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Food 101 review - South Hadley


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Food 101 review - South Hadley

AriB | Jan 24, 2009 05:04 PM

My SO and I finally made it here tonight. Started with two appetizers: a) braised short ribs with caramelized onions and a port reduction, and b) seared ahi tuna over arugula with a sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade.

The short ribs were phenomenal! Two very large ribs that were unbelievably tender and juicy. The port reduction was a perfect accompaniment. And for the price (I think the plate was $11), you really can't beat this. Some of the best short ribs we've ever had -- and we've had quite a bit.

The tuna was much more delicate in flavor. Perfectly seared, rare, and not overpowered by the stronger flavors of the sun-dried tomatoes and olives. The arugula added a nice peppery bite. My SO would have liked a little more texture on the dish, but overall we agreed that this was another successful dish (~$10).

We shared an entrée of a 5-spice caramelized duck breast with roasted green beans and sauteed new potatoes (~$25). We appreciated that even without being asked, the duck was brought out medium rare. The flavors were spot on, but we would have liked the skin to have been a little crispier. Strings beans were fine, albeit nothing special. The roasted potatoes were cooked perfectly and had a creamy texture. Another great dish!

We ordered two glasses of wine (a Malbec and a Cab Sav) that were moderately priced. The glasses were generous.

Dessert: I had a white chocolate and raspberry cheesecake -- this was too heavy and a bit sweet, but I loved the graham cracker crust and fresh fruit that came with it. My SO ordered a chocolate mousse cake which was also served with fresh fruit and a raspberry sauce. Normally I don't order mousse as a dessert because they're too heavy, but this was relatively light. His dessert was definitely better.

While the service was neither stellar nor poor, we will anxiously return for more delicious food!

What are other "must try" dishes? Are there any other restaurants in the Valley that are comparable to Food 101?

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