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Mt. Washington Valley — Dining

Mt. Washington Valley has a number of excellent restaurants. Those noted in the next three paragraphs serve meals worth a special trip.

The Rare Bear Bistro and Black Bear Pub are at The Bernerhof (603-383-4414; $$-$$$; right), in Bartlett on Rte. 302. It has its own nationally famous cooking school. Stonehurst (603-356-3113; $$) and The 1785 Inn, in North Conway (603-356-9025; $$-$$$;left), have excellent cuisine, although service at the 1785 can be dreadful.

In Jackson, The Christmas Farm Inn (603-383-4313; $$-$$$; below right), The Inn at Thorn Hill (603-383-4242; $$$), Wentworth Resort Hotel (603-383-9700; $$-$$$), the Wildcat Inn and Tavern (603-383-4245) and Thompson House Eatery (T.H.E.) (603-383-9341; $$$) each serve gourmet fare, at commensurate prices.

For more down-to-earth meals, in Jackson, try the Shovel Handel Pub (603-383-8916) in a converted barn with great views of Black Mt.; in Glen, try the Red Parka Pub (603-383-4344; $$) for great barbecued spare ribs and prime  rib. It doesn’t take reservations; expect up to a two-hour wait on Saturday nights.

Moat Mountain Smoke House & Brewing Co. (603-356-6381; $$), at the northern edge of North Conway, is a family favorite for wood-grilled or smoked entrees, such as salmon, brisket, port and ribs, as well as lighter fare such as pizza and quesadillas. It brews its own beer on premises.

In North Conway, try either Irish or American comfort food—such as shepherd’s pie or baby back ribs—at May Kelly’s Cottage (603-356-7005; $$-$$$) just north of the village.

New to the scene is the Tack Room Restaurant & Tavern (603-356-0077; $-$$) with simple, tasty fare and extensive beer selections located in the old Bigelow stables on Route 16.

Horsefeathers (603-356-2687; $-$$) is perhaps the most popular spot in town. For a good time and plenty to eat, it’s hard to beat, but it you’re looking for gourmet, pass this one up, the menu promises more than it can deliver.

The Flatbread Company (603-356-6321, $-$$), in the Eastern Slope Inn, offers casual dining in a sunroom.

Delaney’s Hole-in-the-Wall (356-7776; $-$$), a locals’ haunt, inexplicably has Southwestern flair. Maestro’s Cafe and Deli (356-8790; $-$$) offers pasta specialties.

Decades (603-356-7080; $$-$$$), is a standard fare steakhouse with a large draft beer selection and a decent wine list.

On the Rte. 16 strip, the Red Jacket Mountain View (603-356-5411; $-$$) serves very good food.

The Muddy Moose (603-356-7696; $$) has affordable prices as well as some exotic choices, such as Wild Boar Marsala or Venison Pasta.

Ethnic fare is plentiful. Head to the Shannon Door Pub (603-383-4211; $), in Jackson, for Irish entertainment and good thin-crust pizzas. Pizza, from thin-crust to deep-dish, is found at Elvio’s (603-356-3208; $) in North Conway.

For Mexican, locals head to Margarita Grille (383-6556; $-$$), formerly Margaritaville, just beyond the Red Parka, on Rte. 302, in Glen, or to Cafe Noche (603-447-5050; $), in a brightly colored building on Main Street, Conway.

On particularly crowded weekends in the Valley, head to the spacious quarters of the Red Fox Pub & Restaurant (603-383-6659; $$), just south of the covered bridge in Jackson. With seating for 200, chances are you won’t have to wait. The Sunday Jazz Brunch here is a locals’ favorite and a bargain at $5.95 per person.

Try the new Western-themed White Horse Saloon (603-356-9745; $$) on West Side Road for great ribs and wild game at reasonable prices.

For breakfast, head to Peaches (603-356-5860; $) on the main drag in North Conway.

In Jackson, we recommend Yesterday’s (603-383-4457; $) or the Wentworth Resort Hotel (603-383-9700), which serves an exceptionally good breakfast for $8, or for lighter fare, stop by the Jackson Bistro. This is a good place to pick up fat sandwiches and fancy confections to stash for lunch.

In Gorham, Welsh’s (603-466-2206; $) is a family restaurant that serves hearty breakfasts and lunches. The oversized muffins and charbroiled burgers are especially delicious.  Next to the Royalty Inn, try the family-style Crabby Jack’s mexican restaurant (603-466-3312.) Libby’s Bistro (603-466-5330; $$), on Exchange Street, earns high marks for its ever-changing menu of creative entrees such as duck au poivre with a balsamic rhubarb sauce and strawberry rhubarb chutney. For down-to-earth fare, you can’t beat Wilfred’s ($-$$), where turkey is a specialty.

At the Appalachian Mountain Club (603-466-2727; $$), meals are served family-style: a great way to meet some new friends. Dining Legend: $$$$-Entrees $30+; $$$-$20-$30; $$-$10-$20; $-less than $10