A few years ago I read about this place, and then saw that Jim Leff had posted about it. Jim and I corresponded briefly about The Dreamaway Lodge, as one of those places it seems we both had wondered about, having heard amazing things--the stuff that legends are made of! Last night, I met my brothers in the Berkshires, and we decided to go on an adventure and try it.
First of all, it's no longer so mysterious--they actually have a webpage with excellent directions, as well as a history of the place. (dreamawaylodge.com/) The ambiance is seriously funky--a great combination of fun and homey, odd and comfortable. Sadly, the food was not chow-worthy. It reminded me of dorm food--plain, plentiful and filling. There was nothing delicious that we tasted, and some items were seriously and oddly flawed. My sister-in law ordered the pasta with pesto. It came as a dinner plate, half covered with a mesclun salad, and half with supermarket spaghetti, decidedly not al dente, covered with what looked like undoctored canned tomato sauce. We asked our server about it, and he said, "Oh, I took it from the chef before she had a chance to add the pesto!." He wisked it off and brought it right back with a tablespoon or two of pesto dumped on top. When we asked about the red sauce, he said that it's described on the menu is pasta with marinara and pesto. We no longer had the menu, so my sister sucked it up and had it as is. My ("Legendary Dreamaway") meatloaf was nothing special--undistinguished in seasonings, toppings, or texture. The other dishes and desserts were similarly undistinguished.
Finally, although the service and everyone there was friendly, we were rushed out by the host/owner with an explanation that the folks from the next seating were crowding the bar area. This was fine, we were in the process of paying (actually, standing up, gathering our things).However,as we walked out, we realized that there was a large living room with a fireplace, as well as a porch area with at least 15 empty tables. This made it harder to understand why the host was so frantic to get us out of there. We noticed a sign up over the bar the place is for sale. Maybe the owner (who seemed like a nice guy) is just frazzled or burned out.
We were glad we had come--it was a fun a place, even if the food was disappointing, and the price tag reasonable: 5 course prix fixe dinner for $34, a la carte items only about $10-12. But a chowhound's gotta go where the food warrants the trip Sadly, at the current incarnation of the Dreamaway Lodge, it did not.