Rouge Restaurant & Bistro: An intimate spot to share a dish

Saut ed calamari and jalapeno in a tomato sauce.

Details: Rouge Restaurant & Bistro, 3 Center St., West Stockbridge. Open: Sunday, Wednesday and Thursday: 5 p.m.-8:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday: 5 p.m.-9:30 p.m.; Closed: Monday and Tuesday, 413-232-4111,

Recipe for success: When you step off Center Street into Rouge, you enter via the bar area. While the main dining room areas are lovely for larger dinners and family functions, the bar seating is the hotspot of this restaurant. The decor is intimate, even romantic, with the soft lighting and cozy seating. There are a few places that you can tuck in with a few friends for after dinner drinks or a date. Grab a seat at the bar, or enjoy dinner at one of the high top tables by the windows. You won't find a bad seat, I promise.

What we can't get enough of: The tapas menu is where it's at. Since we were in the bar area, we are presented with two menus: the dinner menu and bar/tapas menu. The tapas dishes range from $8-$12 and were meant to be shared. We started with Caramelized Mushrooms and Garlic and then shared a Mediterranean Veggie Flatbread with Tomato, Cucumber, Onion Confit, Goat Cheese, Lemon, and Ponzu Sauce. So many flavors! This would have been filling for one person, so we we glad to have spit it. The Grilled Asparagus Milanese with Parmesan, Fried Egg, and Lemon Vinaigrette left us scheming how we could recreate this at home. My favorite dish was the Saut ed Calamari & Jalapeno in Tomato Sauce, as it was delicately prepared and had the right amount of heat. While we opted for a Blood Orange and a Spicy Margarita, the drink menu offers choices for the budding mixologist or the wine lover to enjoy. What impressed me about Rouge is eating here can be a shared experience, whether you're in the mood for a steak, sharing small places or a flatbread with some truffle fries (which we also tried and they were delicious).

— Stephanie Gravalese, Special to The Eagle