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Saturday lunch near Canaan, Lakeville, Salisbury

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I'm meeting a friend for lunch, next Saturday, and halfway turns out to be Canaan, CT, where there don't appear to be any restaurants. We are sixty- somethings looking for a New England style old inn or some kind of warm, gracious environment where we can catch up after several years in an attractive environment that is not too busy and noisy. Ideas are the following: In Salisbury, the White Horse Inn or the Boxing Horse Grill; In Lakeville, the Boathouse, the Interlaken Inn, Pastorale, The Woodland, and Carriages; the Swiss Hutte in Hillsdale, NY, the Southfield Store in Southfield, MA. Of course, we care about the food, but are more interested in a hospitable environment rather than a busy, commercial restaurant. We are talking Saturday for a long lunch. Several of these rural eateries might only be open for dinner. We would be open, also to Great Barrington, Norfolk, South Egremont, Ashley, or other town nearby. I would be so grateful to hear of anyone with information on any of these places or to suggest new ones and thanks in advance.

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  1. No, there is not much in Canaan........I have to say that my response is mainly based on dinner experiences, so make sure these places are open for lunch before you come. I have had lunch at many of them and will try to clarify here.

    Of the ones you have listed, and based on your comments about the type of experience you are looking for along with the location, I would say you would be happiest at the White Hart, the Boat House or the Woodland. (Do NOT go to the Interlaken.) I have enjoyed all of these places for dinner and for lunch. The White Hart is a very traditional New England inn with a tap room, restaurant and guest rooms. You can not miss it. Easy to find. They have things like onion soup, roast chicken and good salads. The Boat House and the Woodland are only about 2 miles away and their food is much better.- more sophisticated. They offer sushi and some really good soups, salads and specials. I'd say the atmosphere at the White Hart is what you might call New England traditional. the Boat House is nice and spacious...nothing too unusual....and the Woodland is somewhat of a mixture of the two.....If I were meeting an old friend and wanted to linger without being made to feel in the way, I think I would go to the White Hart or the Woodland, but if I ended up at the Boat House, I'd be fine. Best food, in my experience, is at the Woodland.

    If you want to spend a little extra time in the car, try The Old Mill in S. Egremont, MA. (a place I have only had dinner- yummy- so not sure if they offer lunch). But if you have limited time with an old friend and Canaan is the center point, I'd stick with that Salisbury/ Lakeville area and spend more time with your friend instead of in the car!

    The Great Barrignton area does offer a lot of great places for food so if you come back, check it out. Have fun.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mvi

      Thanks, mvi,
      These are wonderful suggestions. The Old Mill does not serve lunch, sadly, but it sounds great, otherwise. I am pretty familiar with Great Barrington and know of a couple of restaurants there, but am looking a little south. I had the same idea about the Interlaken, so thanks for confirming that. By any chance, have you heard of Pastoral in Lakeville or the Suisss Hutte in Hillsdale? The chef at John Andrews mentioned those. Also, the White Hart Inn, in Salisbury, in terms of ambience.
      Thanks,
      Annie

      1. re: annchap

        John Andrews is a real winner and favorite in this area, for sure. I have had three very good meals there. I have not eaten at either Pastoral or the Suisse Hutte but have read good things about Pastoral on this board. Maybe a search on those two names would get you some good first hand reports. The White Hart is a nice, cozy place with that traditional New England feeling. And the food is not bad at all; I think that the Woodland has better food, myself, but may not have the exact atmosphere you are looking for. You will have a good time at any of these places but the Interlaken would not have charmed you on any level, I am afraid.

      2. re: mvi

        Why not the Interlaken? I'm considering a corporate retreat there this summer, so am interested in first-hand experiences.

        1. re: anomy

          I stayed at the Interlaken for a little too long last year........But the choices in the area are very limited for that kind of thing. The atmosphere there is pretty dreary. The food is not too bad, though..........Certainly nothing special.

      3. ooooh, I just saw this - hope your lunch was good. Pastoral is only open for lunch (brunch) on sundays - dinner other times - but it's worth driving out of your way for. I'm going tonight :-)

        I'm not crazy about the white heart food, but the space is ok. I agree that the woodland is better than most in the area for lunch. I also had a good light lunch recently at Harney's Tea House in Millerton, NY, but they don't have a full menu.

        Great Barrington has a relatively new & very good indian place, Aroma, and a pizza place (of all things) with wonderful salads, called Baba Louis. Neither what you were looking for, but both worth a stop.

        Here's the Pastorale info if you're back some time for dinner...

        Pastorale Bistro & Bar
        223 Main Street, Lakeville
        (860)435-1011

        1 Reply
        1. re: THewat

          Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts. Actually, we had quite a nice lunch at the White Hart. While the food was not exceptional or interesting, it was very good, and the ambiance, on the porch, was just what we needed to catch up on our lives. Our waitress was superb; she never hurried us, so we sat for at least two hours. I passed Pastorale and maybe we'll try that another time. The White Hart was close enough to town so we could stroll and continue our conversation. The whole area reminded me that I need to S---L---O---W down.
          Annie

        2. I've eaten at the Swiss Hutte many times and I'm glad to say that the food --Swiss French-- is absolutely delicious and the service is old-style attentive European. If you have lunch and if weather permits, eat on the porch overlooking the beautiful views of the lower Berkshires. If you go during the winter, the bar room has a cherry fireplace and good drinks at the bar. The dessert menu is stunning.