Locally sourced food, like WiFi, can either be found at a café or stolen from the neighbors. Avoid bandwidth banditry with today’s Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of sustainable, New American eats at Eclipse in Northampton.
An ever-evolving menu tantalizes palates at Eclipse, where cooks craft New American fare completely from scratch with local ingredients as building blocks. Feel free to quiet a growling stomach by selecting a small plate such as the winter bisque, which combines sweet potatoes, parsnips, and butternut squash ($5) in a seasonally appropriate winter hat, or the duck confit, which lollygags on a bed of mixed greens ($12). Eclipse’s roster of entrees accommodates both persnickety vegetarians and fussbudgety meat-eaters by presenting options such as the deep-dish quiche prepared with asparagus, goat cheese, and egg custard ($16) and the coq au vin, a chicken leg braised in red wine with bacon ($16). For cuisine that comes to the table like a birthday present—that is, wrapped—table tenants can gleefully order then tear into the stuffed flounder, which seals in asparagus, roasted red peppers, and portabella mushrooms ($20), like a bank vault protecting the world’s most valuable salad.
Eclipse’s staff pays close attention to detail, as evidenced by the eatery's house-made ketchup, mayonnaise, and demi-glaces, as well as the posh décor. Exposed brick walls create a polished yet rustic atmosphere, and drop lighting casts a romantic glow or rudely strobe when no one is looking. Wood accents and gridded, semitranslucent glass windows round out the aesthetic and complement the red linens that drape tables. Soft jazz trickles through the air during prime dining hours Friday and Saturday evenings, before more upbeat live music sets the mood later during weekend nights.
The menu at Eclipse doesn’t just rotate with the seasons—it changes on a daily basis. Inspired by the most recent bounty of asparagus or basil at the farmers' market, Eclipse’s chefs craft contemporary entrees featuring meats such grass-fed beef from nearby Upland Meadow Farm, instead of ice-fed beef from Pluto. They lavish these creations with gourmet flavorings such as gorgonzola compound butter, black-currant glaze, and wasabi cream, and draw inspiration from international culinary traditions, turning out dishes such an eggplant baingan bharta. Diners spear their cornish game hen or housemade basil-lasagna noodles while lounging outdoors or surrounded by the dining room’s exposed-brick and soft-yellow walls. On the weekends, live jazz music flits through the air, giving diners an excuse to munch in quiet camaraderie instead of arguing politics, religion, and the usefulness of sporks.
There is hardly another place in the Valley that respects a good cut of meat the way they do at Eclipse.Shreyas S., Yelp, 5/8/11
Plenty of local restaurants serve Chicken Francaise, but none do it better than Eclipse.Fran Bellamy, Republican
186 Main St.
Northampton, Massachusetts 01060