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“First Visit” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of The Federal Restaurant & Bar

The Federal Restaurant & Bar
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Ranked #1 of 48 Restaurants in Agawam
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $20 - $30
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Bar scene, Business meetings, Romantic, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Parking Available, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Valet Parking, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Fine Dining
Description: Built by Samuel Converse in 1862, the impressive Greek revival structure at 135 cooper street in Agawam, Massachusetts became home to the Federal Hill Club in 1936. Under the management of its owners, the Moretti family, that establishment remained a premiere restaurant for over fifty years.The Federal’s current owners Michael Presnal and Ralph Santaniello easily integrate the white linen elegance of that bygone era with a fresh and innovative “new American” cuisine that is perfectly prepared and impeccably served. Strong Italian and French influences inspire the contemporary culinary style of chef Presnal in dishes such as his red beet risotto, burnt tangerine glazed cod, and white-chocolate panna cotta.The Federal is dressed up as a special occasion restaurant, but is sociable and affordable enough for every occasion. The restaurant enjoys a dedicated following of appreciative diners from New York to Boston.
Southwick, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
136 reviews
81 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 57 helpful votes
“First Visit”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 5, 2013

Have heard about the Federal for years. Our neighbors convinced us to go with them so we made reservations. (I suggest you make reservations otherwise you might no get in) We arrived about 30 minutes early so we could have a drink and enjoy the free samplings they pass around in the bar. The drinks were well made, not watered down or so strong you can't drink it. many of the samples came on a spoon. Very interesting way to have a small taste. Dinner was fresh and hot. Service was very good. Admittedly the food is a little more expensive but I think it was certainly worth it. A perfect place to eat for a special occasion or to impress a friend or date!

  • Visited April 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tom P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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198 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    130
    34
    20
    11
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
82 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Always worth the price..”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2013

We were looking for a good place to have Easter brunch so I thought of The Federal. Yes, this place is pricey, but I've always found it to be worth the money and today was no exception. I do agree with the reviewers who question the decor as the pictures of children and flowers with the mirror and the banquet makes it look like a bedroom rather than a restaurant.

Four of us went to brunch, and we each ordered a different item. I was really disappointed that the menu they served didn't match the Easter menu on the website, and that took a little while for me to get over. They served a wonderful backet of fresh pastries and breads that were out of this world. I do have to say that it would have been nice to get it right when we sat down rather than having to wait for out order. It felt a little like they wanted to put all the items in at one time and push people through. At $30.00 a head for mainly breakfast items, that should not be happening. They also had some off the menu items, and we weren't sure what was up with that. We stuck to the menu which offered a fabulous selection of breakfast and lunch items. I opted for the filet as I was looking forward to the "meat two ways" that was on the website menu but didn't make it on the actual menu. It was delicious, although I ordered it medium rare and it was far more on the medium side. It was still very delicious as were the mashed potatoes and the fries. My tablemates had the frittata, the banana french toast, and the egss benedict (not the traditional style). They all raved and finished every bite so I know they were not lying.

Dessert was even better as I had the Tiramisu, which is one of my favorites. I have to say it was one of the best I've ever had and will for sure order it again. The service was also very solid and attentive, and they were jamming.

I live here and often hear mixed review, but I have to say that I've always been pleased and never sorry about paying the price for a meal here. I will for sure be back soon.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Zazu_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Agawam MA
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Did not live up to expectations”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 14, 2013

Expensive, excellent service but food was just ok. Arrived at 5PM on a Friday night, was asked if we had reservations, said no and they looked at us like we were insane. "Let's see if we can fit you in"...they sat us in the back room which is very pretty, candle-lit...classy. Nice table for 2 with no one else in the room for over an hour, so I guess we were lucky they could "fit us in". The complimentary risotto balls were indeed very good. I had the beet risotto appetizer which was not like any other risotto I've ever had..it was ok. Husband had the chicken meatballs and they were good, nice size portions on both. Husband had the red, white and green salad, just so-so. For dinner I had the truffled mac & cheese with grilled shrimp. Meh...kind of bland. disappointing for 27.95, thought it would be "wow, that was delicious!" Not. Husband had a special double thick pork chop with a pork belly hash...he said it was ok, nothing special. I tried it and agreed. We were both disappointed in the flavors...they weren't any! We had 2 beers, 1 glass of wine, 2 appetizers, 1 salad and 2 entrees and it came to $103, not including tip. I expected the food to knock our socks off, nothing did. Have heard great things about The Federal, maybe it was just an off night...but we wouldn't go back, not for that money.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank WMPatFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
95 reviews
71 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Rave Review!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 30, 2013

Very inventive cuisine from Chef Michael. The family owned and run upscale restaurant is unique in appearance, service and eclectic menu. "Bucket of Balls" is a must with each visit. This restaurant got a rave review from the Hartford Courant (which is 30 miles away)

Helpful?
Thank Mike K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Longmeadow, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
30 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 46 helpful votes
“Excellence you can count on”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

Every year, we gather the entire family at The Federal for Thanksgiving Dinner. It's become a favorite tradition for our large, blended family, because the food is delicious (better than homemade!) and the servers treat you like family, even on busy holidays like Thanksgiving.

We also spend each New Year's Eve at the Federal (a couples night), and have always been delighted with the food and service.

Friday lunches at the Federal are also a treat (anytime during the year), and we've often remarked on how the wonderful chef can take an "ordinary" dish like mac and cheese, or french onion soup, and turn it into a new and delightful flavor experience. Presentation on all dishes is also great.

We've tried many different meals here, and have never found one we didn't like! The drinks from the bar are also excellent.

It's great that the Federal provides excellence you can count on, time after time.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lin P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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