The old Tip Top Café
In 2013 Eileen McGuckin bought the Tip Top Café. This little bistrot-style restaurant had been firmly planted in its present location and we had gone a few times and found our dinners 'fine.' However, we also tended to choose other places first when making reservations. So recently we decided to return because we do love the ambiance, the warm ochre walls and giant black and white framed photographs.
Alert: Let's just say that dinner has now graduated to 'absolutely delicious' and the name was changed to Thyme this July.
Perhaps it didn't hurt that we also had the pleasure of Dana as our waitress - charming and efficient with such a warm smile. The menu holds just the right choices with unique alternatives from the sea to field and farm. For starters I chose a nightly special and was rewarded with a medley of pickled red onion, carrot, fresh slaw, blood red orange slivers, black olives and some Feta, all sliced perfectly evenly and then tossed in a delicate, wet sort of tropical dressing with Marcona almonds and mint - each bite exuding a garden of Eden. Even husband, who generally steers clear of olives, slaw and onion, stole a few forkfuls. ( I guess we're even after my fries' heist last week at Carpenter & Main - click here )
What I also enjoy about Thyme is the placement of the various tables which allows for full investigation of neighboring plates. The seared Caesar salad is a case in point; my fork hovered momentarily as I caught sight of that flash-grilled hunk of lettuce and its opulent toupé of toppings. There is a vegetarian dish created with spaghetti squash, mushroom, onion, zucchini, pine nuts and goat's cheese. The sesame pork and ginger meatloaf is so different as a menu selection and I can still taste my freshly pan-seared cod with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach. Of course, whenever fries with an aioli are procurable and the basket of bread offering is something homemade, and also arrives warm, you may almost always be assured of a great meal.
The dessert card is gorgeous, on the verge of overwhelming because you want one of each. I would not have been able to choose between the bread pudding with caramel whiskey sauce/chocolate and the flourless chocolate cake with salted caramel sauce and thick whipped cream. Yes, I have been known to make caramel sauce and drink it like hot chocolate.
Thyme is open Tuesday through Saturday for lunch AND dinner; have a peek at the menus here: Lunch click here and Dinner click here. It is in the happening White River Junction; even the parking lot is large and welcoming.
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