The results are in and Vinny Clams is proud to present THE VINNY CLAMS TOP TEN. The listing is in no particular order and Vinny invites your comments and your own additions or subtractions.
1. AMANOUZ CAFE Northampton. Wonderfully authentic Morroccan. Tangines, grilled fish, salads. Try couscous, lamb, turnip greens and sauteed veggies. All entrees under $10.
2. BOTTLE OF BREAD Shelburne Falls. Take the scenic drive to this charming town and dine at this gem at the entrance to The Bridge of Flowers. Well prepared reasonably priced, cool relaxed beautiful atmosphere.
3. AMHERST CHINESE Amherst. A standard of fresh chinese food for 30 years. The owner, Mr Chang, grows his own vegetables at his nearby farm. Try the peashoots and pork. Order the oddly tasty fresh pressed sandraberry juice.
4. PAUL & ELIZABETH'S Northampton. People complain about the spacey attitude and sometimes underspiced cuisine, but Vinny can't complain about the always fresh grilled scrod lunch with salad, tea and rice for only $7.95
5. HOLY SMOKES! Hatfield. BBQ in New England dosen't get any better. The smoked beef ribs with grilled vegetables and tuscan style white beans is a winner. Tasty pulled pork sandwich too.
6. CIRCA Northampton. The most underrated upscale restaurant in the region. Why this place isn't mobbed every night is a mystery. Cozy and romantic, reasonably priced for what you get, and the chef does a superb job. Delicious duck, halibut, and rack of lamb. Vinny has never had a bad meal there.
7. APOLLO GRILL. Easthampton. In the hard to find Eastworks Building. Fun, funky and surprisingly complex presentations. Not expensive with a pretty good wine list.
8. PHO SAIGON Springfield. Vinny loves this place. The pho is top notch, the people friendly. Why they don't open a branch in Northampton? It would be mobbed!
9. KOREAN RESTAURANT Hadley. Who actually knows the name of this little family-run spot on Route 9? An absolute steal for lunch.
10. GREAT WALL Florence. Who would have thunk it? A top-notch authentic chinese restaurant at a strip mall on Pine Street in Florence! The chef is a master and turns out such winners as stuffed tofu with chicken & shrimp on a bed of bok choy, fabulous peking duck, and fragrant steamed flounder in ginger and garlic.
BUBBLING UNDER THE TOP TEN:
CARMELINA's Hadley. Always a good Italian meal
CAFFINES W Springfield. Ridiculous name. Good food
DEL RAYE Northampton. Expensive but often worth it
SYLVESTERS Northampton.Great breakfasts. Long lines
NIGHT KITCHEN Montague.Gorgeous location. Fine dining
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