Mar 4, 2012 - places to eat    1 Comment

Shaker Mill Tavern, West Stockbridge, MA

I decided the other day that my mother and I were due for a girl’s outing. We (or rather I) decided we should go out for lunch. We went to the Shaker Mill Tavern in West Stockbridge, Massachusetts. They’ve got a traditional tavern feel – open floor plan, wood floors, inviting bar.

The Shaker Mill Tavern is open for lunch on Fridays and Saturdays from noon until 4pm. Dinner is served Monday through Thursday 4pm until 9pm, Friday and Saturday nights from 4pm until 10pm and on Sundays from noon until 9pm. Mom and I arrived a few minutes after noon and were seated right away. We had a sweet little table right in the front window. It was early in the day so it was just a diet soda for myself and coffee for Mom while we perused the menu. For an appetizer Mom got the soup of the day, Potato Leek, and I had the Clam Chowder. My Chowder was jam-packed with clam pieces. For our meals, Mom had the Grilled Sage Polenta from the Appetizers. It was the perfect size for lunch and came with sauteed mushrooms, leeks, capers, parmesan cheese and tomato sauce. Beginner blogger blues – I forgot to snap a picture of it before Mom got to it. By the time I remember to get my camera out, there were only a few crumbs of polenta nestled in the remaining sauce and you didn’t really want to see a picture of that, did you? For my meal, I had the Shaker Mill Tavern Salad. It was arugula, roasted mushrooms, shaved parmesan, and sunflower seeds with a lemon vinaigrette on the side.  The salad was a nice balance of the peppery arugula, salty sunflower seeds, savory mushrooms and the salty, creamy parm. It was quite large and only ended up eating about a third of it. I took the leftovers home and had it for dinner that night too! Yummy!

As I mentioned, I was late in snapping pictures. I had already mixed my salad up and eaten some of it – I swear it arrived looking very pretty though! I’ve really got to work on resisting the urge to dig right in to meals and remember to take the pictures first! All in all, Mom and I had a very nice meal and some great conversation.

Here’s a link if you’d like to find out more about the Shaker Mill Tavern

Shaker Mill Tavern Website

Mar 3, 2012 - places to eat    1 Comment

Firefly – Lenox, MA

Hubs had to go out to listen to a live musical performance the other night and so we decided to stop by Firefly in Lenox, Massachusetts for a bite to eat. They are a New American Bistro that features both comforting classics and creative combinations. It was a Thursday night and Firefly was pretty busy. I would definitely recommend calling ahead for a reservation if you don’t want to take your chances. Hubs and I are pretty flexible and don’t mind waiting as I’ve mentioned before but tonight we were in luck. We were able to sit in a booth in the bar area.I really like the upscale but casual feel Firefly offers. The color palette they have for the restaurant is warm and cozy – reds, oranges, and golds primarily. I of course started with a Grey Goose Dirty Martini. (I had the day off from work on Friday so why not relax a little.) Hubs had a Bombay Sapphire and Tonic.

Right now Firefly has specialty nights and we happen to go on $5 Mac and Cheese night – score for me!! We started with the Habanero Salsa and Multi Colored Chips to nibble on with our drinks. The Salsa wasn’t overly spicy and had a very nice flavor.

For our meals I had (surprise, surprise) the Mac & Cheese. That’s all you get so I opted to get the Braised Greens as a side for an additional charge. Mom would be so proud, I’m getting my veggies! The greens were awesome! The liquid they were cooked in was so savory and the greens were perfect, a bright green not a dull mushy consistency. The Mac and Cheese was cheesy heaven! A delicious crispy topping and a sharp, stringy cheese sauce.

Hubs had the Braised Beef Brisket with Horseradish Potato Cake and Roasted Carrots. I managed to snap a shot before he inhaled it. In between his bites, I was able to sneak a little taste. The meat was so tender it melted in my mouth. The Horseradish Cake (which was the whole reason Hubs got the dish – he loves horseradish) was crispy on the outside and soft inside with just the right amount of heat from the Horseradish. The roasted carrots were like little sweet jewels. Home run on all fronts in my book!

Firefly is located at 71 Church Street in Lenox, Massachusetts.

Here are the links if you’d like to find out more:

Firefly website

Firefly Facebook Page

Feb 29, 2012 - places to eat    1 Comment

Olde Heritage Tavern – Lenox, MA

I’m going to start this post with full disclaimer: I work one day a week at the Olde Heritage Tavern waitressing and the Hub works in the kitchen. However I’m posting because I personally enjoy going to the “Heritage” and I did so even before I started working there. I am getting no kickbacks or benefits from this post. I also update the Olde Heritage Tavern’s Facebook page so when I saw that the special tonight was “ColeZ’s Ribs” I knew exactly what I was having for dinner tonight! The Olde Heritage Tavern is where the locals go for food and drinks in Lenox, Massachusetts.  It’s open 7 days a week. Lunch starts at 11:30am and they’re open until 12:30am. They’re open for breakfast on the weekends starting at 8:00am. (Edited this sentence from the original posting.)  The “Heritage” or the “Tage” as the locals call it, has a comfortable, welcoming feel to it. I stopped by the Heritage after work and enjoyed a glass of Bonterra Chardonnay while I waited for my to go order – ColeZ’s Rib’s with Broccoli and Coleslaw. It originally came with mashed potatoes but I opted for the slaw in an effort to cut down on the carbs…of course that roll with butter I ate post dinner completely destroyed that effort! Ooops!  So again I have to apologize. I was so excited to eat my dinner that I forgot to take a picture of it! Bad Blogger!!! I must say it was very tasty! The meat was fall off the bone tender, the broccoli was tender but still a little crisp. It totally hit the spot.

I definitely recommend you visit the Olde Heritage Tavern if you’re in the mood to go somewhere where “Everybody knows your name.”  There are no reservations at the Heritage and it’s first come first serve when you’re looking for a table. They have live music every Thursday night and you better not miss it for St. Patrick’s Day. I’ll be there, will you?

If you’re interested in learning more here are some links:

Olde Heritage Tavern Website

Olde Heritage Tavern Facebook Page

Feb 23, 2012 - places to eat    6 Comments

Bistro Zinc – Lenox, MA

Last I had left you, I had been traveling for roughly two weeks and had enjoyed a dinner out with the Hubs. Well, the refrigerator situation didn’t improve between Friday night and Saturday night so I called up my parents to see what they were having for dinner. As it so happened, they were going to be heading out to dinner to celebrate their 35th wedding anniversary. (DOH! I forgot!!)  After some back and forth of me sheepishly trying to back out, I conceded and was the third wheel for their big night out.  Luckily, they had me to help narrow their dinner options down.

The town I live in happens to have a number of wonderful restaurants so we parked in the center of Lenox and walked to Alta Restaurant and Wine Bar which was very close to our parking spot and is across the street from Nudel (you remember them from this post, right?) Unfortunately, it was Saturday night and they didn’t have any availability. Serves me right for thinking that even though it was a Saturday night, the fact that we were going out to dinner at 5:30pm would be earlier enough not to need a reservation. So we walked a little further down the street in search of another place that might be able to seat us.  Next stop was Bistro Zinc located at 56 Church Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. They’re open 7 days a week for lunch 11:30 – 3:00 and for dinner 5:30 – 10:00. Yay! Success! We were able to get a table in the window. Now, don’t think that I would have preferred to eat at Alta over Zinc. From experience, I know they are both equally fabulous! I would strongly suggest making a reservation at either of these places on the weekend in the off-season. During the summer I would say reservations for dinner are a must regardless of the day.

Zinc is a modern French bistro that boasts fine cuisine and a refined but welcoming atmosphere according to their website and I couldn’t agree more.  We toasted my parent’s anniversary with a round of cocktails – I had a Grey Goose Dirty Martini (my personal fav), Mom had a St. Germain Pear Martini which she actually finished (If you know my mom that means she really liked it because she rarely finishes an alcoholic bev) and Dad had a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. We all began dinner with French Onion Soup. It was served in beautiful white soup tureens and was quite tasty. Sometimes I find French Onion Soup can be a little on the salty side but this was perfect. For dinner Mom had the Boeuf Bourguignon which had braised short ribs, portobello mushrooms, roasted carrots, and mashed potatoes. I have to say it was delicious and I will go back just for that dish! Dad has the special which was Broiled Mahi Mahi with coconut black rice and pineapple salsa. He really enjoyed it and there wasn’t a speck left on his plate. I had the Pork Ragu which was slow cooked pork, stewed tomatoes, homemade pappardelle, and parmesan. There was a ton of it and after having my soup for an appetizer, I just couldn’t finish it. I ended up having it wrapped up and sending it home with my parents. It was yummy and comforting, like snuggling up in a favorite blanket.  There was also a ton of pork in the dish.

Although there were some amazing dessert selections which I strongly suggest you save room for if you go to Zinc (especially the profitéroles – mmmmm!) we opted to just pick up some ice cream on the way back to my house to enjoy on the couch in front of the wood stove.

Wait, no photos again?! Don’t despair! I will grab pics the next time I’m out and about! For now you’ll just have to settle for visiting the websites of the places I’m describing and check out their own shots.

If you’d like to learn more about Bistro Zinc here are some links:

Bistro Zinc on Facebook

Feb 19, 2012 - places to eat    7 Comments

Nudel Restaurant – Lenox, MA

I’ve been traveling a lot lately – back to back trips – first to Las Vegas, Nevada to attend a conference and then to Galveston, Texas to help run a conference. This resulted in being out of town, away from my husband, our two dogs and my very comfy bed for two weeks. Hub (AKA the Husband) picked me up at the airport and we stopped at home long enough for me to shower and then we headed out to grab some dinner. Leaving Hub home alone for over a week meant there was very little to choose from in the fridge.

We decided to try out Nudel because it was close to home and a friend had been singing their praises to us for a while now. Nudel is located at 37 Church Street in Lenox, Massachusetts. It’s the off season so they only serve dinner Tuesday through Sunday 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm, closed on Mondays. They operate on a first come, first serve basis and don’t take reservations. It’s small but cozy. When we arrived we were told by the hostess that there was a bit of a wait while they turned over some tables. She said 20 minutes so we moved down to the bar area but the wait was more like 10 or 15 minutes at the most.  Nudel has an open kitchen so we watched the two chefs work while we waited, which was fun. Hub mentioned that he would have liked to have eaten at the bar so we could watch the chefs but unfortunately there was only one seat available so we agreed it would have to wait until our next visit.

We were seated in a little nook and got down to business – the menu. They don’t have a full bar, only wine and some micro brews. I ordered the Tre Terre Chardonnay and Hub had a Southern Tier 2x Milk Stout. We decided to start with an appetizer, the Jalapeno “Popper” Tacos. When it arrived we were surprised to see that they had been nice enough to split the tacos on to two plates. We didn’t ask for that, so it was a plus in my book that they took the time to do that for us. It’s the little things, the attention to details that count. The tacos had Almond Romesco sauce, refried beans, cheddar cheese, cilantro and slaw. We each had one taco and agreed they were quite tasty! Next up were our entrees. I had the Orecchiette with Pork Sausage, Red Pepper flakes, Green Olives, White Beans and Broccoli. I’ve had similar dishes to this but never with the addition of the green olives. It was a nice added touch. The meal was light and flavorful, which was perfect after my long day of traveling and enjoying nothing but salted peanuts and Kettle Style Chex mix. Hub had the Bacon Poached Montauk Spanish Mackerel with Split Pea Risotto, Ham and an Apple Slaw. I think he was sold at the word Bacon! Anyhow, he also said his meal was good. I sampled a bit of everything on his plate so I could describe it in more detail than “good.”  The Mackerel was nice, I had never had it before so wasn’t sure what to expect but I liked it! The Risotto was AMAZING! I could have just eaten a big bowl of that – yum! It was creamy and had just the right amount of pea flavor. I think the Apple Slaw had curry in it, which I love but Hub isn’t a big curry fan so he didn’t rave about it like I did but he did say the combo of a scoop of the risotto with a scoop of slaw was the way to go.

By the end, we were quite full and happy and I was ready to crash! We’ll definitely be going back to Nudel. They change up the menu quite frequently, I think every day, and they post links to their updated menus on Twitter and Facebook. I added them to keep up to date because I found their food to be very intriguing and creative. The restaurant is small so I think arriving early or going during the week is your best bet if you don’t like to wait. We don’t mind waiting and will usually have a cocktail if it’s going to be a while. This gives us a chance to relax and take in the atmosphere. Everyone at Nudel was very friendly and cheerful. As far as pricing, small plates or appetizers are $10, pasta dishes are $20 and entrees are $25. Wines by the glass ranged from $5 to $9 and the beers were $5.

If you’re interested in learning more about Nudel here are their links:


Nudel on Facebook







Welcome to Berkshire Bound

Hello and welcome to Berkshire Bound. This is my first blog, so you’ll have to excuse my stumbles along the way. I envision this blog to be resource for those traveling to Berkshire County, located in Western Massachusetts. I’ll be posting about places to eat, places to play and places to stay. Every so often I’ll include a posting about my own travels outside of Berkshire County. I’m just your average, middle class, married female with no kids and two dogs. I’m not out here to bash anyone’s business or livelihood, so if that’s the kind of reviews you’re looking for you’re in the wrong place. I’ll be posting honestly but without the nastiness that some reviewers stoop to. I just feel that there’s no need for that in life. So thank you and I look forward to our journeys together.