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Hope & Olive: Anyone been yet?

I heard that the Hope & Olive opened in Greenfield this weekend. Has anyone been yet?

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  1. Yes I was there today. The good news is that the food was excellent! Had a cubano sandwich. Top notch (though not exactly authentic) and served with a side roasted root vegetables on dressed greens. The space is nice but kind of cavernous..two different dining rooms separated by a bar area. Not intimate welcoming and funky like Bottle of Bread but not oft putting. The bad news is that its in Greenfield. The town is so grim and weird/bad vibed that I can barely bring myself to go there. I know, I know, spare me with the "its turning the corner and People's Pint is making a stand etc etc" but no matter what people's good efforts, intentions, and hopes, Greenfield has always remained a place to avoid.
    I really hope they make it but I don't know if Greenfield locals are ready for $10 sandwiches no matter how fabulous. Why they didn't just find another place in Shelburne Falls (or even the more interesting Turners Falls) is beyond me. Shelburne Falls is magical and part of the experience and appeal of Bottle of Bread was that it was located in a lovely destination community.
    That being said, I'll absolutely be back!

    7 Replies
    1. re: Big Fat Moe

      Thanks for the report, glad to hear this place is open and I'm looking forward to trying it. I was just in SF and had kind of a wacky service experience at Tusk 'n Rattle, but I guess that's part of its charm. :) Still want to try Gypsy Apple.

      I get what you're saying re Greenfield, but so far the Pint has made it a worthwhile trip for me on occasion, and there are some interesting business and folks tucked away who can't afford the Northampton market (don't get me started again on NoHo!). BTW, check out "The Rendezvous" in TF sometime, if you're up that way...

      1. re: Big Fat Moe

        Greenfield has always remained a place to avoid.? Why? ...your pretense is truly unfortunate. If you decide to visit Greenfield and actually look around, you will not find poor people lurking in alleyways ready to jump out at you. I moved to Greenfield 15 years ago from Boston and worked in Northampton for about five years, and Greenfield is far superior to NOHO in many ways. Yes there are fewer insanely-self-conscious-hip-beautiful people clogging the streets, but you also won't find pierced teens camped out begging for money on the sidewalk, or supremely untalented street musicians banging away on out of tune guitars... honestly, there are far more scary folk hanging out on Main in Noho. That said, maybe you should stay away, it's already too long a wait for a table at the Pint, which will probably also be the case at Hope & Olive.

        1. re: Frankidadio

          Unfortunately I have to agree with the negative assessment of Greenfield, and I have lived in the area for 28 years and seen it go down hill. While there are nice people and interesting places in the outskirts, I find it hard to believe anyone could disagree all those ragtag store fronts (and boarded up buildings!) on Main Street are enough to turn away most people, and this is not good for the economy or the local people. In recent years it is very common for people to bemoan what has happened to the town. There are good things to be found, but in general the downtown is an area I skip whenever possible.

          That being said I have been happy to see quite a few new restaurants and other businesses make a go of it there in recent years. I stopped going to the People's Pint a few years ago when the service became very spotty, but it has gotten so many positive posts here recently I think I'll try it out again. After the Hope & Olive, that is...

          1. re: Frankidadio

            Really has little to do with pretense and more to do with a Greenfield retail and downtown business community that has been smug, backwards, and exclusionary for the the past 35 years. The town is both frozen in time and paralyzed at the same time.
            Yeah, Northampton is often what you say it is. And downtown Greenfield is no more "scary" than Northampton. But downtown Greenfield was, is, and probably will continue to be, creepy. And not a pleasant place to spend an entire evening. I'll drive up, enjoy a meal, and get the hell out.

          2. re: Big Fat Moe

            hey -
            i was wondering if you happened to have an address (or approximate location) or phone number for it? I live in noho and don't know where in greenfield it opened up.

            1. re: ratchicken

              It's on the corner of Hope and Olive. Really. It's in the area behind the courthouse.

              1. re: ratchicken

                The phone number is 774-3150. Hope Street is off Main Street right by the Franklin County Court House.

            2. My husband and I ate there tonight. It was wonderful! Fresh salmon and trout, lots of hidden food under it (green beans, ginger, bok choy, green beans, local beets and mushrooms), wine, and a killer choc mouse with raspberries all for $51. It was packed, we waited 20 minutes but they have a nice bar. Greenfield is acutally becoming much more interesting with 2 new restaurants opening this week--the other is "Tofu A Go-Go," formerly of Provincetown right on Main St., creative veggie food. An upscale bar called Winterland opened one block from Hope & Olive about 8 months ago and it is usually full with virtual golf. In the summer, Greenfield Energy Park (one block from Hope & Olive) has live music and more coffee houses are now open around town in the winter.

              1. MY Husband and I ate at Hope and Olive last night. The front of the restaurant is very inviting! We were happy to see a nice restaurant come to Greenfield so we do not have to go out of town to eat. As we got seated we were served with a nice bottle of water and 2 glasses. Ahh... we said... this is good. Not having to ask for our water to be filled. The food was really good. But….. The acoustics in there were not pleasant. Very, very noisy, not relaxing at all. It is more like a cafeteria feel with high end price tag. We were a bit disappointed that we not served anything before our meal. We were hoping to be served some nice bread with some olive oil or a small salad. That was disappointing. Because of the noise level and everything being a la carte, we will not be going back in a hurry.
                We can recommend Bella Notte in Bernadston. Nice view, nice atmosphere, rolls, salad and great food all in the $18- to 25.00 range.

                1. My girlfriend and I went tonight. For the 25 minute trip from Northampton we found the food to be sort of average and therefore, not quite worth it.
                  As vegetarians there were decent options - we were pleased with the option of subbing tempeh for meat- I had the veggie BLT and found it to be pretty good but the "side salad" that it came with was just a few roasted vegatbles. The vegetable napoleon entree that my girlfriend ordered was mostly just a pile of over cooked roasted vegetables. The seasoning in general wasn't that excting. The chocolate mouse dessert was much too heavy to be considered a mouse and was average.
                  Of the pros, the wine (cabernet) was great and the side order of beets was really good. The atmosphere was really nice, and the service was excellent.

                  All that said, I still think that the place is definitley worth checking out. We will most likley go back another time.

                  1. I had dinner at Hope and Olive Tuesday night and it was fabulous! The restaurant was quite busy but we only had a short wait. The decor is warm and comfortable and especially inviting to those who remember the place in its former incarnation as the Polish Club (no kidding!). There is a large U-shaped bar in the middle with big chalk boards posting the daily specials. Handblown glass light fixtures in rainbow colors hang over the bar and matching vases are on the tables. On one side of the bar there are tables and on the other side, booths. Another person who replied to your question mentioned that the place was noisy. It was a little bit, but I think it is due to the fact that the ceiling is covered in pressed tin that is probably original to the building. But leaving the original ceiling lends an ambiance that is worth the volume, in my opinion.

                    The menu is very reminiscient of a Bottle of Brread although it is more extensive. While waiting for our meal we were served homemade breadsticks twisted into funky shapes. For dinner I had a wonderful heirloom tomato salad and crab cakes. My husband had an appetizer of warmed brie served with sauteed mushrooms, walnuts and greens and toasted crusty bread. He chose a seared tuna appetizer as his entree and was glad he did because the portion of tuna was huge. The food was all great and the service was friendly and professional.

                    After dinner we walked down Hope Street to Winterland Country Club for a night cap. We clocked the time and it took exactly 2 1/2 minutes to walk to Winterland. If you haven't been there, you really have to give it a try. It is a new upscale bar located in a renovated brick mill building that also houses a couple of artist studios and a few small businesses.

                    I urge you to spend an evening enjoying Hope & Olive and Winterland Country Club. You won't be disappointed.

                    1. I've been to Hope & Olive 2 times for dinner and once for drinks at the bar. I can see the previous complaints about Greenfield but Hope & Olive is a wonderful and much needed addition to the downtown area. Yes Greenfield IS up and coming!!! The menu is quite interesting and fairly diverse depending on your diet, even vegetarian (the stuffed acorn squash is amazing). It ranges from soups, salads and sandwiches to stuffed trout or skirt steak. The bar area is quite extensive, a good selection of liquor and wines plus great local and mico-brewed beers on tap and in bottles. A lot is happening in Greenfield, Tofu-A-GoGo
                      just opened on main street , which offers great vegetarian and vegan dishes, AND there's talk of a new music venue and art space that will offer live music, dancing, art shows and a nice bar and lounge that serves a small menu which stays open late right above Hope & Olive in Greenfield.

                      1. Finally got there for lunch today -- my cobb salad was a nice size (not too big, not too small) with local greens, roasted chicken with skin, crispy bacon, decent tomatoes, just okay avocado, and very good bleu cheese. Not too much dressing, just enough. I was quite pleased with it, but the star was my bf's meatloaf sandwich -- I am not a meatloaf person, but it was spectacular. Savory with a touch of sweet. Very memorable. We waited a little too long for a table, post-lunch rush, but that was my only complaint. Service was pleasant. Great space, including the bar, and we'll definitely go back.

                        1. I went to Hope and Olive last week and had a wonderful meal. I am offended by the anti-greenfield comments, however. Greenfield is a slice of America with all the pros and cons. There are many good people living in Greenfield working hard to turn around the aftermath of the industrial revolution that attracted so many people a century ago. I work in Greenfield and I see the town changing for the better in spite of the anti-change attitude of the town fathers who have strangled many positive ideas to maintain the status quo. I think it is important to support the businesses that are trying to turn the town around. If you think Greenfield is grim, you should take a road trip around America. It makes Greenfield look cheery.

                          1. This is just to second the previous posts and give a thumbs-up to Hope & Olive - my friend and I went last night, and were very pleased with our meals. We shared the hearts of palm appetizer that was minimalist, yet with a multitude of flavors (combination of balsamic, frisee, beet and parm did the trick). I had the pan-seared trout that was very well-cooked; the roasted beets and potatoes were crisp and the spinach salad added freshness to the dish.... My friend had the vegetable napoleon that looked similar to my side dish - she was certainly happy with her choice.

                            I was recently able to find their Web site (http://www.hopeandolive.com/) - one word of caution: their online menus seem to be slightly different from their hard copies. I am not sure whether this is because they change their menu seasonally, or the recipes change....Some items on their online dinner menu were not offered last night; the trout dish that I had came with a citrus add-on (not a rouille) and did not include the hard-boiled eggs. The menu in the restaurant did reflect this, though.

                            1. My husband and I went to CiderDay festivities in Western Mass the first weekend in November, stayed in Greenfield, and LOVED Hope & Olive. One of the rare restaurants I've been to where the chef seems to prefer produce to meat. Not that the meat is poorly prepared, it's just not the main event. Their dinner menu was bank; brunch a bit less so. (Yes, we loved it so much we went back later in the weekend.) First the negatives, which aren't surprising for a new restaurant and will hopefully be worked out quickly: I had the brie and ham sandwich with raspberry jam. The brie wasn't a good choice for this dish-- the rind (though not the paste) worked against the sweetness of the jam. I would try to make this at home with a fresh goat cheese, instead. Husband Tom's white bean soup had undercooked (in fact, crunchy) beans--not surpising so early in the day, but they should not have served the soup if it wasn't ready to be served. I think the brunch menu would benefit from a few more traditional breakfast dishes, but then I was raised by Southerners and remain a slave to eggs, bacon or sausage, grits, and some form of biscuit or bread with jam or honey. A high point of brunch: warm, crisp, buttery scones with homemade lemon curd. If they had been served at the end of the meal rather than the beginning, all problems would have been forgotten.

                              Now, for the positives. First, one of the best salads I've had in years hands down: mixed greens that clearly did not come out of a pre-mixed box, goat cheese, honeycrisp apples, cubed and pan-sauteed squash, and roasted shallots with a cider vinaigrette. Beautiful to look at and delicious to eat. I had the pork chop, which was neither under- nor over-cooked and juicy, but the sides, including some terrific collards and a corn relish were the real stars of the dish. I liked being able to order the local West County cider off the menu-- having a bottle of their Baldwin at Blue Room in Cambridge is what brought us to CiderDay in the first place. We had to pack up dessert and eat it for breakfast the next day-- an incredibly generous portion of lemon-almond pound cake with fresh applesauce. The cake was dense with coarsely-ground toasted almonds-- I'll be playing around with recipes at home to recreate it.

                              The space, a former Polish American Club according to a bar patron we chatted with, is open and bright. They use an old safe as a service station. The servers were young (hey, it's the land of colleges) and some were more efficient than others, but all were friendly. I liked the fact that we were sent to Winterland, the bar down the street, to have a drink since the restaurant was in full swing when we arrived without a reservation. We went back about 45 minutes later and they had forgotten to call us, but were apologetic and seated us quickly. We'll look forward to going back. Prices were also very reasonable given the quality of the ingredients and the portions.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: kali43

                                I had lunch at Hope and Olive on Saturday. Potato cheddar ale soup with a small side salad of greens and root vegetables with a fruity olive oil vinaigrette and a grilled cheese sandwich on Bread Euphoria's bread. The essence of comfort food.

                                1. re: kali43

                                  FYI, they don't take reservations for parties fewer than 6. Apparently Winterland has been getting a ton of overflow business from H&O, which is nice.

                                2. My wife and I ate at Hope and Olive on Thursday, October 2. Knew nothing about it. Really, really enjoyed it. We'd relocated from Los Angeles early in 2008 and were looking for places that had a certain energy. H&O had it. We've felt it at certain places in NoHo and the Berkshires, but H&O more than any of them felt good: hip without being either pretentious or precious; local without being provincial; stylish but warm. Ambitious. We met at the bar ( a gorgeous bar, with microbrews, good cocktails and great wines), and were seated quickly in the funky dining room. The waitress brought water and homemade foccacia. I had a serious Thai martini. We got the shrimp starter -- simple and well done. She got the cod cakes, I got the burger as a barometer of the place's aesthetic. The waitress suggested getting the steak sauce on the side -- a good suggestion, as it was very rich and perfect for assiduous use. We shared a fantastic chocolate cake for dessert.

                                  In short, H&O is our new favorite place in Western MA.

                                  Unlike other posters here, we're pretty down with Greenfield proper, esp. as recent transplants (we life in Longmeadow, something of a culinary wasteland). We love the People's Pint, like the overall NorCal vibe of the place. My folks live in Lenox, and Greenfield feels more alive, more authentic (to me), than much of the Berkshires.

                                  8 Replies
                                  1. re: dfromm

                                    I have to rave about H&O's "Hot and Dirty" martini. They use thai bird chili infused vodka in an extra dirty martini. It's a bold delicious drink if you enjoy some heat. I've only been once, but can't wait to get back to Greenfield for another one of these...

                                    1. re: dfromm

                                      wow, longmeadow to greenfield is a haul. but if yr into exploring franklin county eateries, i'd recommend the night kitchen in montague (at the bookmill), gypsy apple in shelburne falls, and sienna in south deerfield. none of them have too much of the "bar energy" you get from hope & olive, but they all have great food and are worth a visit if yr in the area.

                                      1. re: fatheryod

                                        Thanks for the tips. Yeah, it's a haul, but a man's gotta eat.

                                        We drove past Sienna and pulled up the menu online. It's definitely on the list. Night kitchen sounds great. I'd go there for the name alone. We love the Green Street cafe in NoHo, and for a different vibe we go to Sierra Grille there. Both are nice.

                                        1. re: dfromm

                                          have not been to green street in a while, but yeah, it has traditionally been good -- if sometimes prone to annoying waitstaff. sierra i like okay, although that space has churned through quite a few businesses, so i always wonder if the location is jinxed. only other places i actually like in noho are circa -- which i have not visited since ownership changed, but their menu looks like it's basically the same; and caminito, which can be a little hit or miss, but is generally pleasant if you have a jones for argentinian style steak. there is also the dirty truth on main street (between fitzwilly's & veracruzana, it has no sign) which is a really fine beer hall with good pub food. gets loud in the evenings. amherst, meanwhile, has grow a few very good restaurants as well. chez albert is excellent bistro food, especially if you are into pates and the like, the monkey bar has been surprisingly solid the few times we've been there

                                          1. re: fatheryod

                                            Are you talking about Sierra, in Northampton, or Sienna, in South Deerfield?

                                            I've finally decided that my positive view of the Western MA dining scene must be skewed by that fact that I come from the West County (Shelburne Falls) area. Not only are H&O, Gypsy Apple, and Elmer's (breakfast!) local, there are also spots that are great at particular things; I am very fond of the both the burgers and the apple walnut Gorgonzola salad with cranberry wheat bread at Cafe Martin and the soup and fried chicken at the Mohawk Park Campground Pub (in a trailer park in Charlemont, they don't look like much but the food is surprisingly good) I've also mentioned on here a few times that the cheeses and ice cream at the Curtis Country Store in Charlemont are worth a trip.

                                            I guess I'm just lucky to be in a prime Western MA food location!

                                            1. re: wmassnative

                                              talking about sierra grille in the post directly above. recommended sienna in an earlier post.

                                              do either of you have recs in the longmeadow/springfield/enfield area?

                                              wesr htfd has some stuff, including a place called firebox, that we like,

                                              1. re: dfromm

                                                springfield is tough to get a handle on. frigo's italian deli is always cool, but that's for lunch or take-out. there's also talk of the town on wilbraham road, which is the best west indian food i ever had, but the vibes there get seriously unfriendly after dark, so again it's a lunch place. pintu's in west springfield has the best indian/pakistani food in the valley since dhaba closed up, and it's hard to beat the dogs & burgers at white hut. but my working knowledge of springfield is kinda thin. rein's deli makes a nice sandwich too, but i'm not sure any of these places will scratch your itch. sorry.
                                                turning attention northward again, i just got a really positive report from a friend i trust who had his wedding rehearsal dinner at the blue heron in sunderland. i always found their menu gimmicky when i ate there, but they may have cleaned up their act
                                                also, ristorante dipaolo in turners falls was excellent on a recent visit. very nice vibe to the place as well.
                                                but if you run into any places in springfield, i hope you'll post about them. i keep thinking there must be some spots i'm missing.

                                              2. re: wmassnative

                                                In response to wmassnative and the Curtis Country Store in Charlemont - Based on your comments, I finally stopped in there and I loved it. Tried the ice cream and a home made cookie. The soup of the day was zucchini parmesan, which sounded fabulous, but I had already eaten lunch.

                                                Coincidently, the woman who provides the blueberries for the blueberry ice cream was having a coffee in the store store when I stopped by. Its all very local.