Monday, February 11, 2008

Gypsy Apple Bistro, Shelburne Falls (MA)

A special night required a good dinner out, and I picked the Gypsy Apple Bistro in Shelburne Falls. 'Twas about 13 degrees outside and so going in their cozy, warm environment was a big plus. A small room, beautiful, transports you to the Continent in all the right ways.

The menu is small, changes monthly. There were hits and misses. We especially liked the mushroom ravioli in a saffron cream sauce. The sauce was also flavored with carmelized onion, and came with greens sauteed in olive oil and garlic. The earthy flavor of the mushroom combined well with the onion and garlic. The other hit was the mussels with a riesling and shallot cream sauce. This is probably the only time in my life I've ordered two cream sauces in one sitting, see my post on carbonara below - cream to me is usually a culinary cop-out, it drowns out the other flavors (or worse, is used to cover up the lack of good flavors, such as when the other ingredients aren't at their freshest). In this case, the garlicky greens gave the ravioli dish some bitterness and bite to offset and compliment the cream. I liked that. And dipping their seriously hot bread into the riesling cream sauce was pretty sinful.

Duck confit was tasty, nothing to write home about. The venison dish wasn't as good. The venison was ok, the bigger problem was its unsatisfying red wine reduction and the accompanying horseradish mashed potatoes. Neither were very good separate (if you're going to go horseradish, don't wimp out). Together they clashed and very much tasted like they didn't belong together.

Overall, a good experience. They pour a generous wine glass and have good beers on hand. The chef was friendly and gregarious. One day we'll return, hopefully to all hits.

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