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CurtainUp Berkshires Feature
Snacking and Dining in the Berkshires
Updated August 1, 2011
New: Spice Dragon in Pittsfield, Perigree in Lee, Haven Cafe in Lenox
Revisited: Coyote Flaco in Williamstown.
During the past couple of summers Curtainup readers and summer Berkshirites Marlene and Stuart Brager, have been kind enough to send us pithy reports about meals they've enjoyed. They clearly have a passion for tracking down good food — be it breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner or a cooling dish of ice cream— and also good values, service and atmosphere. As they put it: "For us dining is exciting from Micheline 'Trois Etoiles' in France (when this was affordable for Americans) to places like Baba Louie's and to high level American dining. We are very passionate about the Berkshires, since for years it is our home away from home." They've once again agreed to share their exploration of area eateries Berkshire. Since the Bragers are adventurous diners they will re-visit the trie and true and also brave new and untried eateries which means they will include the bad with the good.
Since settling into their summer home, the Bragers have revisited four previous favorites. Here's a summary of these visits with links below to previous more detailed reviews and address/website information:
1. Rouge in W. Stockbridge. We have been there twice since May and it is consistently at the top of our selections. The duck, rack of lamb, veal and vegetarian dishes were uniformly superb. Our joy is being able to use some of my wine stash to compliment the great food. Service was on the mark. . .2. Mezze in Williamstown. Best dining in North County, bar none. Setting and service first rate; but it is the cooking that sparkles. Menu is limited but at our recent dinner for six people everything was exciting. . . 3. Church Street Cafe in Lenox was sold to new owners and new chef. We were very pleased with our first dinner at the newly refurbished and attractive restaurant. We will keep going back. . . 4. The Old Mill in Egremont was consistent and excellent as always. A couple of miles further down the road is Jon Andrews which has a new chef. Scuttlebut is that it is back on top. We will try it soon. . . 5. Elizabeth's on East Street in Pittsfield is our little secret for the best informal dinners with a special salad and bread to start. Tom and his wife make the best Lasagna and if it is on the menu the Shepard's Pie is a Special Stuart treat. 6. Jae's Spice would be on this list but it's closed. . .Jae's Spice is closed. What will go there next?
Haven Cafe- Lenox | | Spice Dragon -Pitsfield | Coyote Flaco - Williamstown | Jonathan's- Lenox |Cafe Adam - Great Barrington | The Lantern- Pittsfield The Old Mill- South Egremont | Mezze/ Williamstown | Church Street Cafe/ Lenox | Elizabeth/ Pitsfield | Rouge/W. Stockbridge | /b>
http://apogeecatering.com/perigee/menus/PerigeeSummerLunch2011.pdf Great for upscale breakfast and lunch. You order at the counter and they bring your food to the table. Summer hours for dinner that we have not yet tried. Can be crowded for breakfast on weekends.
Perigree Perigee (1575 Pleasant St., Lee phone 413-394-4047) Several visits with excellent service and some of the best steaks and fish in the area. The chef/owner Dawn makes your dining special. Here's a link to the website's lineup of lunch and sandwich menu: http://apogeecatering.com/perigee/menus/PerigeeSummerLunch2011.pdf
Spice Dragon . The former Spice on (North Street in Pittsfield. We've visited this on four separate times. The new owners have it "on the ball." We have had the Vietnamese spring rolls, crispy calamari, ca sot ca fish dinner, shaken beef dinner, Vietnamese crepes with chicken and shrimp and delicious sushi at dinner and for late dining. They now have a 10 pm to midnight menu that is great for after theater. Very highly recommended.
Cafe Adam in Great Barrington (325 Stockbridge Rd, Great Barrington (413) 528-7786 -- for menus see their web page at www.cafeadam.org/
We had dinner for four last night. The smoked salmon appetizer was enough to share for two and may have been the most delicious house cured gravalax that we have had. Our main courses included the "House fish" platter that was tempura lobster, shrimp and crab cakes with a plum based sauce and bok choi and rice. Both Stuart and daughter thought it was outstanding. Marlene had the "House pasta"" with scallops and mussels that she found also outstanding. We couldn't resist sharing one order of profiterols for dessert. This is their fifth summer and Cafe Adam gets better and better.
The Lantern (455 North St, Pittsfield (413) 448-2717). For menus see the web page at http://www.lanternrestaurant.com
in Pittsfield is just one block from Barrington Stage's smaller theater and is perfect for burgers, salad or other quick small meals before the theater. You can park once and not have to move the car.
Coyote Flaco-Williamston :505 Cold Spring Road, Williamstown, (413)458-4240
Highly recommended for excellent Mexican/Spanish food. The tortilla soup, burritos and enchillada were first rate. This is one of their various other location. Their website gives hours and pictures but no sample menus. August 1 update: We've revisited this and it remains a surprise for outstanding Mexican food. Strongly recommend the Burrito with either chicken or beef. Start with the tortilla soup recommended last year. Definitely not your usual Tex-Mex. Large portions. Dessert was quite good and resembles tira misu.
Jonathan's \ Bistro Aspinwell Village 55 Pittsfield Rd Lenox, (413) 637-8022
Since Baba Louie in Pittsfield is closed on Sunday, we revisited Jonathan's on Rt 7/20 in Lenox and were delighted with the sushi grade tuna as an entrée and Marlene really enjoyed the pork chop. We were too full to have the signature dish, tomato bisque soup, as an appetizer; but there will be other days. Also don't miss Chocolate Springs next door if you are very thin or very bad. We are unable to resist the chocolate chip cookies with ice cream (your choice) sandwich
The Old Mill Route 23 South Egremont 413-528-1421
Revisited during our 2011 and still a favorite! Six of us had dinner there on July 26th (they only accept reservations for parties of six or more). Arguably the best dinner that we have had so far in the Berkshires this season (we have not yet been to the Old Inn on the Green in New Marlboro that always amazes us). There were no disappointments in any of the dishes. Appetizers included their excellent country pate; easily large enough to share. The house salad that accompanies dinner can be supplemented for a small price with blue cheese and is worth it. Our entrees included rack of lamb, roast chicken with morels, trout that was beautifully boned and steak (large enough for my daughter to take leftovers for dinner the next night at home). Desserts included delicious homemade peach pie and ice cream (my wife requested warm cheddar cheese on top which they do not have—a thought for addition to the kitchen) The restaurant is attractive and placed in an old building on the road with adequate parking in an adjacent lot. Service was professional without being fawning. Highly recommended for that evening in which there are no plans to attend concerts or theater. Link to menu page of their website: http://www.oldmillberkshires.com/menus.php
Mezze # 777 Cold Spring Road (Route 7) in Williamstown 413.458.0123, website, firstname.lastname@example.org . Mezze in Williamstown has moved to a new location. They are now just south of Williamstown center in the former location of Le Jardin on Route 7. The restaurant sits atop a small lovely hilltop. It is a short easy walk up from the parking area or one may go up by means of a golf cart, so that it is easily accessible to all. The décor is spectacular and the service is attentive. We had Amish chicken that Marlene pronounced as good as any chicken she had eaten anywhere. My daughter and I had delicious scallops as a main course. The menu is quite varied and the wine list is interesting and fairly priced. Do not miss the chocolate cheesecake with salted caramel gelatto. Maybe the best dessert in the Berkshires. For pictures of the lovely setting and menus with prices, see: http://www.mezzerestaurant.com/menus/
Church Street Cafe 65 Church Street (413) 637-2745 Lenox. For hours and menus: http://churchstreetlenox.com/ . July 2011 re-visit: A revisit found Church Street Cafe again consistent and very good. We are happy to report that it remains a great dining spot in Lenox and is very convenient to Tanglewood.
Church Street Café in Lenox has been our frequent site for lunch and dinner. In beautiful weather outdoor seating is great and indoors air conditioned seating is in three small rooms. This restaurant has been an anchor of Berkshire dining for years. Clayton one of three owners is the super chef. Linda also an owner is the super bartender; don’t be afraid to challenge her skills. The food changes with available ingredients and differs from lunch to dinner. We have had so many outstanding dishes that they can’t be all listed, but it is hard to go wrong here.
Update: Church Street Café remains a regular favorite for both lunch and dinner. I can’t recall being disappointed. P.S. when last I listed Linda and Clayton as special owners, I omitted Alan Forman also a co-owner and must correct my oversight if I want to continue to go there. For pictures, menus and prices, see http://www.churchstreetcafe.biz/Menus.html
Rouge Rouge, 3 Center Street in West Stockbridge (413-232-4111) has an exceptional kitchen with enough choices and specials to please everyone. They have a generous wine corkage policy for $20 per bottle. On our recent dining there were four of us. My wife had baby spinach and quail salad with blue cheese dressing. She shared with a friend entrees of parmesan crusted rack of lamb and barbequed spare ribs. Both were so delicious that she couldn't choose between the two. I had wonderful delicate fried calamari as an appetizer and sliced sirloin with spinach and herbed mashed potato as an entree. Portions are large, but try to leave a little room for dessert. For menus, including bar menu, seehttp://www.rougerestaurant.com/menus/. P.S.You must ask for the back air conditioned room in this weather.
Elizabeth's 1264 East Street Pittsfield, MA 01201-5328 (413) 448-8244. Dinner only. Reservations suggested.
Revisited this summer 2011 and still tops! for the best informal dinners with a special salad and bread to start. Tom and his wife make the best Lasagna and if it is on the menu the Shepard's Pie is a Special Stuart treat
We had dinner last night at Elizabeth's in Pittsfield. It was great as usual and Tom had two wonderful specials last night including a baked rigatoni with sweet Italian sausage and his special Sheppard's pie. We will return in June to have the best Lasagna in the world. He has painted and brightened up his second floor dining area that we prefer.
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