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Quality dinner in Northampton, MA

grant.cook Mar 4, 2009 04:31 PM

My girlfriend and her friends are heading to Northampton, MA for a spa weekend. What would be a good dinner recommendation? They have no food restrictions or allergies.

She's a foodie, so a good meal in a good atmosphere..

  1. andytee Mar 8, 2009 01:54 PM

    Foodie + Northampton = Circa or Green Street
    Also worth a try, but not fancy or in line with a spa weekend:
    Amanouz, Dirty Truth for beer.
    Paul + Elizabeth's for lunch, or Haymarket.
    Run down Rt. 9 into Hadley a bit to check out Esselon Cafe.
    Or, go for the Spa weekend meets greasy gluttony at Local Burger + Fries

    1 Reply
    1. re: andytee
      fame da lupo Mar 9, 2009 08:51 PM

      I've eaten at Green Street a few times, Circa only once. I prefer the former, I generally like the food better at Green Street (although I've had a couple dishes that were clunkers), and Green Street has a much more interesting ambiance than Circa. I love the fireplace room, and the mural.

    2. r
      Roxy9 Mar 8, 2009 08:13 AM

      Sidestreet cafe in Florence (a 'burb' of sorts of Norhampton). The food is absolutely the best in quality and presentation to any of the Noho restaurants we've tried. If you are wine drinkers, their selection is just okay - not great, but serviceable. No drinks - wine only.
      We love the shrimp/crab cake appetizer, grilled caesar, husband likes the ribs (winter menu only) and some good fish/vegetarian options. Service is usually very friendly, sometimes too slow (but we're NY'ers, so take with a grain of salt). Again, it is the only better quailty, attention to detail food we have found in the Northampton area - and not for lack of trying. We like Green Bean for bkfst or lunch. Venture to Hadley (South Hadley?) and relatively good is Esselon Cafe - certainly great compared to Northampton options - but it is all relative..

      1. Richard 16 Mar 6, 2009 07:13 PM

        Paul & Elizabeth's in Thorne Marketplace. Simple with great attention to quality. Light & airy, quiet.


        3 Replies
        1. re: Richard 16
          hollerhither Mar 6, 2009 08:11 PM

          Paul and Elizabeth's is a nice business to have in town -- as a brunch/lunch place the portions are generous, the prices are reasonable, and the menu is pretty healthy, almost macrobiotic, trending towards fish and vegetables, (the tempura portion w/brown rice is *too* big, even) but I wouldn't call it a place for a "foodie" as the OP indicated. Unfortunately I don't find it particularly special in terms of cuisine or atmosphere.

          1. re: hollerhither
            Big Fat Moe Mar 7, 2009 01:56 PM


            1. re: hollerhither
              mjoyous Mar 9, 2009 09:28 AM

              Ditto for hollerhither's response.

          2. e
            edub23 Mar 6, 2009 01:48 PM

            We had a really good dinner at Green Street Cafe on Valentine's Day. I had an escolar w/ brussels sprouts. My girlfriend had a seafood stew with monkfish and shellfish (can't remember the exact name).

            A highlight was the spinach salad appetizer. Warm dressing made the spinach slightly wilted but still crisp. I think the only addition was parmesan cheese. We thought it was amazing and would make a great dinner along with bread or another small plate.

            1. h
              hollerhither Mar 6, 2009 12:04 PM

              There are plenty of suggestions on the boards if you take the time to search, but the best spot right in downtown would probably be Green Street Cafe.

              1. g
                grant.cook Mar 5, 2009 06:45 PM

                Nobody can find a good thing to say about eating a decent meal in Northampton? Is it a culinary wasteland?

                2 Replies
                1. re: grant.cook
                  wmassnative Mar 6, 2009 09:51 AM

                  Did you search on the board? Look at the "thoughts on the pioneer valley" post for some ideas, but there have been a bunch of discussions about Northampton. I hardly venture there anymore, or I would give you specifics...

                  1. re: wmassnative
                    BerkshireTsarina Mar 6, 2009 11:07 AM

                    The Great Wall in Florence has excellent Chinese from the Gourmet "special" menu. Outside of that, sorry, we're in Western MA and most discussions about Northampton don't really present glorious alternatives to lure us there.

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