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Jun 19, 2009 10:04 AM

What's good in the Berkshires

What's good in Great Barrington, Lenox and points south? Time to start planning for summer.

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    1. re: rcburli

      Agree on John Andrews -- went there the other night and it was great. They now offer a $30 prix fixe, in addition to their regular menu, which is a bargain for them and quite good.

      Our favorite special place in the area is Chez Nous in Lee. They have wonderful food and service in a cozy home setting. It is popular so reserve, in the main room. Just lovely!

      1. re: City Kid

        You may want to try the Castle Street Cafe, here is the menu from their website:

        1. re: Greyghost

          For lunch and great coffee, I'm a big fan of Rubi's in Great Barrington -- behind Rubiner's gourmet shop, also totally worth a visit. Lots of locally sourced products, including some excellent charcuterie.

          Rubiner's Cheesemongers
          264 Main St, Great Barrington, MA 01230

          1. re: Greyghost

            My husband and I tried Castle Street on a week night for light fare before heading home. The chicken parmesan had an after taste of rancid oil. The creme brulee lacked it's candy-like crust and instead was burned, which they attempted to hide with powdered sugar. We were too disappointed to go back.

      2. Martin's in Great Barington for breakfast. Agree on Chez Nous. For great beer and good bar food, Moe's Tavern in Lee. Fin in Lenox for sushi, Brix and Trattoria Rustica in Pittsfield. Rouge in W. Stockbridge, Viva on Rt. 183 in Stockbridge along with Once Upon a Table.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Lenox637

          Pearl's in Great Barrington is under new ownership; if you try it, we'd appreciate a report.
          For the rest, I'm with Lenox 637 all the way on his recs--- these are our tried and true, real reliables. But I don't know Moe's ---
          Lenox, Where is Moe's in Lee, and what's it like? is there a welcome for the elderly, or is it young and sporting only?

          1. re: BerkshireTsarina

            Moe's is on the back side of Main St in Lee. Their front door faces the town parking lot and the post office. It is young, fresh and happening. A place to savor fine domestic micro brews. They pride themselves in not serving the pedestrian american "beers" eg: Bud, Coors and the rest in that profile. They have chili dogs, sliders. fantastic wings, great fries (frenched and sweet potato). Their beers change weekly, especially the taps. If you like really good beer then Moe's is your place south of Lanesboro.

            1. re: Lenox637

              Thank you. This one will be the DH's call!

              1. re: Lenox637

                Well, thanks, Lenox! We stopped in today at Moe's for a late afternoon lunch and beer on the way back from Holyoke, tough rainy drive on the Pike. Great stop! We both had Unibroe Blanche la Chambre (?) and DH had a burger, I had the wings. Owner was there, not at all what we expected (a kid!). Bar gal very welcoming, GOOD PLACE. We'll go again, but we wouldn't ever have stopped in if it hadn't been for your mention, so we owe you one.

                1. re: BerkshireTsarina

                  Josh is a very, OLD friend of mine.... I'm glad you liked Moe's.... my wings are better but I go there for THEIRS!!

              2. re: BerkshireTsarina

                We have tried the re-opened Pearl's and have liked it very much. We had dinner once; the restaurant was full and lively and the food was good to very good. My wife tried it with friends and they loved the lamb dish. We have had drinks and bar menu/appetizers (pork wontons, tuna tartare) a couple of other times and have loved them. One time recently we went there after we had gone to Napa at about 25-30 minutes before its scheduled closing and it was made fairly clear by the employees at Napa that they intended to close early and we were not welcome, so we went up the street to Pearl's bar, where the bartender greeted and treated us graciously and we had very good hamburgers. (A note: As a rule, I don't go to restaurants right before they close; I know people want to get home and, from a selfish perspective, that means I may not get good service. But we went to Napa between 9:30 and 9:35 on a recent weekday, after it confirmed earlier in the day it serves until 10; the behavior of the staff was inexcusable, particularly during these economic times. To the restaurant's credit, I called and spoke to Gary, the manager, a couple of days later and he was very disappointed in our treatment and apologized. We like the place, so we will go back.) The latter day Pearl's had gone downhill, which was a shame, particularly with its prime space on RR street. The new owner and staff deserve kudos and support; they've turned it around, in my opinion.

                1. re: gb25

                  Ugh this always bothered me so much about the Berkshires. First of all, why do restaurants in the Berkshires only stay open until about twilight?! Second of all, I have on more than one occaision been turned away from a restaurant because it was obvious they were trying to close early or get people out. I honestly DO NOT understand driving away business!!! Especially in a tourist destination! I used to work at a now-extinct Lenox restaurant and we would sometimes close our doors an hour or half-hour early depending on the night and our waitstaff's schedules. And we were only open until about 9:30 as is!

                  1. re: gb25

                    Tragically, Jonathan Van Allen, the young man who recently purchased Pearl's (or was managing it while in the process of purchasing it, the media reports are unclear whether the sale had become final) died in an automobile accident last week. Although I did not know him, as my post above reflects, he had managed to turn Pearl's around and it had become my wife and my favorite restaurant in GB. In addition to the human loss, his passing will be a loss to the town's restaurant industry.

              3. i recently went to allium in great barrington and it was great. i guess they have a new chef and he's really pushing for totally local and sustainable food. its pretty great.

                1. Chez Nous in Lee
                  John Andrews in So. Egremont
                  Rouge in West Stcokbridge.
                  All three of these places are really excellent.
                  We've never had a bad meal at any of these places and we frequent them all over and over again.
                  Once Upon a Table in Stockbridge is great also as is Martin's for breakfast in Great Barrington.
                  You cannot go wrong with any of these selections.

                  1. I agree with the recommendations (wife loves Rouge; JA is fine, but imo does not live up to the hype; Once Upon a Table we prefer for lunch because it lacks the better atmosphere of others on the list; haven't eaten at Pearl's since it reopened, but had drinks and saw a hamburger from the bar menu that looked and smelled delicious; for lunch or pub food, the new 20 RR has very good hamburgers; have mixed views of Allium on two visits, but last was best one and we will try again this summer). Since you asked for "points south," I would also suggest Pastorale in Salisbury for dinner and the Woodland in Lakeville for lunch or dinner--always have loved the food there).