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The Sierra Grille
Taps: 20 / Bottles: 16
Cask: Y / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
41-A Strong Ave
phone: (413) 584-1150
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vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
I usually hit up the Dirty Truth while in Northampton, but on this most recent visit I decided to try something new, at least for one night. Sierra Grille is right down the street, and the Dirty Truth ran out of Cantillon bottles, so here I am. Still without Cantillon bottles (dammit), but at least trying a different menu.
Plenty of seating, with a large dining area (seating for 85+) and a smaller bar area (seating for maybe 25+). The decor is comfortable, lots of woodwork and nice quality window trim, Belgian beer signs everywhere, my kind of place.
Good draft list, maybe 20 or more selections, with many of the beers available in 9oz, 16oz, or 20oz pours. Some pseudo-rarities mixed in with classics and regional specialties. Short bottle list that is heavy on rarity (Founders Nemesis 2010, all of the Lees Vintage Ale treatments, etc). No bottled lambics (dammit again), only a couple of Lindemans on tap (meh).
Excellent food, most entrees are $16-22, everything I had was well prepared and tasty. Friendly and attentive servers too.
This is a very solid stop in Northampton, better than the Dirty Truth in terms of dinners and atmosphere, not quite their equal in terms of beer (but no slouch). Definitely 1 of 2 spots to hit up for beer while in town!
10-12-2011 23:51:00 |
More by TurdFurgison
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Very cozy bar atmosphere here. Dimly lit, wood everywhere. What really makes it is all the nostalgic beer and wine decor. Gives it a slight classic, old-timey feel. The crowd is always low-key and amiable. I struck up some nice beer conversation with the bartender. He was very pleasant and enthusiastic. Waitresses were very attentive as well. It's one of those places where they fill your water after every sip.
The beer is very well looked after, and the selection is great. There are about twenty carefully chosen taps and the occasional cask, and the bottles menu is small but impressive. Noteworthy beers on tap last time I was there: Avery Maharaja, Chimay White, Tripel Karmeliet, Allagash White, Southern Tier Creme Brulee Stout, Oharas Celtic stout, Weihenstephan Hefeweizen, and a smattering of Kriek and lambic. The bottle menu had a few diamonds in the rough too: the whole Rochefort lineup, Founders Nemesis '10, BBC Gude Greg's Scotch ale, and others. Most beers are available in a variety of pour sizes, and pricing is extremely fair on the beer. Rochefort 10 was available for $8. That's only about $1 more than I can get it for at the liquor store.
The food was very good, and pretty fairly priced, considering the quality. The menu is set up so that one chooses an entree, then picks a sauce and two sides to go with it. I chose King Salmon with a Mediterranean sauce, roasted potatoes, and asparagus. This paired well enough with a Tripel Karmeliet. Dessert was a warm, chocolatey stout brownie with whipped cream, caramel, and vanilla gelato. It was excellent, and enhanced nicely by the Ohara's Celtic stout that I enjoyed alongside it.
This is, in my opinion, one of the very elite bar/restaurants in a city chock full of them. In terms of selection only the Dirty Truth can beat them, but to be frank, I'd much rather be here. They host excellent beer dinners in the fall too, so be on the lookout for those. They are to die for.
08-27-2011 16:41:52 |
More by ryan1788a5
vibe: 4 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $
With the daughter now in school in Western MA, we're finding ourselves in the Amherst-Northampton area much more often, to the point that we needed a change from the two towns' respective (and respectable) brewpubs. We are so glad we checked out BA and found the Sierra Grille.
Last Sunday, we stopped in (with a younger daughter) for an early dinner. We were seated in the almost-empty rear dining room, which steadily filled as our visit progressed. The atmosphere was both upscale and relaxed, though my daughter found the wooden booths uncomfortable.
As others have noted, the beer selection is top-notch. We enjoyed Stone Lucky Bastard, Green Flash IPA, O'Hara's Celtic Stout and a Belgian red. It's great that they offer half-pints - that's my kind of beer sampler! I also liked the inclusion of local beers at very reasonable prices. If I were passing an afternoon at the bar with friends, the BBC Steel Rail ($2 for 8 oz., $3.50 for 20 oz.) makes a great session beer. Wines are also offered in a range of portion sizes, a great idea I wish more restaurants offered.
From previous reviews, we were prepared for the mix-and-match entree format of the menu. The servers clearly are very used to explaining it to first-time customers. We passed on the entrees and shared selections from the small plate and specials menus. When we ordered the house-smoked salmon plate, the server reminded us that they has a gravlox (cured, rather than smoked, salmon) special that night, and it was delicious. We also shared the slow-roasted pork shank, which was dressed in a light barbecue sauce that didn't overwhelm the flavor of the meat. My daughter loved the drunken chicken sliders. The food highlight, though, was the duck confit panini, which included a healthy portion of duck meat with arugula and goat cheese grilled in artisanal bread.
Prices for food and beer are very reasonable. Dinner for three, with a variety of beers for two, and dessert for one, for under $60! The service was also great. Our server invited our questions about both the food and the beer, and clearly knew his way around both menus. We will definitely be going back to Sierra Grille!
11-30-2010 16:19:18 |
More by quincyships
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
I've been here probably around 20 times now. And since I live a mere 5 miles away now, this has become a pretty regular stop (maybe twice a week.) Pretty fancy place. Beer selection is good, but the 15 or so taps don't seem to change very often. Pretty usual to find offerings from Stone, Dogfish Head, Southern Tier, Fullers, Port, Berkshire, Bear Republic, Lagunitas, etc. Bottle list is small but nice with all the Rocheforts, Duvel, FBS + KBS when they're in season, and more. Everything is always served in appropriate glassware. The prices for the beers are great, the bottles are usually barely more expensive than they are in the stores, and the tap list is also nicely priced with many beers giving you a choice of 8, 16, or 20 ounce servings usually in the 3-6 dollar price range. Great for just trying out a beer if you're curious or getting a big glass of one of your favorites. The food here is amazing, pricey but its hard to complain for the quality of what you're getting. If you're not in the mood for a $20+ meal they have plenty of small foods and desserts that are anywhere from 3-10 dollars, still excellent quality of course. Some of my favorites on the cheaper side of their menu are the duck confit panini and the creme brulee made with Allagash White.
06-27-2010 04:23:20 |
More by Chico1985
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$$
My wife and I just had dinner there tonight! GREAT!! A+
Not the best Beer Selection I have ever seen, but very good. A nice selection of Imports (Chemey, Fullers, etc...) and great selection of interesting American Craft Beers. I enjoyed 2 pints of the Mercury Brewing Co's Clown Shoes Black IPA that they had just put on tap today... and a pint of the Berkshire Brewing Company's Dry Hopped Barleywine.
The Food was great! I really thought the idea of building you own meal is awesome. You select a protein (meats), then a sauce and two sides for a very reasonable price. I had the Duck and it was great. My wife order the special Mashed Potatoes... they were Horseradish Mashed...and they were the best Mashed Potatoes I have ever had (if someone from Sierra Grille reads this please put it on the menu FULL TIME!! I would drive up from Boston just to have them again!!!).
I had the Allagash White Creme Brulee and it was very good and the $3 deserts were perfectly sized.... The Food is great here.
For those of you who have significant others who aren't beer drinkers... They have a full bar... and a great wine selection...
The Service was great too... We had Douglas and he seemed very knowledgeable of the beer selection and menu. As well he had an awesome personality!!! I would definitely recommend if you are going there on a weekend night to call and make a reservation. I am glad that we did... there were a lot of people waiting for seats when we got there... and we got right in!!
The Cost is Reasonable for what it is... some people might think that $60 - $90 is pricey for 2 people, but with 4 drinks total, an appetizer, meals, and deserts... I think it was a great value.
I would definitely recommend having dinner and beers here and hope to be back the next time I come to Northampton!
03-06-2010 02:15:50 |
More by GweedoeBRew
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
My wife and I were in Northampton to visit the Dirty Truth. Since it was closed, we wandered down the street to the Sierra Grille. How lucky for us.
The beer selection, though limited, had no real throwaways. It seemed everything we tried was at the very least interesting. The highlight had to be Southern Tier's Creme Brulee Stout. We started with it and finished with it in place of coffee with dessert.
Most of the beers were served in appropriate glassware. The bar also offers half pints of many of the beers to allow for more variety.
The food was exceptional with a variety of sauces prepared in house. Selections range from pub food (my wife says the pork panini is the best she ever had) to full entrees. They allow you to mix and match foods with sauces. This might be a little gimmicky but it leaves you no reason to complain. Hell, they even made asparagus taste good.
We sat at the bar. Service was great and our bartender was able to answer all of our questions.
We will definitely be making the 2 hour drive to visit this place again.
02-17-2010 23:29:30 |
More by mummy178
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Clean, comfortable, cool looking place inside. This is a beer nerd's wet dream. Proper glassware, not a single tap wasted. Around 15 taps with a decent botle list as well. Had a Duvel Green and a Double Bastard on tap while I was there. Offbeat selections that I haven't found anywhere else. If you are in Northampton this bar and the Dirty Truth are a must. I'v never been int he seating area so this is only a review of the bar area. The bartenders are all very nice, friendly, and knowledgable. Not the largest selection but solid off beat beers which are hard to find anywhere else. The food is very good and everything is priced reasonably. Habanero cheddar wings are awesome.
02-17-2010 16:21:17 |
More by DNICE555
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
Stopped in on a Monday afternoon, so not too crowded. Sat in the smallish bar, which you have to walk through to get to the larger restaurant. Bright and airy, pretty comfortable, just a little too antiseptic for my tastes, but that's just me. Varied and eclectic selection on draft and in bottles. Twenty taps, all good stuff like ST Jahva, DFH 90 minute, Lagunitas, Stone, BBC, Young's double chocolate, O'Hara's celtic stout, Allagash, Chimay, Green Flash DIPA and more. Great service from knowledgeable staff. A must see/do if you're in the area.
10-23-2009 04:36:56 |
More by far333
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 5 | service: 5 | selection: 4 | food: 5 | $$
Probably my favorite overall place to go for beer. Atmosphere is usually fine, this place is not usually overly packed or filled with people that make you want to leave (see: Dirty Truth), it has a nice layout with the bar and a good amount of tables, cool bottle collection behind the bar and a good location, live local music sometimes too. Quality is great, all the beer I have had here was fresh and full of flavor, no problems to report here. Lots of good glassware for the beer too and proper glasses for each style of beer they serve. Service is awesome, every time I have been here I have talked craft beer with the manager(?) who runs the bar area along with the bartender, he knows tons about craft beer and seems to have visited all the big breweries in the US/know many people in the craft beer world. He has also given my friends and I several free samples of new bottles he has. The only thing that can get iffy here is having only 2-3 people running the bar area during a busy night can mean a long time between visits from the server/bartender, but you can easily just go up to the bar and flag him down and be fine. Food can take a long time to get too. Selection is great, had Kentucky Breakfast Stout bottles for $5 less than The Dirty Truth when it was around, seems like beer here is usually $1-3 less than at TDT. Can find stuff here like Avery, DFH, Founders, Stone, Weihenstephan, JW Lees, La Trappe, Duvel, Westmalle and so on. They dont have the most taps or the biggest bottle list but I have been satisfied every time I have visited and it seems like the draft lists changes fairly often, bottle list is kind of stagnant though. Food is great, late at night there is an appetizer list and I have had a few things off it and they were all creative and delicious, the entrees are good too and the prices are not bad for the quality of the food. Good beer prices and decent food prices for value here.
09-02-2009 19:12:53 |
More by cbutova
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
I love a place with good food and good beer so I had high hopes here. We were there on a Monday night and the restaurant was a bit dead. The bar was busier than expected. We sat in the restaurant. The beer selection is excellent. Many drafts and bottles. I had a couple of Orvals (love to see them on the menu) and my girlfriend had a Fullers. The food was ok. I was expecting better. I think it is a little gimmicky to offer meats and sauces for you to pair up. I want the chef to do this for me. I had tuna which was not incredible. My girlfriend had steak which was cooked perfectly. We had a smoked salmon app which was ok too. The service was ok, but maybe a bit rushed. I would go back here for the bar and few apps, but would probably eat somewhere else.
07-24-2009 13:00:05 |
More by citrusjim
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The Sierra Grille in Northampton, MA