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Feb 10, 2008 05:44 AM

Napa in Great Barrington opened...and soon "The Well"

hi all

i drove past the old union bar & grill spot on main street GB yesterday and noticed that the new restaurant NAPA is up & running. i only saw it from my car, but it looks like its very pretty inside, a nice change from all that metal & steel union had.

i also heard that "The Well" where the glory of india used the be ( on main street too, almost right across the street from NAPA ) will be opening in a few weeks too, just in time st pattys day.

cant wait to try the new places....going to see if NAPA has a www...

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  1. Word on the street is; Bill Webber ( former owner of Verdura ) is working at Napa along with Tom Lee who also worked at Verdura. I wish them well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Jude Stahl

      Verdura was overpriced with small protions and some of the worst service I've ever seen in the area.
      If these two characters don't change their ways they'll go under in their new effort.
      Too bad they didn't work to make Verdura a better place in the first placeso they wouldn't have to be working somewhere else.
      I'll be interested to see what Chowhounders think about the place.

      1. re: Jude Stahl

        Just to make thing clear - Bill Webber is not working at Napa!!! Tom Lee is the Chef and is doing excellent job. His passion and love for food shows in what he puts on the plate. Customer love his food!!! I work so I know fisrt hand. Bill Webber story - yes he comes to see Tom here and there but he doesn't work at Napa!

      2. The food at Union was okay, but it was not great and it was way overpriced. It would be great to hear back from those who are in town now who can report on both Napa and the Well. Any word on what is happening with the space at 20 Railroad?

        4 Replies
        1. re: gb25

          I'm going to Napa this evening, I'll post later. "20" seems to be Idle at this point. Rumor has it that Spice was going to take the spot and Paul jacked the price up because Spice has lots of money, so they back out.

          1. re: Jude Stahl

            Being a summer visitor it is great to hear about GB while in Florida. Is there any news about Cafe Adam , Loved it last summer but it seemed like it was not well known at the time. It is across the road from Price Chopper and next to Aegean Breeze. I thought the quality, preparaton and presentation of the food was excellent,

            1. re: albee

              You will be happy to know Cafe Adam is thriving and has a lovely article in the Mar/Apr issue of Berkshire Living (food & dining issue).

              1. re: rubysmom

                re: Cafe Adam: Not sure about "thriving". Was there Saturday night at about 8 pm and it was empty. The food (I had bouillabaisse, husband had burger) was quite good. I wasn't happy with the large dollop of aioli on top of the bouillabaisse as it seemed overly heavy and unnecessary for the delightfully tasty dish, but that's a matter of taste. The atmosphere was lovely, but the service was lacking. While the waitress was lovely, I asked her a basic wine question and she simply didn't know any of the wines on the list and could offer no guidance. No problem, so I asked if she could let me speak with someone who could describe a particular wine to me - she said: "Oh, one is a mixed grape, one is not.." OY as we say in New York. The wine list was small (which is fine) but after we couldn't get any info on the bottles, we ordered glasses. They weren't very good and while the prices was quite reasonable, we've had many good wines that are inexpensive. At $25 and up for entrees, which is fair given the quality, they must have a better wine selection. We got a cheese plate with four cheeses and noticed that they weren't the cheeses listed on the menu. We asked what they were and the waitress and hostess only knew two of them (the brie, which was obvious and a gouda). While I risk sounding like a snob, it was just unacceptable how ignorant these nice folks were about the menu. Also, by mid-meal, we were one of only 3 parties at the restaurant - perhaps they could have asked the owner/chef?
                In any event, we will return - the food was prepared well - the mussels in the bouillabaisse were plump and succulent. I hope Adam (I believe the owner/chef) trains his lovely staff - that and a better more varied wine list follows.

        2. I'm interested if anyone has gone to Napa yet - we have a rez this weekend. In my experience, Bill Webber makes great food. The problem at Verdura is that he became increasingly absent. Glad to hear they changed the decor at Napa - the "tin cup" decor leftover from Union was horrible.

          We go to Cafe Adam a lot for brunch/lunch and have been for dinner a few times and have had overwhelmingly good experiences there. Adam is a very earnest, hard-working kid and offers some delicious and unexpected dishes.

          2 Replies
          1. re: PonyGirl

            Definitely interested in the scoop on Napa, food to service to decor. Any word on the street about The Well and what may be happening with the 20 Railroad Street space? Seems like anyone interested in going there has to move quickly to take advantage of the summer business. Also, any views on Allium?

            1. re: gb25

              i am dying to hear about napa as well...
              i put a post up yesterday that i heard a rumor that hung from top chef is buying 20RR....just a rumor though...
              and the well should be open in a few weeks...

          2. Napa- They were in Lenox for a number of years. If you like to pay $13.95 for a bean and cheese burrito, be my guest. When they were in Lenox they weren't that great. Why pay for it when you can make it better at home? Of course as business men, the owners, I wish them well. As far as Bill Webber ( or "Dollar Bill" as we used to call him), he can cook when he wants. But his ego is larger than his portfolio or his culinary skill, so making a burrito seems right up his ally.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Lenox637

              have to agree with Lenox637's evaluation. I had one bland, blah and overpriced lunch at Napa in Lenox and could not imagine why I would ever want to eat there again.

              1. re: mjoyous

                Has anyone actually tried it yet and can report? What about any rumors at 20 Railroad Street? The Well? Thanks.

                1. re: gb25

                  As with Napa when It was in Lenox, lunches are good, interesting and fresh. I was not overly pleased with the dinner (overcooked porkchop). Being charged for an additional glass of club soda seemed rather petty and did not sit well with my husband. I don't think there's anything new on 20, apparently he wants to sell the whole building ONLY. As far as anyone seems to know, he locked the doors in huff and so it remains. BUT we are getting a penny candy store where the White Knight was. :-)

                  1. re: rubysmom

                    finally made it to NAPA last night and was very impressed. my friend and i sat at the bar and had 2 apps, 1 entree, and 1 dessert. we had the fried calamari that was tasty with a very good sauce. i had a classic caeser that was good but not great, dressing wasnt strong enough for me but the white anchovies were delicious. for dinner we had the bacon wrapped trout that was killer. so, so, so good. it came with a fennel & watercress salad and that was very good too. dessert was a ricotta, pecan, and strawberries. wonderful. i think the wine list was wonderful and the bartender suggested some delicious wines that i loved. great all around, cant wait to go back.

                    have been to the well 2 times now...its OK...nothing great for me.

                    waiting for 20RR to open back up....

                    1. re: niccole

                      Thanks for the review. We're trying Napa this week. Went to The Well and found it to be good for what it is. It is not a fancy dining place, but simply a place to grab some wine or beer and bar food (I had the steak panini, which was good, but not great) with friends while watching a ballgame on TV. Nice people running the place. It should try to improve its food a little bit, but it is a nice, different addition to GB.

                    2. re: rubysmom

                      The candy store is now open. It's a great little store. It has ice cream, chococolates, "adult" novelties and a friendly staff. They opened on Saturday - we went on Sunday. We were there during a huge lightning storm. The power went out about 5 minutes after we got there. The staff was very accommodating and even gave free "dot" candy to the anxious kids. I wonder if they'll give SOCO a run for their money.

                      1. re: woodlander

                        i was wondering the same thing about the new candy store, if it will hurt SOCO at all. i was in there sunday too for the first time too. i saw gelato, ice cream, and italian ice....and slush puppies...they have A LOT of goodies. the employees were super nice & helpful.
                        and yes, the well is good for what it is. a different time i went with my sister and we each got a cocktail and a sandwich w/ fries and it was $25. cant beat that.

              2. Had dinner at Napa last night and wow, was it good! I must say that I went in with trepidation, having read the mixed reviews on this board, and with a mixed up stomach. So I ordered conservatively - Meyer Lemon chicken main dish, no appetizer. My husband ordered a California salad - it looked so fresh and inviting that I had to try some - am I glad I did. Light, sweet (not cloying) dressing, perfectly complimented by gentle feta and beautifully chopped lettuce. My entree was absolutely delicious - moist, tender, flavorful. Of course, I had to try some of my husband's flank steak, which was cooked to perfectlion (medium rare, as ordered). The service was friendly. And my 2 year old daughter LOVED her bolognese penne (both at the restaurant and the next day as left overs). By the way, I asked the host whether they were related to the Napa that closed in Lenox, and he said "Sort of". He explained that one of the partners at the old Lenox Napa had helped the Great Barrington Napa start up, and that they had licenced the name and some of the food concepts. I must say that I never got to eat at the old Lenox Napa, because they did not have high chairs - and were rather snooty about it the time I asked. So I am very glad to report that the new Great Barrington Napa is extremely kid-friendly (our server volunteered that the kitchen could make penne with butter, should my 2-year old wish it, and checked with her during the meal to see if she liked her penne with bolognese sauce). I am definitely adding this one to my regular Berkshire dining list.