The Chef's Counter
I am Martin Murphy, chef/owner of Ariana’s and I lease this space from Chris and Bruce Balch of Bunten Farm. It has been a long journey to this goal and I am excited about the opportunity to take all my experience and create a nice warm and friendly space where people can enjoy each other’s company and experience well prepared food. I have over thirty years of experience in the industry, in both front and back of the house. My passion is to be in the kitchen, working with quality ingredients.
A seat is waiting for you.
My goal at Ariana’s is to offer a range of menu choices reflecting the many different palates and I feel there is something on our menu for most people. My menu focuses on seasonal, quality and local (as much as possible during the different seasons) ingredients. All the proteins are sustainable and not from factory farms. I do use some farmed fish; some people do it very well and I support them. Arctic Char from Iceland is a prime example of a well raised quality item.
When I started cooking, classical French was the main focus and while I still hold on to some of my classical training, I enjoy venturing into Asian and Mediterranean flavors as well. My favorite food to prepare is seafood and you will always see an assortment of seafood selections on our menu. The menu has simple well prepared items such as Fettuccini Alfredo and a simple house salad with light herb vinaigrette and ranges to the more complex such as one of our house specialties; quickly seared sea scallops with mushroom and gorgonzola risotto finished with truffle vinaigrette.
Children are always welcome. While I do not offer a children’s menu, I am happy to make smaller portions of our menu items with fair pricing. Pasta and farm fresh eggs are always available. I use little flour and bread products on most menu items, making our menu friendly to those with gluten allergies and am able to alter most recipes, if necessary, to accommodate other allergies. Our menu also regularly features Vegetarian dishes.
Wine is also a passion of mine and we have a nice mix of different varietals of both red and white that also changes with the season. I hand select the wines from the New Hampshire State Liquor stores and look for nice deals on interesting wines to pass along to our guests. In creating the wine list, I look for mix of wines from the different wine growing regions of the world, new and old world styles, and am able to offer most of them by the glass.
Blackened Swordfish with Salsa Verde and Fresh Tomato Salsa.
Reservations. I do not want to be a ‘reservation only’ restaurant and built my chef’s counter, which overlooks the open kitchen, to offer some seating for our walk-ins. The reality, however, is that with only 7 tables we tend to fill up quickly on Friday and Saturday nights and unfortunately must turn some guests away. While reservations tend to take the 6:15 – 7:30 time period, many evenings we have tables available early or late. That said, if you are in the area on a Friday or Saturday night, stop in a see what we have available or please feel free to give us a call. On the other hand, weekday nights, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, are on the quiet side and you can usually get the time you want or just stop in and get a table.
Lastly, we are not perfect. I have a nice staff of people that I know, most with experience. For the rest, I enjoy teaching and am working hard to develop some of the younger members of the staff, in both the kitchen and the dining room. This will take some time as I talk and work with them over the little details that make the difference in service as well as increasing their food and wine knowledge. In the meantime, I am always willing and happy to come out and answer questions they may not be able to (as long as it’s not too busy) or to relay the answer through our staff if it is.
We will be open year round and I will be working hard to make the dining room comfortable during our cold winters and our hot summer spells and to insure your experience at Ariana’s is enjoyed by you, your family and your guests.
Thank you for visiting our website. Post on FaceBook if you wish and remember to enjoy food wine and life with family and friends.
Be well, Martin