Restaurants & Bars

Belated NYE post/Northampton

bear | Jan 6, 2008 09:08 AM

My husband and I spent a few days in Northampton over the NY's weekend. We hit several places during our stay, so I thought I'd post.

Saturday night, we ended up at the Old Mill on the Falls in Hatfield. It is a lovely, large B&B on a waterfall in a pleasant location. They've been open for a a year or two, but just started serving dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. The menu is 4 course prix fixe between $19.95-21.95 and it's byob. We started with the appetizer plate of fried ravioli, marinara, grissini wrapped with prosciutto, and crostini with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Everything was tasty and fresh. Next course, I had lobster bisque, which was delicious, and my husband had a decent mixed green salad. Next, I had the alfredo pasta and he had puttanesca. Again, very good. For the entrees, we both had chicken sauteed with lemon, topped with mozzarella and asparagus. It was very tasty, but by then I was really full and wanted to have some dessert, so I couldn't do it justice. The accompanying vegetables were a bit overcooked. We ended with warm house-made gingerbread, which was perfect comfort food. For $52 dollars including dessert, it was a very good value, and the people there (Ted the owner and a wonderful waitress whose name I can't remember) were about as warm and welcoming as you could want. Three suggestions I would make: put crustier bread in the basket, change the veggie side in the entree, and use hand-whipped cream with the lovely ginerbread. We would return, and I hope they do well.

Sunday morning we had brunch at the Green Street Grill. It was very good: bacon/onion tart, eggs benedict, tasty grens, good potatoes and coffee, nice warm fire in the fireplace. A great way to spend a Sunday morning.

Sunday night, we went to Montague to the Night Kitchen, which is at the Book Mill. What a wonderful place. The waterfall setting couldn't be better, the service is great, the rustic feel of the place keeps it from feeling stuffy, and the food is top-notch. I started with a pheasant sausage/apple appetizer that was really smoky/tasty with just the right level of spice. My husband had the carrot/fennel soup, which was also excellent. For entrees, his grilled sirloin was a bit overcooked, just past medium rather than medium-rare, but he said it was one of the best pieces of meat he has eaten other than the overcooking. I had swordfish on a bed of cannelini beans, which was very well prepared. The fish was cooked perfectly, and the beans were also really nice. It was a bit too busy for me, with arugula pesto and red pepper tapenade almost distracting from the fish, but that was just a matter of personal taste. No room for dessert. We will definitely try to make it back here on a warm summer evening to sit outside overlooking the waterfall.

Monday morning, we went to Sylvester's in Northampton for breakfast. I got corned beef hash with poached eggs and hollandaise on english. Can't say I loved the hollandaise...had a sort of chicken stock flavor or something. Hash was tasty enough. He had whole wheat coconut/chocolate chip pancakes, which were good. It was fine, not necessarily a place we'll need to return to but a place we would go if we were hungry and in the area. Got a tub of granola to go. Clearly house-made, and really delicious. That is a must return-to.

Monday night, NYE, we went to Mullino's trattoria before attending First Night festivities. We managed to find a parking space and barely made it for our 6:30 reservation. We were seated immediately and had terrific service, especially considering it was one of the craziest nights of the year to eat out. I started with an excellent Caeser with a couple of really tasty anchovies on top. He had a simple, fresh mixed green salad. We both had shell pasta with sausage, spinach, roasted peppers, tomato and a bit of cream. The pasta was perfectly al dente, and the dish overall very tasty comfort food. Once again, no room for dessert.

Tuesday, as we headed home anticipating the snow, we headed back to the Book Mill in Montague for sandwiches at the Lady Killigrew Cafe. It wasn't very crowded at 10:30 on New Years, so we grabbed a table by the window to watch the waterfall, and had good coffee and very tasty grilled ham, gruyere? and marinated apple panini. It was great, as were the greens with a soy dressing that was absolutely delicious. Very fresh, healthful food in a fun and funky environment. We were a bit bummed that the Bookmill wasn't open. Looks like great browsing.

We had a great trip, with lots of good chow, many rec's from this board. Thanks, hounds!

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