Dining etiquette requires one to use a soupspoon for gazpacho, a dessertspoon for crème brûlée, and chopsticks for fitting in when dining with a walrus. Learn to harness an arsenal of utensils with today's Groupon: for $25, you get $50 worth of seasonal New England dinner cuisine at The University Club & Restaurant in Amherst. Dinner is served Monday–Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The University Club & Restaurant’s experienced chefs construct a hearty seasonal menu of contemporary New England cuisine served in two elegant farmhouses dating back to the colonial era. Crabmeat colonizes flavorful fungi, like America's less successful founding fathers, in the crab-stuffed mushroom appetizer ($6), which glistens beneath drizzles of lemon beurre-blanc sauce. Romaine and spinach join leafy forces for the colorful roasted-beet salad, where carrots and goat cheese frolic in a balsamic vinaigrette ($5), and sautéed shrimp, scallops, and andouille sausage take the stage in seafood pasta to wait in vain for a curtain of spicy tomato cream sauce to lift ($20). Meat-free diners can sink a spoon or a proboscis into the vegetarian risotto, a puff-pastry shell cradling cherry tomatoes, asparagus spears, and wild mushrooms that get their party on in a creamy parmesan sauce.
Brick fireplaces, antiques, and fresh potted flowers festoon the elegant Boltwood-Stockbridge House, which dates back to 1728. Inside, diners relax at round white-clothed tables that populate rustic wood-paneled dining rooms. The adjoining Homestead House provides extra space, colonial ambiance, and an excuse to finally don a tricorn hat.
The University Club
The University Club’s New England roots are evident not just in its creamy, New England-style clam chowder, but in its very building. Nestled in two colonial-era farmhouses, one of which is the oldest, most wrinkly house in Amherst, the eatery is a venerable institution to the history of Massachusetts. The Boltwood-Stockbridge house contains the Daniel Chester French room, named for the Lincoln Memorial Statue sculptor who lived there as a child, and the Tory room, where nine loyalists hid during the American Revolution.
Today, the loyalists have given way to diners feasting on fare that changes with the seasons. Dinners consist of upscale proteins such as new york strip steak, braised lamb shank, and pan-seared salmon complemented by a farmer’s-market risotto loaded with fresh local produce. Alternatively, lunchtime visitors—or diners sampling the bar’s lighter fare menu—can nosh on a Black Angus burger or a jalapeño crab-cake po' boy.