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Mar 19, 2011 06:14 AM

Gypsy Apple-Sad Update!

Went with 3 others last night, and I'm sorry to say, the quality of food/service has noticeably declined. There were only 2-3 other tables all night, and the food took 20-25 min from ordering to app and again from end-of-app to main. Wine list remains solid and fairly priced; rolls also excellent.
The food seems to have squarely joined the ranks of Pioneer Valley mediocrity:
Duck confit app: overcooked, dry , stringy, over-salted; chutney had whole cloves hiding inside; puree had glutinous texture
Crab cake: described as "too big and gloppy"
Fillet Mignon main: both orders at east two levels above requested temp; potato puree both glutinous and lumpy; sauce well-executed; asparagus uninspired
Mahi: both orders overcooked; dish w/o binding quality, as salsa was dry; malanga puree interesting idea but flavor uninspired; same asparagus
Salads: excellent balance of flavors, textures; dressing simple and elegant, & not cloying like many in the area
Creme caramel: solid; good texture and unintrusive egginess
Pot de creme: chocolate lacked punch but texture great
Espresso: perfect amount, excellent flavor/aroma, and good layer of crema
Overall, this place seems to have become like every other $25-30/plate place, with crappy, 1990s flavored purees, uninspired and passe sauces and side veggies, and a tendency to prioritize an abundance of "fancy" ingredients over simple, elegant, and solid culinary execution.
For $300, they should do a lot better...

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  1. curious. i hadn't been there for a while, but went with three others for dinner a month or two ago. i didn't really notice much of a change in the food quality, although the service did seem slower than i remembered. as i recall the sides that night were well integrated and prepared. i dunno. i think there's a general inconsistency with many local places. i'll happily return before long & file a report.

    1. I haven't been to Gypsy Apple in over a year, but always thought it was excellent, so this is sad to hear. I hope it's an off night and nothing more significant.

      I know this time of year is slow for a lot of the high end destination restaurants in the Valley, so maybe they are just going through a bit of a slump of feeling uninspired? Shelburne Falls will start to get more traffic when weather picks up - here's hoping Gypsy Apple will be back on it's game.

      Gypsy Apple
      65 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

      1. I love Gypsy Apple and I hope Chef Westcott called in sick or something the night you were there!!! The potato puree you described is not at all what I have ever experienced. As a matter of fact it was one of the factors when I compared Night Kitchen with Gypsy Apple. Gypsy Apple potatoes have always been excellent, light and fluffy, and able to support whatever is on top, whereas Night Kitchen had the thin glutenous kind you are describing. The sauces at GA have always been delicate and so wonderfully flavored, and I love the side dishes. Even the salad ingredients are always perfect, and perfectly placed on the plate. The carrots are marinated in both sweet and sour, with a slight cinnamon taste and the little piece of parsnip is a nice surprise. The food there is simple but has always been delightfully good. That's the kind of cooking I admire most - the ability to take simple food to new heights of goodness. It's what I love about David Tanis' food as well.

        As for slow service, every dish at GA is made to order and the chef does it all. When I went back to compliment him one time I asked the guy washing dishes if the chef was around and he said, "I'm the chef." I would never go there if I were in a hurry. As a matter of fact I like the leisurely pace because it gives us time to digest the courses and enjoy the company. I always have a 4-course meal and I never leave feeling stuffed, just pleasantly full.

        My husband and I will be going there in a couple of weeks to celebrate our anniversary and I will report back, but I sure do hope your experience was a fluke. If there's one thing I hate - it's inconsistency!

        Night Kitchen
        440 Greenfield Rd, Montague, MA 01351

        Gypsy Apple
        65 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

        1. homesick for food - My husband and I went to Gypsy Apple last night and I'm happy to say that everything was just as good as ever, a delight to the senses. I purposely ordered the steak so I could taste the glutinous puree you referred to. Many of his dishes are served with mashed potatoes, but these potatoes were pureed and they tasted exactly as I expected pureed potatoes to taste. By necessity they are more "glutinous" than mashed or whipped potatoes, but anywhere I have ordered pureed potatoes, this is what you get - when I make my own as well. The steak was mouth watering tender and cooked just the way I asked for it. My husband had the green curry chicken and I thought he was going to pick up his plate and lick it! It had bok choy and okra in it and you really have to know what you're doing to pull that off well! My husband knows the difference between okra cooked right and okra gone wrong and I trust him when he says the dish was absolutely perfect and delicious. Every seat in the place was filled and I loved hearing the oos and ahs as people tasted their food and shared it with their dinner partners. One woman next to us ate her appetizer and then scooped up every bite of mushroom soup left in her friend's bowl. My husband had a roasted beet salad with blue cheese dressing for his app. and while I love the crab cakes, this time I opted for the salt cod/potato croquettes. Neither of us left a morsel. For dessert I had the apple tarte tatin w/vanilla ice cream and my husband had the profiteroles, which I usually get. Both were excellent. Chef Wescott's profiteroles are some of the best I have ever had anywhere! We had a 4-course meal and I had 2 glasses of prosecco and the tab was $125. Well worth every penny in my opinion!

          I hope you won't give up on Gypsy Apple because I truly believe they are one of the best the Valley has to offer and I want them to stay in business for my own selfish reasons! Also recently tried Alina's in S. Deerfield and found it to be another gem. Not quite up there with Gypsy Apple in my opinion but solid good food and great service. The tempo might suit you better.

          Gypsy Apple
          65 Bridge St, Shelburne Falls, MA 01370

          1 Reply
          1. re: JunieB

            Thanks for the update, that's really good to hear.

          2. We ate there for the first time last night. Everyone enjoyed the dinner: meat-stuffed raviolis; lamb chops; a vegetarian curry, and the scallops: all were excellent . . . The wines were very reasonably priced. The service was slow-paced, but that's kind of what we expected. Quite frankly, I thought this was one of the best restos in the Valley. Superior to Night Kitchen and the old Alina's. (Not that those restos were bad -- but this food was clearly on a higher level.)

            1 Reply
            1. re: bauskern

              I'm happy to say that post was an anomaly. I've been back several times since then and the dinner's been spot on. Gypsy Apple is definitely one of the valley's best, along with Coco in Easthampton. Let's hope more places follow in their footsteps...