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Weekend Lunch or Brunch Between Hartford and Amherst/Northampton

s
scribos Mar 3, 2010 11:01 AM

We're meeting up with five adult family members this weekend about halfway between Amherst/Northampton, MA and Hartford CT for lunch or brunch. It doesn't need to be right by 91--we could drive a few miles in for the right place.

We're looking for fresh, well prepared food in a nice cafe or cozy restaurant setting with a full menu (not just a coffee place) Nothing too white glove or stuffy. Country-ish with local suppliers would be nice. Ethnic could work. Great brunch (but not buffet) would be wonderful, too. We plan to do this periodically, so throw out what you have, and we'll sort it out.

Thanks.

  1. a
    Aged prime Mar 12, 2011 04:00 AM

    Wait till you get to Northampton and have brunch at Hotel Northampton smack in the cener of town. Traditional old school brunch in a very nice atmosphere. Or the numerous downtown resturants.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Aged prime
      n
      Nickmerill Mar 12, 2011 06:03 AM

      I second Hotel Northampton Brunch.

      1. re: Nickmerill
        g
        GatorMan Mar 12, 2011 11:50 AM

        Ditto. The brunch at the Admiral Wiggins Inn at the Hotel Northampton is terrific!

        1. re: GatorMan
          BerkshireTsarina Mar 12, 2011 01:19 PM

          That's three people in a row recommending Hotel Northampton Brunch. Sounds just like what we'll need ---
          We're moving to Northampton (from the Berkshires) on March 25th, and by Sunday morning, we will certainly need something to restore our strength and spirits. Reservations needed? Best (i.e. your favorite) dishes? Really casual, or Western MA dress-up?
          Something to look forward to! TIA

          1. re: BerkshireTsarina
            g
            GatorMan Mar 12, 2011 03:18 PM

            Reservations? Guess it couldn't hurt...but I doubt you'd need them (call the hotel and check)

            It's a buffet brunch, so you have your choice of LOTS of great stuff - go hungry!

            Casual, to be sure - a mixture of locals and hotel guests...

            Enjoy! Please report back!

    2. s
      scribos Mar 5, 2011 12:14 PM

      Well, it's been a year since I asked that question in 2010 and we never did do that lunch reunion halfway between Hartford and Amherst/Northampton near I-91 . . . until today. My sister remembered a very nice newspaper review of an Eastern European restaurant in Enfield, very close to 91, Silvia's Restaurant. Mind you, it wasn't exactly cozy--a bit of a catering hall feel to it. Moreover, we were the only people there for lunch. However, on a cold, gray winter day Siliva, the owner, made it as cozy for us as a country inn.

      When we arrived, some lively Romanian music was playing and added a lot of cheer to the big room being set up for a wedding that evening. Silvia, and our family, added the rest of the cheer. The menu was full of hearty dishes as well as soup/sandwich combos and other lunch choices. Silvia brought out a huge warm challah loaf and a tureen of farmers' soup for the table. These were a perfect start on a cold day. We ordered Romanian beer--a good choice for the hearty food we couldn't resist ordering.

      The winter weather had made us all hungry, so we went for beef stroganoff over golden mashed potatoes, three Polish plates of kielbasa, accompanied by incredibly light fried cheese periogi AND superb stuffed cabbage. One of us had the German plate with several sausages, those out-of-sight pierogies, and schnitzel (can't remember if it was chicken or veal--both were on the menu.) Except for the slightly dry schnitzel in the German dish, every morsel on everyone's plates was fantastic--tender, well cooked and full of flavor. The beef in my stronganoff was like butter with a wonderful sauce served over a bed of excellent buttery mashed potatoes. This was a special and not on the menu. As we were winding down, Silvia brought over containers for leftovers. As delicious as everything was, the portions were too huge to finish. Then she came over with a dessert platter of six moist brownies, still warm, sprinkled with powdered sugar-- scrumptious.

      Although the food was more substantial than we'd planned on for a lunch off I-91, it was wonderful. We didn't mind at all that no one else was there; this kind of homemade food probably draws a dinner crowd. It seemed festive because of the Romanian music and the fact that there was going to be a wedding reception there that evening. So anyone looking for a stop with excellent homemade food, Silvia's is an easy right off I-91 South (Exit 48), in Enfield, less than a half mile from the Interstate.

      Silvias
      23 North Main Street
      Enfield, CT 06082
      (860) 741-6969

      -----
      Silvia's Gourmet Restaurant & Catering
      23 N Main St, Enfield, CT 06082

      1 Reply
      1. re: scribos
        f
        fatheryod Mar 10, 2011 05:22 PM

        recently tried both sarapes in enfield, CT and the garden in agawam, and each was quite excellent. sarapes had some of the best mexican food i've head in a while. the pork was especially good, and i agree with everyone who has recommended it in the past. quite close to 91. the garden is a bit further off the highway, near 6 flags, and while it doesn't look much like any other indian restaurant i've been in, the menu and food were great. lots of non-standard stuff on the menu, including a good selection of south indian vegetarian crepes. we had dinner and the portions were large and very good. their website has a full menu, i think. anyway, those are some fine halfway spots.

      2. b
        brookerme Mar 4, 2010 05:56 AM

        for Italian try Figaro's http://www.figaroenfield.com/index.htm

        Sunday brunch at Pasco's http://www.jonathanpascos.net/pages/history.html

        Mexican: Sarapes http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/497127

        1 Reply
        1. re: brookerme
          f
          fatheryod Mar 4, 2010 08:43 AM

          i don't know if they serve from the regular menu at lunchtime or whether it's buffet only. we've only been for dinner, but if indian is within your scope, i highly suggest sitar on main street in springfield (right near the train station, just off 91) <<http://www.sitarindianrestaurant.net/locations.html>>. it's definitely our new go-to place for indian. we used to drive up to dhaba in brattleboro, then tried pintu's in west springfield for while (before giving up over the excruciatingly slow service -- food was pretty good). so there's that, also, i'm not sure if it's too dinery for you, but rein's deli in west springfield...whoah, it looks like they closed up January 4. that's a shame. oh, there's chef wayne's big mamou on liberty street in springfield. very pleasant cajun stuff. they're closed sundays <<http://www.chefwaynes-bigmamou.com/>> can't think of many others midway...

          fy

        2. r
          rudysmom Mar 3, 2010 05:57 PM

          definitely a bit inland from 91, but how about Chatterley's in New Hartford?
          http://www.chatterleysct.com/chatterl...

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