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fantastic food, casual atmosphere near 91 in western Mass?

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We'll be driving back from Vermont this Saturday, on our way to CT, and would like to have a top notch dinner in a relaxed restaurant. Any suggestions that are no more than about 15 minutes off rt. 91, somewhere between the Vermont border and the Mass Pike? Sort of like...."that was one of the best meals I've had in a long time, and they didn't bat an eye when we walked in wearing jeans"... Greenfield? Northampton? Holyoke?

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  1. in Greenfield: Hope and Olive, definitely very good, definitely casual ok. I love this place.

    2 Replies
    1. re: andytee

      I would have to wholeheartedly agree. Hope and Olive would be a fantastic choice, given your schedule. If you had more time to dine, I would suggest Gypsy Apple, in Shelburne Falls, but meals there tend to be quite drawn out.

      Re: Hope and Olive; I might recommend dining at the bar, as they always have tons of bar specials; kind of like tapas, that are always very interesting. It's actually quite easy to make a meal of them.

      1. re: hilltowner

        Gypsy Apple is also excellent. Might be a bit more formal than you are looking for, but this is western MA, you can wear jeans anywhere. Hope and Olive is more fun, funky, casual, but still excellent, and also closer to 91. Gypsy Apple is more the "top notch" portion of what you describe. I'd recommend either highly.

    2. Carmelina's. Route 9 - Hadley, Ma Great Italian food, very casual. Only minutes from I-91. Anywhere in Northampton will be a wait -up to 1hour or more on a Sat nite - no reservations taken at many places. Enjoy!