednesday – Saturday: 6PM – 11PM.

One Washington Street, Dover NH 03820. 603-842-4077.



Stages at One Washington – A Truly Unique Dining Experience

Stages at One Washington – A Truly Unique Dining Experience

My View

My View

In the last two years, New Hampshire has produced three semifinalists for a James Beard Award – the food industry’s version of the Oscars. One of these talented chefs is Evan Hennessey, Chef and Co-Owner of Stages at One Washington.

After finding this culinary gem in its unlikely location, we quickly realized Stages doesn’t sell out most nights from walk-in diners. Stages is situated on the third floor of what, at-first-glance, appears to be an industrial warehouse but is in fact the historic Washington Street mill in Dover, NH. Stages is a dining experience like no other. The award-winning restaurant serves what it dubs “Progressive New England” cuisine. The ingredients used by Chef Hennessey and his team are, as would be expected of this type of restaurant, farmed, foraged and fished within New England.

Using his “what grows together goes together’ mentality, Chef Hennessey conceptualizes and delivers dishes that could feature fish cooked with seaweed or boar paired with produce the animal grazed on.

Chef Hennessey

Chef Hennessey

About Chef Evan Hennessey

Chef Hennessey, a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu at the Atlantic Culinary Academy, is an award-winning chef who’s cooked alongside iconic culinary masterminds including Charlie Palmer, Grant Achatz, Andrew Carmellini and Thomas Keller. With a résumé showcasing stints at Per Se, Café Boulud and Aureole, Chef Hennessey now applies his classical French techniques to create artistically inspired dishes with downhome New England flair. Chef Hennessey was a semifinalist for Best Chef Northeast at the James Beard Awards in 2014 and was also a 2014 Rising Star Chef Winner for Coastal New England.

Prix-Fixe & Tasting Menus

There are three dining options at Stages: four, eight and 10-course prix-fixe tasting menus.  These experiences are offered from Wednesday through Saturday and guests typically sit in the kitchen at a table accommodating nine guests. On special events nights, patrons can opt to eat in the dining room.

On the evening we visited, we had the pleasure of sitting at the kitchen counter with a unique bird’s eye view of the chefs crafting dishing with a unique opportunity to interact with the chefs throughout the evening. The four-course menu is $45, with optional wine pairings for an additional $30. I couldn’t help but tell Chef Hennessey that he should be charging more for this prix fixe option – $45??!! The 10-course tasting menu is $105 with optional wine pairings for an additional $50. There’s also what’s dubbed “8 for $80” and that’s the option we selected with wine pairings for an extra $40.

I’d be hard-pressed to determine which dishes we enjoyed best as every single morsel of food was stellar. Some stand-outs among a lineup of culinary gems:

Duck Egg, Spigariello, Potato, Summer Squashes, Thyme – the duck egg was, predictably, perfectly-cooked, runny yet thickly unctuous. Spigariello is a leafy green similar to rapini that’s slightly peppery and a perfect contrast to the richness of the yolk. 

Carbonara, Capellini, Duck Prosciutto, Spring Peas, Cream – I’d seen a photo of this dish on Chef’s Instagram and commented that I hoped it’d still be on the menu when I visited. When Chef Hennessey served us this incredible dish, he said with a grin “This is the dish you’ve been waiting for”. This light-yet-rich dish was beyond any descriptors I can muster – perhaps the best pasta dish I’ve had.

Oyster Stew, Sea Blight, Sea Rocket, Agretti, Smoked Pollock Cracker, Brown Butter – beautifully cooked, plump oysters in a decadent, buttery broth complemented by briny sea rocket and a texturally-pleasing smoked Pollock cracker.

NH Boar, Kohlrabi, Turnip, Beets, Kale, Mustard – the expertly-cooked boar served with the rich “gratin” of turnip was smartly paired with tangy beets.

Cod, Agretti, Oyster Chip, Oyster Sauce – the cod, with its nicely seared exterior, was moist and served with a pleasingly-salty oyster broth that I was tempted to slurp right off the plate.

Mushroom, Envy Soybeans, Herbs, Flowers – a true work of art with earthy flavors and a bit of zip from diminutive flowers Chef Hennessey picked off a plant in a pot on the counter.

Chocolates, Salt, Strawberry, Black Currant, Great Hill blue, Thai Basil – not to be outdone by the starters and entrées, the desserts were masterpieces. The various chocolate presentations, tanginess of the currant and the licorice notes of the Thai basil made for a perfect ending to a perfect meal.

Flyer Goat Farms Camembert, Lime Basil Custard, Sumac, Pineapple Weed, Green Strawberries – this is likely the most beautiful, elegant and delicious dessert I’ve had. The rich, melty Camembert was an interesting contrast to the refreshing citrusy custard and the sweet/tart green strawberries.

KitchenWe reside near New York City and are world travelers and we agreed this was one of the very best meals we’ve had. From the intimate space to the smart wine list to the friendliness of the staff to the magnificent food, our visit to Stages will live on in our minds for a long time.  

Reservations should be made in advance due to the intimate size of the dining room and chef’s counter and can be placed online or by calling 603-842-4077.

Stages at One Washington – One Washington Street, Suite 325 Dover, NH 03820 603-842-4077.