You needn’t wait until yuletide to taste the New England fare served in the genteel, candlelit dining room of Christmas Farm Inn (Rte. 16B, Jackson, 603/383-4313, www.christmasfarminn.com , 5–9 p.m. Wed.–Sun., $25–31). The intimate restaurant serves an excellent wine list and specialties ranging from pork chops with orange ancho-chili sauce to potato-crusted salmon with balsamic reduction.
Don’t feel like getting dressed up? Relax and enjoy the casual bistro atmosphere of Highfield’s at Eagle Mountain House (Carter Notch Rd., Jackson, 603/383-9111, www.eaglemt.com , 7:30–9:30 a.m. daily; 5:30–8 p.m. Sun.–Thu.; 5:30–9 p.m. Fri.–Sat., $8–27), where you can still order excellent specials like mac ’n’ lobster and macadamia-crusted swordfish.
Waking up is made a little bit easier if you have a stop at A Fresh Start (Rte. 302, Glen, 603/383-4517, 7 a.m.–2 p.m. Mon.–Fri.; 7 a.m.–3 p.m. Sat.–Sun., $4–8) on your morning’s agenda. The friendly eatery doles out good coffee, fresh-baked muffins, and puffy omelets in the morning, plus fresh sandwiches and soups at lunch.
Or, for a still stronger hit of caffeine, there’s the high-octane espresso bar at As You Like It Bakery & Cafe (1 Black Mountain Rd./Rte. 16B, Jackson, 603/383-6425, www.asyoulikeitbakery.net , 8 a.m.–3 p.m. daily, $4–8), which also happens to make fantastic egg sandwiches, creative deli sandwiches, and fresh-as-can-be salads.
Take a seat under the exposed beams and near the roaring fireplace at
White Mountain Cider Company Restaurant (Rte. 302, Glen, 603/383-9061, www.whitemountaincider.com , dinner nightly, 5 –9 p.m. Sun.–Thurs.; 5–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat., $18–28). The renovated 19th-century farmhouse serves contemporary, excellent cuisine—including such lovelies as risotto with butternut squash and sage and roasted duck breast with a marjoram cherry glaze.