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What's New and Great at Tanglewood?

Heading up to the Lenox MA area for my yearly fix with the BSO. Would like to check out the best places to eat this year. Last year enjoyed Chez Nous in Lee and the Pillar in New York State. both were great. Looking for ideas for this year, anyone???

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  1. New restaurants Spice and Trattoria Rustica in Pittsfield are worth trying. Of course John Andrews outside Egremont is always good. Enjoy.

    1 Reply
    1. re: otisman

      I don't know when you last ate at Trattoria Rustica but my last 2 meals have been extremely disappointing, very expensive and I won't go back. And they were my favorite Italian in the berkshires.
      (and just a note to add that they aren't new, they have been here for at least 4 years)

    2. I think John Andrews is the best restauraant in the Berks.

      1. i 2nd john andrews is the best in the berkshires...do a search and you will see a bunch of reports. i have sent a lot of chowhounds there and all have raved. just the best...

        1 Reply
        1. re: niccole

          Add my recomendations for John Andrews. It is great (really great) not just good. It is not inexpensive but not outlandish either. I have not been in a little while and that is silly since I live not too far away.

        2. Best breakfast and weekday lunch I've had this summer is Cafe Reva on Tyler St. in Pittsfield, just up from BMC.
          Wonderful fresh food, great selection and a real hidden gem!!!!

          2 Replies
          1. re: chowrottie

            Do you remember where on Tyler? What's the cooking style like?

            1. re: Marco

              Cafe Reva is in the 200 block, not too far past the Hess station on the same side of the street. Breakfast and lunch only - but breakfast is served all day!
              I had the best veggie wrap I've ever had. Veggies grilled with balsamic still crisp and wonderful goat cheese. The Wrap was crisp and blistered. Just amazing for 7.50!!
              My friend had a wonderful burrito.
              The menu was so great sounding it was almost impossible to order.
              I've heard raves about their stuffed french toast too.

              I know the ownder was the chef at 7 Hills Inn in Lenox years ago and her food was at the top of the list in the Berkshires then.

          2. What's the word on Spice? Has anyone been?

            1 Reply
            1. re: parsifull

              I've been waiting for some word on Spice too. Looks like they usually have a decent crowd, even ON weekday nightS.

            2. John Andrews is the best restaurant in ther Berkshires imho.(Thank you again Nicole for telling us about this one!)
              Cafe Lucia in Lenox is very good also as is Che'Nous in Lee.
              The Morgan House in Lee is also a good place to eat.
              There is another restaurant up the road(towards Pittsfield) on the opposite side of the street from the Morgan House that you can see from the Morgan House.
              This restaurant is on that corner.
              I can't remember the place's name but I got two good reports about the place from friends who ate there.
              They say the seafood was gret and the portions huge.I'll have to try this place next time I'm up that way.
              Their stews and soups in Winter are really good!
              Has anyone eaten t the Inn at South Egremont?
              I've heard the food there is very good but I haven't been there.
              Is it worth a visit?

              5 Replies
              1. re: catnip

                hello catnip

                you are VERY welcome again, for john andrews. it was funny, i was daydreaming the other day about the salad with the special mozz. cheese and i was wondering to myself if the next time i go, if i can have 2 of the hunks of cheese instead of 1, if i will pay extra of course. i saw dan smith the chef/owner this week and asked him and he said people do it all the time :)

                anyway- do you mean the egremont inn? i have been there...it is more $$$ than JA and the food isnt as "interesting" it has really good food i think, but i will use the word safe? we went over christmas and there were 8 of us and we enjoyed ourselves very much. i had a shrimp saute app and lamb for dinner. everyone really enjoyed their food, but again the FLAVORS and COMBINATIONS of JA, kills it. egremont inn is VERY cozy and nice. i like to go and have a drink at the bar. its very nice & relaxing and the owners are VERY gracious & welcoming.

                have you ever been to the old mill in south egremont? perfect spot for a drink at the bar before JA. havent eaten in the dining room in years, but it has the BEST cozy bar area. especially in winter w/ the fireplace. ENJOY!!!!!!!!!

                1. re: niccole

                  We haven't been to the Old Mill.
                  Will give the place a try on the next trip---Thanks!
                  I just booked New Year's Eve at the Inn at South Egremont;the Egremmont Inn.
                  We were on their waiting list last yr. to go for New Year's but we couldn't get in.
                  We can still taste the risotto at JA from the last trip there!
                  I could make a meal on that alone!!!

                  1. re: catnip

                    new years eve at the inn will be absolutely fabulous. you will be impressed. steve the owner is very, very good. it is a husband & wife team, but i only know him.

                  2. re: niccole

                    I assume that Old Mill is different that Old Inn on the Green, in New Marlborough. I have had two very good dinners there. During the last one, a month or so ago, the service from our primary wait person was almost laughably bad, but not in a way that impacted the quality of the food, which was very good. You can find a review I wrote somewhere around here.

                    1. re: Blumie

                      yes, they are different. the old mill is in south egremont. i havent been in the dining room for years, but it has an excellent bar area. very comfy-cozy. love it.

                      i have been to the old inn on the green a few years back and i remember the food was wonderful but i remember too the service wasnt so good. not for that quality of food...

                2. Not at all new, but I still love having lunch at Zinc in Lenox. Dinner there is decent, too, but I find it particularly good for lunch.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Blumie

                    I think the Zinc is the worst restaurant we've been to in Lenox.
                    The service was lousy and the food we had was tasteless and over-priced.
                    Ther were 6 of us and we all agreed on how bad the place was ---so it wasn't just me having problems with the place.
                    I'll never eat there again.
                    Glad to hear you do well there however;at least they please someone.

                    1. re: catnip

                      I had read some poor reviews on this board, so had avoided it for a long time. I finally gave it a try for lunch and enjoyed it enough to keep going back.

                      Maybe it's time to give it another try? It's not like there are that many good alternatives in the area.

                      1. re: catnip

                        Bistro Zinc pleases more than Blumie. We eat there, lunch and dinner and both with guests and by ourselves. I have yet to have a bad experience there. I keep hearing complaints here but do not see any major faults in my visits. Staff is young but more than competent, it can be a little noisy but I think that is due to the room itself. The bar area is ok and though I have a drink there I have not dined in that room. I wonder if some folks expect more than bistro food. It is right there in their name and I think they do a very good job.

                    2. Is Great Barrington too far away from Tanglewood for you? If not I highly recommend the Castle Street Cafe, just off the main drag. The menu changes frequently but we've enjoyed the herbed chicken, osso bucco, three-pigs pasta, and my personal favorite the pistachio-encrusted trout. He also has things like burgers for younger patrons, and an excellent wine list.

                      (Edit - oops, I forgot that we were supposed to be talking about new places. CSC is NOT new, sorry)
                      (Still good tho!)

                      1. I tried a couple of new places this summer: First in Great Barrington on Rt 7 there's Cafe Adam (nearly right across from the shopping center with the KMart and the McD's). This is the old Tulipan space and it has been totally renovated into a breezy, contemporary sophisticated space with new-age touches. I had one of their lunch specials, scallops with black beans. It was well prepared; the scallops were very fresh, but the servings are quite small. I'd say just enough food and my appetite is on the light side. We don't normally order desert at lunch time but given the small servings, we asked what they had and I remember the server naming a couple of dishes that were just unappealing.

                        They also offer tapas and a nice selection of mostly Spanish wines. I would go back because I found the decor appealing and service friendly. It's also new, so they are still trying out things.

                        The other new place we visited this summer is a wine bar in Pittsfield - I hope someone else on the board can provide the name because it's also worth a visit. They have a big wine list and mostly different kinds of salads on the food side. Again, nice decor and friendly service, but I'd like to see more food selections. Nevertheless, this is a fine addition to the Pittsfield dining scene - unlike any other place I've been to right in town.

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: niccole

                            Yes! and I've googled it; it's at 40 West St. Thanks.

                        1. I make it to Tanglewood every summer and wanted to try JA - one day I will! I do like Cafe Lucia in Lenox. Their Ossco Bucco is to due for...!


                          10 Replies
                          1. re: bostonfoodie111

                            you MUST try JA next time...you will LOVE it.

                            1. re: niccole

                              Thanks Niccole! I can tell you and I share the love of cheese from your posts! :)

                              1. re: bostonfoodie111

                                god i cant get enough :) JA has these INCREDIBLE pasta dishes with delicious cheeses...you can order 1/2 or whole order. one time, i ordered 2 1/2 pasta dishes AND an appetizer. it was to die for. and the special mozz. he has for this salad, heaven.

                                1. re: niccole

                                  pasta and cheese - aahhhh.. what could be better? I have friends going to Tanglewood over Memorial Day weekend and I told her that she HAD to go!

                                2. re: bostonfoodie111

                                  YES! tell your friend to post here afterward and report everything!!!! if she likes duck, its one of his specialties ( my husband said its the best hes had )

                              2. re: bostonfoodie111

                                Are they serving Osso Bucco again?
                                We were there in March and we were told that they stopped serving this dish because the cost of veal was so high that they'd have to charge $50-$60 for the dish so they removed this dish(their best dish by far) from their menu.
                                You might want to call them to be sure they are serving this again.
                                They told us(the waitress and the owner) that they "might" serve this on special occasions only or by request if they had enough interested patrons.
                                Let me know what you find out!
                                Curious Catnip

                                1. re: catnip

                                  I agree - their best dish! I was there in July at the beginnning of the Tanglewood season and have a friend that eats there regularly and she did have it then so it was on the menu... :)

                                  1. re: bostonfoodie111

                                    A friend told me that it's on the menu at $40+.

                                    1. re: bostonfoodie111

                                      Great to hear that Osso Bucco is back on the menu!!!!
                                      Actually at $40 I still think it's worth it.
                                      Hope they didn't cut down on the portion size;the owner told me,in March, he'd have to get at least $50 to keep it on the menu.
                                      I am guessing that popular demand forced him to put this great dish back on the menu.
                                      I'll try it again when we're up that way.

                                      1. re: catnip

                                        I was just there on Wednesday (8/23) and the osso bucco is indeed on the menu - at $42 or $44, IIRC. Nobody in our group had it, so I can't comment directly on whether the portion size has changed (though I did see one across the room and it looked just like it always has).

                                        By the way, not to take any business away from Jim, but you can get veal shank cut to order, i.e. the 3" or so thickness served at Lucia, at Guido's and then make your own. It's really a pretty simple recipe, requiring more time and care than culinary talent.

                                2. Has anyone tried the new BBQ place out on Route past Bogies?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: chowrottie

                                    i tried it last week...

                                    well, if you ever had gone to the peppermill ( previous place ) you will like the interior SO much more. it is totally different looking, plain but NICE.

                                    the food is OK. im not a BBQ person, but my husband got the ribs and said they were very tasty, but $$$$ for ribs. i got:
                                    mac & cheese, just OK...thought at a restaurant it would be really tasty ooey gooey mac & cheese, but it wasnt...it was OK. i also got a caeser, which WAS tasty, and then a lobster roll appetizer, which i did not like at all. i think it was the sauce they used, it did not have a good flavor at all.

                                    the service- sllllllloooooooooow. it was sat. night and they were dead ( tells you something...) and the service was really, really slow.

                                    so, im glad we tried it, but probabley no need to return...

                                    ps- the name is ROUTE 7 GRILL

                                    1. re: niccole

                                      Thanks for the response niccole. I read that they were buying organic local meats and I've heard that that's not quite the case either.
                                      We're planning on eating there over Labor day so I'll let you know what we thought.
                                      Not feeling too hopeful....

                                  2. I definitely recommend the Old Mill. It doesn't have the style of John Andrews, but the food is always well-prepared and the atmsophere is quite inviting. I particularly recommend their profiteroles, which is perhaps my favorite dessert in the world.

                                    Also in Great Barrington, I strongly suggest Bizen, a comfortable Japanese restaurant which wouldn't be out of place in the higher realms of Manhattan sushi places (in terms of the quality of fish and its freshness). Vast menu, all of it excellent.

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: BGRose

                                      i am not a sushi person, but i will 2nd bizen....GREAT reviews, supposed to be just fabulous.

                                      1. re: BGRose

                                        I love sushi and did not think Bizen was good. Does not compare at all to higher end Manhattan sushi in terms of quality.

                                        My favorite in Great Barrington is Verdura, excellent Italian food. 44 Railroad Street.

                                        1. re: shortstop

                                          i know nothing about sushi, i just passed along what i have heard about bizen...

                                          BUT, i have been to verdura and i wanted to love it so bad, but i was sooooo disapointed. my 2 sisters and i went and the food was OK, the service was terrible- slow and our waitress knew NOTHING about the menu and it was way overpriced. in my opinion...

                                      2. Thanks Flyfish for telling me about the Osso Bucco being served again.
                                        I will give Guido's a try!
                                        One of the most over-rated places we've eaten at is Verdura(in contrast to shortstop's comment above).
                                        We waited a long time to finally get reservations and when we got there we found the portions small,the prices very high for what you get,and the quality of the food way below John Andrews
                                        or Cafe Lucia.
                                        There were 4 of us for dinner that night(mid-February)and none of us was all that impressed with any of the food,the presentation,or the portions.
                                        Actually we thought we had been slightly ripped-off.
                                        Only the service stood out at an unimpressive meal.
                                        All the hoopla about this place is over-rated IMHO.
                                        I'm glad to hear that others have done so well there.....
                                        We'd like to try Verdura again to see if the 2nd time around is better but we hate to waste big dollars when there are so many other good choices in the area.
                                        Anyone else feel the same way?

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: catnip

                                          do not give verdura a 2nd chance!

                                          1. re: niccole

                                            We won't give Verdura a 2nd chance,or any other over-rated,over-priced place for that matter, when John Andrews is so close and sooooooo good!(LOL).

                                        2. You're welcome. You'll love Guido's meats (it's actually Mazzeo's meat market within Guido's)- in addition to the veal shanks, there's hanger, skirt, fresh rabbit, dry-aged prime strip from time to time, etc., etc. Custom butcher quality and selection at supermarket prices.

                                          Verdura - couldn't agree more with your description. We went once, only once - but at those prices I'm not interested in repeating the experiment when there's so much better to be had in the area. And I agree about Zinc as well, quite possibly the worst allegedly good restaurant I've ever had the misfortune of dining at. And I was actually foolish enough to give them three tries because I just couldn't believe it could be so bad. It was.

                                          1. Re: Verdura, I have to say, the first time we went, we were so underwhelmed. However, for some reason, we decided to give it a second chance. We ate in the bar area since the main room was booked. We had the mushroom pizza, which was terrific, and a pasta dish and one of the salads. All very enjoyable and tasty. This was about a year ago.

                                            Then, I was just there on 8/20, the pizza with prosciutto (sp?) was disappointing--i felt like the crust had totally changed and needed some salt as it was bland! The toppings were good, however. I also had the lobster (or was it crab?) salad, a bit mayonaisey for my taste, but the citrus notes cut that down. The best part was the antipasti, fennel, beets, some kind of balsamic vinegar pickled cipollinis, roasted garlic, prosciutto, goat cheese. Divine. And their bread is amazing. I think that i should've ordered a pasta, but being post Half Ironman race, there was something way too enticing about a pizza.

                                            As for John Andrews, we've been going there since at least 1999 and I have to say that the last few visits have been a letdown. Yes, the food's seasonal focus is terrific and you can't beat the fried oysters, though on a recent visit, they were rather leaden and doughy. But we've all agreed that the flavors just aren't as exciting as they used to be.

                                            Our current favorite, though it's too $$ to go more than once a year, is the Inn on the Green. yes, the service can be a bit glacial, but the food is outstanding. in the fish dishes. flavors can be delicate, but in a good way, subtle, I guess. The lamb and beef are rich and delicious.

                                            However, one of the best deals going has got to be the bar at the Castle St Cafe in G.B. Their martinis are only $6, or at least they were last time i went and those bar nuts are a meal in themselves! The martinis are great b/c they are not at all watered down, which is so often the case. The food, in general, is not really that inspired, but having a drink there is a tremendous pleasure!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: brownie

                                              Old Inn on the Green is my current favorite in the area, although I'd agree that it is more of a special occasion place. The food is outstanding, and the setting is quite pleasant.

                                              I would also concur with the recent judgment of Verdura, which in my estimation has slipped over the years to becoming, alas, nothing out of the ordinary.

                                              The unfortunate aspect of most of these postings, including my own, is that there has been relatively little comment about any new restaurants of note. Can anyone provide more help here?

                                            2. Is there any new places?

                                              we talked about route 7 grill...

                                              there is actually a new family-pub type place in the tiny town of housatonic between gt. barrington & west stockbridge. a local couple took it over, and it is called the brickhouse. i havent been, but my mom went and had the salmon and said it was very tasty, the service was good, prices were reasonable, and the place was very clean. i dont know how "chow-worthy" it will be though...?

                                              other than those 2...?

                                              i live in sheffield, and when i go out i goto gt. barrington- egremont area, or over in CT the salisbury-lakeville area.
                                              speaking of sheffield, has anyone been to the stagecoach hill inn after the new owners took over? this is a GREAT place. i worked here as a dishwasher almost 20 years ago from when i was 12 yr- 16 yr. the years following, we would always go for a special night out and sit in the tavern area. excellent atmosphere in the bar and really good food...that was years ago though...i havent been back in a few years, but i hear the "new" stagecoach is quite good. i really need to go there, especially since its right down the road.

                                              if im going out, i think of:
                                              john andrews
                                              egremont inn
                                              swiss hutte
                                              old inn on the green
                                              elm court

                                              john andrews- we have all talked about it, just love it, my favorite spot.
                                              egremont inn- its pretty $$$, but the food is very good and the atmosphere is very country-comfy-cozy.
                                              old inn on the green- VERY good food. havent been in 2 years, but remember the excellent food and the comfy-cozy-rustic atmosphere.
                                              swiss hutte- i love their food so much but really dont like the atmosphere. something about it rubs me the wrong way...
                                              elm court- havent been in years, but same owner/chef as always im sure it is still wonderful.
                                              pearls- i love pearls. have never had a bad meal there and have been quite a few times. it gives me my big city feel when im sick of the country.

                                              i dont venture out to lee/lenox so much for dinner, so i cannot give my opinion on them...

                                              what we really need in gt barrington, is an affordable "family-ish" style italian place. i want to go out for italian all the time! i guess i better get my butt to cafe lucia, huh?

                                              lets see....ethnic places in my neck of the woods:
                                              i dont do indian or sushi, so i cant report on the 2 indian places or bizen ( although i have heard such rave reviews on bizen ).

                                              i have been to koi ( chinese ) in gt. barrington a bunch of times and we always love it.

                                              have been to siam square ( thai ) a few times and really like it there too.

                                              the mexican restaurant with the weird name- i dont love it, but alot of people do. the restaurant itself is very pretty though.

                                              if your ever headed towards CT...pastorale in lakeville is GREAT. its right outside of the berkshires, not far at all.

                                              these are just my opinions :)

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: niccole

                                                My family ate at the Brickhouse in Housatonic, and found it very enjoyable. It's not high-brow food, but it was very tasty and fresh. I had a particularly tasty portabella mushroom "burger" and they had the usual kids fare. The service was great, and the staff was quite friendly. Highly recommended for a casual lunch. Just down the hill from the old housatonic school.

                                                1. re: woodlander

                                                  i am really glad to hear you found it enjoyable. it was taken over by a very nice local couple so that makes it even better! i will have to go this weekend for lunch and check it out.

                                              2. We'll try that Old Inn on the Green and the Old Mill next time down there.
                                                We still like Che'Nous in Lee as well as the White Hart Inn in Salisbury.
                                                We did the Wake Robin Inn over Winter last year.
                                                Great staff;mediocre food at best.
                                                We also ate at the Interlaken Inn in Lakeville as well.The food was good there also.
                                                They have a three-piece combo playing weekends during the Winter that we really like.
                                                Nothing like a couple of cocktails over a cozy bar with a nice combo playing in the background and a roraring fire.
                                                We have the fire and cozy place at our lake cottage in Winter but the combo is on CD's.
                                                Nothing beats John Andrews for us as of yet.
                                                We still like the bar at the Red Lion Inn although the food is very pricy for what you get and the quality,imo,has dropped off as well.
                                                We like to do breakfast here just for the ambiance now and then.
                                                The girls use the Spa at the Cranwell Resort and we have a good breakfast there now and then.
                                                They have a great buffet on special occasions and holidays throughout the year that we really like also.
                                                Since we usually stay In Lee.Ma. there is a fish house just down from the Morgan House we've heard good thing about.Have to try that also.
                                                Let me know your feelings about the Stagecoach Inn when you try the place.You used to be a dishwasher!
                                                I used to bus tables;never got promoted to dishwasher(chuckle).
                                                Wife was a short-order cook summer through college.
                                                Married way out of my league(still LOL).

                                                1. dishwasher from 12-14 at stagecoach, then busgirl there from 14-16...busgirl from 16-18 at 20 railroad in gt barrington (bar food) then waitress from 18-22 there and THEN i moved to fla where i was a waitress till i was 27 and then we moved to CA and i worked at the sheriffs office for 3 years :)
                                                  and now im back home...

                                                  i forgot to add castle street in the last post...it is a cool place for drinks on the "bar" side of the restaurant, very good for that but i think the food has gone down hill. i remember LOVING the food and i have been there probabley 5 times since ive been back and the food hasnt been anything special. BUT go for a drink at the bar for sure. they have bands on the weekends and its great.

                                                  1. Well you sure know the food service business what with all that experience.
                                                    I bussed tables at the Dunkin' Donuts for just one summer and waited tables at prep school and in college.
                                                    Stock trading pays for all the chowhounding these days.
                                                    Other great restaurant we've tried up your way is Wheatleigh.
                                                    The food was outstanding;so were the prices.
                                                    This was a culinary experience we only try now and then.
                                                    The food is outstanding but eating raw calves brains and sea urchin last time there was a bit too much for this not-so-adventering chowhound.
                                                    I never thought I'd like this kind of food but I was proved wrong.
                                                    The preperation so skillful,the sauces so great that what I ate didn't seem to bother me one bit.
                                                    Their chef is outstanding and I would recommend this place to be savored now and then to anyone.
                                                    Like I mentioned before we're up the Egremont Inn over New Year's.
                                                    I'll keep chatting with you up till then and maybe you'd consider being my wife's and my guest for cocktails(you/you and partner)over the holidays at the Egremont.
                                                    We could discuss all those great restaurants an do appetizers as well.
                                                    We've also tried to eat at the Apple Tree Inn and Blantyre Castle but both times(March/April)they have been closed.
                                                    During that season it seems that a lot of restaurants close;Che'Nous did that to us last yr. as well.
                                                    We'll be Chowhounding in Maine next month and around New England as we tailgate college football this Fall.

                                                    1. my husband and i would love to meet for a cocktail over the holidays!

                                                      our next night out is to swiss hutte i think, its my husbands bday in the beginning of oct. and he wants to go somewhere he has never been ( he did not grow up here like me ) so i think i will take him there. maybe we will stop at stagecoach first for a drink so i can finally check it out after all this time.

                                                      ill report back!