Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Visiting Napa while in Great Barrington

I mentioned in my Best Ice Cream Ever post a few days ago that last weekend AV and I enjoyed a quick getaway to the Berkshires in Massachusetts. While that getaway was chock-full of delicious ice cream, it also had regular food-- including a delightful dinner at Napa Wine Bar and Eatery in Great Barrington, just a few steps from the fateful SoCo Creamery.

Napa recently replaced a restaurant we didn't like very much, so its presence in Great Barrington was welcome. And the owners have turned the space on Great Barrington's main drag into a pleasant place to be-- bright and airy, with a ton of space between each of the tables. It reminded me that in Manhattan, there would likely be twice or even three times the number of tables in the same space, merely to make rent. Ahh, the real world.

We started with a beer (AV) and the bread basket (both of us). Two warm white rolls came nestled in a napkin. Crackly outsides gave way to warm insides, and when slathered with butter, it was just the right treat to start off a dinner for two hungry people.

Warm bread in blanket

AV started with the bruschetta, with marinated tomatoes and fennel. He found the fennel to be too strong-- it was a notably anise-y fennel-- but the rest of the bruschetta to be delicious. I eagerly gobbled up the rest of the fennel and the odd tomato he discarded to be enjoyed with my salad.

A tangle of ingredients

Speaking of salad, I had ordered the field greens salad, asking for the onions to be replaced by beets. Even though the roasted beets are obviously a more expensive ingredient than a bit of shaved onion, they didn't charge us any extra, which was quite nice. And this salad was delicious, especially the beets-- tangy and marinated and sweet. AV also ordered the same salad, sans beets and plus onions, which he enjoyed. My only gripe with the salad is that the ricotta salata was in tiny shavings over the top of the greens, which meant it was nearly tasteless. If you're going to put cheese on a salad, put it in thick slabs or crumbles, so at least the tastebuds can get a foothold, you know? Otherwise there's no point.



We obviously had other plans for dessert, so we zipped out of there once our food was done. It's worth noting that while it doesn't have Manhattan seating arrangements, Napa definitely does have Manhattan prices-- it's not cheap. But the food was good and the experience was enjoyable, so if you're ever in the area, it's a three Offset Spatula restaurant that's worth traveling to.

Napa Wine Bar and Eatery
293 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA

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