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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

ASTERS REDUX - PITTSFIELD, MA

Asters Redux

Back in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Rob and I head once again to Asters for a quiet, vaguely romantic dinner for two. Asters’ ambiance remains a lure with its black and light colored décor and subtle candlelight at each table. The staff is friendly, and the service excellent and intent on making the Asters experience a good one. This is a great place to remember.

This time Rob and I sit in the bigger dining room. There’s a lovely fireplace there, and this night it is lighted. The room is warm and comfortable.

We pass on the appetizers though the selection from the raw bar is tempting. We tried entrees different from our first visit, and were equally enthralled.
Rob has a yellow fin tuna, sauteed in garlic and lemon-caper sauce. It is served with carmelized onions, mashed potatoes and string beans. Absolutely perfect.
I order lamb chops, and am given three. They are char-grilled with carmelized leeks and roasted red pepper. They are served with twice-baked potatoes, string beans, and English mint sauce. It is the kind of dish over which one lingers, enjoying each morsel.
The ambiance, the lighting, and the wonderful meal causes us to relax and delight in each aroused sense.

Yes, this time we do sit back and order dessert and coffee—our reason for skipping the appetizers. Our selection—the same—crème brulee, the top a sweet crust of raw sugar. This luscious dessert is topped with the sweetest strawberry and mango slices. This is telling and important when reflecting about Asters. It’s the little extra touches that make the difference. If you’re intrigued by the little extra touches a good restaurant can offer, take the same advice we gave to the couple sharing the hotel’s spa with us when they asked for an excellent local restaurant—try Asters.
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