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Dining in Springfield MA


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does anyone have any suggestions for a nice place to go out for dinner in the Springfield area? my husband & i are there for 1 night, visiting from SF, and want to take my mom to a nice dinner.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!!

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Depends what kind of food you're looking for. The Fort (aka Student Prince )is definitely an institution in the area and does a pretty good job with traditional German food. The atmosphere is old-world, not always terribly comfortable. Not a place necessarily to linger and chatGreat selection of German beer and they make good martinis.

There's a new steak place in town, Max's Tavern in the new basketball hall of fame complex, and it's excellent. The restaurant is owned by Max Group, which has a few restaurants in and around Hartford and they excel in service. Very clubby atmosphere. The steaks and chops are great, I don't know about the seafood they offer, with the exception of the raw oysters, which were fantastic. Decent wine list, good drinks.

For more creative, nouvelle-type fare, Caffeine's, on Worthington St. is a good choice. Things like seared scallops, free-range chicken, innovative pizzas, spinach-carmelized pear-fig-gorgonzola salad. Funky, upscale atmosphere.

At all of these place, the tab for two with apps, dinner, dessert, drinks, tip will run about $100 or so. If you'd like any more suggestions, or have a particular type of food in mind, just let me know. There's also a good Indian restaurant in Springfield, and if you're willing to travel 20 minutes north to Northampton, the possibilities increase exponentially.

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I can't speak from first-hand experience, but my wife recently had a good meal at Cafe Lebanon downtown.

I agree with bushey about Northampton, if you have a car to drive there. This is a good reference for restaurants in Northampton, Springfield, and other nearby points.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Here's a quick list of places I'd reccomend in Northampton:

Japanese/Sushi/Chinese: Teapot, on Main Street. Casual atmosphere, good sushi. Some folks prefer Ichiban, which is nearby, but I find it a little sterile there. There's a new place, Osaka, that has a good menu.

Italian: Spoleto, on Main Street. Excellent pasta dishes, usually there are good specials. Excellent service, very good wine selection and they make great margaritas. It's a little shabby now, but this used to be THE place to go in Northampton.

Indian: India House on State St. We ate there for the first time a couple of weeks ago and the food is very good. Interesting menu, lots of great breads and seafood dishes. Service is a bit brisk -- if you want to relax and take your time, let them know.

Upscale contemporary food:

Del Raye Bar and Grill on Main St (under the railroad bridge) is our favorite "nice" restaurant. Innovative menu, very good service, upscale yet intimate atmosphere. One of the pricier places in town (and sister to Spoleto), but rarely disappoints. Sunday through Thursday they have a new bistro menu, with 3 or 4 courses for $26. One Sunday a month they have themed wine dinners. Last week we were there for South African wines and it was a very enjoyable, delicious evening.

Circa, on Center St. menu . Small place with interesting food and good wine list. A notch below Del Raye, in my estimation, but a lower price point.

Brasserie 40-A, on Strong St, is a new restaurant that is styled as a french bistro. Fun place, food is good rather than great and at a lower price point than some other places. In the same building as Mulino's, an Italian place which was mediocre last time we ate there. Check out both menus here .

There's also an Argentinean steak place/Italian place that we really like, Caminito. For some reason, this place was blasted on Chowhound, but the steak is really fantastic and it's a warm, friendly place. Good selection of Argeninean wines, and there's often a guitar player. sample menu . The dessert crepes, called panqueques, are wonderful.

Hope this gives you enough food for thought...............

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  • 4 months later...

My boss and I will be staying at the Springfield Marriot downtown (Boland Way and Columbus) for 3 days next week attending training. We will not have a car, and need recommendations for nearby dinners, moderately priced, please.

TIA.

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Ms. Alex enjoyed Café Lebanon when she stayed at the Marriott.

"There is no sincerer love than the love of food."  -George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, Act 1

 

Gene Weingarten, writing in the Washington Post about online news stories and the accompanying readers' comments: "I basically like 'comments,' though they can seem a little jarring: spit-flecked rants that are appended to a product that at least tries for a measure of objectivity and dignity. It's as though when you order a sirloin steak, it comes with a side of maggots."

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Am I too late to offer suggestions? I'm a local gal here.

Worthington Street, between Main And Dwight, has a couple of restaurants that are quite good. For upscale, try Caffeine's Downtown, which has modern American food and a funky atmosphere. There's also a place that specializes in "blue, booze and barbacue" that has great ribs, jerk chicken, wraps and sides like cole slaw, sweet potato fries, cornbread, etc. Bar type atmosphere with live music most nights.

The Fort/Student Prince on Fort St. specializes in German food and is a Springfield institution. Great selection of German beer on tap, good martinis. If you stick with fairly simple food like any of the schnitzel dishes, trout amandine, game meats, you'll have a good meal. Old-world atmosphere, very popular place.

If you like Indian food, Sitar on Main St near the Hippodrome is pretty good. Try the coconut naan, any of the tandoori dishes or vegetarian specials. A little further afield, on Liberty St. across from the main post office (a 15 minute walk from the Marriott, at most) is Chef Wayne's Big Mamou, a cajun place that serves great spicy food in a fun but plain atmosphere. Chef Wayne himself is usually at the stove. Etouffe is wonderful, as are all the catfish dishes. It's BYO, cheap and I have yet to find room for the bread pudding with bourbon sauce or sweet potato pie but they sure look good. Everything is fresh and homemade.

Let us know how you liked Springfield!

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Yep, too late Bushey. But I appreciate your suggestions anyways. The software co. that was providing the training had a sign up for dinner each night. They went to all the places you recommended, so they must know what they are doing. We weren't in the mood for German and my companion didn't care for Indian, so we ate at Spaghetti Freddys which is adjacent to the Marriott. It was pretty good. Then we went Thursday to Cafe Lebanon. We enjoyed that very much. I really liked the spinach pies. We ordered a variety of appetizers: falafel, one of the rice dishes, a salad, Fattoush maybe, a ground beef fried item, haloume, spinach pie, baklava and Arabic coffee for dessert. I liked the spinach pies so much I ordered two for the plane ride home.

We didn't really see anything else of Springfield, but everyone we encountered was very pleasant.

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  • 1 year later...

mid- march johnnybird and i will be up in the holyoke/ springfield area. lunch saturday will be at the conference but we are free both friday and saturday nights. any suggestions? anyone want to get together?

Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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Is Chef Wayne's Big Mamou still around? It's on Liberty St. across from the main Post Office in Springfield. There's usually on street parking readily available. Excellent Cajun style soul food. Cash only and no liquor but you can BYO. Servings are huge.

Last time I was there, Chef Wayne was "selling" tequila shots for charitable donations and the line for the 20 or so seats was out the door. Arrive early and get your name on the list. Atmosphere is friendly since you're eating a foot away from your neighbors, but I'd choose this experience over the snootier restaurants 1/2 hour away and tons more expensive in Northampton.

Springfield also has a number of old school Italian American restaurants (especially the South End) where the food can range in quality from Chef-Boy-R-Dee style to really amazing.

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Unfortunately I'll be out of town, otherwise it would have been fun to head out with some eGulleteers.

I've only been here for just over a year so I have a relatively limited knowledge. In Springfield, the 3 places that you'll hear people reference for interesting & good food are Big Mamou and Pho Saigon (vietnamese), as well as Max's Tavern on the upper end. Unfortunately, I haven't tried any of these yet.

There's nothing of interest in Holyoke except a couple of Puerto Rican restaurants downtown and some kick-a#$ take-out fish and chips (New England Fish and Chips). I truly wish there was more, which I expect there will be in the next few years.

Your best bet it to drive a little ways up to Northampton where options are more plentiful (check out the Northampton discussions on eG). I would choose Green Street Cafe over several other options in town (Circa, Del Raye) but you won't go wrong with any of these 3 (or, from what I hear, Table 9, which is the next on my "to-try" list). People disagree over the best in Northampton (e.g., complaints about the service at Green St. [which I found to be excellent], prices at Del Raye...), but I think you'd do well at any of those 4.

There are some other options in the Springfield suburbs but I'm not from down that way.

Maybe your compromise is to try Springfield one night and Northampton the other night?

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I lived in the Springfield area for 41 years - 10 of which were spent in Northampton. I moved away 3 years ago to marry my true love :wub:

Any of the restaurants referenced above in Northampton will provide you with a really good dining experience. But on a Fri or Sat night, do you really want to drive 1/2 hour to a town you don't know, park in the parking garage, and then wander around all these cool places to find out there's a one hour plus waiting period. Probably not. I'd pick Del Raye or Green St. and make a reservation. Northampton is a really interesting place and that's part of the attraction of the restaurants. The food is good and made better by being part of the Northampton "scene". I, however, am sick to death of the Northampton scene :) All these place have web sites so look them up and pick one that suits you.

I've been to Max's once when they first opened and it's a pretty good steak house. As I stated in my previous post, I think Chef Wayne's beats eveyone hands down for good food and experience including the Noho'ites. If these are still open, A Touch of Garlic at the "X" had really excellent Italian food and the Hofbrauhaus in West Springfield had great German without being stuffy like The Fort (Student Prince).

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  • 1 year later...

I'll be in Springfield, MA for one night in a couple of weeks, would love recommendations for restaurants for dinner and/or breakfast, if you have 'em.

thanks!!!

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Don't know where you're staying so here's a variety of dinner options in or near to Springfield (with websites or menus/reviews):

Max's Tavern

The Federal (next to S'field in Agawam, if you have a car) Federal

Chef Wayne's Big Mamou (cajun, creole) Big Mamou

Pho Saigon

Couple of old school german options w/ good beer:

Student Prince

Hofbrauhaus

Killer roadfood greasy burgers:White Hut Have a beer across the street at Hofbrauhaus and chase it with a couple of burgers from White Hut.

Breakfast? Nothing spectacular in Springfield jumps out at me. This place is o.k.

Rein's.

Do you have a car? One exit north on 91 (Exit 13, Riverdale Road-Rte 5 North) gets you some absolutely killer donuts at Donut Dip.

Search Northampton/Amherst for other options if you are willing to drive a little ways.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks!

We left the hotel intending to go to the Student Prince, but walked in the other direction first and happened across Cafe Lebanon, which looked interesting. Had a great meal there, complete with belly dancing. We had the "Beirut" dinner, which included hummus, baba ghannouj, fried cauliflower (really, really good), fattoush salad, and assorted kabobs -- loved the kafta kabob and the chicken kabob, the lamb kabob not so much. Service was attentive and efficient. We really enjoyed our meal there and would recommend it.

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