Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > All New England Archive >
Oct 22, 2007 07:11 AM

Bolton Orchards and Surrounding Area

We are going to Bolton Orchards the Friday after Thanksgiving. Coming from West Boylston. Any good eats in the Bolton area? We will stop at the Vineyard / Wineary perhaps.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. There is a good restaurant at the Nashoba Valley Winery in Bolton...called Jay's.
    Is that where you are going?

    3 Replies
    1. re: Lilibet

      How is Jay's? Isn't that the place that makes their own fruit wines or something? I'm kind of weary of that...

      1. re: joebelt

        Yes, that's the place... fruit wines, champagne and beer.
        The restaurant is nice, with upperscale food, & brunch I believe on Sunday. Their eatery is situated in an old farm house next door to the winery. Views are lovely and the setting serene.

        1. re: joebelt

          Nothing to be weary of -- I worked there when I was a kid -- true on-the-farm type wine, though I think since the creation of J's (the restaurant), when ownership turned over, it hasn't been *quite* as locally sourced, in terms of the fruits that go in their wines.

          Still a fun place to go, and no need to be weary.

          In addition to what Lilibet mentioned, they also make brandy and I think some other hard liquors.

      2. Im not sure what the story is on Bolton Orchards these days. A year or 2 ago they closed down and there was a huge public auction there. They sold the trucks, tractors, machines, display cases, fixtures, etc etc etc.. Acres and acres of orchards were cut down for mcmansions and condos. Then the store reopened not long afterwards. I suspect someone bought it at the auction and is now running it purely as a store where they get everything from elsewhere, but not sure.

        My favorite orchards in this area are either:
        1) MeadowBrook Farm in sterling. Family owned for generations. Make tasty baked goods, pies, sandwiches there.
        2) Westward Orchard in Harvard. Have pick your own and tractor rides out to the trees.

        10 Replies
        1. re: hargau

          I have a feeling you are confusing apple orchards... Bolton Orchards, has been in business since the 50s and is still going strong. It's located at the intersection of 110 and 117 in Bolton, MA. They don't have any extras like rides or facepainting, only their own apples, cider, etc.

          It's Berlin Orchards, that has changed hands recently. They still have apple picking and hayrides and still own quite a bit of acreage. It's located right off of 495 on the Hudson/Berlin line on Route 62.

          1. re: Lilibet

            The auction was at the one at 110/117. You could buy anything from a tractor to the display that holds the chips. This is the place that did the sale

            Again, i know there is a store still open there. I dont know what happened as far as the business goes.

            1. re: hargau

              I was there less than a month ago, and I don't see any missing signs or tractors. -- In fact, they've added an Ice Cream service now (i.e. you can get Ice cream in cone there now). Lions club still doing their usual weekend donut sales there that usually start at weekends after Bolton Fair weekend...

              So, if they did change hands, they did a good job covering it up, and keeping everyone happy.

              1. re: Keithel

                so back to food chat..any good eats in the area?

                1. re: Keithel

                  Guess they did do a good job cause i know the auction happened there and that is the auctioneer who did it, this is what i do for a living so i know what im talking about! And yes Luci it is relevant to food because there is a difference between a place thats been in the family growing apples for generations and a place bought at auction 2-3 years ago. Im curious to find out what the deal is there.

                  My suspect now that it may have been part of a major remodel/downsize. They sold all the process equipment for making cider, and harvest equipment, sprayers, etc..

                  Other then J's no real good eats in the area worth going out of your way for. Is there a type of cusine you have in mind? I live within a few miles from there so know the area well.

                  1. re: hargau

                    Well, Re: Bolton Orchards downsizing, etc: That sucks.

                    Sounds like their outsourcing their whole operation then?
                    Maybe they just had too much equipment?
                    I know there was at least some remodel work done -- to add the ice cream area.

                    Take the following with well, a chunk of salt I guess -- I'm not an expert at categories of businesses by any means:
                    I'm pretty sure they are set up doing business as a farm, as opposed to purely commercial -- I think they have restrictions such that they have to grow some percentage of what they sell, so, unless it got re-classified recently, so I wouldn't think they'd be selling off all of their equipment...

                    Perhaps they just downsized the parts that don't affect the Bolton Orchards farm stand/store -- i.e. the production that gets sold in bulk.

                    Luci: As for good places to eat, as Haragu mentioned, it's a bit of a wasteland down there.. Not too much to speak of really. I was once to the Bolton Roadhouse (I think that's it's name -- at the former location of Sylvesters) -- but was thoroughly unimpressed -- just standard american fare executed ok -- nothing eye-catching or tremendously appealing. It is a small step above places like Applebees or Chili's though.

                    You could head over to the Old Timer in Clinton -- they've got pretty good irish american fixins, and definitely a happenin bar scene. Tonight I'll be over there at Trivia Night in the bar (every Tuesday 7-9pm).

                    1. re: Keithel

                      Depends on how far you want to drive too and what kind of food/atmosphere you want.

                      There is a very good korean place in Ayer, A new chinese place in Acton, Couple places in maynard that get good reviews but i have not been. J's is supposed to be excellent as mentioned. Erickson Farms has great ice cream but is closed for the season. I heard of a thai place in Lunenberg that is supposed to be excellent but have not made it there yet...

                      1. re: Keithel

                        Hey guys... you've still got your locations wrong!
                        It's BERLIN Orchards (sorry to "yell" but am trying to make a point here) not Bolton Orchards that has downsized!
                        Two totally different places in two different towns.

                        I agree with Keithel and Hargau - not too much for eats in the area. Embarassed to say I actually got excited the other day when I heard that a T.C. Landos is coming to Clinton.

                        1. re: Lilibet

                          Re: dowsizing: Well, based on what I *saw* I am more inclined to believe you Lilibet, but Haragu seems to be insisting he *knows* it's Bolton Orchards that is the one that downsized. Now I'm just left confused.

                          Re: TC Landos coming to clinton -- well, that actually is better than nothing!
                          I didn't mention places like Bamboo in Westford or Thai Chilli in Maynard, as I figured they were too far to be considered for this. (Both of those are good places BTW)

                          1. re: Keithel

                            The two businesses are totally different operations, but am seeing that Bolton Orchards recently started to add stuff like selling Ice Cream. I've lived in the area for over 20 years...oh dear!

                            We like Bamboo and Thai Chili - also Chez Siam in Marlboro. Yong Toong in Northboro isn't bad either.
                            If we decide on ITAM we drive up to Leominster to Il Camino. The only "special" place around these parts is Romaine's in N'boro. More pricey than most other places but excellent. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

            2. Chloe's in Hudson.

              Chloe An American Bistro
              23 Main Street, Hudson, MA 01749

              17 Replies
              1. re: steve999


                Thanks all..I am confused about this orchard chat but I said please we are coming from West Boylston to Bolton. I prefer not to go to Ayer or Marlboro. Something between W. B and Bolton please..the Old Timers is good?

                1. re: luci

                  If it has to be on those 10 miles of road, im afraid there is nothing. I would just eat at Bolton Orchards in that case.

                  Old timer isnt really on that route and is more of a pub/homecook sorta place. Its ok, i wouldnt drive out of the way for it. Here is the menu

                  Maybe go to J's but what most people seem to enjoy there is the Sunday Brunch

                  1. re: hargau

                    I concur with Haragu -- there really isn't anything along that stretch -- I'd go with J's in that case. :)

                    Sorry for hijacking your thread -- I suppose it would have been better of us to start off a new thread on the topic.

                    1. re: Keithel

                      Also note that I/we are not trying to avoid your question or be smart or anything, Truly there is NOTHING! Im not just talking chowish food, i mean any food. Living in this area you get used to traveling 2-3 towns away just to get something 1/2 decent. You could easily drive 15 miles and not be able to even get a ringding and a coke from a gas station around here.

                      1. re: hargau

                        To be fair, you can get a ringding, and a coke from the country cupboard, across from the Northbound entrance to 495 in Bolton :)

                        1. re: Keithel

                          The fact that you even know that, proves my point! LOL!

                  2. re: luci

                    One thought (and I realize that it's actually not on the way to Bolton) but,.. if you are coming from W. Boylston stop in at O'Connors. It's right on the W. Boylston/Worcester line, on Route 12.
                    They have a big varied menu, lots of beers to choose from, good service, decent pub food.

                    1. re: Lilibet

                      My one and only time there was horrible, wouldnt go back... Service was terrible, food was not as described on the menu or by the waiteess when i asked, sent it back which i never do and went home hungry because i couldnt possibly wait for them to make something else after it took so long to get the 1st order out.

                      Looking now at the menu i see they removed the item i had ordered all together, maybe others complained!

                      1. re: hargau

                        Disagree completely. Been going to O'Connors for years. Love it.

                        1. re: Newburyport John

                          I dont know how you can disagree on my meal being not as described by the menu or waitress as you were not there....

                          It was a seafood pie or casserole thing. According to the menu it was supposed to be crab, shrimp, scallops and cod.. I asked the waitress specifically before ordering "does this have REAL CRAB, because i dont want it if its the fake stuff???" Her reply was "yes of course it is real"...

                          25 minutes later when it arrived, not only did it have those neon pink crab stick things in it but it had only a couple TINY shrimp (like the kind that come in the can for salad) and a couple little bay scallops. The rest was SALMON! Nowhere did it say salmon it said cod, i hate salmon....

                          Oh and after asking 3 different people for a high chair and them all saying they would get one, we finally got sick of waiting and went and scrounged up our own!

                      2. re: Lilibet

                        Oh! O'Connors! I didn't realize that was near W. Boylston.

                        The place is really nice for a beer. I haven't had dinner there yet, but I did have dessert.

                        Actually, I had a bad/good experience (bad at first, resolved nicely) there the time I went for dessert.

                        We were there late, in the bar area, to grab a drink and some dessert. What I figured would be our waitress totally ignored us for like 20 minutes - and this was shortly before the kitchen closed. I eventually went up to the bar to get us drinks, and waited a bit more. Tried to get the attention of the waitress that I thought would be ours (but turned out not to be), but she totally ignored me. 5 or 10 minutes later, I just blatantly interrupted the waitress, asked if we could order some dessert, and she said "sorry, the kitchen is closed now". C'mon! Dessert!? and we had been waiting since long before the kitchen was closed.

                        I asked the bartender if I could speak with the manager, who came over, and resolved the whole thing -- apologized profusely, looked into why I wasn't served, and provided dessert on the house.
                        We were going to order just one to split, but when we ordered, she mentioned we should get two - covered by the house. It doesn't taint my opinion of the place at all. Well, except the waitress that was serving the bar area near us -- as far as I'm concerned, if you see a table not being served, even if it isn't your own, you should at least take drink orders, and mention it to the manager.

                        1. re: Keithel

                          What kind of Pandora's Box did I open? Jeeze....

                          Luci - here is link to a local newspaper with several restaurant reviews in and around the Bolton area. Hope it helps.

                          1. re: Lilibet

                            It's what happens when there isn't much around :)

                            Beware - Monty's garden, listed in that post is no longer (as reported by other CHers).

                            Michael's Bridge Diner in Lancaster is good -- though I haven't been there since they rebuilt. My recollections are from quite a few years ago.

                            1. re: Keithel

                              Michael's is still good - we go there often as we live in town. Much, much bigger and more seats (cleaner too :-D), and there is always a waiting line on Sunday a.m.. He is the first place to have a pouring liscense (only lunch) in Lancaster since before Prohibition. The town repealed it's dry status a few years ago.

                              Yes, Monty's is nothing more than a vacant lot now - at least they saved their beautiful old neon sign. A pity.... to be replaced by a Walgreen's.

                              1. re: Lilibet

                                Well having lived in the W. Boylston area for half of my life I know that the pickings are slim but it's been 20 years so wanted to check. O'Connors will not do. My Dad's post funeral party was held there. It was perfect but the food is so so and the noise level a bit much. I wanted more than a pub. Will stick to home for eats...and enjoy the apples and cider at Bolton Orchards. Peace.

                                1. re: luci

                                  Oh, luci, I do hope you will try the lunch at J's Winery ... it is truly lovely. I think you need to make a reservation though - it's very popular and not many tables. Views are spectacular and the food is very good. It's the perfect summer or fall place for lunch after driving in the country, visiting an orchard or farmstand, walking in the woods, etc. And yes, doubly nice for being one of the few options in a culinary wasteland :)

                                  1. re: chowcat

                                    Jay's is very good and worth trip. Agree on the positive J's reviews and the whole Nashoba Winery experience.Have taken friends in from out of town numerous times. Many of the dishes are made with local cheese and produce. Below is a link to another discussion on J's for Sunday Brunch.