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New England dining >>> Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield, Mass.

A Historic, Traditional New England Dining Landmark

Salem Cross Inn Restaurant and Tavern, West Brookfield MA
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Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield MA
Salem Cross Inn Restaurant and Tavern (Hexmark Tavern on the right)

Article and photos by Eric H.

Traditional New England dining approaches near-perfection at the Salem Cross Inn Restaurant and Tavern in beautiful West Brookfield, MA.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Salem Cross Inn is a remarkable example of Colonial restoration with its original building constructed in the early 1700s. The handsome hardwood floors, post and beam ceilings, roaring fireplaces, antique furnishings, serene candlelight glow, and, gracious, old-fashioned "New England" waitresses dressed in Colonial apparel offer a complete feeling of warmth and comfort on three floors of charming, old rooms. Some stellar examples of old New England charm abound in the Chestnut Room with its huge fieldstone fireplace and 42-long chestnut ceiling beams, the old haybarn, known as the Hexmark Tavern, affording splendid views of the woods and meadows, and smaller rooms filled with antiquarian books, maps, documents and other curios.

Salem Cross Inn dining room, West Brookfield MA
Dining, traditional New England style

 Salem Cross Inn lobby, West Brookfield MA
Quaint hallway leading into main dining room

Salem Cross Inn restaurant, West Brookfield, MA

Even before entering this storied structure, you know you've reached New England in its most authentic form. The Salem Cross Inn's 600 acres of rolling hills and woodlands, including grazing herds and a sleigh, typify the appeal of West Brookfield, an old-fashioned, friendly central Massachusetts town from yesteryear with an expansive, stunning village green surrounded by big, old historic homes. The Salem Cross Inn faithfully sticks to traditional New England cooking with the use of open hearth fireplaces to slow roast its delicious prime rib and a restored 1699 Bannister Tavern beehive oven to turn out some delicious baked goods and dishes. When those amazing aromas combine with the homey, cozy, quaint feel of the place, everything just feels so right.  

Salem Cross Inn prime rib roasted in fireplace, West Brookfield MA
Prime rib roasting on the main dining room fireplace

The Salem Cross Inn creates its seasonal, traditional New England and contemporary cuisine fresh on a daily basis and by incoporating heirloom vegetables and herbs grown in its own gardens. The flavorful, fireplace-cooking enhanced prime rib dinner is the real star here, but culinary memories can easily be made with lunch and lighter fare standouts standouts like chicken pot pie, maple jack chicken, and supper creations like Boston schrod with dill crumb topping, lavendar duck, pan seared scallops, curry salmon and chicken breast with diced tomato, capers, shallots, white wine, lemon zest, and black olives.  Family recipes like the New England Chowder of the Sea with its  flavorful mix of heavy cream, herbs, fish and clams,  and a full bodied comforting French onion soup should not be missed, either. Salads have that fresh-from-the garden taste and the pre-meal variety of homemade breads as well as the post-meal desserts -- well, let's just say some people consider those just as much a highlight as the main course. The deep dish apple pie is the best we've tasted in New England, but it's also hard to resist pecan pie, Indian pudding, pecan custard bread pudding, maple pumpkin cheesecake, cinnamon and brown sugar pie crust with cream cheese fondue.

Chicken pie, Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield MA
Chicken pot pie

The Salem Cross Inn also features special dining events, including multi-course fireside feasts, apple pie contests, herb sampling, fireplace pit roasts, a Murder Mystery Dinner Theater, and hayrides and sleigh rides at various times of the splendid New England four seasons. Perfect for a special night out, a family gathering, wedding or vacation dining spot, the Salem Cross Inn is the true epitome of traditional New England dining.

Salem Cross Inn
Route 9, West Brookfield, MA. Tel. (508) 867-2345.
Always check the Salem Cross Inn web site for seasonal hours before embarking on your dining destination

Wedding at the Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield MA
Wedding at the Salem Cross inn

Backyard at Salem Cross Inn, West Brookfield MA
Scenic views of the Salem Cross Inn "backyard"

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