The Burren, Cliffs of Moher and Newgrange
The Burren, Cliffs of Moher and Newgrange
By: Astrid Hiemer
Site Search
Ads by BFA


Olde Forge Restaurant in Lanesboro

Winging It

Pit Bulls - 11-14-2012
There are 18 rotating taps for beers including imports and regional seasonals. With more than 200 bottled beers including high end Belgian brews. Add to that state of the art, famous wings. Bottom line The Old Forge in Lansboro, a short drive from Pittsfield, is a Best in the Berkshires destination. Expect long waits on weekends and a boisterous full house. For affordable comfort food the menu is diverse and ambitious.

Renowned Chef Gerhard Schmid of Haflinger Haus

Berkshire International Club Celebrates Octoberfest

Charles Giuliano - 10-27-2012
Many recall the fine cuisine of Chef Gerhard Schmid from his Gateways Inn in Lenox in the late ‘70s and ‘80s, and the Devonfield Inn, formerly known as Haus Andreas in Lee, from 1980-1994. He is now presiding over the kitchen of Haflinger Haus an elegant mansion in Adams, Mass. Some 40 members of the Berkshire International Club gathered there to enjoy his special Octoberfest menu.

Koto Steak House and Sushi Bar

The Hot New Berkshires Asian Restaurant

Pit Bulls - 10-11-2012
Since it opened just three months ago Koto in the Pittsfield Malls is a popular destination for dramatic Asian dining. It’s mobbed on weekends including long waits even with reservations. The Pit Bulls dropped by for a delicious, entertaining, and leisurely lunch.

Mad Jack's Barbecue in Pittsfield

Move to North Street a Culinary Setback

Pit Bulls - 10-03-2012
A year ago the Pit Bulls rated the hole in the wall rib joint Mad Jack's the best in the Berkshires for barbecue. Since then, there has been a move from a small space on Frenn Street to a major venue next to the upscale Spice Dragon on North Street. The change to a larger venue with increased overhead has resulted in a loss of focus on the quality of food and service. This review was the result of several disappointing visits.

Sweet Cheeks Serves Designer Barbecue

Top Chef Finalist Tiffani Faison Opens Hot Boston Eatery

Pit Bulls - 03-22-2012
In Sweet Cheeks Boston touts a contender for first team, All American Barbecue. At a price. This is an upscale designer rib joint pretending to have rustic charm in a densely seated noisy ambiance. The meat is awesome but some of the sides just suck big time. Former Top Chef finalist Tiffani Faison needs to step up her game.

Coyote Flaco in Williamstown

Mexican Food for a Winter Night

Pit Bulls - 02-14-2012
On Route 7 between Williamstown and Pittsfield Coyote Flaco is one of several restaurants clustered not far from Williamstown. It is one of seven restaurants in a chain. Overall the food is good for the price. On a busy Saturday night we were lucky to be seated promptly without a reservation.

Easy Ersatz Paella

Spanish Saffron and Seafood Essential

Cisco - 02-25-2012
For a recent dinner party we made a deep dish version of seafood paella. While not exactly like what we have enjoyed in Spain it was a great success. It is easy and quick to prepare. But not cheap as it calls for the essential ingredient saffron. Definitely do try this at home.

Mission Bar and Tapas

A Hot Spot in Pittsfield

Pit Bulls - 02-04-2012
The Mission Bar and Tapas in Pittsfield has become a popular destination for live music and light dining. It will participate in 10x10 on North Street from February 16 to 26. Recently the Pit Bulls stopped by for lunch.

Desperados in North Adams

Lunch with Los Amigos

Pit Bulls - 01-21-2012
Hands down, Desperados is the best Mexican restaurant in North Adams. Since it opened a year or so ago it has been a popular destination with a combo of affordable, not very spicy food, in a tight space that makes for noisy evenings.

Panchos Mexican Restaurant in Pittsfield

Numbingly Mediocre Tex Mex

Pit Bulls - 01-19-2012
In the heart of Pittsfield driving or walking by Panchos Mexican Restaurant looks lively and enticing for those hungry for flavorful, affordable ethnic food. The cuisine however did not match the colorful decor.

La Fogata in Pittsfield

Miguel Gomez Serves the Taste of Colombia

Pit Bulls - 11-12-2011
For those seeking authentic Colombian cuisine La Fogata in Pittsfield has become an essential destination. It is readily accessible on a main route into the downtown. It has been a favorite restaurant of Pancho's for several years. We compared notes of multiple visits to give an in depth report on the full range of an extensive menu. The chef and owner Miguel Gomez brings family food of the other to the starving Berkshires.

Old Country Buffet in Pittsfield

Quality Comfort and Price

Pit Bulls - 10-07-2014
For an ample, fresh, cheap meal Country Buffet in the Pittsfield Mall is an enticing option. The Pit Bulls differed in their responses. In general you get what you pay for.

Fresh Gulf Shrimp and Cobia

Home Cooking on Florida’s Panhandle

Charles Giuliano - 04-17-2014
Along the Emerald Coast of the Florida Panhandle in the clear Gulf water the seafood is just awesome. In the galley kitchen of our condo we cooked up a storm with fresh jumbo shrimp in white wine sauce and the local delicacy cobia which was in season. Here are quick and easy delicious recipes.

Dreaming With Alice in Becket

Legendary Former Cat House Deep in the Woods

Charles Giuliano - 05-18-2014
When chef Amy Loveless invited Alice Brock to design a special event and menu for Dream Away Lodge in Becket, Mass. they got slammed. Over two days they sold out three sittings on each evening. It turned out to be the hottest event of a busy Berkshire weekend. Alice personally greeted each and every old and new friend during an amazing occasion and triumphant return which she described to me as "overwhelming."

Dream Away Lodge in Becket

Legendary Berkshire Dining and Entertainment

Cisco - 05-28-2008
Bob Dylan and Joan Baez put the funky Dreamaway-Lodge, hidden in the woods of Becket, Mass, on the map when they filmed it during the Rolling Thunder tour. Now it is a popular Berkshire destination for atmospheric family style dining and entertainment.

Santarpios in East Boston

Best Pizza in North America

Charles Giuliano - 10-01-2007
During the grueling job of packing up and moving from East Boston to the Berkshires an enticing treat for the crew of starving artists was lunch at Santarpios home of the best pizza in North America.

Vermont: Curtis' BBQ, Country Girl Diner, Sams Steak House

Famous Ribs in Putney

Cisco - 07-27-2007
On the road in Vermont looking for country dining experiences including the classic Country Girl Diner in Chester. And the famous Curtis BBQ with home pit in Putney and the annex in Chester. Lip smakin good.

New Orleans Dining: Elegant to Funky

Gumbo to Mud Bugs

Charles Giuliano - 05-07-2008
By far New Orleans is the dining Mecca of America. From a po boy sandwich, or a plate of oysters to oysters Rockefeller at the venerable Antoine's where they were first served, there is food of every taste and flavor to be enjoyed in the Crescent City.

New Orleans Reports: Cafe du Monde in the French Quarter

Serving Beignets and Coffee Since 1862

Charles Giuliano - 04-28-2008
Located in the French Quarter on the edge of Jackson Square is the Cafe du Monde. It has served beignets, New Orleans style fresh donuts and coffee since 1862.

Pittsfield: Flavours of Malaysia

Exotic Cuisine

Charles Giuliano - 12-18-2009
During the cold winter in the Berkshires the hot new restaurants to enjoy is Flavours of Malaysia tucked away in a basement on McKay Street just around the corner from the new Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield. On weekends reservations are recommended.

A Roman Holiday

Mange Bene

Philip S. Kampe and Maria Reveley - 07-26-2014
This is a lively guide to a four day Roman Holiday. Our overview provides links to accomodations and tours as well as lists of favorite restaurants and recipes. This will serve as a guide to a delicious taste of the food and wine of Italy.

Tasty Gourmet Food Trucks

Though Around for Long Time, A Strong New Design Trend

Mark Favermann - 12-26-2012
Starting in the 19th Century as Chuck Wagons on cattle drives, then becoming convenient lunch wagons in urban centers and a childhood memory as ice cream trucks, the growing and refined gastronomical convoy of Gourmet Food Trucks are now a provocative piece of the urban fabric. Their design and placement have many moving parts and add color, vitality and new sophisticated tastes to our lives.

Mazzeo in Pittsfield

Italian Comfort Food at a Moderate Price

C & A - 06-25-2013
Since 1988 Mazzeo's Ristorante has been a successful and popular destination. Recently the restaurant moved to a large venue with steady drive by traffic between Pittsfield and Lenox. We opted for the terrace on a sultry summer evening.

Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons

Savannah’s Tarnished Shrine for Grin and Grits

C & A - 06-26-2013
Paula Deen the Queen of Southern Cuisine has fallen off her media throne. During a three week drive through the south with several days in Savannah we visited her flagship The Lady and Sons. While wildly popular with tourists and fans of her TV cooking shows the food was hardly exceptional.

Maria’s European Delights

Polish Deli in Pittsfield

Charles Giuliano - 06-27-2013
After five years in Great Barrington the Polish deli Maria’s European Delights has relocated to 146 North Street in Pittsfield. Krzysztof "Kris" Sedowski handed me slices of sausage to sample while we discussed the nostalgia of food from the Old Country.

Five Guys in Pittsfield

Evaluating Berkshire Burgers

Pit Bulls - 07-06-2013
A franchise of the Five Guys chain of burger joints has opened in a Pittsfield mall. The Pit Bulls offer their reflections on the dining experience as well as views of the science of the perfect burger.

Spice Dragon in Pittsfield

Asian Confusion Food

C & A - 07-15-2013
With a winning combination of Asian Fusion food, ambiance, and moderate prices Spice Dragon in Pittsfield is a popular destination. Over several visits, however, the food and service has been inconsistent. Busy nights stretch the limits of understaffed and inexperienced front of house and an ability to get food to tables in a timely manner. In Pittsfield, however, there isn't much competition for dining on this level.

Pesto Pasta

Fresh Summer Herbs

Charles Giuliano - 08-11-2013
From now until frost we are enjoying fresh pesto made with basil from our thriving herb garden. With the right ingredients it's easy to make and stash in the freezer for a fine meal on a gloomy winter night.

Pork with Sauerkraut, Beer and Tarragon

Cooking with Fresh Summer Herbs

Charles Giuliano - 08-22-2013
With an abundance of fresh herbs in the garden there was an urge to make a favorite winter pork recipe. But with fresh tarragon a key ingredient. This is an easy, foolproof, quick and delicious meal.

Moonlight Diner in Williamstown

Burgers with Rock ‘n’ Roll

Pit Bulls - 09-20-2013
With its vintage Rock 'n' Roll decor The Moonlight Diner in Williamstown offers a winning combination of comfort food at affordable. It was packed with families for Sunday brunch.

Mill on the Floss a Berkshire Landmark

Offering Fine Dining for 40 Years

C & A - 09-24-2013
For a special occasion we dined in the 200-year-old former grist mill in New Ashford on Route 7 between Pittsfield and Williamstown.. For the past 40 years the Champagne family has offered fine dining in the gracious and atmospheric Mill on the Floss. If you stick with the $30 prix fixe menu it's a Best of the Berkshires.

Sullivan Station in Lee

Lunch in Historic Landmark

C & A - 10-19-2013
For an atmospheric lunch or dinner consider Sullivan Station in Lee the gateway to the Berkshires. Enjoy the intact interior of the 1893 building with lots of vibtage memorabelia.

Dublin Pubs

Irish Comfort Food

Charles Giuliano - 11-24-2013
They say that a seven course gourmet Irish meal consists of a six pack and baked potato. Imagine then our surprise to discover traditional Irish food in cozy Dublin pubs. Washed down, of course, with a fresh pint of Guinness.

Café of St. Martin-in-the-Field

Cheap Fun Atmospheric London Dining

C & A - 01-27-2014
The top London destination for cheap hearty food with great atmosphere is found in Trafalgar Square. The Cafe in the Crypt below St. Martin-in-the-Fields is no secret. It is always noisy and crowded. Despite the inconvenience it's the best deal around in a very expensive city.

Contrarian Osso Bucco

Improvising on a Peasant Recipe

Charles Giuliano - 02-06-2014
In upscale Italian restaurants when possible I always order Osso Bucco. Having read and absorbed some classic recipes on line, to the horror of my gourmet friends, I winged it and improvised. The resultant sauce was just awesome. But even at the suggested two hours the meat could have been more tender with longer cooking.

The Lantern Bar & Grill

Pittsfield Burger Joint

Pit Bulls - 03-12-2014
A hole in the wall and favorite among locals is The Lantern Bar & Grill at 455 North Street along the main drag of downtown Pittsfield, Mass. The owner chef Mike Papas is a jazz fan signified by the photos on the long narrow space with a single row of tables. The Lantern touts the best burger in the Berkshires. The Pit Bulls dropped by for lunch.

Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room

Family Style Lunch in Savannah, Georgia

C and A - 03-26-2014
When in Savannah Georgia you simply must have lunch at Mrs. Wilkes' Dining Room. During a campaign swing through town President Obama sampled the famous fried chicken and Southern hospitality.

Alice’s Restaurant Returns to the Berkshires

Dream Away Lodge Honors Women Chefs

Charles Giuliano - 03-27-2014
The rambling song “Alice’s Restaurant” by Arlo Guthrie is an icon of the 1960s. It spawned the film by Arthur Penn as well as “The Alice’s Restaurant Cookbook” which has gone through four printings. For the past 36 years Alice Brock has lived in Provincetown. She returns to Dream Away Lodge May 17 and 18 with evenings of her recipes prepared by Chef Amy Loveless. It is the second in a series created by Loveless to honor renowned women chefs of the Berkshires.