Destination: Widow Bingham’s Tavern at Red Lion Inn Stockbridge, MA
Posted on December 11, 2015
Article & Photos by Jacqueline Bennett newsandviewsjb.com
Across the threshold from the elegant dining room in Stockbridge, Massachusetts’ Red Lion Inn and above a rathskeller bar there, is the casual, rustic Widow Bingham’s Tavern. Though the main dining room is lovely, there is something most appealing about the ole’ Americana atmosphere of the tavern.
Red checkered tablecloths coordinate with dark, wooden chairs. Historic memorabilia pattern the walls. Overhead lamps create dim lighting accented by a stained glass window decor, “wood planked” floors and a busy bar. Holiday decorations on this visit added to the enjoyable experience. The tavern is small so if it is preferred, reservations are a good idea.
With an emphasis on traditional New England fare, the menu includes salads, soups, sandwiches, Chicken Pot Pie, Ale Battered Haddock, Macaroni & Cheese and more. The New England Clam Chowder was delicious! Having selected a soup & half sandwich option, the chowder arrived first then came a generous portion, cold, half turkey& stuffing sandwich garnished with lettuce and cranberry mayo. The turkey slices were thick but could have been more moist. However, a requested side of cranberry sauce made the difference. I do wonder if a slight warming of the sandwich would enhance the overall flavor. Someone else in our party ordered a whole turkey&stuffing sandwich and had the same assessments – the whole sandwich came with a mix of “local greens”, large pickle and crispy potato chips. A Butternut Squash Bisque got rave reviews. Also receiving thumbs up were a grilled salmon dinner, open face prime rib and a burger smothered with cheese.
When it came time for dessert we were eager to try the Brown Sugar Cake. I was curious to learn if it would be reminiscent of one of my father’s favorites as it had been baked by my grandmother, Burnt Sugar Cake. Though tasty, the Brown Sugar Cake was not similar. For $11, the Brown Sugar Cake was served gourmet style in a small mound portion, with a drizzling of caramel sauce and topped with a scoop of flavorful coffee ice cream. Although it did not compare to an old English family recipe, I am glad to have tried it and would order it again.
Widow Bingham’s Tavern is named for an original owner, according to the Red Lion Inn website. The inn is a 2015 winner of the Diner’s Choice Opentable award. Just outside is the Courtyard which is available for dining during warmer seasons.
Located in the beautiful Berkshires, the Red Lion Inn was once a stagecoach stop. Serving Stockbridge and travelers since 1773, the historic inn was made famous by a Norman Rockwell illustration published in McCall’s magazine in 1967.
Red Lion Inn, 30 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA 413-298-5545 http://www.redlioninn.com