…Finding The Best Wings In The Berkshires
Please Note: We are in the process of updating our Wing Reviews. If you know of a great wing place, please let us know!
Creating the Wing Section was a great deal of fun, interesting and at times a bit overwhelming for the palate. In doing so, we also learned that Berkshire County has many outstanding wing restaurants and some pretty bizarre wing flavors to choose from, but most importantly, we learned that people take their wings and bragging rights very seriously.
Whether your love is Plain, Hot, Mild, Atomic, BBQ, XXX, Teriyaki, Bourbon Glazed, Honey Mustard, Roasted Garlic, Szechwan, Jack Daniels, Jamaican, Sweet & Sour, Sweet Chili, or one of the many “Signature House” recipes, you will without a doubt, satisfy any wing craving you may have.
Unlike our pizza journey, where we started in the the Northern Berkshires and worked our way south, this time we decided to start in the middle and “wing it” by heading in any direction our taste buds took us, with plenty of great places still ahead of us on our quest. Do you know of one we have overlooked in our list below? If so, please let us know and we will gladly pay them a visit.
We couldn’t help but notice the number of “Wing Fling” winners located in Lenox. So Lenox it was, with our first stop at a place we visited during our pizza journey …Betty’s Pizza Shack. I said it then, and I’ll say it again, the decor is worth the trip by itself! As for the wings, we tried both the Sweet and Spicy and Blazzin Saddles. The balance between the sweet and spicy flavors were excellent and as for the Blazzin Saddles, they were hot and full of flavor. I would have liked the wings a little bit crispier, but other than that, I’d make the trip again!
Next, was The Olde Heritage Tavern another “Wing Fling” winner located in the center of Lenox and next door to Betty’s Pizza Shack. Locals love this place year round and tourists and summer residents flock to it in the summer. We went in the early evening, just after one of our many January snow storms, as it began tapering off. There were maybe a dozen locals at the bar and 3 tables of diners. We thought the service was great on a busy night in the past and on this night it was even better. We decided to try their Hot Wings as well as Honey BBQ and save their “Really Hot” for another day. I’m a big fan of wings that are a little on the crispy side. The reason being, I don’t like wings to become soggy after they are tossed in sauce. These were outstanding and their “Hot Wings” are a home run! If you have never been to The Heritage Tavern, give it a try, I don’t think you will be disappointed.
Now, if you not quite sure what a “Wing Fling” winner is …let me explain. Every summer the Pittsfield Family YMCA sponsors its annual “Wing Fling” where local restaurants compete for “bragging rights” in several categories with judges handing out prizes for “Best Flavored Hot Wings,” “Best Traditional Hot Wings,” and “Best Original Hot Wings.” It’s a great fundraiser and a great time for all and if you’ve never attended the Wing Fling …and you love wings, it is an absolute must do! You’ll get the opportunity to experience wings and ribs from many Berkshires restaurants, all in one location.
Our next stop was …Halpin’s Grub & Grog, (now closed) an Irish Pub on Route 7, just over the Pittsfield – Lenox line and yes another “Wing Fling” winner. Feeling a little brave we ordered Atomic, Hot, Teriyaki and Halpin’s Original. First, let me tell you, good luck getting down the Atomic wings. On their menu they have a little disclaimer: “We are not responsible for side effects of Atomic sauce. Order at your own risk.” The child in me doesn’t say to avoid these, instead it tells me that I must order these …and I must prove them wrong. Was I wrong …I can usually deal with and genuinely enjoy a really hot wing. I might not eat a dozen of them, but I will put a dent in an order. Good luck eating an order of these bad boys. We asked for our wings to be done on the crispy side and they were perfect, with each sauce loaded with great flavor. Along with a good bleu cheese dressing and celery, a great beer is a perfect match for great wings and we found plenty of beer to choose from, including 26 on tap alone. The service was fantastic, the place was clean and you felt welcomed. Thumbs up to the crew at Halpin’s Grub and Grog. Give it a try and they have KENO too!!!
Heading north on Route 7 brought us to our next destination, Pittsfield, home of The Colonial Theatre, Barrington Stage Company, the Berkshire Museum and 7 time “Wing Fling” winner Patrick’s Pub. Knowing many people who have been to Patrick’s in the past for their wings alone, we decide this was one place that we had to try. Patrick’s was clearly a hit with the locals, with a full bar and plenty of table guests. Our waitress made us feel welcome and was quick to take our drink order. After discussing the various choices on the menu, we opted for Mild, Hot and Teriyaki Ginger. Their menu states that wings can take a minimum of 15 minutes, depending on crispiness and as you have probably learned by now, we like our wings a little on the crispy side. Our order took about 20 minutes and it was worth the wait. Hands down, our favorite at Patrick’s were the Hot wings. The flavor was amazing and I can see why these folks have won 7 times. Parking can be a bit of a problem, but if you are downtown its a short walk even from the garage on McKay Street. Add this one to the list!
One of the most interesting, out of the ordinary, wing flavors that has taken FIRST PLACE at the “Wing Fling,” is from a Dalton restaurant and pub, called the Milltown Tavern (now Dewey’s Public House). We decided to put their award winning “Garlic-Parm Wings” to the challenge. We ordered a dozen of their Garlic-Parm, along with Plain, Hot and their Sweet and Spicy House Sauce. They were crispy and delivered hot. One word comes to mind when describing the “Garlic-Parm Wings” …AMAZING. The Hot wings were excellent, but my second favorite had to have been their Sweet and Spicy House Sauce. A nice combination of flavors with a perfect balance. They had a nice crowd, service was outstanding and the place is affordable for families, which to me is always a home run. Check It Out!
Next stop …V’s Doghouse (now Brookhaus Sports Pub & Restaurant) in Lanesboro, across from the entrance to the Berkshire Mall. This place is unique in the sense that they have an Outdoor Pavilion that is open during the summer months and if for no other reason than the Pavilion …you need to check this place out. With that said, I’ll now tell you about our experience. First off, the place has a High Def TV in every direction you look, with each turned to a sports channel. The waitress was fast to take our drink order and after a short peek at the menu we decided to order their “Wing Sampler” which is 24 wings, in your choice of four flavors, six wings per flavor. We choose Mild, Roasted Garlic, V’s Signature and Jamaican Jerk. All were superb in flavor, with the Jamaican Jerk, being finger licking messy, so grab some extra napkins. All in all, a great place for wings. Make it a point to try V’s.
From V’s our journey took us back to Pittsfield and to a place that I would say is probably one of the “Wing Sleepers” if I can use that term, in the Berkshires. It’s a fairly new restaurant, open less than a year called PortSmitt’s Lakeway Restaurant on Pecks Road. They offer their wings in three flavors Mild, Hot or Teriyaki, served with the customary celery sticks and bleu cheese. What wasn’t customary, is their flavors, truly outstanding and all three are worth a trip back. Service was excellent and we thought the wings were a great value. Don’t overlook this one folks!
Our next stop brought us to yet another “Wing Fling” winner, Zucchini’s Restaurant in Pittsfield. This place always seems to have a nice crowd, which is a pretty good indication that they are doing something right. Our waitress was friendly and the service was great, couple those with the atmosphere and you have the beginning of a positive experience. Now don’t let Zucchini’s small selection of wing flavors discourage you. We ordered 10 each of Spicy and Teriyaki and they were perfect. They were cooked just right with the Spicy being my favorite, if I had to choose just one. The next time you’re on Route 7, near Pontoosuc Lake, give Zucchin’s Restaurant a try …I think you’ll be happy!
Heading north on Route 7, our goal was the ever popular Olde Forge Restaurant in Lanesboro, another multi award “Wing Fling” winner. Some people say the Olde Forge has the best wings in the Berkshires, so we thought we would put them to the test. We thought the place was definitely over crowded, but that could be a good sign too, I suppose. Considering the service wasn’t horrible, we still had to wait longer than we would have liked, to be waited on. We ordered the Super Hot and Dean’s Traditional Style and I have become a fan of their Dean’s Traditional Style wings. I’m still not sure if I would say they have the best wings in the Berkshires …yet. However, if you are into beer, this is the place to go. I cannot believe the number of different beers the Olde Forge carries.
Returning to Pittsfield, we found ourselves at one of the areas favorite Restaurants …Papa Joe’s Ristorante & Pizzeria. Papa Joe’s goes back over 50 years …and two generations. We were told they do their wings differently, which caught our attention right away. They oven roast their wings, then toss them in your choice of Hot, BBQ or Italian sauce. What a great flavor these wings have! We tried an order of each and enjoyed all three. The service was great and the meal was affordable. A Home Run all the way. So if you want to try wings a little differently, stop by Papa Joe’s today. FYI, Papa Joe’s does have a selection of beer and wine available.
Have a question, need help finding a great nearby “wing” restaurant, or perhaps you know of another location we should visit and add to our list …email or call us Toll Free at 1-800-772-7926.