Smithsonian Chowder House in Hatfield, MA
Would love a report from anyone who has tried the new chowder house in Hatfield.
From their website:
Why not take the best possible ingredients,( New England Seafood and the finest Native Vegetables) and create great soups that can be enjoyed in our quaint Cape Cod style cafe’ setting or taken to go in individual or family sized containers. We will offer fresh salad to be eaten as an accompaniment and oh yeah, fresh hot Popovers. We will be baking popovers throughout the day and are confident that you will enjoy them so much that they will become a favorite with you and your family. Besides the Seafood Chowder, we will offer many of our favorites like Bessie’s Lobster Bisque, Stoney’s Traditional Clam Chowder, 2 soups which have deep family tradition and recipes to back them up, Native Tomato Bisque, Cream of Hatfield Asparagus, Nantucket Red Seafood Chowder, Native Sweet Corn Chowder, and Classic Chicken Noodle just to name a few. We will also offer gluten free soups as well as vegetarian and vegan soups daily in the hopes that everyone will find something to enjoy here.
Went to Chowder House yesterday for lunch. They will need to quadruple the size for lunch because it's really the kind of place you want to sit and enjoy. The Nantucket Red Chowder was absolutely delicious. The chili had a pleasant kick but wasn't too spicy to enjoy. Everyone raved about the Seafood Chowder. There was a constant line but the turnover made it possible to get a seat, yet you didn't feel like it would be fair to sit and take your time. The Popovers were terrific and a nice treat. The people working were a little harried and gave us the wrong flavor butter but that should settle down once they are settled. We think they're off to a good start and we'll definitely go again!
Lunch options in Hatfield are pretty limited. There is either 127 Elm or FishTales--and this place is a big step up from either. I haven't tried any of the chowders, but the soups I've tried (Turkey Barley, Chicken & Rice) have been great. Nothing revolutionary or mind-blowing, but definitely good, solid, tasty soup. The were rich & flavorful with a generous amount of meat and definitely seemed to be homemade.
They also have really amazing cupcakes. Like, better than any cupcake I've had in Northampton or Amherst. DELICIOUS. seriously.
They've been pretty busy when I've gone in and there isn't much seating--more of a to-go place. Definitely worth a visit, though!