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Jul 21, 2007 03:37 AM


Ok, after my third visit I can now fully confirm that there is a wonderful little restaurant in Shelburne Falls. Kind of a silly name, Gypsy Apple, but a wonderful place. It's small, maybe 8 tables in the dining room and another 4-6 outside on the patio adjacent to the Deerfield River.
Reasonably priced: entrees run $17-23 and it come with a fresh salad (a hunk of great blue cheese another $2). On last two visits I had a clam/kale/portuguese sausage pasta (12 little necks) and rack of lamb (6 chops). Interesting wine list with a fine selection of wines by the glass @ $5. Had Alsatian apple tart for dessert.
Tables are candlelit with linens.
I hate to crowd this place up with my post but I really hope they succeed. It's my new Northampton/Amherst/PioneerValley/Hilltown favorite restaurant .
Anyone else been there yet?

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  1. I definitely agree- both with the silly name and wonderful food! The name and slightly glaring sign might have kept me from trying this for a while if the chef hadn't been giving away samples of his home-smoked trout during the local riverfest. The next day I was back for lunch, and I can say even their Hamburger and their Tuna sandwich far surpasses the norm. I have heard from very experienced diners that the food quality at Gypsy Apple rivals that of anything to be had even outside of the WMass area.

    Another newcomer I would highly recommend is on the Main St. of Ashfield, MA. Unfortunately, I was never told their name (just brought there by another local) but they are almost exclusively a breakfast and dinner establishment (no lunch except an espresso bar with baked goods) in a nicely restored, very old building. I had the Eggs Pope Benedict (thick slab of ham and ripe tomato) for around $8 and the coffee was actually strong, which is tough to find at a breakfast spot. I have heard their menu-style dinner is also delicious. This area has been losing good breakfast restaurants recently so I am thrilled to find another place!

    1 Reply
    1. re: wmassnative

      the place in Ashfield would be Elmer's Store.

      Elmer's Country Store & Deli
      396 Main St, MA 01330

    2. Fwiw, I stumbled across an interesting looking cyber-cafe on Traveler Advisor. It's a strangely named place call GoNomad Cafe in S. Deerfield.
      I don't usually comment on these kind of places but they do have fresh N.Y. bagels, smoothies, gourmet coffee, teas and some interesting looking bagel sandwiches. Again, I haven't been so let me know when they start pouring the Guinness.


      Gonomad Cafe
      4 Sugarloaf St, South Deerfield, MA 01373

      12 Replies
      1. re: Harp00n

        Actually its a fun and interesting place

        1. re: Big Fat Moe

          Nice post BFM,
          Good to to know of something else in at Shelburne Falls beside The Tusk N' Rattle Cafe and Cafe Martin. Btw, is there any more word on when the new place is opening in Greenfield by the former owners of Bottle of Bread?


          Cafe Martin
          24 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

          Tusk N Rattle Cafe
          10 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

          1. re: Harp00n

            I think it's called Hope & Olive? Last I heard there's no visible construction currently underway, they are supposed to open in the fall.

            I will definitely check out Gypsy Apple after the multiple recommendations, particularly if they do lunch (TNR is my Shelburne Falls standby/favorite).

            1. re: hollerhither

              Gypsy Apple is open for lunch only on thursdays and fridays, I believe. We were in Shelburne Falls for lunch today, and ate at Cafe Martin. We loved it. Why can't we have restaurants in the Amherst area with this quality and price range?

                1. re: hollerhither

                  I think Side Street Cafe in Florence and The Apollo Grill in Easthampton both qualify as really nice places with good quality and price range. And Esselon Cafe in Hadley for that matter (Breakfast & Lunch). But downtown Northampton is seriously & increasingly lacking in almost every respect. It is getting dirtier, dumbed down and a sad hassle with more empty storefronts and more bums caging money and just generally making the atmosphere unpleasant. When is Northampton going to wake up and realize that you can't tolerate an aggressive bum scene and at the same time expect a healthy retail scene?

                  1. re: Big Fat Moe

                    Absolutely re Side Street and Apollo -- they're frequent haunts of mine. I can't say that about any restaurant in Northampton with the exception of Osaka.

                    Not sure re the street experience, I guess I don't notice a difference re the people (probably most intense in warm weather) but real estate and rents for storefronts have skyrocketed. That's resulting in high business failure/turnover (and high costs and prices for restaurants that can't seem to afford to take many risks). And in addition to affecting quality, climbing prices are probably exacerbating the culture clash. Ah, don't get me started. ;)

                    1. re: Big Fat Moe

                      I have also been quite put off by the street scene in NoHo my last few visits. It is an interesting dilema for a town that prides itself on tolerance of all lifestyles to solve, but I really think it must be fixed. Late at night, it is starting to become scarey at times.

                      1. re: Big Fat Moe

                        Add another vote in favor of both Side Street and Apollo. Great food, comfortable atmosphere and prices are still reasonable for the quality. Del Raye has a lot of "alumni" out there in the local restaurant scene...these are two good examples.

                        1. re: tbbbnbab

                          Since this thread has popped up again I'll update and say that I had a good meal at Gypsy Apple a few months ago -- small room, limited menu, a little quirky, great vibe, very nice service. And Hope and Olive, of course, has been open for a while, and have had multiple good meals there, good wine list and great service, my only complaint might be that the portions are a little too big, if one can imagine such a thing. I really want to just sit at the bar sometime and order off the bar menu, the regular menu can be a little overwhelming.

                    2. re: OverTheHill

                      I'm not certain, but I believe I was at Gypsy Apple on Sunday for lunch... the day after the Riverfest.

                    3. re: hollerhither

                      I like Cafe Martin, a lot, but I love The Tusk!

              1. The original comment has been removed
                1. I don't know about the 'aggressive bum scene' here in Northampton, but here are my thoughts on the Gypsy Apple. We ate there this last weekend.

                  'Twas about 13 degrees outside and so going in their cozy, warm environment was a big plus. A small room, beautiful, transports you to the Continent in all the right ways.

                  The menu is small, changes monthly. There were hits and misses. We especially liked the mushroom ravioli in a saffron cream sauce. The sauce was also flavored with carmelized onion, and came with greens sauteed in olive oil and garlic. The earthy flavor of the mushroom combined well with the onion and garlic. The other hit was the mussels with a riesling and shallot cream sauce. This is probably the only time in my life I've ordered two cream sauces in one sitting - cream to me is usually a culinary cop-out, it drowns out the other flavors (or worse, is used to cover up the lack of good flavors, such as when the other ingredients aren't at their freshest). In this case, the garlicky greens gave the ravioli dish some bitterness and bite to offset and compliment the cream. I liked that. And dipping their seriously hot bread into the riesling cream sauce was pretty sinful.

                  Duck confit was tasty, nothing to write home about. The venison dish wasn't as good. The venison was ok, the bigger problem was its unsatisfying red wine reduction and the accompanying horseradish mashed potatoes. Neither were very good separate (if you're going to go horseradish, don't wimp out). Together they clashed and very much tasted like they didn't belong together.

                  Overall, a good experience. They pour a generous wine glass and have good beers on hand. The chef was gregarious and friendly. One day we'll return, hopefully to all hits.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fame da lupo

                    Sorry to hear that your meal at the Gypsy Apple was anything less than amazing. We went for the first time last night and it was phenomenal. You're right about the gregarious staff and generous pours on the wine. We had mussels (breaking my vow to stop eating seafood in Western Mass after a couple of bad experiences) which were perfectly cooked in a mellow sherry cream sauce with bits of garlic that had been pan-fried _then_ sliced so they were sweet with just a hint of smokey brown on the outside edge - that's some serious investment of time by the chef! There was a great fish dish (also with horseradish creme fraiche and topped with caviar), but the steak took the cake, so to speak. A huge fillet mignon topped with mushrooms in a richly meaty demi-glace. The sauce gave the steak the big meaty flavor of a tougher cut while the meat itself was juicy and buttery without any fatty mouth-feel.

                    We will definitely be back, hopefully often. Since I've moved to the Berkshires, the only other meal I've had to rival this one was 50% more expensive, and 3 hours away at Hen of the Woods in VT.