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Quick, Casual Dinner before Tanglewood

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I'm putting together plans for our first ever summer visit to Lenox. Everything's going well so far, with the exception that I can't seem to find anywhere for a quick dinner before we head to Tanglewood for the evening. Everywhere I've seen so far is a sit-down that requires a bit more time than we'll have. Any suggestions?

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  1. Find a grocery store, something like Fresh Market, Whole Foods, IGA, whatever and make your own dinner. Something that does well cold or at room temperature, like sandwiches, sushi, noodle salads, potato salads, regular salads, fruit, yogart, whatever! and find someplace nice to park it and eat. Tanglewood? I'm sure you can find a good view. And while you're at it, get a soda or two. I think that would be fun, tastey, and quicker than sitting down, staring at the menu, ordering, waiting, eating, checking out, and driving off. And probably cheaper. And you get the tips.

    1. There are many local places, Nejaimes Wine Cellar for one, that offer picnics designed for Tanglewood. i would recommend looking into a made picnic or make your own and eat on the lawn at Tanglewood before the show. Alcohol IS permitted on the grounds, and if you forget a corkscrew many others around you will have one to borrow.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Lenox637

        A picnic sounds nice, but I hear the food scene is great and would love to hit as many restaurants as possible. I found a couple of places that sound somewhat promising; what about Great Barrington Bagels and Haven Bakery in Lenox. Are they worthwhile?

        1. re: MistressJane

          Neither of those is currently open later than 3 pm or so, they're breakfast and lunch places. There's talk that Haven may be open for dinner in time for Tanglewood, but you'd have to find that out closer to the time. We are big fans of Haven, but it's on the expensive side for its category (casual, cafe atmosphere) and it is NOT quick by any means (unless they revolutionize their system of ordering and getting the food to you before the summer rush hits).
          The restaurant food scene during Tanglewood is crowded, rushed, and hectic, and the advice about doing a lavish picnic (complete with candles) is very good, unless you hate picnics. You could always get a quick slice of very good pizza at Betty's Pizza (Surf?) Shack in Lenox, no kidding, but that is probably not what you have in mind!

          1. re: MistressJane

            We always picnic when we go to Tanglewood. Tanglewood gets such big crowds for the area we never tried a restaurant. Perhaps Truc in West Stockbridge might fit the bill for you.

            1. re: Waquoit

              As a local, have to say I always wonder how Truc remains open (is it still???) Our last visit was a few years ago and left 4 of us with absolutely no desire to return.

        2. For those of us that have worked the restaurants in the summer here, there is nothing worse than somebody trying to rush a meal before Tanglewood. If it is a popular weekend for music, then just getting into Tanglewood in a timely fashion can be difficult as well.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Lenox637

            Agree with Lenox637--we used to have a weekend house near there--traffic is horrendous, and waitstaff can be surly when rushed.

          2. There are two Chinese restaurants in the Berkshires that can get you out quickly. The East, in Gt. Barrington, has the preferable chef. Panda House, on Rt. 7 in Lenox, serves healthy food and is nearer to Tanglewood.