Five years ago, the Avery Building in Wolfeboro could have been torn down and replaced by a big box retail store. Today, it’s home to PAVILION, a restaurant dedicated to elevating the farm-to-table dining experience in the Lakes Region.
Centrally located in Wolfeboro’s historic district near Lake Winnipesaukee, PAVILION opened in 2020 with a goal of bringing sophisticated dining and warm hospitality to the Lakes Region, says owner Pat Cooke. It was named as a nod to Wolfeboro’s former grand Pavilion Hotel, built in the mid-1800s by Daniel Pickering and his son-in-law.
Preserving the property and paying attention to the details has paid off. For instance, one can find photos of the former hotel and a bar top made from a 150-year-old tree that “needed to come down,” Cooke says. “It’s all in the details, meaning people want a full experience. They want great service, they want great food, they want a beautiful environment. They want the whole thing … and people respond to that,” she says.
And the hospitality continues next door at their sister property, the Pickering House Inn: a small boutique hotel, celebrating its fifth anniversary by clinching national recognition as the “#1 Resort Hotel in the United States and New England” by Travel + Leisure Magazine.
With their husband-and-wife team of chefs — Jonathan Hudak and Aleks Chmielewska — at the helm, PAVILION works with local farms to bring in fresh, in-season ingredients to create culinary creations such as herb-roasted chicken and salmon deviled eggs. “Having really true fresh ingredients and a seasonally driven menu are key to a great dining experience,” Cooke says, adding, “[Our chefs] try to keep as much as possible immediately local and then drives a circle around New England.” This provides the amazing freshness of their offerings and inspires their seasonal menu items. “You just taste the difference,” Cooke says.