On Friday night, my cousins and I (whose mother is my mom's sister) took our moms to The Common Man in Merrimack, N.H. (where I grew up) for an early surprise Mother's Day dinner. The original plan was to take them to a Chardonnay tasting at Zorvino Vineyards, but, unfortunately, not enough people signed up for them to hold the event.
My mother loves The Common Man, and I must agree with her - the service, at least in Merrimack, is consistently friendly, informative and attentive, while the food is almost always perfect. Plus, the prices are affordable, while the portions are generous. The local chain also serves vodka tonics, which is my mother's drink of choice. After the Zorvino Vineyards letdown, The Common Man was an obvious Plan B.
All of us ordered fish that evening, my mother opting for the Atlantic Salmon ($17.99), which was char-grilled and served with a "Green Goddess" drizzle (basically, pesto). I opted for the Rainbow Trout ($15.99), which was pan-fried and drenched in a panko and potato chip crust, with a generous scoop of pistachio basil butter on top.
My mom had wild rice on the side of her dish, while I went for the cheesy mashed potatoes. The vegetable of the day was maple-glazed carrots.
Let me start off by saying my plate was ginormous. Two generous pieces of fresh, perfectly cooked rainbow trout graced my plate, with a giant dollop of creamy, semi-sweet pistachio butter on top, melting beautifully over the heaping pile of sea life. I managed to eat half my plate (plus all the carrots), and my aunt continually remarked on how fresh the trout tasted, as she ordered the same meal I did. Apparently, when her and my mother were kids, my grandmother would cook trout caught from the brook down the street - and the trout tasted like nothing but the brook. The Common Man has forever changed my aunt's view on rainbow trout.
By the time we left, my mother's face was one giant smile - she had a full stomach, a full heart, and a sincere appreciation for the surprise meal brought on by her daughter, sister and nieces.
How did you feed your mother this Mother's Day?