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Need Restaurant Suggestions for the Berkshires

Old Dec 13th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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Need Restaurant Suggestions for the Berkshires

Hello,
Four of us are visiting the Berkshires in January, over the long MLK weekend, to celebrate my brithday & my SIL's birthday. We have reservations at the White Horse Inn in Pittsfield. I would appreciate restaurant recommendations for lunch and dinner in Pittsfield, Williamstown/No. Adams & the Stockbridge/Lee/Lenox area. We like all kinds of food, & prefer inexpensive restaurants and maybe one or two higher priced restaurants for our birthday dinner.
Thank you very much!
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 09:22 AM
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For bar food / great beer selection, Id recommend the Olde Forge Rest. in Lanesboro (b/w Pittsfield and Williamstown). Little biased as I used to work there.

Lenox - admittedly there are a lot of good restaurants in the heart of Lenox but its been a long time since I was there.

Luau Hale - Polynesian Food
Panda House - Chinese Food
5 Chairs Rest - more lunch type for great sandwiches

Stockbridge - same comment as Lenox
Red Lion Inn for a meal.

I'm struggling with Pittsfield as there is an over-abundance of chains but trying to go with more local ones. There are a bunch of new ones along North St that have opened in the last few years and get good reviews.

Your B&B choice is in a great location. Central location to Lenox / Stockbridge but also easy to get to North County from there. I can't help too much with Williamstown / North Adams restaurants.

Have you checked to see if there was anything going on at the Colonial Theatre that weekend?
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 09:26 AM
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The other restaurant that I meant to include was Mazzeo's restaurant in Pittsfield for Italian Food.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 10:35 AM
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Thank you, tchoiniere, for your great suggestions. I especially like the idea of Mazzeo's, 5 Chairs Restaurant & the Red Lion Inn (for a special birthday dinner).

No, I haven't checked out the Colonial Theater yet but I will. I did go online to Barrington Stage Company a month ago but there wasn't anything listed for January. I'll try again. We would be looking for something to do at night besides dinner.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 12:05 PM
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I'm not actually that crazy about the Red Lion restaurant, and I think you can do better for a special occasion. They do serve outstanding breakfasts however. But the dinners are very traditional (think roast lamb, and prime rib) and while decently executed, aren't very exciting.

If you are that far south, John Andrews would make a nice choice for a special occasion place. Olio is a middle eastern restaurant in West Stockbridge that I liked very much. Viva, in Stockbridge has good tapas. Route 7 Grill in Great Barrington is a good place for barbecue and is particular about using local ingredients as much as possible. These are all a bit south of where you're going to be though, this is the area I'm most familiar with.

There are some nice places in Lenox, but I'm not uptodate, not having been there for a while. Except for Church Street Cafe, only I believe that's closed in the winter. You should check for recommendations in Lenox on Chowhound.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 12:08 PM
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What activities are you planning on for during the days?

Id suggest Mass MoCA, Norman Rockwell and the Clark Art Museum for museums.

Another restaurant suggestion would be Zucchini's in Pittsfield (towards LanesboroO on Rt 7.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 12:47 PM
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There's a good chance the OP ran an earlier thread about winter-based attractions in the Berkshires, if memory serves. I remember suggesting Arrowhead as a possibility at the time, though it can only be seen via appointment this time of year.

tchoniere, will definitely second Mass MoCA. The Clark Art Museum is indeed supposed to be excellent, but haven't been -- and assuming it's open, the Williams College Art Museum is supposed to be well worth visiting, too.

Will also suggest the Berkshire Museum (in Pittsfield), as long as the subject came up. It has a pleasing and eclectic collection of Hudson River style canvases, Egyptian artifacts, 19th century US and Italian sculpture, Ancient Mediterranean items, toys designed by Alexander Calder, Native American artifacts, fossils, minerals, mounted birds and mammals and insects, a small aquarium space, and other odds and ends. Kind of a "taste of everything" kind of spot. Liked this place better than I thought I would, actually.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 03:31 PM
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Hi everyone,
Yes, I did post about a month ago about activities in the Berkshires during the winter. We are planning on seeing the Norman Rockwell, MassMoCA & Clark art museums, & possibly the Hancock Shaker Village. I like the idea of visiting Arrowhead, too. And the Berkshire Museum, which I didn't know existed. Bachslunch, I like your description! Thanks for all the details.

Thanks for all the wonderful restaurant suggestions. I'll print out these postings & bring all the info with me.

Any suggestions for night time activities? I called Barrington Stage Company & right now they don't have anything scheduled for Jan 15 or 16, but they told me that could change. And Colonial Theater doesn't have anything scheduled for that weekend either, which surprises me since it is a long weekend.
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Old Dec 13th, 2010, 06:19 PM
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Unfortunately, I think the Berkshires is really more of a summer destination, esp when it comes to evening shows etc, eg, Tanglewood, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jacob's Pillow etc are all summer festivals. Even Shakespeare & Co doesn't have anything listed for Jan.

Your option may only be seeing a movie?

There's a concert at Mass Moca on Jan 15 evening:
http://www.massmoca.org/event_details.php?id=594
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Old Dec 14th, 2010, 04:57 AM
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My friends in West Stockbridge, very much foodies, love Rouge. I like the Vietnamese restaurant there, tho the name is not coming to mind.

I agree with china_cat about the wonderful breakfasts at the Red Lion Inn.

BE sure to check what is at the Williams College Museum of Art downtown as well as the Clark. We saw some splendid exhibits there last year (2009) notably one on Maurice Prendergast in Italy. But as with everywhere else, hours will be limited at that time of year.
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Old Dec 14th, 2010, 08:46 AM
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yk, thanks for the info about the concert at the Mass MoCA. I never would have thought to look there for a concert/performance. I'm currently making my list of restaurant suggestions and sightseeing recommendations.

It looks like the Hancock Shaker Village is closed until April, which surprises me, because we were there about 4 years ago in Feb for my husband's birthday & they had special exhibits/activities. At the time, I was quite sure it was also open during the MLK weekend in Jan. Oh well, I think we'll have plenty to do with all the museums, shopping, & dining. And we do have to make an appointment to visit Arrowhead - they will have to see if someone is available that weekend to give a tour.

What are people's opinions of the Barrington Brewery & Rest? And how does it compare to Olde Forge & Route 7 Grill?
thanks for all your help!
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Old Dec 14th, 2010, 08:55 AM
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I like the Barrington Brewery but it is a long ways out of your way unless you are in Great Barrington, whereas the Olde Forge is on your way to /from Williamstown / North Adams. I have not been to the Route 7 Grill.

Forge and the Brewery are very comparable. Good food and good beer. Forge doesn't make their own beer but has almost 150 different beers available. Both have a lot of typical pub food but mixed with a good selection of entrees at reasonable prices.
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Old Dec 14th, 2010, 02:28 PM
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Ackislander, agreed that the Williams College Museum of Art is from all accounts an excellent place to visit. I also hope to go there sometime in the foreseeable future.

Unfortunately, it looks like they'll be closed from December 13 to February 3 to (as their website says) "prepare a new presentation for its collection."
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 08:32 AM
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Has anyone eaten at Spice Root, an Indian restaurant in Willisamstown, and Trattoria Rustica, in Pittsfield? They both receive great reviews on Trip Advisor, especially Spice Root.
Will it be necessary to make dinner reservations for Jan 15 (the long MLK weekend)? Does the Berkshires get very busy in winter with skiers?
Thanks.
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 08:45 AM
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not a restaurant perse, but if you happen to be driving by, I would love if you picked up some chili spiked dark chocalates to enjoy for me!

http://www.chocolatesprings.com/
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 08:46 AM
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My parents have ate at Trattoria and enjoyed it. They only went once or twice but had good meals.

It definitely gets busier in the Berkshires. Probably more towards North County (williamstown, North Adams) because of Jiminy Peak. South County will be busier but not out of control. Reservations would help but probably not necessary.

Olde Forge will definitely be busy that weekend.
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 09:24 AM
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I like the food at Route 7 Grill better than the food at the Brewery. The Brewery does have excellent beer. I haven't been to Olde Forge so can't compare.

Ackislander, thanks for the Rouge recommendation. I was going to suggest it too, but since I hadn't been there I hesitated. Now I'm going to have to try it next time I'm out that way.

Kwoo, I don't go up so far north in the winter time, so I can't say for certain. But in the Lenox/Stockbridge/Great Barrington area it tends to be pretty quiet in the winter. The skiing isn't that great, especially compared to nearby Vermont. We've often gone to dinner without reservations in the winter time.
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Old Dec 15th, 2010, 04:50 PM
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We never went later than November or early December .. but in case you venture farther-Great Barrington has a good amount of good restaurants and it is a larger town with an all year population ..
There is a restaurant as you come into So Egremont on Rt 23 , on the right, is The Old Mill . It is lovely.
Route 23, South Egremont, Mass., (413) 528-1421.
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Old Dec 24th, 2010, 02:56 PM
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There is a wonderful Maylasian restaurant in Pittsfield, right next to the back entrance to Beacon Cinema. If you like Japanese food, Bizen in great Barrington is well worth it. Haven in Lenox has a nice breakfast.

The hot chocolate at Chocolate Springs is decadent and divine.
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Old Dec 26th, 2010, 04:15 PM
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Thanks to everyone for all your great suggestions. We love Maylasian food so I like your recommendation, jubilada. And hopefully we can see a movie at Beacon Cinema. I'll write a short trip report when we return!
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