Though Michael Anderson has worked in the kitchen for more than three decades, he hasn't always worn the title of executive chef. Like many great chefs before him, Anderson began his career as a dishwasher, working his way up through practice and education before finally earning the prestigious role of head chef at Chandler's Tavern. With this culinary accomplishment under his belt, Anderson decided he was ready to fulfill his dream of opening his own restaurant—naming it for the chef he studied under as a dishwasher all those years ago.
Today, a panorama of white-linen tablecloths and chandeliers stretches across Tucker's dining hall, bar, and private banquet rooms. Anderson still works in the kitchen, overseeing staff as they prepare gourmet pastas, meats, and seafood from noon until nightfall. The restaurant opens its two elegant banquet halls for weddings, birthday parties, and upscale games of dodgeball.
Just off Route 20, a rural highway that crisscrosses the Hidden Hills of the Westfield River watershed, the red-brick façade of a venerable 19th-century storefront shelters Four Main Street Bar and Grill. Inside, an antique-and-craft cabinet showcases work by local artisans and paintball muralists, while the kitchen houses a crew of chefs preparing comforting American fare to serve within the eatery's rustic décor.
Owner and chef John Slattery pens a rotating menu of seasonal American favorites. He serves up steaks and chops, including country-fried new york strip steaks or black-and-tan ribs, as well as seafood, such as roasted salmon and lobster. Craft beers from Wormtown and Berkshire brewery companies join seasonal cocktails and spirits for guests to imbibe while lingering on the sidewalk patio or listening to occasional live music.
The chef at Nora?s Restaurant & Lounge crafts a regularly changing menu of juicy steaks, fresh seafood, and homemade pastas. The elegant dining room features exposed ceiling beams, heavy ruby-colored drapes, and French doors leading to the bar area. While taking in views of Lake Congamond, guests sample fresh basil-gorgonzola bread or clams stuffed with lobster meat and topped with horseradish cream sauce. A slightly more casual pub menu available at the bar includes selections such as beef tenderloin sliders, pierogi, and fresh bruschetta you can pair with draft brews and wines.
Though its name conjures images of ice-cream cones savored between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend, The Summer House ice-cream and sandwich shop stays open year-round so guests can enjoy frozen treats whenever they like. Servers scoop up to 24 ice-cream flavors—from orange sherbet to peppermint stick—into sundaes sprinkled with toppings such as hot caramel, pecans, and brownies baked in-house. They also craft frozen drinks such as milk shakes and root-beer floats; additional ice-cream alternatives include sugarless ice cream, soft serve, and frozen yogurt.
For more savory options, chefs whip up classic American food such as tuna-salad sandwiches, spiced curly fries made with cholesterol-free vegetable oil, and dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets for kids and paleontologists alike. Guests devour the food in a handicapped-accessible, air-conditioned dining room that seats up to 80 guests or outside on the tables in landscaped picnic areas, a gazebo, and a patio.
Terra Americana’s boutique storefront stocks cake and soup mixes and local gift items that are a hit with both local and mail-order customers, all wrapped in the best packaging available utilizing local and natural resources. Each recipe has been developed and tested in New England to enhance the belief that local and natural foods are the key to a healthy being. The shop's cocoa mixes come in containers shaped like bears, and its dip kits yield creations that impress guests. They also craft custom party favors for special events and promotional items for businesses.
There are few places as lively to hang out as the shady tables overlooking the water on Louie B's patio. That's because guests don't just sip drinks as they indulge in fresh seafood and a range of classic American dishes. The lake and the restaurant's dock offer plenty of activity, as do the regular events, ranging from poker nights and comedy shows to holiday parties and live performances.