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Best Dinners in Berkshires

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PJLDAWN Sep 4, 2009 08:46 AM

Many years after moving from Massachusetts, my spouse and I live in Virginia, but will be spending 3 nights in Lenox starting on Tuesday. Reading all the info on this site is helpful, but we'd appreciate it if anyone would care to give it one more go on advice re the following:

We're interested in opinions on the best dinner/dining experiences to be had in the area. We're open to all kinds of food, and we don't care whether the places are expensive or inexpensive, or what the ambiance is, and we're all set for breakfasts/lunches (B&B bkfst and very little lunch). We don't care whether recommendations are in Lenox, Great Barrington, Egremont, Pittsfield, Williamstown, etc.

We'd sincerely appreciate your lists - maybe your top 3. Many thanks,

Patrick and Dawn

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  1. l
    Lenox637 RE: PJLDAWN Sep 5, 2009 05:57 AM

    My number 1.... Brix Wine Bar in Pittsfield. The food is expertly crafted, simple and oh soo delicious. They do not take reservations and I suggest going on any night but Sunday night. The head chef takes Sunday night off and, IMHO, she is the real talent in the kitchen. Their house pate is incredible. Last week it was rabbit and foie gras pate served with sharp dijon mustard, cornichons and baguette.

    #2- John Andrews in Egremont. Every time I have been to JAs the food has been stellar and the wine list has a great selection of American wine.

    #3- Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough. Peter Platt, chef/owner, was once the head chef at Wheatleigh in Lenox, probably the most high end dining in the Berkshires. He cooks in the classic French style leaning to provincial. Also an outstanding wine selection.

    Enjoy your visit and please let us know where you end up going.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lenox637
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      mirgreen RE: Lenox637 Oct 12, 2009 05:26 PM

      We spent the weekend in the Berkshires and had a great dinner at Brix Wine Bar in Pittsfield. We went on a Saturday night and only had a 15 minute or so wait. So, we enjoyed a flight of red wine at the bar. This helped us in choosing a dinner wine (Zinfandel). The cheese and cured meat platter appetizer was delicious. The country pate was great too. I don't like pate and she assured me that I would like this, and I did. We chose a salad that had blue cheese in it, and substituted goat cheese. It also had candied walnuts, apples and beets and was delicious. I had the chicken, which was very juicy, and my husband had the steak frites, which was also excellent. All in all an enjoyable and delicious meal. I highly recommend this restaurant and can't wait to return.

      -----
      Brix Wine Bar
      40 West St, Pittsfield, MA 01201

    2. t
      The Bezerkshirite RE: PJLDAWN Sep 5, 2009 08:58 AM

      I would concur about the food at John Andrews, although the service hasn't a been close to that level. My top 3 would be the Mill on the Floss in New Ashford, Flavours in the Econolodge in Lenox, and Rumplestiltskin's in the Village Inn in downtown Lenox. Consistently great food and service, decent sized portions, and reasonably priced.

      1 Reply
      1. re: The Bezerkshirite
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        Lenox637 RE: The Bezerkshirite Sep 5, 2009 03:38 PM

        I would DEFINITELY agree about Mill On The Floss, although I've never had a problem with the service at JAs.

      2. d
        Dana1949 RE: PJLDAWN Sep 5, 2009 12:43 PM

        We don't get to visit the expensive restaurants very often, so here are the places where you'll get a great meal at a reasonable price.
        1. Ozzie's - Hinsdale, MA (breakfast , lunch, and dinner - closed Monday's - dinner served on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday)
        2. La Fogata - Pittsfield, MA (Latin American / Columbian - launch and dinner)
        3. Cafe Reva - Pittsfield, MA (gourmet breakfasts and lunch - you may have a wait, but it's well worth it)

        1. c
          City Kid RE: PJLDAWN Sep 6, 2009 07:45 AM

          Agree with many of the suggestions above, but my favorite overall food/dining experience is Chez Nous in Lee. Run by a French husband/American wife team, I love it for the great food and romantic atmosphere in a lovely old house. Not the cheapest but won't break the bank, either...a special place!

          http://www.cheznousbistro.com/ocean/h...

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            wenmazb RE: PJLDAWN Sep 6, 2009 08:31 AM

            A must is So Co Creamery in Great Barrington. Amazing, delicious local ice cream. Also Baba Louie's for pizza in GB.

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              PJLDAWN RE: PJLDAWN Sep 6, 2009 02:28 PM

              Holy Mackeral ! I asked about best dinners, and got some great replies - - but didn't expect to start an altercation about pizza.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Lenox637
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                PJLDAWN RE: Lenox637 Sep 7, 2009 10:14 AM

                I'm now wondering whether to choose strictly from the above recommendations or to try Allium or Bistro Zinc on one night?

                1. re: PJLDAWN
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                  mjoyous RE: PJLDAWN Sep 7, 2009 11:24 AM

                  Skip Zinc. it's terrible. Haven't tried Allium.

                  1. re: mjoyous
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                    catnip RE: mjoyous Sep 7, 2009 12:40 PM

                    Ditto mjoyous!
                    Zinc is terrible and I haven't tried Allium either.
                    We always seem to go the our favorites when in the Berkshires.
                    Chez Nous,John Andrews,or Rouge.
                    If time permits this Fall we'd like to the try the Inn on the Green also.
                    Wheatleigh is very good but expensive and we find the atmoshpher a bit cold.
                    Maybe that is just "US".
                    Cafe Lucia's Osso Bucco is great abut I don't know if they are serving that on the regular menu.
                    Always-ready-to-eat-good-food-Catnip

                    1. re: catnip
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                      Lenox637 RE: catnip Sep 7, 2009 01:57 PM

                      Right there with you catnip.

                      1. re: Lenox637
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                        City Kid RE: Lenox637 Sep 9, 2009 07:23 AM

                        Yes, agree, Zinc is not good...love Chez Nous and John Andrews, as well as Stagecoach Tavern.

                        Not a fight, just an opinion: I don't get the popularity of Baba Louie's mushy pizza and dreary, dirty surroundings. Lenox637: is it a secret where there crusts come from? I didn't think so, as anyone who googles will quickly find out.

              2. k
                knclouse RE: PJLDAWN Sep 7, 2009 02:45 PM

                Teo's Hot Dogs in Pittsfield. Trust me on this one. If you're "classy", you may be taken aback a little by the roughness of it, but the locals love this place, and for good reason. Order four dogs (onions and sauce [of secret composition, but allegedly ground up hot dogs from the previous day]) to start, and if you're still hungry, order more. Leave happy and full. You'll smell like Teo's for a couple of days afterwards, but it's worth it.

                2 Replies
                1. re: knclouse
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                  mjoyous RE: knclouse Sep 8, 2009 04:30 PM

                  Maybe a hint of nutmeg in the sauce too. A Berkshire classic, the only thing I can think of that's a true local food. Everyone I know who's moved away needs a Teo's fix immediately upon return. Was there this week, texted a few far away friends to make them jealous. And they now have Teo's t-shirts too!

                  1. re: mjoyous
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                    The Bezerkshirite RE: mjoyous Sep 9, 2009 07:42 AM

                    An old friend who worked there told me it was the old hot dogs, some of the stale buns, chili sauce and Kitchen Bouquet ...I ate many as a kid, but after watching the help line them up their tatooed arms to garnish them, the hot dogs lost their appeal.

                2. r
                  roxie RE: PJLDAWN Sep 9, 2009 03:44 PM

                  We are SF hounds bound for the Berkshires. Our line-up(after much considerations) appears as follows:

                  Evening of arrival (and because we can walk there) Alta in Lenox
                  Thursday: Cafe Adam
                  Friday: Brix in Pittsfield
                  Saturday: Old Mill Inn

                  Allium is on the back up list if we think we really want to eat there as is Once Upon a Table and Chez Nous.

                  We are thinking we will venture to Southfield store one day for lunch amidst hiking and antique shopping. We will also probably hit Ruby's Cafe (behind Rubiner's in GB) as well.

                  If it rains and we end up in Williamstown @ the Clark we will probably try Mezze

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: roxie
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                    gb25 RE: roxie Sep 10, 2009 07:57 AM

                    My (subjective, of course) opinions on your line up: Alta is fine, but not great. Cafe Adam is good, you can talk there and I prefer to Alta. Unfortunately, never been to Brix, but want to try given the consistently high reviews (we spend the summers in GB and don't get up as far as Pittsfield very often). My wife and I love Old Mill. Allium is fairly good and worth a shot. For some reason, I am not at all enamored of Chez Nous, as are a lot of others here. They have a very good pate. But the other stuff I've had has been poor to okay. This summer I had an incredibly overpriced "heirloom tomato" salad. Since our party was ordering numerous courses, we told the waitress we were going to split the salad. When I got what I thought was my half, I was surprised to learn it was the entire salad, yet to be split. Not only that, the tomatoes were small and, at least in my view, not even heirloom. Others had the crabcakes as appetizers. They are more filling than crab and consist of a creamy consistency. I'm a crabcake fanatic, and these were not even close to what I consider a great crabcake. The Southfield Store is great for lunch on nice day. Rubi's is where I love to go read the paper and have their great coffee and baguette in the mornings. Also like Once Upon a Table, although I prefer setting for lunch over dinner. I also have been consistently disappointed by John Andrews. The Old Inn on the Green is good, and very romantic. This past summer my wife and I rediscovered Pearl's. It had take a real downturn and its new owner/operator really turned it around, both at the bar and in the dining room. Unfortunately, he was killed in an automobile accident at the very end of summer and I do not know how the restaurant has done since then; maybe others have a view. We enjoyed the food at Napa this summer, particularly when they had the Jazz trio playing. But the service was consistenly poor and, until they fix it, do not recommend it for dinner. My wife and I tried Viva and liked the tapas there, as well. Lastly, we also like Rouge in West Stockbridge, including their extensive "tapas" selection at bar (to go with their generous wine pours).

                    1. re: gb25
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                      shaiken RE: gb25 Sep 23, 2009 12:51 PM

                      We're going to try to catch some 11th hour foliage and take advantage of The Old Inn on the Green's amazing Sunday night dinner and lodging deal in a few weeks. We're coming from Westchester and I hope to leave early enough to fit in lunch on the way there. I'd love recommendations for something totally different than the Inn, about half-way between Northern Westchester and New Marlborough. Maybe something with a more modern ambiance, since we'll be doing antiques and candlelight in the evening and something that has a good offering of lighter fare and fresh, seasonal, local ingredients - great salads, for example. We don't want to spoil our appetites!

                      1. re: gb25
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                        AikiLou RE: gb25 Oct 13, 2009 04:57 PM

                        I have given up on Allium...their portions are more precious than the ones at Wheatleigh ever thought of being. A salad there is not really a salad, but more of an amuse-bouche. Wines by the glass are skimpy. I do not mind prices that offer value for the money, but, to leave hungry? Oh, come on,now?

                        1. re: gb25
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                          jennypenny RE: gb25 Oct 22, 2009 10:12 AM

                          Despite some not great reviews, I still love John Andrews and their fried oyster salad, softshell crab, delectable desserts, and great wines. We've never have had a bad meal there. The servers can be a little aloof, but they warm up if you engage them.

                          I agree w/gb25, Chez Nous was not memorable for us. Food was average, setting was ehhhh, don't think we'll go back. Also, it was my birthday and, not to sound like a crybaby, they didn't do anything special - no slice of cake w/a candle - so they lost points. If we do find ourselves in Lee, we love the Indian restaurant Bombay Grill, overlooking Laurel Lake. They also have a plentiful buffet for lunch on Sunday.

                          The Southfield Store is lovely for lunch and treats. We didn't like Mexican night so much (Thurs) but stopped in during the film fest and had a drink and dessert at the tiny bar in back and it was positively charming at night. It's such a magical little place in the middle of nowhere.

                          Rouge is hit or miss. Sometimes its great and other times not. Service has never been good - always ridiculously slow.

                          Our new VERY FAVORITE place is the Shaker Mill Tavern in W Stockbridge. They offer something for everyone. Hubby loves the wings w/crumbled blue cheese. The burgers & fries are yummy. I had a delicious pork chop. The mussels were also very tasty. Even our picky vegan relatives were able to enjoy a delicous veggie meal. The prices are also very reasonable & the service is FAST. The staff is always accommodating and unpretentious. Somebody told us the chef used to work for Bill Clinton....That is our new go to place.

                          Need to try Brix, Once Upon a Table, & Allium.

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