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Do you know of any new restaurants coming/in the Berkshires?

Anastasia Jun 7, 2012 07:02 AM

Hey all,
I heard that Koto Japanese Restaurant is coming to the old Panda Inn in Pittsfield, and that Jae's Spice is coming to Lenox Commons, and Five guys is also coming to Pittsfield. Anyone have any other places that are new(er) coming soon that they would like to share?

  1. l
    Lenox637 Jun 7, 2012 12:27 PM

    Scott Cole (Caffe Pomo d'Oro, West Stockbridge), purchased the Monterey General Store and will be doing lunches etc.. from that location.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Lenox637
      hopegoode Jun 7, 2012 05:44 PM

      I noticed one that closed- Aroma's second restaurant that opened in the Allendale Mall. No news of a replacement. However, the renovations at Koto look almost finished...

      Have heard good reports about Jae's Asian Bistro in Lenox.- talk is that reservations are needed.

      1. re: hopegoode
        magiesmom Jun 7, 2012 07:05 PM

        Bummer about Aroma, we like it and go often!

        1. re: hopegoode
          cowgirlinthesand Jun 9, 2012 03:28 PM

          Stopped into Jae's on Wed for a menu. They plan to start serving lunch next week. Looking forward to drinks and sushi in the afternoon!
          Is Koto a second location for an already established joint? Any good?

          1. re: cowgirlinthesand
            JudiBabbit Jul 1, 2012 01:42 PM

            Just went to the new KOTO today! We were the 3rd party to be seated. It is really great to have not another chain or fast food joint opening in the area - nice atmosphere and the menu is extense - we sat at the Sushi Bar and got "Sushi for Two" - 18 pieces of great fish, California Roll, Dragon Roll. The prices are reasonable and the Manager/Staff went above and beyond to make our visit memorable. This was a Sunday afternoon opening and there were a steady stream of people coming in and requesting menus and looking around. I wish them much success! We will be regulars - They haven't got their Liquor License yet, but I am sure it is coming.

            1. re: JudiBabbit
              cowgirlinthesand Jul 13, 2012 08:27 PM

              I went to Koto tonight (with a friend who's a concierge at a local resort) to try an assortment and see if we'd recommend it.

              Wellllll, the fish in all the rolls was minced. Everything. And then rolled inside the rice with sometimes some avocado and sometimes some cucumber. The flavor was nice (scallop roll, tuna roll and yellowtail roll), but the texture was incredibly funky
              and I missed the snap of briny sea flavor with this almost pureed fish. Miso soup ok, no tofu - just broth and 4 peices of scallion.

              Fried calamari was awful. Heavy Italian-like breading, very very thin and rubbery rings that gave you no calamari flavor thru the breading. Gloopy sauce we didn't eat.

              Seaweed salad good, small portion. Tuna and mango tartar very small portion, maybe 14 pieces of small chopped tuna and mango mixed together and served in 1/2 tangerine shell. The tuna had no taste. With eyes closed I wouldn't have guessed fish. (probably frozen first i think). Very overpriced @ 9.00

              No liquor license yet so the bill wasn't too bad, unlimited refills of iced tea was nice. It was packed with a line out the door by 6 pm.

              Sorry to be such a downer.

              1. re: cowgirlinthesand
                mjoyous Jul 14, 2012 09:07 AM

                But good to know.....almost tried it on Thursday, when the new Dragon was closed for "menu changes". Ended up at Matt Reilly's, which from Cowgirls review, might have been a better choice.

              2. re: JudiBabbit
                lifeasbinge Jul 18, 2012 09:08 PM

                I like Koto a lot, but isn't it a regional chain? Also in West Lebanon NH and South Burlington VT (at least)?

              3. re: cowgirlinthesand
                Anastasia Jul 6, 2012 05:46 PM

                Not sure if they are good, but they do advertise the heck out of the restaurants on our local TV (from Albany). So yes, they do have an already established joint in Albany NY.

                The jingle for the commercial is so annoying, yet you find yourself singing it hours later " The Koto Exxxxppperrriennnceeeeee......" ahhhh make it stop!!! LOL.

                1. re: cowgirlinthesand
                  Berheenia Aug 28, 2012 07:32 AM

                  We stopped for a quick drink and a bite at Jae's Saturday and as fans from the Brookline restaurant were pleased to see same appetizers that we enjoy at home were the happy hour specials (5 bucks and under) and there was a happy hour sushi menu too. The bar area was busy and there were a lot of diners coming in for the main dining room. Definitely a new destination in Lenox.

            2. m
              magiesmom Jun 9, 2012 08:24 PM

              We went to the newly expanded Mad Jack's Barbeque. Very disappointing: fried chicken literally raw on the inside, mashed sweets came out after we were finished with our meal, ribs just ok. We are hoping that it was just opening glitches since only the second day.

              1 Reply
              1. re: magiesmom
                madelinewater Aug 15, 2012 12:01 PM

                Yeah I went to Mad Jack's for lunch take out. Got a burger that was so tasteless, hard and dry that I was very disappointed. However the ribs and sides were OK. Would go back but only for the BBQ.

              2. b
                Bookistan Jul 14, 2012 12:10 PM

                Brava is a new wine bar featuring tapas in Lenox. In the old Fin space. I have not checked it out yet but their menu is on their Facebook page. Anyone been?

                2 Replies
                1. re: Bookistan
                  AikiLou Jul 19, 2012 07:46 AM

                  I was there with a friend a few days ago. We enjoyed the food and had a very cordial, knowledgeable server. The only thing I did not like was the "by the glass prices". A few of the glass pours were in the 7-9 dollar price range...the rest are 10.00 and up. Yes, it might be easier to buy the bottle and brown bag what is not consumed, but what if everyone wants something different? So, the meal turned out to be fairly expensive, but I WOULD go back.

                  1. re: AikiLou
                    madelinewater Aug 15, 2012 12:02 PM

                    Anyone been to the New Five guys? Wondering how it is...just opened yesterday I think. I love five guys but don't know if I should wait to go until it irons out any kinks.

                2. h
                  hopegoode Apr 26, 2013 03:46 PM

                  Has anyone tried Koto yet? The outside looks intriguing.

                  Any other new places in the Berkshires?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hopegoode
                    Anastasia Jun 5, 2013 07:43 AM

                    We have been to Koto several times. The outside, unassuming, but inside very nice. We only get the Thai or Sushi, so can't comment on Hibachi. Every time service is prompt and efficient. Very quick execution. Overall great prices. Owner is super nice. One time I ordered chicken Pad Thai, and the chicken tasted nasty, I didn't say anything to the server, just ate everything but the chicken. After plates were cleared, the owner came to me and asked if there was something wrong with the chicken. I was suprised he noticed before it went to the trash. I told him the texture and the way it was prepared was not good, he comped the lunch and gave me a free dessert. Super nice and very observant!
                    On another note, I just REtried some restaurants I haven't been so crazy about it in the past, and have to say that the Gypsy Joynt in GB is terrific, lovely salads, gruff staff. Also John Andrews has been on my S&*^&T list for some time (terrible service,high prices...etc...) but I was invited with friends twice, and had excellent service and food. Maybe they have cleaned up their act?

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