It’s my husband’s unofficial birthday weekend – since his birthday this year is sandwiched between two weekends, he started celebrating Friday night Aug. 1 and will likely be wrapping up on Aug. 10.
So, as we considered our Saturday night fun options, he recalled wistfully a place we used to go in Philadelphia, the now defunct 94th Aero Squadron, where you could drink, dance, eat, stand around next to fire pits and watch airplanes land at the nearby Northeast Philadelphia Airport.
“Let’s find a place with fire pits,” he said.
Naturally, I Googled “restaurant fire pits NH” and discovered Sizzle Bistro was just around the corner, next to the Manchester/Boston Regional Airport.
We informed our daughter, Aimée, about our plans – since she’s in town visiting for the extended birthday week festivities – and the three of us headed over to the Executive Health and Sports Center.
Why there, you ask?
Because this “hidden gem” of a restaurant is actually nestled in the basement of the fitness center, which is located along the Brown Avenue corridor leading to the airport.
Yes, it’s more than a little weird.
But we played along, parking where we found the most vehicles, and then looking around for some indication that Sizzle Bistro actually existed. We found a sign and walked toward it, which led us down a ramp and through a set of double glass doors, past paper signs which pointed us to the restaurant, which was empty.
That’s because all the action was happening outside the restaurant, next to the tiki bar, where there were at least half a dozen fire pit tables, all spoken for, several high-top tables next to tall flaming heaters, and live music in progress, provided by local artist Alli Beaudry.
The dining area is adjacent to the health center’s beautiful outdoor swimming pool, and it took all my powers of persuasion to convince my husband it wasn’t a good idea to go for a dip.
And just as we were settling in with our first round of drinks, the rumble of an airplane made us glance to our right. It was the first of at least six airplanes we watched coming in for a landing as they passed by the restaurant. What a view!
Our food arrived – I had a Tuscan Dip with fries, while my husband enjoyed a fish and chips platter and my daughter tried the Asian BBQ Steak Tips.
We even spotted Amber Enright of The Beanstalk Cafe, on her way out, which was a nice surprise – plus, it freed up one of the fire pit tables, which we promptly occupied for our next round of drinks. That also brought us closer to the musical action, and we stayed until last call, which was about 10:30 p.m., long enough to hear Beaudry finish her last set, which included a nice rendition of the Rolling Stones classic, “Wild Horses.”
All in all, it was an exciting night out for us, what I will forever remember as a flaming musical flight of fancy to Sizzle Bistro.
It’s off the beaten path of the city’s growing downtown food scene, and well worth finding, if you’re looking for something new.
Check it out and let me know what you think
I uploaded a snippet of video footage, as Beaudry began a set. I shot it with my husband’s cell phone, and I can’t figure out how to download the original because his phone is not user-friendly, but you can see the post on my Facebook page.