It was a quiet and cold Saturday, and I really needed some comfort food. So, I drove down Route 7 towards the 1896 House Pub, or the ’6 House, as it is more affectionally known. It is one of those restaurants I have driven past at least 50 times since freshman year but never had a chance to stop by. It is now my senior spring semester; the registrar sent me an email asking me to confirm my name and hometown for the graduation pamphlet. It is high time to do a food review of the ’6 House.
I highly recommend going on a Saturday for an early lunch. The place was pretty much empty, so I got to choose to sit anywhere, including huge comfortable sofas by the window. I felt like I had walked into an old-fashioned library or an antique shop and that I was dining at someone’s home instead of a restaurant. Five stars for ambience! For munchies, I ordered a basket of shoestring fries which were thinly cut and fried golden brown to perfection. For appetizers, I ordered a baked brie wheel and seared ahi tuna on wonton crisps. They were both so unique and unlike any other appetizers I have had in Williamstown. The brie was enveloped in a puffy, light pastry shell. The cheese was then baked inside the shell and came out gooey and heavenly. The presentation of the cheese wheel was lovely; cranberry-apricot chutney, melba sauce, French bread rounds, apple slices and candied walnuts were all placed around the cheese on an old-fashioned wooden cutting board. For all the brie-lovers out there, you must try this deliciousness before you graduate!
The second appetizer, seared ahi tuna on wonton crisps, was quite different from the cheese wheel. The tuna was surprisingly fresh for the Berkshires, and the wonton crisps added a crunchy texture. Still, the dish did not quite come together for me. The wasabi cream sauce was too sweet, and the bed of mesclun salad next to the wonton crisps was unnecessary and did not add to the dish. However, the entire dish was so fun to eat that these minor flaws were secondary.
For entrees, we ordered the grilled plum salad and the lobster mac and cheese. The grilled plum salad should have been named “apple salad.” I counted five distinct plum slices that did not taste grilled, and the rest of the salad consisted of slices of apple. The gorgonzola and candied walnuts added a nice bite against the sweet honey raspberry vinaigrette. The lobster mac and cheese, on the other hand, was exactly what I needed. The creamy cheesiness had some pull and the cracker top was textured and nicely crumbled. Though the lobster tasted a little bit dry and was too chewy, it was still a scrumptious, cheesy carbo-load.
The 1896 House Pub is a hidden gem in Williamstown. Each dish had its own flair and surprises, and the dining experience was one of the most pleasant I’ve had in the 01267.