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Aug 6, 2008 05:07 AM

Paradise City Tavern, Northampton..Total Loser

In the spot of the former Del Raye. Yep, the latest in a long line of disappointing additions to the Pioneer Valley dining scene. The place is noisy, uncomfortable, overpriced and the food was poor in every respect. The "sliders" were a platter of 3 for $10. The buns were too big for the tiny burgers, were doughy and not even toasted. There was a miniscule dollop of carmelized onions on top that I could barely taste. The "flatbread" of goat cheese, onions, and duck confit was a mishmash of glop. The Spicy Caesar Salad tasted like it was doused and tossed in cheap hot sauce. Inedible. Ordered a "flight" of 4 beers served in 2 oz glasses. That's 8 oz total for $6. A rip. The service was idiotic. Didn't even know if pilsner was light or dark.
Verdict: This place is as bad as it gets. Stay away.

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  1. And thanks for the heads-up, stay away I will, BFM


    1. Ouch, sorry to hear it, Moe, thanks for the update.

      1. I'm going to agree with Moe on this one. I didn't have high hopes to begin with because I knew that it was part of the Spoleto restaurant group and I had such awful food at Mama Iguana's. But we were meeting a friend who lives in the area and she really likes it, so we decided to try it.

        We tried sticking to appetizers to keep our cost down and also be able to try more items.

        #1 Popcorn Crawfish: described on the menu as lightly fried and served with a spicy aioli. They were deep fried for a long time and because the crawfish pieces were so small, they were incredibly tough due to overcooking.

        #2 Asian Spicy Glazed Fried Calamari: menu description is crispy calamari with tangy Asian glaze. I didn't see any glaze or a dipping sauce, but there was some sort of sweet flavoring added to the coating. It didn't seem Asian or tangy and plating leaves a lot to be desired at this place - just a big pile of fried pieces, not even a sprinkle of chopped parsley.

        #3 Jamaican Jerk Chicken Thighs: served with black bean corn salsa and spicy remoulade. This was actually delicious! But considering that chicken thighs are a LOT less expensive than breasts, only 2 thighs for $6.95 seemed a bit on the cheap side. I would have preferred 3, but it was an appetizer and $6.95 wasn't bad.

        I don't really see any point in going back there for another opportunity to like maybe 1 of 3 dishes. I'd rather take my $40+ dollars and spend it somewhere else in town.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Bri

          yeah, all of the restaurants in the "spoleto group" kinda blow. they have a certain cachet in the area, however, because spoleto has been around for a while and was one of those restaurants students got in the habit of taking their parents to. back in the '70s, the building was the gala cafe, the first outright lesbian bar in northampton. they had a backroom with a sign above that lit up to highlight the letters "NO STAGS." in those days, almost half the storefronts in northampton were empty and the main stores were woolworth's, a hardware store, a ted's boots, the globe theater (an art house), the calvin (a second run $1 movie house) and lots of bars.

        2. All of the Spoleto restaurants are mediocre to terrible. I wasn't suprised to read this review. The owner clearly has a sense of what makes a place attractive to customers, and his focus is not food. The ambiance at his other places isn't as bad as the food, but he really did a terrible job with this Tavern. If looks could kill, Paradise Tavern would be a suicide victim.