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Massachusetts Best Restaurants 2011

Massachusetts Best Restaurants 2011
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by in May 2011

BEST MEAL WITH A VIEW
Bascom Lodge,
Mt. Greylock Reservation
The 1930s lodge atop the state’s tallest mountain is a hot new sunset-dining destination. Chef John Dudek’s three-course menu, which changes nightly, might include herbed white-bean soup, grilled beef, or gorgonzola walnut gnocchi. Wine is served, and you can spend the night in either a dorm or a private room. Entrées: $25 prix fixe (reservations required). Rates: private rooms from $125; dormitory bunk rooms from $35 per person. Access roads from North Adams and Lanesborough. 413-743-1591; bascomlodge.net

BEST APPLE WINE
Furnace Brook Winery,
Richmond
This 200-acre hilltop spread is webbed with hiking trails and planted with hundreds of fruit trees, the source of award-winning French-style cidre and “Johnny Mash” hard cider. Free tastings Thursdays through Sundays 11-5, plus Wednesdays from August 17 to October 26 this year. Also PYO apples, pears, and plums mid-August through October. Hilltop Orchards, 508 Canaan Road (Route 295). 800-833-6274, 413-698-3301; hilltoporchards.com

BEST CASUAL NIGHT OUT
Castle Street Cafe,
Great Barrington
From soba noodles to locally raised sirloin, there’s plenty to please. The cafe itself is casually elegant, but an extensive pub menu is available with outside seating as well as in the Celestial Bar. Friday and Saturday nights serve up live jazz (no cover). Entrées: from $15 (cafe); from $9 (bar). 10 Castle St. 413-528-5244; castlestreetcafe.com

BEST GENERAL-STORE BRUNCH
The Southfield Store,
New Marlborough Township
This vintage general store at the center of a small village is now an attractive cafe owned by Peter Platt, one of the Berkshires’ star chefs, who also owns the nearby Old Inn on the Green. Brunch on challah French toast with apple compote, huevos rancheros, or smoked salmon with saffron hollandaise sauce. Entrées: from $9 (brunch); from $21 (dinner). Norfolk Road, Southfield Village. 413-229-7924; southfieldstore.com

BEST SEASONAL FARE
Nudel,
Lenox
Foodies love coming to this sleek little (28-seat) restaurant. The menu changes daily, depending on what chef Bjorn Somlo finds that morning at local farms. His open kitchen features fresh pastas and seasonal produce in creative combinations. Entrées: from $18. 37 Church St. 413-551-7183; nudelrestaurant.com

BEST CHURCH SUPPER
Mike & Tony’s Pizzeria/The Green Emporium,
Colrain
The village’s former church on the common is filled with flower-decked tables, Tony Palumbo’s distinctive neon art, and often live music. Chef Michael Collins’s chicken soup with pasta and thin-crust pizzas with locally sourced toppings are worth a drive. Entrées: from $13. 4 Main Road. 413-624-5122; greenemporium.com

BEST FARM-TO-TABLE DINING
Gibbet Hill Grill,
Groton
A sprawling hilltop garden supplies most of the vegetables for salads and side dishes at this unpretentious rural steakhouse in a century-old post-and-beam barn. Bicyclists touring the country roads often fill the space on Sunday afternoons. Entrées: from $15. 61 Lowell Road. 978-448-2900; gibbethill.com

BEST CLASSIC DINER
Blue Moon Diner,
Gardner
Owner Jamie Floyd names her dishes for Fifties pop and movie stars. (Don’t miss the Elvis Burger–with peanut butter and bananas–a tasty tribute to The King.) She somehow manages to simultaneously work the grill of this Worcester Lunch Car diner and flash a smile at every customer who comes in. Entrées: from $6. 102 Main St. 978-632-4333; bluemoondinergardnerma.com

BEST VINEYARD DINING
J’s At Nashoba Valley Winery,
Bolton
Set in the heart of America’s first fruit bowl, J’s reflects a New England take on the country winery restaurants of northern California and parts of France. Dishes like Chardonnay-poached lobster match the venue’s light style. Grilled beef and lamb pair well with the beers, brewed on the premises. Entrées: from $23. 100 Wattaquadock Hill Road. 978-779-9816; nashobawinery.com

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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