A Destination Restaurant par excellence, you might recognize it upon arrival because Pickity Place was the house used for the illustrations of Grandma’s House in the Little Golden Books’ classic 1948 Little Red Riding Hood, and that mysterious old gnarly tree in front of the house still stands today. One of its bedrooms, just off the foyer, is decorated in duplicate of the storybook’s depiction of the wolf in Grandma’s bed. The house, built in the 1700’s, has original features, its dining rooms in cozy décor with windows looking out on greenery. It’s a very special place for those who grew up with that book. But onward to the Pickity Place today.
First, the food. They have three luncheon seatings per day, 7 days a week. Keith Grimes, an outstanding Johnson & Wales trained chef, is known for his delicious, creative fare. He designs a different 7-course menu for every month based on the seasons’ availability of ingredients at their best, and he draws on his own herb gardens which include 102 varieties along with edible flowers for plating. In short, I’ve never heard of anyone coming away with less than the kinds of raves we give it.
Next, their gift shop. Not at all a touristy trap type place, but it does have plenty of the kinds of things you’d want to buy for friends or family gifts as well as stocking stuffer items. Fun books, kitchen things, decor things, some neat kid things including a Little Chef kit and “growing socks” which are teensy in the package, but when your little one drops them in water, they expand to full size. However, this is where an awful lot of locals go for buying Keith’s herbs, as he dries them for his own use in off seasons and for sale in packages. These far surpass anything you can get in the spice aisle of your market. His are region-specific, meaning they do well starting in our climate, so they thrive extremely well and he knows the tricks of drying for maximum flavor preservation. (You can see the difference in their see-through packages and to a pretty remarkable degree. His herbs are no brainer buyables.)
They also have a greenhouse and greenhouse shop, open in season, where you can buy garden related things, and in mid-May, Pickity Place also hosts several sheep borrowed from a farm so that kids can see, pet and even feed them, usually a youngster animal in the mix. You can stroll through their herb gardens or sit on a bench to enjoy a really nice time out.
The trip there, itself, is even an adventure. From Nashua, figure on about 40 minutes, about 48 from Manchester (less from where Route 293 and 101W meet in Bedford) and about 50 minutes from Keene. From either direction, when you turn onto Route 31 off of 101W, it’s a gorgeous, rural stretch. On your left is a parallel stream where you could pull off the road, climb down the bank, and sit on a boulder, dangling your feet in the water. Just a random time out. Once you turn onto Adams Hill Road, things get residential temporarily. Then you come to Nutting Hill Road, and it’s a dirt road. You will look around and think, “This place is really in the boonies.” Yup. It sure is. Then you come to Pickity Place and you see that gnarly tree in front of Grandma’s House, you park your car in their side lot, and you are now in for a really special time.
Definitely worth the drive, and the destination would be even if it were not a particularly gorgeous drive but that, it is.
248 Nutting Hill Road,
(603) 878-1151 (best to call ahead to make sure your seating time is available)
Their monthly menus