Gypsy Rose in Shellburne Falls--Any Recent Visits?
There's another post about this place on this board that has some info: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/423251
I've wanted to go to Gypsy Apple ever since I stumbled across it this summer. Last night we got the chance to go. It's a great, little gem of a restaurant. And by little, I mean little. The front room had six 2-tops and two 4-tops. There are supposedly some tables on the back patio when the weather is nice (which certainly wasn't the case last night). The walls are painted a nice deep red and the pressed tin ceiling and small bistro lamps hanging over the dining room add to the coziness of the place. The wait staff were friendly and attentive without being intrusive. The noise level can get a little loud when it’s full but we were still able to hold a conversation. One warning, the kitchen is separated from the dining room by a glass-block wall and open on one side. Therefore you stand a good chance of leaving smelling like what’s been cooked during your meal. This is about the only thing that bothered my wife about the restaurant. I don’t mind the smell so much; it makes me feel like I’ve eaten at someone’s home. On the plus side, it made the place very warm.
About the food, first off the bat I’d like to say it is excellent. We live just outside of Boston and this place rivals some of our local favorites. According to our waitress, the menu changes every 5 weeks and last night was the first night of the new menu. We were started with hot bread rolls with butter (nicely softened at room temp and served in a mini-butter crock) and olive tapenade. The tapenade was good and not too bitter like some can be. We then shared the cheese plate which came with a young goat cheese, a brie, a semi-hard salty cheese (Mahon perhaps?) and a blue. I forgot to ask what each one was and the waitress didn’t say. These were accompanied by a fig compote, grapes and a few blackberries. The cheese seemed to be well matured and served at proper room temp. Our meals came with a small side salad with the option to add a hunk of blue cheese which we opted out of since we had the cheese plate. For our entrees, I had the filet mignon in au poivre with asparagus and roasted fingerling potatoes. My wife had the chicken breast with a side of orzo and asparagus. My steak was delicious! Cooked exactly as I had wanted – medium rare with a light-medium char on the outside. The au poivre was well controlled and not too overpowering. The asparagus cooked just right – still bright green with a nice snap in the bite. And the potatoes were well done too with a slight crispness to some of the edges. My wife’s chicken was tender and moist and stuffed with goat cheese and fresh herbs. This sat in a smokey tomato-based reduction that brightened the chicken and tempered the richness the goat cheese added to it. I didn’t taste the orzo side but my DC liked it. I had a glass of their pinot noir with my meal which had much more depth and complexity to it than most other pinot noirs I’ve had at restaurants. If we weren’t so full by the end of our entrees we would have had dessert but neither of us could eat another bite.
Other options on the menu looked equally good – crab cakes, pork chop, fish of the day was swordfish, mussels in a red curry sauce. The menu isn’t big or particularly fancy or cutting edge innovative, but that’s perfect for this restaurant. The chef executed our meals very well. It’s certainly a place we’d go back to if we’re in the area. For folks living in the Pioneer Valley and North Adams/Williamstown area, it certainly is worth the drive. You may want to call for reservations as the place could potentially fill up quickly. I’ll be curious to hear how your experience goes.
Finally made it over to Gypsy Apple. We had a good meal. It's a small place, you can hear the chef/owner behind a glass brick wall, but you can't see him. Nice service, good warm rolls as mentioned above. Perfect sear on the crabcakes appetizer and the chicken (w/Israeli couscous) main. Loved the side salad with what were very fresh greens and radishes, and yes, we got the blue cheese! The only off note was the scallops with smoked salmon & dill risotto, I enjoyed the risotto at the time but noticed kind of a sour aftertaste later...don't know if there was cream in the risotto (atypical) or if there was too much dill?! Anyway, aside from that, a good meal. The menu was small so I assume it changes often. Had a nice glass of sauv blanc w/a very generous pour. We'll be back!
Anyone been to Ollie's, btw? Took over from Tusk 'N Rattle, only open Thurs - Sun. I'll get there eventually...