Restaurants & Bars

Tusk n' Rattle, Shelburne Falls

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Tusk n' Rattle, Shelburne Falls

EMDB | Jun 1, 2004 12:53 PM

The DH and I went there last night, and had a nice little supper, which was a relief since every place else in town was closed! Dinner was $77 not including tip-- two glasses of wine, an app, entree, dessert, and coffee for the DH, and three tapas, dessert, and tea for me. Definitely worth a return visit.

Atmosphere-- funky Indian, with an elephant theme. It's in a basement, with light green painted wood paneling in places, lots of nice flower arrangements, and some wooden latticework over the stone walls. There are these attractive wooden benches for booths, but they're not super comfortable. It's very close quarters, probably 6 or 7 four tops, and 3 two tops for tables, with about a dozen seats at the bar.

Wine list was nice, with some good spanish and new world selections by the glass, ranging to about $7 a glass. Not more expensive than Northampton.

Service was a little weird, but basically fine. I said I'd like one of my "tapas" to come first, and the other two to come out at the same time as the DH's entree, but the waitress totally ignored that and asked me if I wanted them all at once, so I repeated myself. The DH thought she was fine, though, and I can be a little hypercritical, since I'm a retired waitress.

Food was very good. It's got Indian spiced foods and more "ecelectic" type foods, but the spicing on everything was great. They give you tortilla chips and a fresh herb/white bean dip while you wait-- tasty, but I don't love white beans, so I'm no judge. Everyone else seemed to huff it down. The DH had grilled asparagus with a super light corn pudding which was almost like a souffle, with fabulous fresh herbs, and a salsa fresca dressing for an appetizer. This corn pudding was out of this world, light yet substantial and sooo savory. He then had cilantro grilled chicken with a tomato/curry sauce, rice, and white beans. He ordered "the chicken breast," without specifying, and the waitress didn't follow up further, even though there was a chicken/apple/cashew/cream sauce special on the menu, too, which the DH meant to order. So, a goof on both their parts, and he didn't ask for a replacement. He said it was very tasty, grilled well without being dry, and good spice levels. He had a spanish verdejo to drink, which he said went well with everything. He had a lemon curd parfait with grilled pineapple for dessert-- very tasty, a nice loose curd that wasn't too sweet.

I had manchego cheese with quince paste to start-- served on salad greens (super fresh) with sliced baguette, baby icicle radishes (yum) and grape tomatoes. The baguette was only so-so, so I just stuck with putting the preserves on the manchego itself. I wish there was more cheese to quince paste, since I had way more of the latter left over. The manchego wasn't the best I've ever had, but I was just so happy to be able to get it at all in the valley, and it was certainly respectable. I then had endive leaves, topped with goat cheese, (water soaked? steamed? not sauteed) shallots and walnuts. Tasty, about 5 leaves of endive, with good cheese and the sharp edge taken off the shallots, somehow. I also mussels in what I can only describe as a korma sauce made with coconut milk, extra ginger, and lemongrass. This was absolutely stellar-- the mussels were cooked just right, there were no duds in the bowl, and the sauce was just incredible. It came with two grilled slices of bread for soaking up sauce, and I could barely restrain myself from licking the bowl when those were gone. I had a white rioja to drink and it was nicely citrusy and dry, and went well with the manchego and the mussels. I had a rhubarb tart with a crumble topping for dessert. I skipped the crust and crumble, and just ate the filling, which was nicely tender and not too sweet, just the right amount of tartness. There was a healthy dose of not-to-sweet whipped cream on the side. They carry Tazo teabags for your drinking selection and pleasure.

Portions were large but not obscene, but we were totally stuffed by the time we were done. There was a lively bar crowd, and it was quite busy from 530 until 7 when we left-- I don't know if it's the usual scene on a Monday, or if it was because they were the only thing open in town besides subway. Definitely worth a visit!

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