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“Overpriced good enough food” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Chez Albert

Chez Albert
27 S Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01002-2233
413-253-3811
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Ranked #22 of 104 Restaurants in Amherst
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Romance, Doing business, Local cuisine, Special occasions, Entertaining clients
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Reservations
Hartford, Connecticut
Top Contributor
64 reviews 64 reviews
42 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
“Overpriced good enough food”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2012

This is one of Amherst's pricier establishments and so I had high expectations which were not met, unfortunately. Four of us sat at an outdoor table, which was pleasant. The service was not great. The food was absolutely tasty but the portions were miniscule. The main course of codfish appeared to be about 3 ounces and was accompanied by just about nothing. If you want a fancy night out, I'd recommend The Lumbar Yard or Bistro 63.

Visited August 2012
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100 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    49
    21
    20
    5
    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Parker
Top Contributor
169 reviews 169 reviews
116 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 83 cities Reviews in 83 cities
102 helpful votes 102 helpful votes
“Good food but nothing special”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012 via mobile

Had dinner at Chez Albert tonight for my birthday. I was hoping for something special, unique. The food was good but could have been gotten at any fine dining restaurant. My husband had the salt cod beignets which he said were tasty. He and my son had the salmon special for their main entree. It was fine but not very flavorful. I had the haddock with mushrooms which was fine but not terribly unique. Desserts were had by all and would rate as average. By the time we left around 8:30pm the restaurant was full and getting noisy. Would think about just doing appetizers next time.

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Laguna Hills
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“Country French at its Best!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 26, 2012

Tonight we went to Chez Albert, located on North Pleasant Street in Amherst Massachusetts, for an excellent dinner. Their original site was just up the street where we have eaten before, but this new address gives them more room to serve more people and in the milder weather an outdoor dining space. The look of the new dining room is intimate and romantic with an artistic play on the country French theme. Profiles of barnyard animals, vache (cow), gros coshan (fat pig), and coq (rooster) are repeated around the room with a red warm glow from unique lumière wall lamps, created by a local artist. Old French product posters line the walls. Two very large picture windows look out to Pleasant Street and reveal a cozy room within. The dining tables, unlike the usual with white tablecloths, are topped with sheets of copper and soft candlelight. There are wooden floors, wooden chairs, and at the bar the bar top is artistically rendered with a delightful country French look, again of the cow, pig and rooster, with clusters of grapes and cheese.

We were greeted by our waiter, Eduardo, who gave us a run-down on the specials that night and seemed very knowledgeable about the menu offerings and the wine list. We did start out with some wine to wet our appetites. My father-in-law had the Gigondas Rhone, and my husband and I decided to go sweet with a glass each of a sauterne. Eduardo also brought a small handled basket of warm French bread and a ramekin of olive oil for dipping. While looking at the menu, we noticed that no wireless devices are allowed. No wonder the ambiance was so pleasant.

The appetizers all looked good, so we opted to try four of them. I had the Butternut Squash soup with a swirl of balsamic and Crème Fraîche, which was topped with a sprinkling of toasted green pumpkin seeds that added not only a nice color contrast but also a crunch to the creaminess of the soup. My husband had the chicken liver Pate de Foie, drizzled with a balsamic. The dish came with some cornichons, a dab of seed mustard, and a lively cherry marmalade on the side. My father-in-law and husband shared a special offered appetizer for the evening of Veal Sweetbreads in a port wine reduction with plum marmalade. They both seemed to role their eyes at the heavenly taste, the outside slightly crispy and the inside smooth and creamy. Then, as if the richness was not enough, his father had to have the most unusual offering of Octopus and Bone Marrow. The dish came beautifully stacked with just enough whipped potatoes to secure the two large halved veal bones, thick with marrow. On top were a couple of deep-fried octopus tentacles, a pluck of Roman parsley and toasted breadcrumbs. The marrow was excellent with a buttery beef flavor, and a gentle gelatinous texture that melted in the mouth.

For our entrée we each chose our favorites. My husband had another special of the evening, Scallops with a Chanterelle mushroom sauce. It was served with a potato puree and steamed Kale. The scallops were of a medium size and they were sautéed perfectly, some crispiness on the outside and sweet and soft on the inside. His father had the Osso Bucco. It came stacked atop the potato puree and was topped with sweet, sautéed carrot sticks. The meat was so tender it was falling off the bone and onto the fork. He relished every bite. I had the Maui-Maui a l’Orange. It came grilled just right, sitting on top of the same whipped potatoes, and was covered by the same kind of greens but with an addition of shaved fennel, red bell pepper and baby slivers of orange with a refreshing citrus sauce. There was also a dab of Olive tapenade served on the dish. The fish was just cooked enough so that the flesh was done, but still quite moist. I would have liked more of that delicious sauce, but the fruit and fennel satisfied.

Who needs dessert after a rich dinner like that? Not us. We heard the waiter tell others of their chocolate mousse, crème brule, flourless chocolate cake, and apple tartin, but we were so happy, we could not eat another bite. Chef Paul Hathoway is to be commended, yet again!

  • Visited November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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amherst
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Still the best”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 5, 2012

The restaurants in this 5 college town are mostly staffed by students. It makes for very uneven experiences. Chez Albert is an exception . It has a serious professional staff that have been on duty for years. One always get a warm welcome and they know exactly what you like. The food is outstanding. We cant resist the specials. We are not in the habit of having desserts .

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Kingston, NY
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
12 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Terrible terrible terrible”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2012

I just couldn't believe how bad this place was given the glowing reviews. I understand that dining experiences can vary from person to person, but the degree to which this establishment under preformed was exceptional. Ambiance, if you can call it that, akin to a sports bar. Service, imperceptible. Nothing available cooked to order, total lack of creativity or desire to accommodate patron preference. The waiter who served us was beyond rude, and had it not been a situation in which we were hosting guests I would have walked out early on rather than subject myself to this sort of treatment. This has to have been one of the worst dining experiences I have had.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
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