GILFORD — For Carol Clancy, owner of Myrna's Classic Cuisine, which opened three weeks ago in the Paugus Bay Plaza on Lake Street, recent weeks have been something like a homecoming.
For 20 years Clancy operated Nadia's Trattoria, first in North Conway and until six years ago in Gilford. The Italian restaurant had a popular following and now that Clancy is back in business in the Lakes Region she is being reunited with many of her former customers.
''It's been like an old home week here. People who used to be regular customers are showing up and just love the old favorites from Nadia's'' says Clancy, who says that she's also offering a wider variety of American fare on her menu.
''Ravioli ala Nadia and chicken parmigiana are the favorites so far, along with shrimp scampi,'' she says.
She says that seeing her old customers after six years of being out of the restaurant business has energized her. ''I did this for 20 years before the Nadia's site (on Lake Shore Road) was sold to TD BankNorth. It's like being home again,'' she says.
For Clancy, who is a self-taught chef, Italian food has always been a form of comfort food and she says that she's added American comfort foods like burgers, meatloaf, lobster rolls and steaks to her menu.
Among the appetizers at Myrna's, which is located in the former Cackling Crow space at the plaza, are bruschetta, shrimp cocktail, chicken wings, flat bread pizza, mussels marinara and meatball sliders.
She's also added some new twists to the salad menu with Myrna's Cobb Salad, which is topped with jumbo shrimp, lobster, grilled chicken, crisp bacon and hard boiled egg and blue cheese dressing as well as a grilled portobello mushroom brushed with sage butter and topped with homemade basil vinaigrette dressing and fresh mozzarella cheese.
A salmon picatta dish is also proving to a popular entree, as are the homemade lasagna with spinach, shiitake mushrooms and topped with a variety of cheeses, and the bacon-wrapped meatloaf.
Clancy was born in South Boston but grew up in Wakefield, just north of Rochester, and says she's always loved New Hampshire as a place to live and work.
She says she learned to cook from her former husband, who was born in Italy, and that she later partnered with the late Mike Girardi, who grew up in Boston's North End, to turn out a wide variety of Italian dishes at Nadia's in Gilford.
She's joined in the kitchen by Sharon Bailey and Helen McConnell, both of whom are experienced cooks, and says that she has a good staff which is always looking to make sure that the customers are welcomed and have a good experience ay Myrna's.
Helen McConnell, Carol Clancy, owner of Myrna's Classic Cuisine, holding a salmon picatta dish, and Sharon Bailey, share the cooking duties at Myrna's, now open at the Paugus Bay Plaza in Gilford. (Roger Amsden photo/for The Laconia Daily Sun)
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