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Feb 21, 2011 07:01 AM

Page's Loft - Northampton

Was wondering if anyone has tried Page's Loft. I didn't live here in the 80's but according to the owner Page's Loft was a popular place that offered complimentary popovers and baby shrimp for salads. It recently re-opened at the Clarion Hotel. The chef's credentials are pretty impressive; cooking for presidents and at Four Season's hotels.

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  1. II have never been to the new Page's loft, the 80's version was ok but the whole Clarion is pretty dirty and gross now.

    3 Replies
    1. re: magiesmom

      I haven't been there in a while, but my husband and I actually liked Montana's. The steaks were great, the burgers were great, and they had the best nachos in the Valley. I'm curious about Page's Loft, mainly because of the chef's credentials. I'm usually not very keen on hotel dining, but I've never had a bad meal at a Four Seasons! Will post a follow up when we get around to trying it.

      1. re: JunieB

        Your reasoning for a positive dining experience is exactly my belief why it won't be one.
        Why would such a highly credentialed chef take a position such as this one?
        I agree with your Four Seasons experience, but in a setting like that there are many many 'chefs' cooking on the line.
        I will hope for the best and not expect too much.

        1. re: JunieB

          The hotel is completely separate from the restaurant. You can't judge the restaurant on the hotel. If you knew the story behind the reason why Page's Loft is located there, then it would make more sense. Yes, the chef is amazing and has wonderful credentials and he is there because George Page is renowned in the Southern New England area.

      2. I haven't been yet but will go soon. The early reports I'm hearing are encouraging. I've got very fond memories of Page's Loft. It's a good location . . . easy access and ample parking . . . in Northampton! I've attached links for a press release and a local's review. I hope they do well!

        1. My husband and I went to Page's Loft tonight. We were not very impressed with the food. The space is attractive. It has little resemblance to Montana's that was there before. They've really freshened up the place and created a nice large bar area (which was quite busy). The dining room has a mix of white tablecloth booths and tables, and modern art on the walls. The bar is a nice size with a large screen tv. There was a piano in a corner of the room so I assume they have lounge music some nights! In the bar you can order from the bar menu or the dining room menu, but you can't get a burger in the dining room. Since we wanted to get a look at both menus, we sat in the bar, but ended up ordering from the dining room menu. Our waitress was attentive but the service in general seemed a little chaotic and unorganized. We were given a complimentary dish of olives and a server came around with complimentary popovers. The popovers were over baked, too brown, crusty, and bland, even if you put butter on them. Evidently popovers were one of the attractions at the old Page's Loft. I can make better ones!

          I started with the Fried Green Tomatoes ($4.25) because I haven't had them since I was a kid in Kentucky. There were about six slices on the plate and they were served with a remoulade sauce. They were not my mom's fried green tomatoes! The batter was way too heavy and the tomatoes were hard. The batter should be very light and the tomato shouldn't need a knife to cut it! They tasted like deep fried bar food. My husband thought they tasted pretty good but he's from NYC so what does he know about fried green tomatoes!! For my entree I had the Mini Kobe Beef Meatloaf ($14.95). It came with THREE small meatloaves on a bed of mashed potatoes and corn w/brown gravy spooned over the meat. It wasn't a bad flavor combination but the meatloaf was over cooked. It was hard and crusty on the outside and actually burned on the bottom. My overall impression was that the food had been treated with a very heavy hand, and not enough attention had been paid to the cooking process. The burned meatloaf should never have made it out of the kitchen. There was also way too much food on the plate.

          My husband started with the Wedge Salad ($3.95 no bacon) and he said it was just fine. He liked the blue cheese dressing. For his entree he ordered the Filet Mignon ($23.95) which came with creamed spinach and wedge fries. When I saw him take a piece of meat out of his mouth and put it on the side of his plate I thought that was not a good sign! It was a chunk of fat! Then he ran into more fat. To my mind, filet mignon should not have fat in it. He said the flavor was good but he felt like the quality of the meat was not great. The creamed spinach was overly creamy and it had smoked bacon in it which gave the dish a heavy smokey flavor, which I personally don't care for. My husband also felt that his meal was on the heavy side. Too much cream in the spinach and the steak was dripping with butter.

          Our total bill was around $55 without alcohol or dessert, but that's to be expected in a hotel restaurant. We might go again and sample their cheeseburgers, but I won't be in a hurry to go back for the fancier menu, or if I do I will order very carefully and try to stay away form the heavy stuff. The sandwiches looked good and the burger and fries at the table next to us looked great.

          I'll be interested to see what other Chowhounds have to say about this restaurant.

          4 Replies
          1. re: JunieB

            That's a shame. It shouldn't be that hard to get good food out of a kitchen once you've made the commitment to open a restaurant!!
            I hate it sometimes when my gut feeling is right.

            1. re: StatenIslandSara

              I wouldn't be so quick to judge. It's extremely difficult to open up a new restaurant and even once it's open it takes a few months before everything is running exactly the way you like it. In my experience they have done wonderfully so far. I've been there twice and both times the food came out wonderfully. I think once they work out the kinks, and they have worked out many so far, it will be a phenomenal place to dine. Give it a chance, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

            2. re: JunieB

              Update on Pages' Loft. After our mediocre dining experience I sent email to the restaurant with my complaints. Today I received a reply from Mr. Page. He said that they are still tweaking their operation and thanked me profusely for writing to them. He said he talked to the chef about my complaints about the meatloaf and the fried green tomatoes, and that both of those items have been changed. He said they had also switched their meat purveyor and we would not find fatty filet mignon anymore. He even said they had adjusted the cooking temperature for their popovers and they will not be over baked.

              Mr. Page also asked me and my husband to come to the restaurant as his guests, which I thought was a very nice gesture. I thanked him for that offer but I wrote back and told him the best thing he can do for me is to make consistently good, quality food that will make me want to return to his restaurant again and again.

              More to come........

              1. re: JunieB

                My husband and I recently went back to Page’s Loft and I’m sorry to report that while their food and style of cooking might appeal to some people, it will not be a place we return to for their so-called “fine dining” - maybe a sandwich in the bar. The popovers were still way to large, but very good this time, and the fried green tomatoes had been changed, but not in a great way. The breading is lighter and they added some herbs to it, but it still tastes like deep-fried bar food, not the fried green tomatoes you can get in the south. Mr. Page said he had changed his meat purveyor, but my husband got the prime rib and I got the New York sirloin (both recommended by our waitress) and the sirloin was very dry and chewy. I know you’ve all had the experience where the steak has little flavor and is the consistency of cardboard, which makes for a lot of chewing and not much satisfaction. My husband had the prime rib and thought it was a little better than the sirloin, but not great, and certainly not the melt-in-your-mouth experience the waitress promised. We both got the Chophouse salad, also highly recommended. I can understand why some people like it; it’s very creamy, has chopped lettuce, tomato and onion, and is topped with at least a half a cup of bacon pieces, if not more. For my taste it was too heavy. I have a pretty healthy appetite and I could only eat about half of the salad, and just a few bacon pieces.

                The service was great, even though the waitress was a bit of a salesperson. To their credit, the waitress and the manager wanted to make me a new steak, but we had already waited a long time for our entrees, and I wanted to eat with my husband, not after him. The manager did offer me a complimentary glass of wine, which I accepted. He also said he appreciated my honest feedback.

                The food is just too heavy for my liking, and not very interesting. The steak I got came with deep-fried wedge fries, 3 deep-fried green tomatoes and then the whole thing is topped with thin deep-fried onion rings. All of their dishes are similar to this. While the individual parts of the fried food might be good, it’s way too much served in bulk! The baked potato was good, which I asked for in place of the fries.

                I am probably going to offend some people here, but I think there is a large portion of the population in the Pioneer Valley that is perfectly happy to overpay for mediocre food. Just look at Spoleto’s!! The people I saw at Pages reminded me of the usual suspects that frequented the old Zoe’s location in Easthampton.

                At Gypsy Apple I always eat a 4-course dinner with wine. When I leave I feel pleasantly full, and very happy. When I left Page’s, even though I only ate about 25% of my food, I felt stuffed, heavy, and grumpy!

                Gypsy Apple
                65 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

            3. The original comment has been removed
              1. Junie, this is a bummer to read. I've been in Springfield for about 10 years and I could have SWORN some place i semi-frequented had fried green tomatoes on the menu and i said to myself 'wow, i'll have to get these next time', and then i couldnt figure out who it was. I swore it was packards in northampton, but the last time i went the server said they never had fried green tomatoes. Nobody in the area has FGT as far as I know, if you know of another place, let me know. I recently searched "413" AND "fried green tomatoes" and somehow 'pages loft' came up buried in an ad. That hotel is so gross i never paid attention or cared if they had a restaurant attached, so, if pages is new, does anyone know when it opened?
                I first had FGT at a cajun sports bar in south florida called "Shuck N Dive" adn they were very good. A friend from Kentucky who lived in the area, said their FGT was good, and i was hooked.
                PS if your husband got a steak at pages, take him to ABE & LOUIE's on Boylston in Boston. It's pricey but possibly the best steak ive had in my entire life. Thanks to Phantom Gourmet for hearing about that place.

                6 Replies
                1. re: beartunes

                  I guess Page's opened sometime in February. Evidently the guy who runs it had a place called Page's in the same place several years ago. They're trying really hard but it 's just not my kind of food. I was hoping it would be good because it would be very close to where I live!

                  I'm from KY too and I guess fried green tomatoes are mostly a southern thing so we know good ones from not so good ones! I wouldn't be surprised to see them pop up this summer on some restaurant's menu that focuses on local produce. If I see them I will definitely post.

                  Thanks for the Abe & Louie's recommendation. We don't eat steak very often, but when we do we like good ones, so I will definitely keep them in mind. We go to Boston fairly often, and being relatively new to the area I keep adding restaurants to my list of places to try. We're thinking about trying Hungry Mother next trip. Thanks again!

                  1. re: JunieB

                    If you go to Boston alot, check out Phantom Gourmet on TV38. It's mostly Boston area foods, and a helluva lot of burgers, fried things, and Italian food, but they sometimes have other kinds of foods. I heard about Abe & Louie's from them, and it was fantastic. But again, be prepared, the steak alone was $38 and the side of potatoes /hash browns (overrated) was like $8. I had a great meal though.

                    1. re: beartunes

                      Is this the Billy Costa Phantom Gourmet? He comes to western MA as well.

                      1. re: llamamama19

                        the Andelman brothers from Boston. wiki says costa used to host it though.

                      2. re: beartunes

                        Yes, I checked out Abe & Louie's website and menu. Looks interesting and I like that they have outdoor seating. I already mapped it out from the offices where we will be in Boston in a couple of weeks and it's only about 10 minutes away. We're often in Cambridge so the last time we were there we ate at Mary Chung's based on the Boston board reviews. It's a hole in the wall but the food was terrific! I don't watch much TV but I'll watch out for the Phantom Gourmet. Thanks!

                        1. re: JunieB

                          Super, you'll have to let me know how you like it. Do make reservations though. (I think they're on OpenTable too, if you use that website/smartphone app.)