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Pittsfield - Lennox - Williamstown Recs Please

j
Jimmyg May 19, 2010 08:42 AM

My wife and I will be staying a weekend in Pittsfield. Tanglewood tickets one night and Theater tickets in Williamstown the next. We are looking for good early dinners both nights. Any cuisine, atmosphere and price range, so long as the food is the best available. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

  1. f
    foodwhisperer Jun 22, 2010 07:53 PM

    Not sure when the poster is going, but Rouge in W. Stockbridge is am amazing restaurant. A real comfortable place with great food. The chef/ owner is French and makes many terrific dishes. The mussels are awesome. His wife can recommend great wines to go with your food, she excels in that area.

    1. cowgirlinthesand Jun 17, 2010 08:31 AM

      Does anyone know if the Tex Mex place opening at the newly reinvented Bennigans/berkshire harvest is owned by the same duo as the past two?
      Thanks!

      6 Replies
      1. re: cowgirlinthesand
        m
        mjoyous Jun 17, 2010 10:02 AM

        I was just about to ask the same question! Hope someone goes soon and lets us know. Wouldn't it be nice if the curse of that spot ended and a decent tex-mex took hold!

        1. re: mjoyous
          cowgirlinthesand Jun 17, 2010 11:03 AM

          Hey mj! I thought of you when i saw the sign out front! I'm not feeling too positive since I heard some of the same team from the miserable and short lived Lenox garage would be cooking there.
          On another unrelated note, I've heard some excellent reviews for Olio in W. Stockbridge (but haven't tried it myself)
          I did see some ads they placed around Easter and Mother's day. Wondering if ypu've tried them yet.
          Happy hounding!

          1. re: cowgirlinthesand
            m
            mjoyous Jun 18, 2010 07:07 AM

            I had a sinking feeling after reading the owner's background in last weeks Eagle that Tex Mex wouldn't amount to much; that's why I was hoping someone would prove me wrong.
            I've read about Olio a few times but haven't been there, nor do I know anyone who has. Everytime I eat in W.Stockbridge I end up at the bar at Rouge!
            And I agree with rhoneranger that the site of this place might be jinxed.....by the way, I never ate at the Lenox Garage--never got beyond the menu which looked pretty punky. And that's from someone whose all time favorite tex-mex in Dallas was Herraras hole in the wall.

            1. re: cowgirlinthesand
              m
              mjoyous Jun 30, 2010 10:20 AM

              As to Tex-Mex. Was about to go try a margarita and some apps, but a friend whose palate I trust went there with his wife. His comment......."well, the food was edible" and that was the best he could say. Didn't find the traditional tex mex stuff he was looking for, found it bland and said the service was horrific. Another friend chimed in that they've hired a lot of young local teens with no food/service background.
              I'm postponing my test run until I hear something better. Maybe never???????
              I was at Chocolate Springs yesterday (searching for dark choc cupcakes; had to settle for serious choc ice cream + hazelnut gelato--yum!) so drove over to Tex Mex looking for a menu--nothing was posted there.

              -----
              Chocolate Springs Cafe
              55 Pittsfield Rd Ste 3, Lenox, MA 01240

              1. re: mjoyous
                t
                terrierboy Jun 26, 2011 01:36 PM

                We tried some simple takeout from Tex-Mex a few months ago while running to an appointment in Pittsfield. The server attempted to make guacamole, which turned out to be plain avocado, with some raw onion. Blecch! The staff tried to accommodate us, but they clearly had no guidance about what they were doing. The food seemed mediocre, at best. That location does seem to be jinxed, in much the same way the Lenox Garage and its predecessors were.

          2. re: cowgirlinthesand
            r
            rhoneranger Jun 17, 2010 04:35 PM

            I think that spot might be jinxed

          3. g
            Gomery Jun 15, 2010 06:48 PM

            Stay away. Decent food but horrendous service with an attitude to match. Check other review sites to confirm. Alta in Lenox and Rouge in West Stockbridge are excellent choices. For reference we are 50 year olds with disposable income that eat around the world. This was truly a horrible experience!

            -----
            Bistro Zinc
            Lenox, MA, Lenox, MA

            3 Replies
            1. re: Gomery
              m
              mjoyous Jun 16, 2010 09:54 AM

              I can't speak to the new Alta, as I haven't been there. Do have to say that I'm usually in agreement with the Tsarina, though reviews here and elsewhere for Alta have been mixed at best. I noticed this is the first post for Gomery--welcome.
              However, as a very long time local, dedicated foodie and a Chowhound for the last few years, I must say I don't know a single local person who enjoys good food that still eats at Zinc. It's notorious for poor food, overpriced everything and is generally consider pretty awful. Glad that you had a good experience there but would recommend that JimmG read the old Zinc post.
              Caveat emptor!

              1. re: mjoyous
                BerkshireTsarina Jun 16, 2010 01:54 PM

                Hey, Joyous! Maybe it's time to give Alta a try. I was certainly with you on the mixed-ness but so far this year, as I said, in two tries it's come up a winner. As for Zinc, I think that Gomery was DIS-recommending it--- It's too bad. When we first moved to the Berkshires nine years ago it was our favorite restaurant. The mighty have fallen. Sigh. Anyway, happy summer, and lots of good eating ----

                1. re: mjoyous
                  g
                  Gomery Jun 22, 2010 08:35 PM

                  The food at Zinc was decent at best - certainly not worth $150 for 2 people. and when you add the horrific service it is a full thumbs down. We did eat at Alta and had a nice meal there, some good wine, and good service. We had a great meal at Rouge. Although we just had the Tapas - which we love. We thought several of the dishes were outstanding as were the oysters.

              2. BerkshireTsarina Jun 7, 2010 04:54 PM

                To throw into the hopper (although someone already tossed it in very briefly once)--- we had a really fine dinner at ALTA last night. Four of us, a Sunday evening, and the place was FULL. Interesting (if short) menu. Had three different main courses among us, and everyone was delighted with their choice. Service was friendly and attentive even though it was crowded. For the quality, the cost was moderate. In its previous incarnations, I was never impressed, but this is the second time I've been in 2010, and both times: Bingo!
                A new best friend!

                1. g
                  Giuliettes Mom May 23, 2010 10:35 AM

                  You really should think about picnicing at Tanglewood. It is one of life's best experiences.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Giuliettes Mom
                    b
                    Bookistan May 23, 2010 05:03 PM

                    Very true! North of downtown Lenox on Rt. 7 you'll find Guido's - an upscale market where you can get lots of picnic fixings. Another option is Nejaimes, a wine store with a nice selection of cheeses, bread, a few prepared salads, in town, on Main St. (Rt 7A in same parking lot as post office).

                    1. re: Bookistan
                      m
                      madelinewater Jun 5, 2010 07:27 AM

                      My two cents: I strongly agree that Nudel is NOT worth checking out. I have gone there twice and have not had a consistent meal. Also the service was horrible (due to not having enough servers) but they might have improved this.

                      On a better note: I highly recommend Brix in Pittsfield and Cafe Adam in Gt. Barrington. I also agree that Cafe Lucia is a good solid restaurant.

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

                      Cafe Adam
                      325 Stockbridge Rd Ste 4, Great Barrington, MA 01230

                      Cafe Lucia
                      80 Church St., Lenox, MA 01240

                      Nudel
                      35 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01240

                      1. re: Bookistan
                        m
                        magiesmom Jun 5, 2010 04:52 PM

                        Nejames has much less attitude, IMO.

                    2. b
                      Bookistan May 22, 2010 06:42 AM

                      Hi, I'll disagree with the first poster about Italian restaurants. Cafe Lucia in Lenox is one of my favorites in the area; they run a really professional kitchen and have wonderful service as well. I've only eaten at Trattoria Rustica once and was pleasantly surprised - nice farmhouse ambience and very good food. No fireworks, but a nice satisfying meal. Cafe Viva in Stockbridge is also a new favorite - a tapas bar/Spanish restaurant, lovely decor. Wherever you decide to go, reserve during Tanglewood season - it can be hard to get a table at the last minute.

                      -----
                      Trattoria Rustica
                      75 North St Ste 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201

                      Cafe Lucia
                      80 Church St., Lenox, MA 01240

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Bookistan
                        l
                        Lenox637 May 23, 2010 11:00 AM

                        Cafe Lucia IS great.... if you're not from Lenox. The menu has not changed for 20 years. They do make the best Osso Buco in the Berks.

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                        Cafe Lucia
                        80 Church St., Lenox, MA 01240

                        1. re: Lenox637
                          c
                          chowmensch May 24, 2010 09:18 AM

                          Definitely agree with 637 on Lucia's Osso Bucco.

                        2. re: Bookistan
                          d
                          DRex357 Nov 22, 2010 01:16 PM

                          Is the Trattoria Rustica still open? We were there a few weekends ago on a Saturday evening and it was closed up tight. Seemed like a strange time to be shut.

                          -----
                          Trattoria Rustica
                          75 North St Ste 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201

                        3. f
                          Fahzz May 22, 2010 05:36 AM

                          Grammercy gets my vote. I had the schnitzel with a German(!!!) pinot noir. It was memorable.

                          Your post doesn't say if you are familiar with the area, but my experience when I was up there was that travel time can be an issue, especially between Pittsfield and Williamstown. The trip took longer than it looked like on the map, so you might want to allow a little extra time.

                          Have fun!

                          1. a
                            AikiLou May 21, 2010 10:17 AM

                            Another idea: check out www.yelp.com.
                            There are several reviews of Berkshire County restaurants...

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: AikiLou
                              BerkshireTsarina May 21, 2010 12:28 PM

                              Out of curiosity I checked out yelp for Lenox.
                              I don't think so!
                              Neither the places nor the ratings. This thread has covered just about all the best options within your parameters. (And BTW Cafe Adam is worth the trip down to GB.)
                              One more thought: you're going up to Williamstown one night. If Mezze isn't closed because it's moving to new digs on the other side of W'town, it's really really good. Also, Gramercy Tavern? Bistro? I forget which, has just moved to the campus of Mass MoCA, and I've seen one excellent review already. It's a restaurant that was long established in W'town and has always had a very high reputation.

                              -----
                              Cafe Adam
                              325 Stockbridge Rd Ste 4, Great Barrington, MA 01230

                              1. re: BerkshireTsarina
                                l
                                Lenox637 May 22, 2010 02:45 AM

                                I just checked out Yelp as well....... Yelp was NO help. The reviews, in my opinion, are way off the mark in many cases.

                            2. a
                              AikiLou May 21, 2010 10:11 AM

                              I disagree strongly about Nudel...had lunch there a couple months ago, and, admittedly the sandwich was good; HOWever, that was ALL it was: a sandwich on a plate, no side, no garnish, and it was not inexpensive. Trattoria...the menus is limited and the wine list has mostly upper-ended bottles, thereby sabotaging their sales...in the impulse, generally, it to drink wine by the glass in a restaurant that does not offer many choices under 40.00.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: AikiLou
                                l
                                Lenox637 May 21, 2010 11:57 AM

                                You should try the tasting menu at Nudel for dinner. It consists of only locally raised ingredients.

                                -----
                                Nudel
                                35 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01240

                                1. re: Lenox637
                                  a
                                  AikiLou Nov 23, 2010 01:03 PM

                                  Was at Nudel for dinner a few weeks ago...dinner for three with a bottle of WritersBlock Cab Franc was 145.00. I am an eductated consumer and know that bottle was overpriced by 10.00...had heard from various people about the inflexibility of the chef...so, my point is that by law now, restaurants in the tri-town area have to have a specifically worded caveat on the menu: IF A PERSON IN YOUR PARTY HAS A FOOD ALLERGY, PLEASE INFORM YOUR SERVER BEFORE ORDERING. My understanding is that it is to be worded EXactly that way, and not only is it not worded to the requirement, but, since there is such inflexibility, their stance must be, by default, DO NOT EAT HERE IF YOU HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY BECAUSE WE DO NOT DO SUBSTITUTIONS, SO, IF YOU HAVE A FOOD ALLERGY, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE. Also, there are many of us who are not in the American majority - we have not, in the past year become gluten intolerant. At Nudel, you have to pay for bread if you want it. And the owner gets away with all of that...unbelievable....

                                  -----
                                  Nudel
                                  35 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01240

                                  1. re: AikiLou
                                    b
                                    breadfan Nov 23, 2010 02:41 PM

                                    I don't really have a problem with the chef's way. Nudel, to me, is more than a place to fuel the body. Food can be art and to make substitutions distracts from the chef's overall vision. As far as paying for bread, I think it presumptuous to expect bread. Yes that has been the custom in restaurants but it is a business first and foremost.

                                    -----
                                    Nudel
                                    35 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01240

                                    1. re: breadfan
                                      a
                                      AikiLou Nov 24, 2010 06:47 AM

                                      I disagree...yes a restaurateur IS running a business, but, is not good will important also, especially in this economy? So are you saying (and I have no food allergies, but, some people really ARE allergic to nuts or are lactose intolerant) that if you have a food allergy, you should not go out to dinner or should not expect to be accomodated? Food may be art, but, that point of view is a bit too precious for me; one's restaurant experience should not be about the chef; it should be about the diner and his or her experience...and...whatever happened to graciousness?

                              2. l
                                Lenox637 May 21, 2010 03:40 AM

                                I agree with most of the postings except Trattoria Rustica. The lighting is a little too dark for me but the food has always been outstanding. Nudel is a shining star in the Berks.... especially in Lenox where the restaurants seem to cater to lowest common tourist denominator.

                                -----
                                Trattoria Rustica
                                75 North St Ste 100, Pittsfield, MA 01201

                                Nudel
                                35 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01240

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Lenox637
                                  m
                                  magiesmom May 21, 2010 04:38 AM

                                  Another vote for Nudel. Also very good Maylaysian at Flavours in Pittsfield, ask them for their recs.

                                  -----
                                  Nudel
                                  35 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01240

                                2. m
                                  mjoyous May 20, 2010 03:58 PM

                                  Agree with all of nfne's recommendation, but would add the Gramercy Bistro on the Mass MoCA campus in North Adams. Haven't eaten there since they moved from their old spot a few months ago, but have always found their food solid, and the new menus have been very appealing.
                                  There's also Rouge in West Stockbridge(lots of posts on this board, local favorite)--eat at the bar for bar, tapas and full menu.
                                  Enjoy.

                                  1. BerkshireTsarina May 20, 2010 03:16 PM

                                    Cafe Adam in Great Barrington (reservations in season will be essential). Heartily second Brix. Once Upon a Table is tiny and fun and has a full scale dinner menu different from its cafe-type lunch menu. And it's right there in Stockbridge.

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

                                    Cafe Adam
                                    325 Stockbridge Rd Ste 4, Great Barrington, MA 01230

                                    1. n
                                      nfnebwiri May 20, 2010 12:34 PM

                                      Wine Bar/Bistro - Brix, Pittsfield
                                      French - Chez Nous, Lee
                                      Tapas - Mission, Pittsfield (not that authentic but fun and tasty)
                                      Pub Food - Old Forge, Lanesborough

                                      If you want to go all out could try Blantyre or Wheatleigh in Lenox but can't personally vouch if they are worth the price.

                                      There are lots of restaurants in Lenox but most are nothing special and overpriced (exception - Nudel, and also have liked Alta)

                                      Would specifically avoid Zinc in Lenox or Tratorria Rustica in Pittsfield, or to be honest most Italian places.

                                      There are lots of good places in the southern Berkshires, Stockbridge, G. Barrington but don't know if you want to go that far. Williamstown I don't know as much about so hopefully someone else can help there. There are actually numerous places of all kinds despite this being a rural area so you may get more help if you are more specific.

                                      -----
                                      Wheatleigh
                                      11 Hawthorne Road, Lenox, MA

                                      Brix
                                      40 West St, Pittsfield, MA 01201

                                      Chez Nous
                                      150 Main St, Lee, MA 01238

                                      Nudel
                                      35 Church Street, Lenox, MA 01240

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