Northern Berkshire peaks peek through the windows of Taylor's, where surf and turf unite in a lamp-lit, exposed-brick dining room. An army of appetizers kicks off the menu, including the baked brie, which is infused with grapes and sprinkled with brown sugar, walnuts, and apples ($8). A fresh garden salad sidekicks every entree, serving as a momentary plate mate for hearty dishes such as the filet mignon ($24) and its aquatic, redundant counterpart, grilled mahi-mahi ($21). The ratatouille with tofu forgoes filets for a mix of stewed eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes that are fresher than haircuts of the eighties ($16).
Red's Restaurant adorns its elegantly cozy, wood-accented confines with an experienced, personable staff and menus of succulent seafood dishes. Rev up lunch hungerings with Red's famous shrimp cocktail, a plump portion of delectable crustaceans straight from the Gulf that graciously jackknifes into a pool of homemade cocktail sauce ($7.25–$12.99), before spooning up a hearty bowl of new england clam chowder ($4.99) or partaking in tarragon-charged chews of Red's world-famous Maine lobster roll ($10.99). Dinner diners can set sail sans ill-fitting sailor suit with Red's shellfish linguine, bursting with shrimp, scallops, clams, and king crab all resting comfortably on a bed of linguine ($23.99), or the Maryland crab cakes, which nestle their way into watering mouths with jalapeño mustard sauce ($18.99). Aged a minimum of 21 days, the 12-ounce new york sirloin strip steak ($26.99) flashes its meaty ID at your taste-bud club, while the crispy roast duckling sates fowl fans with tender servings flanked in orange sauce ($23.99).
In Captain Jack’s kitchen, the crew assembles a concise menu. With the fryer bubbling and the scent of salt and oil in the air, the cooks prepare fresh scallops, whole-belly clams, all-natural beef, free-range chicken, and hand-cut french fries. The menu appears selective because it is. They use only humanely treated animals from regional farms to make their house-made burgers and hot dogs, and all their veggies come from local purveyors who practice sustainable farming. In fact, everything at the roadside shack is so fresh that they don’t even own a freezer, which assures their ingredients are served in a timely fashion and that penguins never claim squatter’s rights.
Pananas Restaurant continually surprises diners with a selection of upscale entrees that change with the season. The spring menu promises fresh options such as the grilled salmon, which is sautéed in creamy pesto before it comes to rest atop bitter greens and risotto-stuffed tomato ($21). Ensconced in an au poivre crust, the 16-ounce bone-in Delmonico steak frolics through sprinklers loaded with balsamic grilled onion and gorgonzola cheese sauce ($28). Pasta options abound, including farfalle aglio e olio, which adds zing to bow-tie pasta with breaded chicken and broccoli rabe sautéed in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper ($15). The stuffed artichoke Francese brims with sundried tomatoes, boursin cheese, and lemon butter sauce ($8). Since main courses rotate seasonally, chefs can take advantage of the migratory patterns of vegetables to guarantee access to the freshest ingredients.
Founded and run by childhood BFFs LJ Goldstock and Tom Coppola, LT's Grill sates Albany-area appetites by dishing out a hearty menu of family favorites. Sink incisors into a savory dinner entree such as a full rack of dry-rubbed or Kansas City–style wet, slow-cooked ribs ($19.95), or the grilled 12-ounce pork sirloin slathered in homemade Jack Daniels barbecue sauce ($16.95)., A fresh 12-ounce potato-encrusted haddock fillet topped with sour cream and dill, then finished with a crisp potato crust ($15.95), cures spud shortages like a self-cloning Mr. Potato Head.
Years ago, the building now occupied by O'Porto Restaurant built bicycles. Today, the converted factory still carries an industrial-themed appearance and echoes with the distant dings of ghost bikes. But the space now churns out traditional Portuguese cuisine—a service that earned O'Porto the honor of "Best Portuguese Restaurant" from CT.com for 2013. Executive chef Adelino de Sousa relies on many of the ingredients from Portugal's former colonies: rice from Asia, hot peppers from Africa, and cinnamon from India, just to name a few. He transforms those elements into artfully presented dishes, including seafood-based entrees, such as baked salmon stuffed with shrimp and crab and grilled filet of sole.