Saturday Night Out at Butternuts

We joined our friends Rick and Susanna and went out to dinner last night. Our first stop was to the Delaney House, we thought we’d give it a try after seeing their ads that said they had ‘lightened up’ a bit. We were hoping there would be a new, casual ambience in this stuffy place. So we sent the gals up to investigate…they returned to the packed parking lot with a ‘no go.’

It was so loud in there nobody would possibly be able to converse. Rick has a theory about why music is so loud in bars frequented by the young: he thinks they like it because it provides an instant intimacy, a legitimate way to get very close physically, in order to hear what’s being shouted into your ear.

So we drove down Rte 9 and headed to a new place called Butternuts, in Hadley. This restaurant had come recommended, and the dining room was pleasantly quiet and not too crowded. I ordered a cassoulet, one of my favorite French dishes, and Cindy had a butternut chicken dish. I was disappointed in mine, the navy beans were not done enough and I had hoped for melt in your mouth texture. Cindy’s dish was too creamy, just not that great. Our bottle of Zinfandel was weak ass, it didn’t have the velvety strong kick you’d expect from this varietal; it was more like a pinot.

We enjoyed the service, though, and I told the waitress politely that I thought the beans were underdone. I hope that wasn’t an insult to the chef, hey, I’d want to know what my customers thought if I owned the place.