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Dec 9, 2009 11:58 AM

Looking for a great "special occasion" restaurant in the Great Barrington area

Hoping to treat my parents to a gift certificate for a nice dinner this Christmas, since they rarely get out on their own! Looking to spend $150 for the two of them, for appetizers, drinks (for my dad), dessert, and tip. Someplace you wouldn't go to every week, but still comfortable and easy--New American, Italian, or even a steakhouse where my Mom could order a great chicken dish. I know they like the Old Mill, and they used to like Pearl's (although I recently read the sad news). Is John Andrews still good?

Thanks in advance for your help, Chowhounds!

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  1. Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough is where I sent my folks for just such a dinner as they won't go out on their own accord. They liked it so much (weekday prix fixe is more reasonable than the regular menu) that they took the whole family there for Thanksgiving.
    John Andrews has been hit or miss for me lately. We've eaten at the bar twice in the last month; good but not great. Wine list is crazy expensive. Other than the four wines by the glass it was almost impossible to find a bottle under $50. That's just nuts!
    We like Chez Nous in Lee; great homemade pate is superb. Tthe mains are always good but almost never great.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kayemtee

      Old Inn on the Green is beautiful, particularly in the winter and the food is good. I second kayemtee's comments on John Andrews (despite a good number of visits, reality has never risen to the comments on the foodie websites, but that's just the experience of my wife and me). I do not second her recommendation of Chez Nous, but again that's just my personal opinion. I really want to like the place and have given it a few chances, the last one this past summer. The food has never been more than average (except for pate) and often skimpy (a very small salad of purportedly heirloom tomatoes). Although more of a "hip" place, we like Rouge. We also like the Old Mill a good deal.

      1. re: gb25

        I agree with you about both Chez Nous and John Andrews. Neither lived up to my expectations. I need to try the Old Inn on the Green.

    2. I guess Old Inn OTG would be the consensus (We have liked John Andrews and especially Chez Nous but thought Old Mill was highly overrated).

      Rouge may also be worth considering, or Once upon a Table in Stockbridge.

      1. We just did Rouge this past weekend and the food was outstanding.
        A large plate full of rosemary potatoes covered with succulent strip steak and spinach.
        The meat was so tender you could cut the meat with a fork.
        I won't even tell you how outstanding the desserts were!
        Two other great choices are Chez Nous in Lee and John Andrews.
        Both are 1st class with great service and the desserts at Chez Nous are just outstanding as well.
        Consider that the owner is a pastry chef by training and you get one-of-a-kind desserts there that are among the best we've ever had.
        John Andrews has some mixed reviews here but we've NEVER had bad service or food there ever.
        Do your own DD and decide for yourself.
        Your folks won't be disappointed at any of these fine places.

        2 Replies
        1. re: catnip

          I have a place in Stockbridge so someone got me a $150 gift certificate to Chez Nous. It was great, we went all out (cocktails, appies, mains, wine by the glass, dessert) and have $35 dollars left over....... very warm service, casual atmosphere and gourmet touches on all the food...

          1. re: jessheslin

            I, too, love Chez is my favorite special occasion place and has never disappointed! I have also enjoyed John Andrews but recent negative comments from others would make me think twice. They do have a very reasonable prix fix one night, Thursdays, I think, very low risk.

            But my all-time favorite is Stagecoach Tavern for both great food and ambiance!

        2. I love JA...but the past few times I've been there (during 2008-2009) the service has been terribly disappointing: slow, understaffed. Anyone been there recently? Have things improved in that department?