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May 10, 2009 04:47 PM

Seafood Restaurants in Western MA / Pioneer Valley?

Wondering if anyone has recommendations of restaurants service good seafood in the Upper Pioneer Valley? I've been craving fish and it seems like this close to Boston, there ought to be some places worth visiting.

Anything from fried clams and lobster rolls to upscale dining with good seafood dishes would be of interest. I'd be especially curious to hear of a good place for a glass of wine and oysters on the half-shell. Besides my porch, that is.

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  1. Not in the Pioneer Valley, but I like Gillie's in W. Brattleboro for oysters and seafood. They'll even do a variation of oysters rockefeller on request (its not on the menu). Its not upscale, more like a family place.

    1. I don't know if I can speak for quality, since I haven't had their fish in years, but my family has always gone to Pete's Seafood in downtown Greenfield when we are in need of fried clams and can't make it to the coast... and their gazpacho and onion rings are also very good!

      1. I'll speak to the fried clam/lobster roll bit. This has been a source of disappointment for me in this region, so I'll be curious to read if you get any more recs. There's a roadside stand on Rte 9 outside of Williamsburg that has decent fried clams and, I hear though haven't tried, lobster rolls -- only on weekends, though. Wish I could remember its name, but it's on the left as you approach town, near a driving range. Nice people there, too.

        Pete's Seafood in Greenfield is a fried seafood takeout spot but not as good. I was not impressed by Webster's Fish Hook in Northampton, thought the clams were shrunken and overdone, the frying oil may have been the wrong temperature. I might head back to Pete's, won't head back to Webster's.

        I tend to wait to indulge until I'm out in eastern MA -- I end up at Kelly's because I'm usually traveling and it's a quick fix -- or down on the CT shoreline -- Lenny & Joe's in Madison, Johnny Ads, Old Saybrook, and Lenny's Indian Head, Branford (also for lobsters/steamers). Sad, though, I wish we had something closer.

        17 Replies
        1. re: hollerhither

          There are two roadside stands on Route 9. I believe you may be confusing them both. The one next to the driving range is Scottie's. They have fried clams on Fridays, I think. The one with the lobster rolls is the Williamsburg Snack Bar, further up Route 9, adjacent to a nursery . They have lobster rolls on weekends, usually Mondays as well. These lobster rolls are fantastic, and only $6.75. And yes, I am sure it is real lobster. Well worth the trip. I eat one every week on my trip into Northamton. They sometimes have fried clams as well, though I have not tried them yet. Maybe today.

          1. re: hilltowner

            Ah, yes -- I've been to Scottie's. I think their clams are available on both Fridays and Saturdays, whole belly and strips. Thanks for the clarification on Williamsburg Snack Bar, I will have to try it out!

            1. re: hollerhither

              Williamsburg Snack Bar is the only one of what you listed that I have tried. I can't say the lobster roll was anything I would call "excellent" but it was definitely good, fresh, and clean, and the price can't be beat. I'd go back again, but much prefer any number of Eastern MA spots.

              I'll have to check Scottie's out this summer. Been to Webster's in Northampton, and I agree, it was not impressive. Haven't checked out Pete's, if I hear stronger recommendations, I will. And I'll have to read up on Gillie's.

              Keep em coming - any of the fancier Northampton places known for their fish?

              1. re: andytee

                The lobster roll may not be Maine worthy, but for the price and considering this is Western Mass, it cannot be beat. Lots of lobster, no filler, not too much mayo, good sized chunks.

                1. re: andytee

                  You might do well if you check the specials at Green Street (which usually does a catch of the day) or maybe Circa beforehand. Outside of Northampton, same goes for Night Kitchen in Montague or Gypsy Apple in Shelburne Falls. These spots all change up their menus pretty frequently to reflect what's in season.

                  Agreed re Pete's, I wouldn't race there or anything.

            2. re: hollerhither

              I'd like to say a word on fried fish if I could. I've had Websters and Pete's and in my opinion both are not outstanding. I have to give a shout out for North Shore's Seafood's Friday fish fry on King St in Northampton. I will put it right out there that I used to work there and actually DID the fried fish, but the procedure was there before I worked there and it is exactly that same now and I think both the fish and scallops are awesome and the oysters are the best I have ever had. I hope this opinion doesn't violate the ethics of this site. I seemed to do that I lot.

              1. re: chrisandbetsyc

                I agree that North Shore is great, I have bought most of my cook-at-home seafood there, including sushi-quality fish, and the only reason why I didn't mention the Friday meals is that you can't really eat the "catch" on site.

                1. re: hollerhither

                  Oh, glad they came up - I've wondered about them.

                  Can you tell me more? The deal is Friday's only? To-go only? What sort of fish gets fried? What are prices?

                  I'll have to check them out this summer.

                  1. re: andytee

                    The Fish & Chips is only available 11-7 on Fridays and only for take out. The choices are fish (cod), scallops or oysters. The prices when I was there were something like $11-14. Its a really good idea to be there before can get really crazy after that. I've seen upwards to 70 people line up out the door.

                    1. re: chrisandbetsyc

                      The fried clams at Scottie's aren't so great and the portions in the clam roll are chinzy. It's really kinda pathetic that there are no decent seafood restaurants around. Webster's is OK if you stick to the Scrod. The salmon at Side Street cafe is really good but its probably from some salmon farm down in Chile. But New England Seafood? Lobster rolls? Clams? Fergit it. Drive east to Kelly's in Natick or south to Johnny Ad's in Old Saybrook.

                      1. re: Big Fat Moe

                        The fried seafood at Bernie's Depot Dining in Chicopee is respectable. Portions are more than generous, enough whole belly clams with even the "Petit" platter to allow some leftovers. Being a New Bedford transplant, it's one of the best seafood platters I've found in the area.

                        1. re: RussW

                          That reminds me that I've also had okay fried clams at Massey's in Chicopee. But, if you want the best, and can take a drive, I agree with Moe's recs.

                          1. re: hollerhither

                            Frigo's yet, Mr/Ms hollerhither??????

                            1. re: Big Fat Moe

                              (Hangs head in shame.) Everytime I see you post I think of it, Moe!!

                              1. re: hollerhither

                                You will thank me endlessly and sing my praises for making you go. Now go!

                                1. re: Big Fat Moe

                                  Well, I went to Frigo's todat at least. Moe is right, it's worth a trip. Nice old family style Italian with lots of good stuff at the deli, great sandwiches, and groceries.

                                  Totally off topic for this post (though I do think they had a seafood pasta in the deli case) but thought I would chime in.

                                  Don't let me overhype the place, but a very solid good place for Italian takeout and lunches, and provisions to take home.

                2. re: chrisandbetsyc

                  Update: Stopped by North Shore Seafood today and was informed they haven't had Friday fish fry for at least 3 years.
                  The guy seemed a little tired of telling people that, so I'm posting here!

                  ps I swung over to Webster's Fish Hook and got a to-go order of their fish & chips (haddock). Seemed competently done, a bit expensive. If I'd had more time I would have gone out to Captain Jacks for their fish tacos.

              2. You know, I should add Paul + Elizabeth's to my own list. They don't do anything amazing with fish, but their lunch menu almost always offers 4-5 different types of fish at very good prices, like $8-9 for fish, rice and salad. The cooking is not amazing, but they tend not to destroy it, and it's a tasty cheap seafood lunch. Had some good bluefish there a few days ago, sadly they had sold out of the scallop special they had listed.

                1 Reply
                1. re: andytee

                  For fried seafood I have to reccommend Tramore Chip Shop in Holyoke. I have only had the fish and chips but it was easily the best i have had in the valley. the place is TINY. the kitchen consists of 2 friers and a cutting board and there is no seating but the for fish and chips it was great. they use paper city beer for the batter and also offer local farm raised baramundi if you like for the fish. the coleslaw and tartar were also good. highly reccomended.

                2. Has anyone been to the seafood place in Hatfield? They keep advertising on the radio but for the life of me I can't remember their name (Fish Tail?). Also, heard on the radio that Eastside Grill is doing "Cape Cod seafood" on Fri/Sat/Sun until Labor Day. I don't much care for Eastside but the whole belly clam mention did perk me up a bit.

                  7 Replies
                      1. re: Big Fat Moe

                        Just a question, being a former Springfieldanian, Is everyond here referring to FRIGO's on Williams Street or the one on Main Street ??

                        1. re: Peter B Wolf

                          The bastion of deliciousness on Williams Street

                          1. re: Big Fat Moe

                            and it has nothing to do with seafood.

                            but yes, williams st.

                            1. re: andytee

                              Been outta town -- but hopefully next week! What will you do next, fellas, after I go and declare it to be (of course per your recommendation) fabulous? :)

                              1. re: hollerhither

                                I dunno, start obsessively harping someone else about something equally inane I guess . BTW, how do you know we're fellas? Moe could be Maurice or Maureen. Andy might be Andrew or Andrea.