RESTAURANTS in PITTSFIELD




Brulées

---THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED---

An Anne & Steve review


The thing to know about Brulées is that it is a cross between a very good family eatery and a gourmet restaurant. We all feel welcome here. They make every effort to make sure you are happy. The service is exceptional. The front bar is large and wooden, having almost a snake-like shape. It has many seats and angles. The front dining room has a great atmosphere and nice soft lighting. The middle of the rather large space is a lounge area with couches and cushy chairs to hang out drink and relax in before or after dinner or you can opt to eat there too. The back dining room is quite lovely as well. The food's entertaining enough that you don't notice the live music in the lounge at first blush (Friday and Saturday nights).

On this Friday night the fabulous Jeff Link Trio is jazzing things up with great instrumental versions of some of Steve's favorites like: "Night and Day", "Dindi", and "Blue Moon". On another night we heard a nice 70's folk duo who opened with an acoustic version of the Who's "Behind Blue Eyes" and got things rocking later on with a full "band in a can" (computer generated bass drums and rhythm tracks) recreating very danceable and well sung Doobie Bros., Stones and many others. This is a comfortable relaxed environment that is dressed up enough to make you feel like you've had a night on the town, entertainment included no extra charge. Brûlée's really helps put the long work week behind you and it won't break the bank in the process.

One night we were talking with Ken, the affable and outgoing chef/owner, and he told us about his fresh seafood sourcing directly out of Boston and how he tried six different places before settling on his pork supplier. Anne had the grilled pork chop that night and it was a juicy yet crispy, perfectly done with not a speck of pink (it is the other white meat after all), non-fatty and at about 1" thick not huge but still a nice sized and hearty meal, great for the fairer sex. Steve went for the manly NY Strip which was very sizable and had the nice grill marks he loves to see, a real two meal affair if you so choose. As far as a standout gourmet dish we had the Spicy Calamari with sautéed onions and jalapeño peppers with a fra diavlo dipping sauce. We asked for it very light on the breading and as all the dishes here are cooked to order this one came out just like we had asked for it, with little breading but still with big flavor. The calamari was perfectly crispy on the outside and had a soft yet firm texture on the inside, no chewiness or rubberiness here. A great appetizer that goes great with the $18 bottle of wine we love to order when we're there which coincidentally was his selection as a quality cooking wine but was so good he added to the wine list so it will be around for a while. The French wine is called Piece Sous le Bras and has a subtle delightful fruit flavor yet packs a nice punch..

Ken will prepare most of the dishes on the menu around any food allergy and always has gluten-free on hand so just ask and they will try to accommodate every request.

The food and drinks here are very reasonably priced and the entrées come with a fairly large and very fresh salad. We had ours with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, but of course the usual salad dressings are also available. On another night for our appetizers, we were drawn to the wild mushroom and parmesan risotto, but since we were also ordering other main courses, we asked for a smaller appetizer-sized portion as a starter and they were very accommodating. We shared the half-priced risotto with great delight. It was delicious and disappeared quickly. The fresh parsley in the risotto was a nice touch.

Surf & Turf (8oz. rib eye)
Steve went for the Surf & Turf which consisted of 2 large shrimp stuffed with buttery bread crumbs and seafood (they also have this as an entrée) and an 8oz. Rib eye steak grilled just right. The verdict is they know how to make steak. Steve wants to come back and try the full-sized Rib eye or even the Prime Rib which is featured on Fridays and Saturdays. We saw a fellow diner enjoying his Prime Rib who was nice enough to let us take a picture of it. We continued to be a nuisance by taking a photo of another diner’s Cedar Plank Salmon dish which she was pleased with (see above).

Anne had the Marsala chicken and again it was perfect. The flavor was delicate, the accompanying grilled potatoes were fresh and delicious and so was the side of grilled veggies. The vegetables that evening were onion, green pepper and eggplant, a beautiful combination.

We didn’t have desert, but we could see that other diners were enjoying their crème brûlées which we will make sure to try next time. After all it is this dessert that inspired the name of the restaurant.

This restaurant and week-end reservations are both highly recommended.

Prime Rib with rice and veggies

Brulées Restaurant
41 North St
Pittsfield, MA 01201
413-443-0500
www.brulees.com
Open Tuesday through Sat 4pm - 1am (food service ends at 11pm)
and Sunday Brunch from 10am-2pm.

Sunday Brunch is a traditional All You Can Eat Buffet $19.99 per person, children under 10 eat for half price, and Seniors 65 or older receive 10% off.