berner martini

A bit about Tavern 27
What, Why and Who!


Tavern 27 is an Americana Tapas & Piano Bar born from a desire to serve you the freshest made from scratch - cooked with love- food, organic if it is available, local if we can source it, and ALWAYS free of artificial flavors, colors and preservatives. We believe in cooking real food for great guests. We strive to meet your dietary needs and preferences in the most delicious way possible.

The menu is a creative yet familiar adventure through deliciousness. Inspired by flavors from her native Louisiana and their collective travels abroad, the menu represents a lifetime love of food, fantastical flavors and a passion for clean real food.

Tavern 27 is an Americana Tapas restaurant featuring organic and locally sourced food, cocktails, beer and wine.  Located on 20 acres, the restaurant shares space with an organic garden, wild grape vines and fruit trees, several beehives, and a golf course.

Why Tapas?

The tapas style of eating made sense to us for a number of reasons.

1. It is how we like to eat.
From the very beginning of our relationship, we have been dining out together and always going straight to the appetizer (or sushi) menu to try lots of little plates so we could flood our palates with as many flavors as possible.

2. Less waste.
Many years before we opened, I had a conversation about a restaurant concept I had with my executive chef brother-in-law. I never liked the idea of going to a restaurant and ordering a giant plate of food (getting charged it for) and only eating half of it. I am not crazy about left overs. I wondered why restaurants had designed these gigantic plates in the first place. Being the executive chef, he went on to explain food and labor costs and maximzing what landed on a plate to make sure every dollar was squeezed out of each food item and a restaurant can charge more for a large plate so they are bringing in more dollars per seat that way.

My rebuttal was "Why not just small plates and lots of them?" I would prefer to control the amount of food I order rather than get a large plate of food I am not going to eat forced on me. Small plates-good bye food waste. Labor cost is still an issue, but the Japanese and Spanish have made a culture out of it, so why couldn't we?!

I am proud to say that we very rarely see food come back to our kitchen on plates. We have little to no food waste in our kitchen.

3. We can serve anything!
With our Americana twist on tapas, we have a creative license to explore the entire culinary world. Delving into the planetary palate, we can, and have tried, to make everything Tapas. It is a welcome challenge we eagerly engage on a daily basis.



About Ray and Leslie
and the Journey to Tavern 27

In July of 2009 Ray trekked from Boulder, CO to Laconia, NH to purchase a 228-year-old abandoned property consisting of a restaurant, 9 hole par 3 golf course, plenty of open space and a spectacular view, sight un-scene to his wife Leslie.

Ray, a New England native and Navy veteran, has a lifetime of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, as he started checking coats, then later migrated to a dishwashing position in the kitchen at the famous Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge MA.  He completed a culinary training program, which led him into a position as a personal chef to the former US Ambassador of Brazil.  During his service in the Navy, Ray was stationed in Italy for 2 years and took advantage of the opportunity to dine in many Mediterranean nations seeking to refine his skills through experience and observation in preparation to one day fulfill his dream of opening his own restaurant.  The dream came to fruition in 1988 when Ray opened his first restaurant in Florida he coined a less harmful fast food alternative.

Born in New Orleans, Leslie grew up in a culture of extraordinary flavors where food is the center of, well– everything.  While she has no formal professional culinary training, Leslie’s culinary education started at a very young age tied to her Mom’s apron strings and at the feet of all the great cooks of her family.  While earning degrees in Business Management, Marketing and Design at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette, Leslie made her way through the Lafayette Cajun and Creole food scene, eating, drinking and learning to appreciate the art of dining.  A summer spent in Europe opened her palate to more worldly flavors and inspired an evolution of her own cooking.  Leslie began practicing yoga in 1995 and simultaneously stumbled into the importance of “clean” eating; using organic and sustainably sourced food became a mission.  After a stint in Washington DC, Leslie moved to the Berkshires to continue her yoga studies which is where she met Ray.

Together, Ray and Leslie moved to Colorado to take on their first hospitality adventure together.  The pair owned and operated a 22-guest room event facility for 4 years in southwestern Colorado.  For the first time professionally, Leslie took on the responsibilities of the kitchen with a focus on organic, locally sourced food.  After they sold the facility, they traveled extensively with one mission in mind: delicious. 

When the decision to settle down again came, the couple found themselves in Laconia, NH opening Tavern 27 in 2010, Ray managing the front of the house and Leslie in the kitchen adhering to her motto to “cook with love”.