Serving up its award-winning lobster rolls year-round, the Beach Plum (with locations in North Hampton, Epping and Portsmouth) is the perfect stop when you’re in the mood for seafood. With both indoor and outdoor dining options and an expanded menu that includes burgers, salads and wraps plus a wide variety of ice cream, there’s something for everyone enjoy. We spoke with Lorraine Petrini, director of marketing, about the history of the establishment, its three locations, and her personal favorite menu items.
How long has The Beach Plum been around?
Nancy Lee and her friend opened The Beach Plum in 1992 at North Hampton state beach as a breakfast and lunch restaurant. A year later we moved to a better location and The Beach Plum became a take-out food and ice cream stand. That original location continues to operate seasonally April through October each year. Based on extraordinary growth at that beach location, [Nancy’s] husband Bob opened a second Beach Plum location in Portsmouth in 2011, and in 2015 the Epping location was opened. Portsmouth and Epping locations have an expanded menu, featuring award-winning fried seafood. Both [locations have] indoor and outside deck dining.
What makes The Beach Plum unique?
We’ve won the Best Lobster roll every year since 2009. We have 78 flavors of ice cream [including Death by Chocolate, Coffee Oreo, Cake Batter, and seasonal flavors such as Apple Crisp, Peach, and Pumpkin Pie] … you won’t find any other restaurant or ice cream shop with that many [flavors]. We have indoor and outdoor seating in the Portsmouth and Epping restaurants, with outdoor seating in North Hampton and breathtaking views of the ocean. The Portsmouth Beach Plum was featured on TV Diner in 2012 and Phantom Gourmet in 2011, which named it as a Great 8 restaurant for both its famous lobster rolls and fried clams. The Beach Plum is the only restaurant in New England to be honored as a Great 8 for both seafood specialties. In 2017, Phantom Gourmet returned, this time at the Epping location. The Beach Plum lobster roll has also been voted Best of NH for every year since 2009 and Best of Taste by the Taste Magazine every year since 2011.
What is your personal favorite dish?
My favorite dish is the Fisherman’s Platter; it’s fantastic because you get a little bit of everything: fried scallops, fried clams, fried shrimp and fried haddock, with loads of french fries and coleslaw. It’s the perfect dish for a seafood lover! My kids and I love sharing this dish with a couple bowls of chunky seafood chowders and an order of onion rings.
What is a dish everyone should try?
Everyone should try our award-winning lobster rolls made with choice lobster meat, no fillers and very little mayo on a toasted bun. There is nothing like this delicious meal. We have four sizes to fit any appetite: 5, 6, 8 and 10 ounces. It’s the perfect choice for summer and all year round.
What is an essential skill needed to run a restaurant?
A love for delicious food and a desire to serve the best, high-quality food to our many guests all year long.
What is your favorite part of being on the Seacoast?
Our favorite part of being on the Seacoast is that we have been able to serve people lobster rolls and other delicious food since 1992. We have generations of families who continue to visit us at our three locations.
— Alison Downs