Ratings: 5 | Reviews: 5 | Display Reviews Only:
3.7/5 rDev -1.1%
New review 01/11/2011:
Penuche's Grill--or the New Cheese Grill, as it was known when I originally reviewed it--was my go-to place when back in Manchester for about a year after it opened around March 2007. At the time, it was a great tavern with a beautiful old bar, great tin ceilings, creaky old booths, great food and a tap list that made up for its relative shallow depth with a number of very solid offerings. In the few years that followed, this place went steadily downhill. The quiet, comfortable atmosphere gave way to a lousy crowd, marginal food, and a dwindling selection of good beer. As of about a year ago, a gross couch was placed in the center of the room and I hadn't been back since. A chance walk by changed all that over the weekend.
The place has come, if not full circle, at least pretty far back from whatever happened to it over the last few years. The nice, open space has been divided by some beautiful old, probably reclaimed windows hung in the middle, a pool table now occupies the space of the former couch, and the atmosphere was much more relaxed and comfortable. The general vibe seemed more like a laid-back, charmingly grungy ale house than many other places I've found in Manchester, and reminded me a bit of the Barley Pub, Stone Church or even the Alchemist (though the latter is considerably less grungy). I really enjoyed that aspect.
The tap list was not fantastic, but not bad, and hansomely priced with all the beers we had Friday night costing $3 each. A few Long Trails offerings were nice, as were the Sierra Nevada and Woodchuck, but I'd like to see a Smuttynose, Tuckerman or other New Hampshire brewery on there as well. At the very least, an expansion of good taps would help--add Celebration to the SNPA for example. My second beer was a Harpoon IPA, which tasted off. Everything else was fine, so I'll chalk that up as a fluke, but it dints the quality rating considerably.
We didn't have food, but the service was good, the vibe was nice, and the beer selection and quality were decent. The place could use improvement--just throw on one or two more interesting, rotating taps, and make sure the beer isn't off--but I'm glad I stopped in here the other night, and I'll definitely check back in here sometime soon.
Original review from 07/03/2007:
A- / 4.2
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 - $
This place is such a wonderful and welcomed addition to the bar scene in downtown Manchester. I had lamented the loss of Tipsy McStagger's back in September because while the place had a miserable beer list, it was a very nice, quiet, long narrow bar tucked away on Hanover Street. All that lamenting proved to be completely unwarranted, however, as its replacment, the New Cheese Grill, is a great place to grab a beer, have some delicious food (the burgers are the best I've ever had, the pasta dish I had was solid, and the artichoke bruschetta was a great deviation from my normal fare). I miss the narrowness of the old hole-in-the-wall, but I was glad to see that even though the New Cheese broke through the wall into the space that was once the Stage Door Cafe, they kept the very beautiful old wooden bar of Tipsy McStagger's. The beer list is not as long as extensive as the Strange Brew's, but the fact that almost all the beers on tap are locals, micros or good internationals goes a long way. They rotate at least a few of the taps, but the beer list is always solid and doesn't fall into any single niche (which happens at a few of Manchester's other decent bars, where a lot of the taps may be devoted to Irish or English beers). The prices are also just below the normal, which is nice of course as well. The atmosphere is pretty solid: it's a nice, dark space divided by a few columns with the more intimate bar area on one side, and a larger area with tables, booths and a low stage on the other. I still miss the intimacy of the old place, but much of the atmosphere has been preserved with the very welcomed addition of a great beer list and excellent food. It's great to see something of a real beer bar getting a foothold in Manchester.
01-11-2011 17:53:09 | More by FrankLloydMike
3.75/5 rDev +0.3%
Stopped by here on a Wednesday afternoon after picking up my mother-in-law at the airport. It's located on a one way street, and I thought parking was a little tough. There were a few outdoor tables and, since it was a nice day, we should have stayed outside. However, we couldn't find a waitperson, so we went inside to sit. Inside, it's a big room with lots of wood, red walls, and a tin ceiling. Even on a nice spring day it had a dingy look and feel to it.
There were 14 beers on draft, none of them particularly special. I had a couple Harpoon IPAs, because they seemed the most promising, but otherwise the selections were on the order of Stella, Guinness, Bass, etc.
What saved the place for me was the food. While it is typical pub food, the prices are quite reasonable. I had a great pulled pork sandwich with fries for $4.99.
The service was quite good. We had the attention of both our waitperson and the owner. Maybe it was because it was a quiet afternoon, or maybe it was because he needed to try for repeat business, but the owner came to our table several times to make sure everything was OK.
We had a good time, but while I would go back for the food, the beer I could get anywhere.
05-20-2009 21:34:01 | More by lordofthewiens
3.85/5 rDev +2.9%
I went here for the first time Wed Night after a show at the Verizon.
They have a good tap selection, probably 20 or so choices, all at 3.00 a pint. I chose to have Storm King Stouts this night and was quite pleased. I wish I had paid more attention to the tap list, I'll have to expand upon it next time I visit.
I had a Gorgonzola burger that was really good, if not a little overcooked. My buddy said the same about his burger, but the couple we went with said theirs was cooked perfectly.
Our waitress was awesome, always handy, and even a bit flirty too.
The night we went had Newcastle girls handing out samples of their beer, and also Captain Morgan was handing out samples of a new rum they had that was 100 proof or something like that. I would have liked to try the rum straight not coked up so to speak.
The place is a bit beat up for only being open a year or so, this place must get rowdy on the weekends.
I defiantly plan to revisit this place again.
11-30-2008 23:15:42 | More by johnnnniee
4.03/5 rDev +7.8%
Went last night for the Arrogant Bastard on tap - it was superb, my dining/drinking buddy had the Smoked Porter (both by Stone).
I had marinated steak tips I was told that the Chef used the Smoked Porter in the teriyaki marinade - these were very good, sides were rice and vegetables. Other guy had a pulled pork sandwich and fries - he said it was very good as well.
We finished it off with some 90 Minute IPA from Dogfish head (which is great when you find it on tap and it was spectacular last night) - this bear on tap is a joy to have.
ALl in - a great beer bar walking distance from another great beer bar - Manchester is lucky to have them both.
01-25-2008 15:32:47 | More by MugOfGoodness
3.38/5 rDev -9.6%
Stopped by for dinner last night, optimistic there might be a new player in town for good beer and food. New Cheese Grill is run by the same guy behind Penuche's Ale House. Since Penuche's is commonly referred to as 'Nuche's, the name of this place makes sense. (Say it out loud if you're still having trouble.)
We walked inside and were greeted by a completely empty pub save for a couple of people sitting at the bar. Not a single employee in sight. We waited for a few minutes and once acknowledged by someone sat ourselves at a table outside. Their outdoor seating is on the sidewalk, but being a tree-lined side street makes it quieter and cooler. There were 3 other tables besides us, all being waited on by the same waitress. She was friendly but clearly in need of help as she was servicing the whole place herself.
The menu is full of your typical pub fare like burgers and wraps. I had the chicken sandwich and my significant other had a plate of pasta of some kind. We were pleasantly surprised at the quality of the food. Although the entrees themselves were nothing special they were fresh and very tasty. Unfortunately, the lack of help showed in our spotty service. When we first arrived, we were quick to get menus but it got progressively worse. When we finished eating, I nearly had to go inside to ask for the check. Once all the tables had food, the waitress disappeared.
What about the beer selection? In a word: disappointing. Although they have a good number of taps, what they have on them is nothing special. As of last night, the tap list is as follows: Bass, Boddingtons, Blue Moon, Stella Artois, Long Trail, Guinness, New Castle, Sierra Nevada, Magic Hat #9, Coors Light, Smithwicks, Woodchuck Cider, Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Sam Adams, Sam Adams Summer, with Harpoon IPA as the rotating tap IPA and UFO has the Hefeweizen. They have a bunch of bottles with the only beers of note there being the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA and Long Trail Blackberry Wheat.
Would I go back? Probably. The food is good and fairly priced and even though the beer choice was limited at least they have a few brews I would drink. The Sierra Nevada on tap was fresh, so points for that. I had higher hopes that there would be a better beer selection. The service issues I will chalk up to it being a Sunday night.
08-06-2007 15:33:02 | More by mixylplik3
Penuche's Grill in Manchester, NH
- out of 100 based on 5 ratings.