One step inside The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar and visitors are transported to a French village complete with tiled awnings, lampposts, and yellow-brick walls that ascend into a sky-like ceiling. The authentic French atmosphere was created by founding partner Claire, a French-Canadian and consummate traveller, and French-born executive chef Dominique Brialy, whose training has taken him all over the world. Working together, their restaurant was named named Best French by Metroland in 2012, won the Award of Excellence in 2013 from Wine Spectator, and earned a mention in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America. They pour attention into the eatery's details, from the rustic wall sconces to the sage-scented parsnip purée that accompanies the roasted venison. Claire's husband and business partner Sandy has curated a wine cellar filled with 2,200 bottles from every region of France and internationally sourced varietals that complement every meal. Guests may also order from a full bar that features an extensive craft and imported beer selection, as well as an array of whiskeys, single malts, and bourbons.
Housed in a historic building originally erected in 1829, La Serre has been described as "frozen in [a] good moment in time" by Times Union. During dinner, the formal, wood-paneled dining room bustles with conversation as plates of truffle mousse pate, lobster ravioli, and beef au poivre travel out to tables draped in white. In the more casual bistro-style bar, forest-green leather seats cushion patrons as they sip old-fashioned libations or fold napkins into swans capable of real flight.
Whenever possible, the chefs at Pejamajo Café craft their signature crepes from sustainable ingredients—ranging from meats to eggs to flour—culled from local suppliers. They offer a variety of French-style crepes, including sweet crepes such as Nutella and banana as well as savory crepes such as the unique crepesadilla with Vermont cheddar and salsa. Both pair well with the café’s own line of signature-blended coffee. Each Pejamajo location also houses pastry chefs who spend each day transforming globs of dough into fresh cookies, scones, and edible swords for sword-swallowing apprentices. Pejamajo’s relaxed atmosphere, original coffees, and daily baked pastries have become its signature, and led to an appearance on an episode of HGTV’s House Hunters.
Local produce, meat, and fish are the sources of the extra freshness sealed, as if by Ziploc, in each Sel de la Terre dish. Chef Louis has built the regularly changing menu around Vermont-raised pig, defining dishes such as coriander-spiced pork with pommes Robuchon, Swiss chard, and baby turnips ($29); braised bacon served with air-dried chicken and a coddled hen egg ($26); and charcuterie terrine cut from the cheek ($3). Freshly hauled Moon Shoal oysters (a half dozen, raw, $14) make for a perfect meal-opener, as does the Cape Cod bluefish pate ($3). Toasted coriander-spiced pork mingles with pommes Robuchon, Swiss chard, baby turnips, and carrots ($29), while the house potato gnocchi features homemade ricotta and mushrooms gathered from New England woods ($19).
Combing the finest farms for the freshest ingredients, Roadhouse Cafe dishes up wholesome, hearty breakfast and lunch options for the hungry denizens of Belchertown and beyond. An eye-opening menu of made-from-scratch fare awakens sleepy taste buds with all-natural, seasonal fixings. A local favorite, Roadhouse Cafe’s organic blueberry pancakes lure mouths across state lines, while organic omelettes ($7.95+), culled from fresh eggs from nearby Amish Farms and stuffed with choices such as fresh red peppers, mushrooms, and chives, inch morning’s approval ratings past 4:42 p.m.’s. Like meat pennies into a yeasty loafer, specialty paninis and sandwiches ($4.95–$6.95), pile hearty fillings into one of 12, soft homemade bread loaves ($4.50–$7.50). Chase your meal with a cup of fair-trade coffee ($2–$2.50), some hot, farm-fresh soup ($3.50–$5.50), or a silky smoothie ($5.75).