Red Lion Inn Restaurant: Fine Dining in the Beautiful Berkshires

After visiting the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, we ventured into the charming New England town center for a late lunch. There, we found interesting little shops full of character on Main Street, along with several restaurants in Stockbridge worth considering. We decided on The Red Lion Inn Dining Room, an excellent choice for fine dining in the Berkshires. A Stockbridge landmark, The Red Lion Inn is elegant without being stuffy. You’ll find it on the corner of Main and South, recognized by its grand front porch.

Pro Travel Tip: In addition to on-street parking, you’ll find an additional parking area in the back of the Inn.


RELATED: Learn more about the Norman Rockwell Museum

The Red Lion Inn History

This sprawling luxury hotel in the Berkshires, featured in Rockwell’s painting, “Home for Christmas,” has a rich history. It is one of a handful of American Inns continuously operated prior to the 1800s. In 1773, a small tavern frequented by stagecoaches traveling between Albany and Boston occupied the space on which The Red Lion Inn now sits. The Inn expanded and changed hands through the centuries (see lineage), and after a fire in 1986, rebuilt. In 1969, extensive updates to The Red Lion Inn made certain to preserve its historic charm.

Today, The Red Lion Inn remains an iconic stop for travelers in the Berkshires. In fact, it boasts an impressive list of famed guests over the centuries, including five U.S. presidents, well-known writers, and modern day celebrities; among them, President Franklin Deleanor Roosevelt, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and Oprah Winfrey.

Staying at The Red Lion Inn

The Main Inn offers 82 comfortable and well-appointed rooms, each uniquely decorated with antiques and period objects. Besides the Main Inn, “Red Lion Inn Village” includes Maple Glen, a 17-room modern-country guest house, several nearby Village Houses, and lodging experiences including The Firehouse, Meadowlark, and Quarter Rooms in the Main Inn. The Red Lion Inn’s hospitality includes a year-round heated pool and hot tub, and pet-friendly rooms and suites.

We ascended the wraparound porch into the warm lobby and stepped back in time. Vintage couches flank a large roaring fireplace to one side where hotel guests relaxed comfortably in the parlor as though at home.

Red Lion Inn Parlor

The working 1897 birdcage elevator in the lobby gave insight to the expert care to which they attend everything at The Red Lion Inn. Like the elevator, our dining experience reflected an establishment steeped in experience, expertly timed with attention to fine details. It was a smooth, quality ride from start to finish.

Pro Travel Tip: You can ask a staff member for a ride on the working birdcage elevator.

The Red Lion Inn Dining

The Red Lion Inn hosts four restaurants, from elegant to casual:

  • The Main Dining Room
  • The Courtyard, which is open during summer
  • The Widow Bingham’s Tavern, located off the Main Dining Room
  • The Lion’s Den, downstairs

There is no shortage of space for dining at The Red Lion Inn Restaurant, making it as perfect for hosting large groups as it was for our party of five (two adults and three teens/young adults). We arrived after the lunch crowd and before dinner, so the Main Dining Room easily accommodated us. The restaurant was busy but not at full capacity and we called ahead for reservations.

Pro Travel Tip: Make reservations by phone, online, or at the hotel’s reception area in the lobby. They do not accept reservations for breakfast or at the Lion’s Den.

The Main Dining Room at The Red Lion Inn

The dining room is expansive and tastefully decorated. Accented by soft lighting, crystal chandeliers, antique china, and pewter reminiscent of colonial times, the atmosphere is peaceful and relaxed.

Red Lion Inn Dining Room

Tables dressed in white linen might have been a reason for concern with our mixed-age party more comfortable at a burger joint. Yet, The Red Lion Inn Restaurant wasn’t the least bit highbrow. We joined other families in the dining room, some with small children and discovered all ages are welcome.

Pro Travel Tip: The Red lion Inn dress code is smart casual. However, on holidays, jackets and ties are required in the Main Dining Room.

The Red Lion Inn’s Wine Menu, Craft Beers & Spirits

Our server, Kathy, made us feel right at home. Even though there were dozens of guests in the dining room, we truly felt as though we had Kathy’s full attention.

The Red Lion Inn partners with five craft beer breweries in the Berkshires. Jim ordered a Berkshire Blonde Ale from Berkshire Breweries in Great Barrington. At Kathy’s recommendation, I opted for a hot cider spiked with bourbon made by Berkshire Mountain Distillers in nearby Sheffield. We love sampling locally made beverages and both were simply delicious.

In addition, The Red Lion Inn Wine List is robust, featuring 560 wines with recommendations handpicked by the sommelier. Wine lovers will be interested to know The Red Lion Inn received “The Best of Award of Excellence” by Wine Spectator.

Pro Travel Tip: Berkshire Mountain Distillers offers tastings and tours. The New York Times voted their Berkshire Gin the best craft gin in the country.

RELATED: Find out more about our Visit to Great Barrington.

Red Lion Menu

The Red Lion Inn’s lunch menu is concise but well curated, offering quality choices for a range of tastes. (Note the Dining Room dinner menu and the Red Lion pub menus feature different offerings.)

We shared a basket of freshly baked bread with whipped butter while anticipating our meals. It was a welcome moment to relax with our drinks and share conversation with the kids about our visit to the Norman Rockwell Museum.

Red Lion Inn Dining Room - Fresh Baked Rolls

Lunch Dishes at Red Lion Inn

Our dishes arrived steaming hot and plated on fine china.

Chicken Pot Pie

I opted for The Red Lion Inn Chicken Pot Pie. It had a flavorful stew broth with generous pieces of tender chicken, carrots, peas, and parsnips. Rather than a pie pastry shell, delicate puff pastry topped the dish. I especially liked the parsnips! This was the satisfying comfort food I had hoped for, and more than I could eat at one sitting.

Red Lion Inn Dining Room - Chicken Pot Pie

Grass-Fed Beef Burger

Two from our party ordered the Grilled Grass-Fed Beef Burger with Cabot Cheddar and Bacon to different levels of doneness: medium and medium-well. The chef cooked both burgers precisely right, served upon grilled brioche. It made for a substantial meal, accompanied by hearty steak fries and a half-sour pickle.

Red Lion Inn Dining Room - Beef Burger with Bacon

French Dip

A third member of our party ordered the French Dip. This hearty sandwich of thinly sliced prime rib, sauteed onions, melted Swiss, and horseradish on crusty rustic bread disappeared, despite its large size–including every drop of the beef Au Jus dipping juice. Served with steak fries, it’s safe to say someone thoroughly enjoyed it!

Red Lion Inn Dining Room - French Dip

Vegetarian Patty

Our vegetarian diner opted for the Chickpea & Quinoa Patty, drizzled with Tzatziki sauce and served alongside a mound of savory vegetables and grilled naan bread. I sampled a forkful of the patty, expertly seasoned so as not to overpower the delicate mix. Yum! This filling dish will please many tastes, Vegetarian or not.

Red Lion Inn Dining Room - Chickpea & Quinoa Patty

Each of the dishes–in addition to being expertly prepared and delicious–arrived creatively plated, freshly prepared, locally sourced where possible, and substantial. Red lion prices are very reasonable for the quality and generous portions, in our case $16-$20 per dish. Each was well worth every bite. Soups and salads on the lunch menu started at $9. Plus, I wouldn’t hesitate to return to try the Traditional Turkey Dinner ($25).

Dessert & Coffee

Even though our stomachs were completely full, the dessert menu beckoned with tempting treats like Molton Lava Cakes and Coconut Panna Cotta with Poached Pear and Bola Granola. It took only the slightest persuasion to convince us to share a dessert dish.

We followed Kathy’s recommendation and ordered the Warm Brown Sugar Cake with five spoons. Topped with Coffee Ice Cream from Soco Creamery, drizzled with caramel sauce from Fat Toad Farm, dotted with fresh whipped cream and chocolate covered coffee beans, it arrived warm from the oven.

Red Lion Inn Dining Room - Warm Brown Sugar Cake

At its center was a spoonful of gooey cinnamon. We each had a taste of this warm tasty goodness while and “mmmm”-ing or silently marveling in its decadence.

Coffee connoisseur that I am, I further indulged in a delicious after-dinner coffee. Served in fine china with fresh cream and raw sugar, it was a delightful finish to our excellent culinary experience at The Red Lion Inn.

Red Lion Inn Dining Room - Coffee and Cream

Inside The Red Lion Inn

Before leaving, I explored the first floor of The Red Lion Inn. With each turn through the various rooms, I encountered beautiful surroundings. I can only imagine the guest rooms would be as lovely.

Red Lion Inn - Piano and Staircase

Red Lion Inn Vintage Wooden Rocking Horse Toy

Red Lion Inn Pub

On our way out, we gave some love to the “Feline Lobby Ambassador” Norman, a rescue cat who slept warmly in the side parlor. I thought, What a lucky cat to call The Red Lion Inn home. Norman seemed so peaceful and relaxed, showered with attention and enjoying the good life.

And honestly, who wouldn’t be as content as Norman at The Red Lion Inn?

We couldn’t have been happier with the food, service, and atmosphere ourselves. We enjoyed every aspect of this outstanding culinary experience at The Red Lion Inn Dining Room. I am certain you will, too.

The Red Lion Inn Address:

The Red Lion Inn
30 Main Street
Stockbridge, MA  01262
413.298.5545
redlioninn.com

Does The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, MA look like your kind of place? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


This article is part of a sponsored collaboration. Special thanks to The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, the Norman Rockwell Museum, and The Red Lion Inn for their support on this Press Trip. As always, all opinions expressed are my own. For more information, please see the following Disclosure

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Jackie Gately

Jackie Gately is a seasoned travel writer, photographer, and marketing consultant who is passionate about travel. She loves casual-luxury experiences, coastal getaways, cultural attractions, and local, wholesome food and wine pairings. A perfect day ends with her toes in the sand or by chasing the sunset with her camera--ideally both.

16 thoughts on “Red Lion Inn Restaurant: Fine Dining in the Beautiful Berkshires

  • July 3, 2019 at 6:14 pm
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    The dinner at Red Lion Inn looks so grand. The options are wide. You got me at the vegetarian dish. I am a vegan and I would love that chickpea and quinoa dish. The pictures of the food are making me feel hungry.

    Reply
    • July 8, 2019 at 10:30 am
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      Shreya, the Chickpea and Quinoa dish is a great Vegan choice!

      Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 6:27 am
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    The interiors got me. Very tastefully done. The food pictures are inviting too. If I had to pick my favorites, I would go for the vegetable patty and chicken pot pie followed by the Warm Brown Sugar Cake.

    Reply
    • July 8, 2019 at 10:32 am
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      Those are very popular and delicious choices, Manjulika–with good reason! We loved the decor and the food at Red Lion Inn.

      Reply
  • July 2, 2019 at 12:05 am
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    The way you write about the Red Lion Inn , makes it come to life and well worth the effort to make a trip just for a taste of the Chicken Pot Pie and finish off with Warm Brown Sugar Cake with Coffee. Intriguing for me would be a ride on the bird cage elevator and the charm of the place is that It has been around for a long time and this gives character as your photos show.

    Reply
    • July 8, 2019 at 10:34 am
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      Thanks for your kind words, Adele. Red Lion Inn offers so many great things to tell about. I hope you get to ride the birdcage elevator some time!

      Reply
  • July 1, 2019 at 11:14 pm
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    Step inside history by visiting the Red Lion Inn Restaurant in Massachusetts. I appreciate all the pro tips, like asking for a ride in the bird cage elevator. With all that delicious food, I’m so happy you partook in that delicious looking dessert! I always cap off my dinner with a coffee and the service looked fantastic!

    Reply
    • July 8, 2019 at 10:34 am
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      Everything about it was great; I’m glad you appreciated the tips!

      Reply
  • July 1, 2019 at 1:20 pm
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    Though I’ve visited Massachusetts many times, the Red Lion Inn is unlike anything I’ve seen in this area. I love the decadent interior and how the guests feel like royalty. The staff and owners definitely pay attention to details and truly aim to offer a unique and last-longing memory of your stay there. I definitely wouldn’t complain as I indulged in those yummy meals at the inn. Quaint, homey, yet regal — I definitely want to stay there in the fall!

    Reply
    • July 1, 2019 at 3:06 pm
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      You are absolutely right in your assessment, Martha! The fall would be a beautiful time of year to visit the area and enjoy some heart-warming meals at Red Lion Inn!

      Reply
  • July 1, 2019 at 7:46 am
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    The Red lion Inn restaurant sure looks impressive. The interiors look so vintage and beautiful. The food especially the chicken pot pie looks delectable. I would love to try the Warm Brown Sugar Cake.

    Reply
    • July 1, 2019 at 3:08 pm
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      I highly recommend both dishes, Pooja. You will not be disappointed!

      Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 6:06 pm
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    What are you doing to me Jackie?!! Everything looks divine here, and I don’t know which dish I’d want to try first. I’ve not actually visited Massachusetts when in the US, but it’s definitely somewhere I want to visit. The Red Lion restaurant and Red Lion inn is a great pick, and somewhere I’m heading when I finally visit.

    Reply
    • July 1, 2019 at 3:13 pm
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      I hope you get to Massachusetts soon, Lisa, and let me know when you do! There’s so much to see and do all across the state. Fall is my favorite time for a visit to Western Massachusetts–although truthfully, it’s a great take in every season. I’m glad you’ll check out Red Lion Inn for lodging and/or dining when you’re in the area. We loved it!

      Reply
  • June 30, 2019 at 10:28 am
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    Red Lion Inn seems like a very nice place for foodies like me. I really want to try Grass-Fed Beef Burger. It sounds so delicious.

    Reply
    • July 1, 2019 at 3:15 pm
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      Our two orders of the Grass-Fed Beef Burger disappeared pretty quickly from our table…no doubt they’re delicious!

      Reply

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