When Kalley Cutler and Ron Allen opened Jamison’s, they sought to fill a need for impeccable service and extraordinary food and drinks in a warm, inviting atmosphere. Step inside this welcoming, family-focused space at the crest of a busy hill along Route 111 in Hampstead and it quickly becomes apparent they did just that — and then some.
The multi-room establishment represents Cutler and Allen’s first foray into the hospitality world after each found success in other fields — Cutler as a businesswoman with many interests and Allen as a general contractor. So, when the chance arrived to open a restaurant, a family friend encouraged Cutler to use the skills and knowledge that worked for her other businesses as the guiding principles for a restaurant — putting the right people in the right places.
Together, they took the leap. Cutler was tasked with creating Jamison’s look and feel and Allen serving as the contractor to make her vision a reality. They found an ideal manager in Kevin Knaus and an incredible chef in Al Quiroz, leading the way to other strong hires to supplement kitchen, bar, serving and host needs.
The goal was not just building a family restaurant that guests would love but also establishing an environment where employees felt like part of the family. Cutler feels they’ve succeeded in both — and a visit to Jamison’s is sure to lead you to feel the same.
Choose Your Own Experience
An evening at Jamison’s can vary, whether you want a pub-like environment, a quieter vibe in a beautiful dining room or its adjacent bar, in the private function area or outside on the deck in the good weather. The commonality will be excellent food, inviting beverage choices and friendly, prompt service.
Let’s consider those choices: Upon entering, you’re welcomed and asked for your preference of dining location. To the left — a large room, the lounge, with an urban, industrial feel that also conveys comfort from the start. There are 30 televisions, yet it’s not a noisy bar-like feel. Rather it’s a place to catch the game while still enjoying time with others.
While the bar itself had many patrons, several families were among those in the dining area, a casual environment with casual fare and a pizza oven. Live entertainment is regularly featured as well in the far end of the room, which can be easily taken in from the bar or seating area. The lounge has its own menu, as does the dining room. Should you opt for the dining room, you’re in for a treat. The beautifully- designed room features two gas fireplaces and a series of crystal chandeliers showcasing the room from above.
The effect is stunning. Jamison’s has a private function room, perfect for hosting groups up to 100 people. With its own entrance and parking, the space, Cutler says, was intentionally designed to be both “elegant and blank,” so event planners can fashion their own experience. The room has its own quartz-top bar, too. Plans are also in the works for larger tented events on the restaurant’s back lawn, beginning this spring.
We operate the restaurant as a family; everyone has a voice. The outdoor deck, offering a stellar view of the lawn, seats up to 50 guests, and provides not just the beauty of the land itself but, quite often, a smattering of wildlife from deer to turkeys. “It’s phenomenal for nicer weather,” Cutler says. “It’s really pretty out there.”
Family as Inspiration
The philosophy of creating an atmosphere where everyone on the staff feels like family goes beyond a simple slogan. The restaurant is named after Cutler and Allen’s 13-year-old autistic daughter, Jamison, who Cutler calls “the best special needs kid in the world.” When it came to creating the menu, the pair wanted fare that their own family likes to eat. They look to staff for ideas, as well. “We operate the restaurant as a family; everyone has a voice,” Cutler says.
Everything at Jamison’s is made fresh every day, and menu ingredients are sourced locally whenever possible, including the meats, which come from Hampstead’s Prime Butcher. There’s a lot of pride in the beverages and food served, and that pride is evident in the presentation and service. In the lounge, menu options are diverse, from tempting treat like Truffle Fries to wings, Blackened Local Scallops, Egg Rolls, an Artisan Cheese Board, Loaded Nachos, Beer Mussels, Stuffed Pepper, Popcorn Shrimp, Fish Tacos and Meatballs — and those are just the starters.
A variety of soups and salads are offered – from clam chowder to traditional, seasonal or gourmet salads. Flatbreads are particularly inviting, such as the Loaded Baked Potato (packed with everything you’d love on a baked potato), Fig and Gorgonzola, Steak and Cheese with mushrooms and a garlic cream sauce and the Caprese topped with baby arugula, tomato, fresh mozzarella, basil and aged balsamic. If flatbreads aren’t your thing, there’s also brick oven pizza with some innovative choices: Taco Pizza with garlic cream sauce, the Green Garden with arugula pesto and a host of fresh vegetables from roasted red peppers to onions, black olives, broccoli, artichokes, tomatoes and mushrooms among several others.
A wide-ranging and diverse list of burgers and sandwiches are also available, including a Bacon Bleu Burger, Grilled Sirloin, a Reuben and the popular JFC, with chicken, Monterey Jack cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa verde, pickled chiles, served on focaccia. Lounge fare is not limited by any means. Scrumptious entrees include Jamison’s take on some traditional favorites, such as Meatloaf Wellington, Chairman’s Reserve Prime Baby Back Ribs, Chicken Parmesan, Wild Salmon, Shepard’s Pie, Truffle Cream Fusilli, Cast Iron Prime Sirloin Tips, Fish and Chips and more.
The dining room offers more than just a fine dining experience. Many of the tantalizing choices found on the lounge menu can be found among this room’s menu, too, yet there’s even more to whet one’s appetite. For instance, starter options also include Sliced Filet Mignon and Sesame Crusted Tuna.
Entrees range from classic meals to house specials, with the focus on hearty American fare, such as Stuffed Statler Chicken, with spinach, bacon and cheddar stuffed chicken, mashed potatoes, asparagus and a supreme sauce. There’s Jamison’s Glazed Pork Chop, an elegant meal with a Duroc Natural rib chop, enhanced by Jamison’s glaze with Monterey Jack cheese roasted potatoes and caramelized onions. Other options include a 14 oz. Prime Sirloin au Poivre, Blackened Scallop Risotto, Seafood Stuffed Sole, Baked Haddock and Maine Lobster Mac and Cheese.
Signature cocktails and a well-curated wine list
Bar manager Dave Bean, who’s been at Jamison’s since its November 2017 opening, creates tempting signature cocktails and oversees a wine menu that’s been put together with a great deal of care. Wine is offered by the glass or bottle, which widens tasting options and allows guests to discover lots of new wines. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi is the featured house wine in five varieties.
With more than 20 reds to peruse, there is an opportunity to explore wines from France, Italy, California, Washington State and Argentina. Reds include Trapiche Broquel Mendoza, an Argentinian Malbec; Clayhouse Adobe Red Blend from California; La Maldita Garnache, a Spanish rioja and Heritage Cabernet Sauvignon from Washington, as well as so many others. Three sparkling wines top the white wine offerings, including Italy’s Cantine Maschio Prosecco Brut by the split and Heidseick Monopole Brut and Taittinger Cuvee Prestige Brut, both French, available by the glass or bottle. Over a dozen additional white wines grace the menu, from Italy, California, Oregon, Washington and New Zealand, such as 13 Celsius Sauvignon Blanc, Banfi Centine Rosé Toscana, A to Z Chardonnay, Bonterra Viognier and Kung Fu Girl Riesling.
Popular drinks throughout the cold season include a Winter Old Fashioned, crafted with Basil Hayden Bourbon, and Plum Redbull as well as after-dinner drinks to cap off a tasty meal and ward off any winter chill upon leaving the restaurant. Bean says the Adult Hot Chocolate is a crowd pleaser, with Stoli Vanilla Vodka, RumChata and Buttershots creating a decidedly grown-up take on a childhood favorite. Alternatives include B52 Coffee, complete with Kahlua, Bailey’s and Gran Marnier and an Almond Joy Martini amongst several others dessert beverage choices.
Whether you’re planning an event, simply want to take in the big game with family and friends or want to spirit someone away for a romantic dinner, Jamison’s is ready to welcome you and meet all of those needs and then some — and chances are you’ll soon be back again to embark on a different experience. There are plenty to choose from.
472 Route 111, Hampstead, NH
(603) 489-1565 • jamisonsrestaurant.com
Adult Hot Chocolate
1 mug of hot chocolate of choice
1⁄2 ounce DeKuyper Buttershots Schnapps
1 ounce Stoli Vanilla Vodka
1⁄2 ounce RumChata liqueur
Add the schnapps, vodka and RumChata to the hot chocolate and stir. Add whipped cream, garnish with a chocolate syrup drizzle and serve.
WRITTEN & PHOTOGRAPHED BY PAMME BOUTSELIS FOR CELEBRATE MAGAZINE.