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The Dining Room at Blantyre - Lenox, Massachusetts, USA PDF Print E-mail
Written by Debra C. Argen   
Scallop with Squid Ink Pasta at The Dining Room at Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience Dinner at The Dining Room at Blantyre in Lenox, Massachusetts in the Berkshire Mountains with Relais & Chateaux Grand Chef Christopher Brooks was an experience, a sumptuous Luxury Experience, that began with the tradition of having a glass of champagne, wine, or a cocktail accompanied by canapés on the Covered Terrace, in the Main Hall, or in the Music Room where a concert pianist played a grand piano, and you think, my how sophisticated and civil; and there the pampering began.

A weekend spent at Blantyre was lovely, quite wonderful actually; however, a weekend just began to tempt the palate when it came to experiencing the inspired cuisine of Executive Chef Christopher Brooks. This is a passionate and inspired chef, dedicated to his craft, who goes the distance to make dining a memorable experience. Everything is made in-house including the delicious breads, smoked salmon and bacon, and the herbs are freshly cut from their garden as needed; nothing is left to chance.

Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts

Although the late June 2010 weather in the Berkshires was delightful, neither too warm nor too cold, and the Covered Terrace with its wicker cushioned chairs and chaises indeed looked inviting, for our first night, we decided to sit in the Music Room to better appreciate the music.

The Music Room was stunning with its soaring ceiling; long windows opulently draped in pink fabric framed the setting sun, potted palms in cachepots graced the long, rectangular room, a golden harp stood in front of a window, marble fireplaces at either end of the room flanked by sofas and delicate chairs invited intimate conversations. A grand scale room, it was designed for elegant living with its rich collection of paintings, gold sconces and sparkling crystal chandeliers, large center table with an attractive enormous floral arrangement, a Tiffany lamp, antique furniture arranged to maximize private seating areas, and a games table set for chess beckoned.

Keeping with the Blantyre tradition, we relaxed with pre-dinner cocktails of a Rob Roy for Edward and a Sidecar for me, gorgeously presented in antique etched crystal glasses accompanied by a silver bowl filled with mixed nuts. The glasses recalled the golden age of the cocktail hour, perfectly made, and attractively garnished.

Cocktails before Dinner - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Cocktails before Dinner

Tempting canapés followed, two Asparagus Vichyssoises presented in demitasses, two tiny chicken wings with rosemary and tarragon, and two halibut mousse on round toasts with salmon roe presented on a silver tray, which we enjoyed as we perused the dinner and the wine menu. Another part of the Blantyre tradition is having guests make their dinner and wine selections before being seated in the Dining Room, so that once seated, there is nothing more to do than relax and enjoy the evening.

Canapas before Dinner - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Canapés before Dinner

Sommelier Luc Chevalier and Wine Director Christelle Cotar have created an exceptional presentation of domestic and international wines in a 150-page book that took us around the world. Wines are offered by the glass, half-bottle, bottle, and large format bottles of magnums (1.5 liters), jeroboams (double magnum - 3 liters), and imperials (5 - 6 liters), and there is a good selection of alcohol-free wines. The impressive wine cellar boasts 19,000 bottles winning numerous awards and accolades, including the Wine Spectator Grand Cellar 2009.

Sommelier Luc Chevalier of Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA
Sommelier Luc Chevalier

After leisurely enjoying our cocktails and canapés, we were escorted into the wood-paneled dining room illuminated by the soft glow of the chandelier and the tall ivory tapers in silver candlesticks on the tables and were immediately impressed with the gracious ambience. Classical music softly played in the background creating a romantic setting, and sumptuous floral arrangements of pink roses, stock, and snapdragons in footed silver bowls graced the elegantly set tables draped with pink linens and matching napkins.

The Dining Room at Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA
The Dining Room at Blantyre

Relais & Chateux Grand Chef Christopher Brooks - Photo by Luxury ExperienceWe selected the Five Course Chef's Surprise Tasting Menu with wine pairing, which gently awakened our taste buds beginning with the amuse bouche, a lovely presentation of a local goat cheese with pinenuts and herbs, and local beets on a citrus jam. Housemade bacon and pistachio bread, oat bread, and white rolls, with fresh butter and Chef Christopher's fabulous goat cheese and butter spread accompanied the amuse.

For our first course, there was a sautéed cape diver scallop presented with quinoa, lemon, radish blini, cucumber coulis, cucumber foam, and garnished with a tiny pansy, which Sommelier Luc Chevalier, paired with two wines, a Riesling Kabinett, "Ürzinger Würzgarten," Dr. Loosen, Mosel, Germany, 2006; and a Sauvignon Blanc, Dog Point Vineyard, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2008. It was interesting to compare these two very different wines, Dr. Loosen with peach, slate, mineral, and citrus aromas, and slight honey overtones on the palate, and Dog Point Vineyard with crisp, green apple and mineral aromas, and tartness on the palate; yet each complemented the individual elements, the slightly salty scallop, the texture of the quinoa, and the citrus acidity.

Cape Diver Scallop - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Cape Diver Scallop

Our second course consisted of Spanish mackerel with fennel, pepper, eggplant, crispy socca made with chickpea flour, and roasted tomatoes. This course was well paired with a Viognier, DeMol, "Lia," Russian River Valley, California, 2006 with its vanilla aromas that provided a lovely counterbalance to the fennel and fish.

Spanish Mackerel - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Spanish Mackerel

For our third course, we went on divergent roads, for Edward there was a New York strip loin with potatoes, bordelaise sauce, and asparagus; for me there was potato puree in a pastry shell topped with corn, green beans, wild mushrooms, herbs, and asparagus. Both of our courses were paired with Grand Cru Classic, Château Lascombes, Margaux, Bordeaux, France 2005.

New York Strip Loin - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
New York Strip Loin

The cheese course featured Fiddlehead Tomme from New Hampshire presented with herbs lightly tossed with balsamic and a selection of crackers that was well paired with Taylor Fladgate 20 year old Tawny Porto.

Cheese Course - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Cheese Course

Dessert of yogurt and a sugary cake with strawberries was elegantly paired with a glass of champagne. As we were celebrating a very special anniversary, a rich and lovely chocolate cake followed, with a white chocolate ribbon that read Happy Anniversary, and a candle to make a wish on, presented on a ruffled glass plate trimmed with gold.

Dessert - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience Anniversary Dessert - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Desserts - Yogurt and Sugary Cake
&  Anniversary Chocolate Cake

After dinner, we returned to the Music Room where the pianist played a selection of romantic songs including Moon River, Strangers in the Night, La Vie En Rose, and On the Street Where You Live from the movie, My Fair Lady.

Our second evening dining at Blantyre began with pre-dinner cocktails in the Music Room with canapés of lobster presented on silver forks, squares of crispy asparagus with creamy interiors, and halibut mousse with salmon roe on round toasts.

Canapes befor Dinner - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Canapés before Dinner

Once again, the pianist set the mood with romantic music from Love Story to jazz great, Dave Brubeck's iconic Take Five, and to celebrate our anniversary, Edward requested, Tom Jobim's Girl from Ipanema, which is my theme song. Not every night, or at least not when at Blantyre, does one have the opportunity to listen to a concert pianist play them a special song.

Chef Christopher Brooks and Team - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA
Chef Christopher Brooks and Team

Blantyre's focus is creating memorable experiences for their guests, with each staff member contributing to that experience. A few of the many people that make Blantyre memorable is Christina, gracious and personable, who welcomes pre-dinner guests as if they were old friends; Sommelier Luc Chevalier, charming, and sophisticated, who has exceptional wine knowledge that he loves to share, and Chef Christopher Brooks who more than delivers what his tempting and creative menu promises.

Moire Room - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Moiré Room

For our second night dining at Blantyre, we had dinner in the intimate Moiré Room; a small gem of a room decidedly feminine in feel with its pale green silk moiré covered walls, matching window treatments framing the French doors, with delicate petit-point carpet on the wood floor. Intricately carved arches crowned the French doors, a painting in a gilt frame graced the wall over the white marble fireplace, with Dresden figurines, and matching floral vases on the mantle. Delicate arm chairs and a settee in a corner upholstered in striped floral silk flanked the three tables draped with pink linens, set with silver candlesticks with tall ivory tapers, stunning floral arrangements of lilac roses, pink snapdragons, varying colors of stock, and greens, and sparkling crystal. Low background music completed the romantic ambience.

Edward in the Moire Room - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Edward Enjoying Dinner

Chef Christopher Brooks began our Five Course Chef's Surprise Tasting Menu with wine pairing dinner with a delightful amuse bouche of a spicy fish soup made with sea bass accompanied by a tiny twist of puff pastry sprinkled with cayenne and pepper, paired with Puerto Fino Sherry, Lutau, Arcos, Jerez, Spain.

Fish Soup Amuse Bouche - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Fish Soup Amuse Bouche

For our first course there was a seared diver scallop crowned with squid ink pasta filled with crabmeat set in a pool of broth with diced heirloom tomatoes, tiny zucchini buttons, and micro pea greens artistically arranged and garnished with a delicately crispy zucchini flower, our first of the season. The zucchini flower recalled special memories of Milan, and the first time I had tasted this exquisite delicacy. Sommelier Luc Chevalier paired this course with Poilly-Fumé, "Les Logères," Le Domaine Saget, Loire Valley, France, 2005, with melon and tropical fruit on the nose and palate, which complemented the seafood.

Scallop with Squid Ink Pasta - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Scallop with Squid Ink Pasta

We diverged for our second course, for Edward there was duck confit with seared foie gras, fresh black Mission fig, fig jam, and verjus and port reduction, and for me, there was Spanish mackerel with chive sour cream and cucumber foam. Our second courses were paired with Pinot Noir, Domaine Serene "Evanstad Reserve," Willamette Valley, Dayton, Oregon, 2005, which had dark fruit and jammy aromas on the nose, with enough tannins and earthiness on the palate to complement the confit, as well as the mackerel.

Duck Confit - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Duck Confit

For our third course, there was creamy polenta kissed with cheese, a square of swiss chard, a grilled quarter of a round baby eggplant, niçoise olives, and fennel puree presented with rack of lamb for Edward and roasted sea bass for me. Both dishes paired well with Raboso, Maestre de Campo, Mendoza, Argentina, 2003, which had an earthy nose and softer tannins, and although not as aromatic, it was a very tasty wine.

Rack of Lamb - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience Seabass - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Rack of Lamb                       Roasted Sea Bass

The cheese course consisted of creamy camembert accompanied with slices of white peach and micro greens with balsamic drops on the plate, presented with assorted crackers, and paired with a lovely Domaine de la Motte Doux, Chateaux du Layon, Rochefort-Sur-Loire, France.

Cheese Course - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Cheese Course

Dessert ended the dinner on a high note with a luscious Black Forest confection presented as a cylinder with thin, rich chocolate on the ends, chocolate and vanilla, panna cotta in the middle, and garnished with a black cherry and mint. Sommelier Luc Chevalier paired dessert with Mas Amiel, Cuvée Spécial, 10 ans d'âge, Charles Dupry, Languedoc-Roussillon, France, 1979, which had an enticing bouquet of ripe white peaches and honey that continued on the palate.

Black Forest Dessert - The Dining Room at Blantyre, Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA - Photo by Luxury Experience
Black Forest Cake

After dinner, we relaxed in the Main Hall with a delectable glass of Morolo Grappa and Camomile Liqueur made from chamomile infused grappa for 11 months, from Alba, Piedmont, Italy. The dark paneled masculine room featured ornately carved chairs covered in rose silk fabric, an intricate wood-beamed and plasterwork ceiling, a massive fireplace, and a mantle graced with a collection of chinoiserie. 

A heavy wood table held an interesting collection of books, a refectory table held a selection of magazines as well as after dinner coffee and tea, petit fours, and chocolates. Plants and stunning floral arrangements added visual appeal, and a large rocking horse complete with a wood sword perfect for a young knight added a touch of whimsy to the room.

Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USAWe ended the evening by taking a romantic stroll under a full moon with fireflies dancing through the night casting a magical spell over another perfect evening at Blantyre.

The Dining Room at Blantyre is open for lunch for outside guests Wednesday through Sunday from 12:30 pm until 1:45 pm, and for dinner Wednesday through Sunday from 5:45 pm until 7:45 pm. The restaurant is open daily for hotel guests with extended hours for dining. Jackets and ties are required for gentlemen.

Read more about Blantyre in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, and Luxury ProductsGifts - sections.

Blantyre, Lenox, Massachusetts, USA The Dining Room at Blantyre
Blantyre
16 Blantyre Road
Lenox, Massachusetts 01240
United States
Telephone:   +1-413-637-3556 
Fax:              +1-413-637-4282 
Email:           This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  
Email:           This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it   
Website:       www.Blantyre.com
 

Read other articles on The Berkshires in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, Spas, and Arts sections.

For more information on The Berkshires, please visit the Berkshire Visitors Bureau website: www.Berkshires.org.

For more information on Massachusetts, please visit the website: www.MassVacation.com.

© July 2010. Luxury Experience. www.LuxuryExperience.com All rights reserved.

 
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