The Farm Table
- JunieB Nov 3, 2011 02:42 PM
The Farm Table in Bernardston, MA is opening November 8 for lunch, and then for dinner on November 12. I can't wait to read some reviews. They have an awesome menu, including gluten-free options. My husband and I are going there for Thanksgiving dinner. They have 3 seatings on Thanksgiving day. We went to their grand opening to check out the digs and they're very nice. Cozy and warm. I sure hope the food is as good as it sounds!
The candles are in a different building. They also have a 3-story Christmas barn. The restaurant is housed in the original home that stood on the farm. They've done extensive "green" renovations (you can read about it on their site I think, or on their facebook page) and also added another large dining room to the house. It's very nice inside with beautiful furnishing and two big fireplaces. There's a large bar that separates the two dining rooms and they have purchased a fancy coffee maker of which there are only a handful in the U.S. (I'm not a coffee drinker, but this would be important to some people!). If the food is good, it looks like a place I could return to over and over to try different things! It's possibly the most impressive menu I have seen anywhere around here. I will be able to report back after Thanksgiving, but hopefully some Chowhound will try it before then.
I really wanted to like this place. I've been twice and I have to say, so far I am underwhelmed. They haven't been open very long so maybe they will continue to improve. I like the atmosphere of the restaurant, I like the farm-to-table concept, and what's not to like about an $18,000 espresso machine (even though I don't drink coffee), but the service needs to improve and I think the recipes could be improved.
The first time my husband and I went we had the weekend brunch, and the second time we went for the Thanksgiving day meal. The fresh squeezed orange juice was delicious at the brunch and there were some other good aspects, but also some bad. I ordered a house salad ($5) but was given a Frisee Salad with apple, bacon and a poached egg on top ($11). The service was so slow that I knew if I sent it back I wouldn't get my salad before my entree, so my husband and I split it. It was delicious, but not what I ordered. For my entree I ordered the fried egg sandwich on brioche with cheddar and ham, but I got a fried egg with bacon on country white bread. It was good also, but not what I ordered. My husband ordered the Eggs Benedict, and while he thought it was okay, he said they chose a fancy ham that didn't go very well and he would have preferred Canadian bacon. He said the dish was not as good as what he can get at Silver Spoon, our local breakfast/lunch joint. I think the brunch cost us a little over $40 for one salad, two entrees, and two glasses of OJ. Not a very good deal.
The day we had brunch was a week before Thanksgiving and I had made reservations for Thanksgiving back in September. The couple dining at the table behind us had some complaints about the food and the service and they asked for the general manager, Ruben. When he finished talking to them I took advantage of his presence to ask him if they had their Thanksgiving menu yet. He said they did and he went off to get it. He came back with their regular menu which had been printed for people to take with them, shoved one at me and hurried off without waiting for me to tell him that was not what I wanted. He didn't seem sincere to me. The entire time he was talking to the people behind us he seemed to be trying to get away and didn't seem to really care what they were saying. He just kept thanking them for their feedback!
For the Thanksgiving meal they never were able to provide the menu prior to the event, which I thought was inexcusable. It cost $40 per person and included roasted vegetable bisque, a house salad, a choice of one of 4 or 5 entrees, predetermined side dishes and dessert. The bisque was delicious, as was the salad. We both ordered the turkey and it was okay but nothing special. The plate came with Brussels sprouts, pureed sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes with parsnips, wild and white rice with dried cherries, cranberry sauce, and a choice of one of 2 dressings. We weren't given the Brussels sprouts so I can't comment on them except to say they were missing and our plate had nothing green on it. The potato/parsnip mash was awful. I have been seeing recipes in cooking mags lately that use olive oil instead of butter and I had wondered how it would taste. Now I know, and I didn't have to ruin my own potatoes to find out! The pureed sweet potatoes were also pretty bad. The cranberry sauce was okay and I guess the rice was okay, but I would not have chosen rice as a side dish. I ordered Lemon Meringue pie for dessert and what I got was a lemon tart. It was tart and had absolutely nothing in common with Lemon Meringue pie! My husband asked for the apple pie and it was very cold, the apples were undercooked, and the crust was so tough you couldn't cut it with a fork. Overall the food bombed. I don't think you need to "improve" Thanksgiving fare. Mashed potatoes need cream and butter and sweet potatoes should be mashed, in a casserole, or candied. We didn't let the food ruin our day, but we won't be going back next year.
I hope others have a better experience. If enough people report a good experience, I might be inclined to try them again - after they've been open for awhile longer.
Silver Spoon Restaurant
73 Main St, Easthampton, MA 01027
It's been open long enough now, and Thanksgiving (a tough act) is over.
Has anyone been to The Farm Table recently? It does look good on paper, and a nurse at Cooley-Dickinson Hospital (Northampton) who lives up that way was singing its praises ---
Before shlepping up to Greenfield, I wondered if anyone has any recent reports?
I'm kind of surprised that there hasn't been more discussions on CH about it. The reviews are mixed on the other food sites, but they seem to get a pretty good overall rating. I'm not sure what to make of the people who post on the other sites. I have more trust in the people on CH for some reason. It seems to me that the people on CH are more passionate about food.
Anyway, driving up to Bernardston is a pretty nice outing and the food isn't terrible. I would probably be more inclined to go for brunch or lunch, than dinner, but I'm sure I will go back at some point. I hope more people will try it and share their experiences on CH.
Wish I had more helpful information.
I've been there for dinner, and while the food was good, I didn't find it terrifically remarkable. If I knew that I'd be in the area, I would consider going back. But a destination drive isn't really something I would go for.
The whole notion of gathering products from the area is, however, a laudable concept, and I give them a great deal of credit for that.
Interestingly, as JunieB said, I do recall some itemized ingredients (a very carefully curated menu) missing or replaced in our dinners (there were 5 of us), and while I didn't think it a big deal at the time, and perhaps a victim of small-batch purveyors, I could see why it might throw a wrench into the works.
Overall, on a scale of 1-10, I'd give them a 7-7.5. Not wow-worthy, but not a rip-off either. The staff seems pretty committed, and Ruben was exceedingly helpful. Hopefully this venture continues to get better with time.
That's really too bad. I see on facebook that their special events are always sold out, so I have to assume a lot of people are eating here. I was hoping my experience was because they were a new restaurant, but your experience sounds like it was pretty much the same as mine from nearly a year ago. I feel the same way, if I were in the area I might stop in for lunch or brunch, but it won't be a destination for me.