I’m in the last few weeks of training for the New Hampshire marathon and last weekend I figured it would be a good idea to visit Bristol, NH to see the course first-hand. As I sat in the passenger seat calculating how fast I’d have to be to finish by nightfall, I developed quite an appetite. Driving the course had taken us around beautiful Newfound Lake, which got me in the mood to sit outside with some seafood.
Conveniently located on Shore Drive just across from the lake, The Big Catch restaurant is a welcoming one-level building that offers a carry out counter for food and ice cream treats, and a large deck if you prefer to sit outside and take in the lake buzz, (and if you don’t care where you sit, the lively inside with party lights strewn throughout still offers water views.)
The place was packed, but we easily found a parking spot in the restaurant’s lot. My husband and I headed for the deck entrance and up a short flight of stairs that takes you to both the take-out counter and restaurant. A server greeted and offered us an outside table. The tiered deck allows for quite a lot of outside seating options, and those of us on the second level were able to relax in the building’s shade, as it was an appropriately hot lake day.
We sat down to have a look at the menu, which offered more than enough options perfect for enjoying a leisurely lunch. Beverages listed included sodas, iced coffee and ice cream floats…and for extra kicks, tropical frozen drinks, wines, and bottled beers. The appetizer selection showed a dozen items: peel and eat shrimp, breaded mushrooms and garlic knots were among those that caught my eye, as well as two types of popcorn shrimp.
We started with an order of Cajun Popcorn Shrimp, which came heaped on a plate along with a variety of sauces. Very tasty, and the size of the dish was more than enough to share (although we had no problem taking care of it.) For the main, I opted for one of the day’s five specials – a blackened scallop salad with balsamic dressing. My husband ordered the New England Clam Platter, with flash fried whole belly clams, corn on the cob, a muffin, and coleslaw. Just as it reads, there was a lot of food on that plate – I think I saw him throw in the napkin when it appeared. My scallops were medium in size and the blackening was slight enough for me to enjoy the taste of the mollusks. The fried clams, according to my husband, were a little heavy on batter, which wasn’t in his palate that day.
The Big Catch is a place where you want to linger. And if it hadn’t been a popular day for the spot, with people lined up at the take-out counter and others choosing service inside when no tables were available outside, we would’ve sat for longer. It’s an easy spot to come as you are, and eat what you like.
Appetizers, soups and salads: $3.95-$14.95
Sandwiches and burgers: $3.50-$17.95
Famous Seafood Platters: $14.95-$24.95
Kids' Half Pints Menu offers all the seafood essentials at $9.95-$15.95