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“The Winter Special/Mid-Week Special is indeed something Special”
Review of Castle Street Cafe

Castle Street Cafe
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$20 - US$25
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Bar Scene
Dining options: Breakfast, After-hours, Dinner, Reservations
Pittsfield, Massachusetts
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“The Winter Special/Mid-Week Special is indeed something Special”
Reviewed 4 April 2014

This is more like a belated follow up to my last review more than a year ago. I wrote my last review after my wife and I visited the restaurant with intention to take advantage of the Winter Special offer last winter to try the restaurant out (after 10 years absence). That visit was not successful because we went on a holiday weekend not knowing the Winter Special is not offered on holiday weekend because the advertisement for the special in local paper and on the restaurant site both omit that exclusion. After the review came out, the owner and chef responded by taking full responsibility and apologize for the mistake, even generously offer a gift certificate to encourage us to give the restaurant another try. The omission of the exclusion of the holiday weekend in the advertisement and on the restaurant web site was also corrected.
We were pleasantly surprised by the owner/chef’s honest and responsible response and decided we would give another try when we had the opportunity. The next opportunity came in March 2013 when we attending a wonderful concert at the Mahaiwe Theater next door to the restaurant on a Sunday evening in late March.
We were wonderfully surprised at the service even before we even got there this time. When I called to check the hours for that day and inquired about if there is enough time to catch the show on time. I was informed that they would take the reservation for us to ensure we can get prompt service even though it was just for my wife and I and the restaurant usually don’t accept the reservation for less than four people.
When we got there, we were seated very promptly. There were quite a few people there, almost full house, all seemed to be going to the show next door too. The service was very friendly and yet very efficient. All the people seemed to be attended quite efficiently and orders were taken very promptly. In the end, all the people there seemed to be able to complete their dinner plenty time before the show.
The Winter Special that we were trying to get on our unsuccessful previous visit was still available that day, so my wife and I decided to try that this time. I thoroughly enjoy my food. I had eggplant sampler for appetizer and Duck Confit with crispy potato for main course. The eggplant sampler was delightful and quite a change from usual eggplant dish elsewhere in Berkshire. The Duck Confit was great. It was even better than I had last time in a French restaurant in the Old Town Montreal quite some year ago. The potato came with it was cooked just right, again quite a change from the usual potato served in the Berkshire restaurants. The desert was equally satisfying as well.
This is a complete different experience from last time. The enjoyable dinner and the great show afterward at Mahaiwe made a wonderful evening for us.
While I have every intention to write up our second experience, the travel and work somehow made it impossible to do so till now.
In meantime, the Castle Street offered something similar, Mid-week Special, again this year. I had opportunities to visit the restaurants and take the advantage of the special several times, both with my wife and myself along. We enjoyed meals every time we went. Even though my last year’s favorite appetizer, Eggplant Sampler, is not available on this special, there are still quite a few choices. In addition to my last favorite entrée, Duck Confit, I also tried braised short ribs with mashed potato and sautéed shrimps with roasted tomato and garlic sauce on angel hair pasta. Both of them, while seemingly simple, are delicious and enjoyable. I would happily have any of them again if I get a chance. As for the desert, I would highly recommend either the Crème Brulee or the chocolate mousse cake.
This year’s Mid-week special would expire on April 30th. I would recommend you take a full advantage of the special before it runs out. I know I am going to make another visit if I can.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank local_diner_T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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179 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
2 reviews
“Angel Franco”
Reviewed 7 March 2014 via mobile

Great food and music.
Your welcomed as a family member and treated to the best music and food in the area .

Visited December 2013
Helpful?
Thank AngelFranco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Woodstock, Vermont
Level Contributor
12 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Lovely room, delicious dinner”
Reviewed 25 February 2014

We visited Michael at his Castle Street Cafe with friends at the start of a long weekend getaway in Great Barrington. Perfection! Great food and service, joyful music wafting over from the Celestial Bar and a sweet visit from the chef. Kicked off a great weekend away. We'll be back!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Patriciagalfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
westchester ny
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Food decent/service so so”
Reviewed 9 February 2014

The place has a nice atmosphere and decor. We enjoyed the food and thought that is was pretty well prepared. The do some marketing in the local publications and they advertize that if you show your lift ticket from the ski hill , they will give you a free dessert. After we ordered dessert we were wondering if the waitress would ask us to see the lift tickets (they were in plain site hanging on our coats). The waitress in fact never asked us to see the lift tickets and I eventually had to ask her about the promotion. When I asked here about the free dessert promotion she looked at me in a confused manner and , with a slight attitude, said that she had to speak with the manager. At this point I was not only embarrassed, but also a little angry that the restaurants own employees do not know the deals that the business is advertising. I would suggest that the manager speak with the employees and tell them to initiate the conversation about the free desert with the the lift ticket. If it is done that way it looks like the restaurant is happy to have your business and give you a free dessert and not annoyed that you called them on their marketing scheme that they don't really want you to claim! After ten minutes of her speaking to the manager we eventually did get our free dessert, but I had to work for it =)

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank joe e
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Litchfield, Connecticut
Level Contributor
9 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Beyond Terrible”
Reviewed 20 December 2013

This was without doubt the worst dining experience I had in 2013. I ordered a spinach salad with toasted pumpkin seeds. The spinach was wilted and obviously left over from the weekend. The dressing (there was no choice offered) consisted of a non-descript concoction with the taste and consistency of lukewarm water and a hint of lemon. And the toasted pumpkin seeds must have come from an anemic pumpkin because there were so few that one had to move the wilted spinach about to locate them. For an entrée I ordered almond-encrusted salmon with a "Spinach flan" and pureed carrots. My friend and I had to restrain ourselves from laughing when my dinner was presented, for it looked like something that would be served at a child's birthday party. The riot of green (spinach flan) and orange (pureed carrot) colors that were swirled around the perimeter of the plate looked as if they had been placed there by Clarabell, the clown. And the almond-encrusted salmon consisted of a few dry, minced almonds spread miserly atop a grossly over-cooked piece of salmon that looked as if it had been purchased from Costco or BJs and had the same taste and consistency as cardboard. My dinner partner had a salad of badly-wilted lettuce that also was obviously left over from the weekend. And his pasta Bolognese was apparently prepared by someone who did not know that Bolognese sauce isn't supposed to be so dry that one needs not only a glass of wine, but also a refill of one's water glass in order to make the dish palatable. Needless to say, this restaurant is incredibly over-rated, for the chef either flunked out of his/her culinary class or was previously employed flipping burgers at some greasy-spoon dive. Based on this one experience, I would never recommend this establishment to anyone. Obviously, I will not be returning, and I suspect my dinner partner feels the same.

  • Visited December 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank EJMCT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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