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Old 10-15-2018, 05:51 PM   #1
Den65
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Default Homestead in Bristol

Went to the Homestead for the first time since the renovation on Saturday night and I have to say I was very surprised. The building looks great when you drive up and the there was an small outside seating area with some tables and a fire pit ( for warmer nights) . Walking in the new bar is well done very open and a nice place to sit and have a drink or dine in the booths or tables around it , or in front of the big stone fireplace. But it's all about the food and service, started out with the shrimp cocktail there were 4 good size shrimp not a disappointment . The main course was a sirloin strip that was cooked perfect with mashed potato and butternut squash , I had the 18oz prime rib which was a nice cut of beef cooked just as I had request with a loaded baked potato and squash . Added a bottle of wine and end with a very nice crŤme Brule for desert and I was full and happy. Our waitress Taylor was very nice attentive but not smothering around when we needed here and nice to talk to . I don't take the best pictures and I know that looks like a big piece of fat but it was sooo good Give it a try I don't think you will be disappointed
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Old 10-15-2018, 08:20 PM   #2
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I was there a couple months ago during renovations and it was terrible. I will give it another try only because I feel like the construction caused it to be unorganized and not a great experience but the food was disappointing also.
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Old 10-16-2018, 07:49 AM   #3
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Default Homestead / Fratello's

Been going for decades. Met all the McDonough brothers in the family as well as tried all locations. Like most restaurants, most are a hit and occasional miss. Brothers are different as night and day but the respective locations they run don't really show it!

Homestead is Bristol is my favorite of all locations. I just hope they didn't overdo the Tavern scheme and ruin the 'home cooking atmosphere' I experience in the old house. Otherwise worth the trip to Bristol.

While you are out there, visit 'downtown Bristol'. Cute little place with quaint shops and good places to eat. There is even a jazz bar on the river!

A cruise around Newfound Lake at the peak of foliage is a must see!
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Old 10-20-2018, 07:18 PM   #4
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We also go to Homestead very often and enjoy it. It's nice in the summer to get away from the hustle and bustle of Meredith and sitting out in the patio is great. Love going there in the winter also. Never a bad meal or service.
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Old 10-21-2018, 06:20 AM   #5
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Been going there for many years. Great restaurant! Anybody remember when Joe Boatman of the Ink Spots would be there tickling the ivories at the lounge piano? Yes, drive in to downtown Bristol and check it out. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 10-12-2019, 08:10 PM   #6
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Been going there for many years. Great restaurant! Anybody remember when Joe Boatman of the Ink Spots would be there tickling the ivories at the lounge piano? Yes, drive in to downtown Bristol and check it out. You'll be glad you did.
Went to The Homestead for the first time. The restaurant looked great and the food was good and while the server was very nice, service was ridiculously slow. It first took about 10 minutes once seated for anyone to acknowledge our table and then the waitress had to come back to take drink orders. Drinks came out pretty quickly but that was the only thing that was reasonable in terms of time. Apps and dinner took a long time but the worst was the 30 minutes we waiting to get our leftovers packed and plates cleared once we finished our meals. Ultimately, we asked a busboy for containers. We were going to order after dinner drinks and desserts but we had run out of patience by then. I like a relaxed dining experience but almost two and a half hours from the time we sat down to the time we paid the check is a bit long. Good food though.


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Old 10-13-2019, 07:04 AM   #7
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Went to The Homestead for the first time. The restaurant looked great and the food was good and while the server was very nice, service was ridiculously slow. It first took about 10 minutes once seated for anyone to acknowledge our table and then the waitress had to come back to take drink orders. Drinks came out pretty quickly but that was the only thing that was reasonable in terms of time. Apps and dinner took a long time but the worst was the 30 minutes we waiting to get our leftovers packed and plates cleared once we finished our meals. Ultimately, we asked a busboy for containers. We were going to order after dinner drinks and desserts but we had run out of patience by then. I like a relaxed dining experience but almost two and a half hours from the time we sat down to the time we paid the check is a bit long. Good food though.


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We too have had a service "burp" (one time being the worst) but we also have had the same thing happen at every restaurant we frequent. I don't complain about people having to wait on me but a reasonable wait is expected on occasion.
Last week we stopped into the Tilt'N Diner and the service was the worst we have ever experienced and my meal (meatloaf dinner) came out COLD with the gravy actually glazed over like it had been sitting awhile. I sent it back and ordered the fish and chips and it was great. The manager, a very nice woman, later came to the table and said she would comp my dinner. I mildly, protested as the fried haddock was perfect but she insisted I get my meal for free. Can't beat that!
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Old 10-13-2019, 07:18 AM   #8
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I agree that every restaurant can have an issue. Itís how they deal with it that makes us decide if weíll go back. We had food and service issues at Canoe in Center Harbor a few weeks ago. We had to ask to talk to the manager and when she came to the table she made excuses and threw the server under the bus. She did comp all three of our meals but that didnít solve the issues. We had only been to Canoe one other time years ago and given the attitude on top of bad service and bad food we wonít be back. What really ticked me off is that we cancelled a reservation at the Bob House to go there because our schedule changed.
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:41 AM   #9
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I agree that every restaurant can have an issue. It’s how they deal with it that makes us decide if we’ll go back. We had food and service issues at Canoe in Center Harbor a few weeks ago. We had to ask to talk to the manager and when she came to the table she made excuses and threw the server under the bus. She did comp all three of our meals but that didn’t solve the issues. We had only been to Canoe one other time years ago and given the attitude on top of bad service and bad food we won’t be back. What really ticked me off is that we cancelled a reservation at the Bob House to go there because our schedule changed.
“didn’t solve the issue“? What did you want them to do in addition to comping all three of you, fire the entire staff and have the building raised?
Get real
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:56 AM   #10
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Default Homestead in Bristol

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I agree that every restaurant can have an issue. It’s how they deal with it that makes us decide if we’ll go back. We had food and service issues at Canoe in Center Harbor a few weeks ago. We had to ask to talk to the manager and when she came to the table she made excuses and threw the server under the bus. She did comp all three of our meals but that didn’t solve the issues. We had only been to Canoe one other time years ago and given the attitude on top of bad service and bad food we won’t be back. What really ticked me off is that we cancelled a reservation at the Bob House to go there because our schedule changed.
Please be more specific about the food issues? I have been there many times and yes sometimes the service can be slow but I have never had a bad meal at Canoe

At that specific moment there really isn’t any more they can do other than apologizing and comping the meal.


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Old 10-14-2019, 10:39 AM   #11
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1. Server appeared to be inexperienced and may have had too many tables. Was inattentive.
2. Ordered prime rib and received ďprime steakĒ which I think was a special
3. Ordered medium and received extra well done
4. Ordered mussels and they were undercooked
5. When corrected all food was Luke-warm when received
6. Had to ask to see manager. Anywhere else the manager would have known there were issues and come to the table without having to ask.
7. Manager blamed server for getting prime rib orders wrong

Any one or two of these happens but when you add them all together it was an unpleasant experience. And after all that not paying for mediocre at best doesnít solve the issues.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:01 AM   #12
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Default Canoe update

Thanks for the Canoe update. Over the years, we have tried it there, and never thought it was great. One problem was the hostess...I believe related to the owner...who had an attitude problem. She may no longer be there, for their sake! 🤨 When we added it all up, we decided to skip Canoe in favor of one of the other restaurants.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:21 AM   #13
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1. Server appeared to be inexperienced and may have had too many tables. Was inattentive.
2. Ordered prime rib and received ďprime steakĒ which I think was a special
3. Ordered medium and received extra well done
4. Ordered mussels and they were undercooked
5. When corrected all food was Luke-warm when received
6. Had to ask to see manager. Anywhere else the manager would have known there were issues and come to the table without having to ask.
7. Manager blamed server for getting prime rib orders wrong

Any one or two of these happens but when you add them all together it was an unpleasant experience. And after all that not paying for mediocre at best doesnít solve the issues.
Was the server a young(er) young lady? We were there a few weeks ago, and she messed up our orders big time. Manager got involved when we didn't respond favorably and made things (mostly) right. We've always been happy with Canoe but this summer started leaning towards The Bob House with better results.

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Old 10-14-2019, 05:54 PM   #14
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8. Had reservation at Bob House and cancelled to go to Canoe because we had an hour to kill
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:25 PM   #15
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And after all that not paying for mediocre at best doesnít solve the issues.
You got three meals for free?

And you're still whining?
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Old 10-14-2019, 06:47 PM   #16
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8. Had reservation at Bob House and cancelled to go to Canoe because we had an hour to kill
Thank you for the specifics. Interesting I’ve never had issues there to this extent but we all have different experiences.


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Old 10-15-2019, 06:30 AM   #17
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My wife went to the Homestead with some of her friends back in September and she said the service was so bad that their meals took a long time and when they did come out they were all cold. They complained to the manager, who said they were short on help, and she comped the whole meal.
That's why you see a lot of empty tables and so many people waiting for a seat. They don't have enough staff to wait on all the tables so they just won't seat you until their ready.

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Old 10-15-2019, 06:41 AM   #18
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My wife went to the Homestead with some of her friends back in September and she said the service was so bad that a their meals took a long time and when they did come out they were all cold. They complained to the manager, who said they were short on help, and she comped the whole meal.

That's why you see a lot of empty tables and so many people waiting for a seat. They don't have enough staff to wait on all the tables so they just won't seat you until their ready.
Unfortunately a regular occurrence around the lake the past couple of years. Really puts a damper on your dining experience.


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Old 10-15-2019, 10:04 AM   #19
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The towns should try to offer attractive ways for students to come to the lake for the summer and work. Maybe housing, credit programs with the local colleges, etc. it is so sad for the businesses.


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Old 10-15-2019, 12:01 PM   #20
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The towns should try to offer attractive ways for students to come to the lake for the summer and work. Maybe housing, credit programs with the local colleges, etc. it is so sad for the businesses.


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I don't know how this would work but if there was some sort of a dormitory set up for seasonal workers; housing, meals and transportation and maybe work it like a temp agency to hire out workers as needed. Some small business that hires 4-5 people probably does not have the contacts or knowledge to bring in workers from overseas but perhaps some central management agency? Housing at colleges empty for the summer?
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:17 PM   #21
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Default Homestead in Bristol

50 years ago, the opposite was true. There were so few restaurants or other places for kids to work in the summertime. If you wanted a job,
you really had to be aggressive, there were so many others who wanted the job.
Now, the area is so saturated with restaurants . I think itís time that they get creative.

Iím surprised that Alex Ray hasnít come up with a solution yet. Maybe they need to be more self- serve or change to a buffet style.

Itís obvious that having a shortage of workers is not a temporary blip, itís the new reality.
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Old 10-15-2019, 12:29 PM   #22
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50 years ago, the opposite was true. There were so few restaurants or other places for kids to work in the summertime. If you wanted a job,
you really had to be aggressive, there were so many others who wanted the job.
Now, the area is so saturated with restaurants . I think itís time that they get creative.

Iím surprised that Alex Ray hasnít come up with a solution yet. Maybe they need to be more self- serve or change to a buffet style.

Itís obvious that having a shortage of workers is not a temporary blip, itís the new reality.
Of all the restaurateurs I think Alex has the least problem hiring. His employees are well compensated and go through extensive training, also his service jobs tend to be more year round not part time
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Old 10-15-2019, 01:24 PM   #23
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50 years ago, the opposite was true. There were so few restaurants or other places for kids to work in the summertime. If you wanted a job,
you really had to be aggressive, there were so many others who wanted the job.
Now, the area is so saturated with restaurants . I think itís time that they get creative.

Iím surprised that Alex Ray hasnít come up with a solution yet. Maybe they need to be more self- serve or change to a buffet style.

Itís obvious that having a shortage of workers is not a temporary blip, itís the new reality.
I have mentioned buffet before but the response was negative and mostly about the dining experience. If the alternative is to be closed or skeleton crew it seems like a no brainer for me, at least breakfast and lunch then staff up for dinner.
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Old 10-15-2019, 02:06 PM   #24
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We went to that restaurant/bar on the waterfront in Wolfboro overlooking the harbor around 1:30pm, the name slips my mind at the moment.
They have two outside balconies and the downstairs one was full so we went upstairs. All the tables were dirty with dishes and drinks. I think the lunch crowd had just left. The bartender said she shut off food service and it was drinks only upstairs. She was by herself and she was slammed.
We wanted to sit out on the deck at the railing so she brought out a tray and we cleaned off the deck rail ourselves, washed it down, and went inside to the bar to get our drinks.
After the first round she came outside for another round and said the drinks were on the house for being patient and helping her out. We could have walked out and gone somewhere else, our wives wanted to do just that, but it was worth the wait and the effort.
We sat out there in the sun overlooking the docks for about an hour and then went to Nolans for and early dinner. Over all it was a great day!

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Old 10-15-2019, 03:47 PM   #25
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It seems like too many restaurants end up comping a meal to make the customers happy. Thatís not a solution either.
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Old 10-15-2019, 09:14 PM   #26
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It seems like too many restaurants end up comping a meal to make the customers happy. Thatís not a solution either.
I wish I never had a comped meal. I would much rather pay for good food and good service.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:16 AM   #27
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I wish I never had a comped meal. I would much rather pay for good food and good service.
Exactly, it really doesn't make up for the bad experience. But it at least shows that they acknowledged that there was a problem instead of just letting you walk away mad.
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Old 10-16-2019, 04:35 PM   #28
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The thing that really irks me is when food has to be redone and everyone else is done eating when the food finally arrives. Thatís a good way to put a damper on what could have been a nice evening out.
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