PITTSFIELD — Two hours down the Massachusetts Turnpike to exit 2 and another half hour north on Rt. 20 brings you to Pittsfield and all the splendor of Lake Onota and the Berkshires.

You might as well get some good food while you’re here.

297 North St., Pittsfield
In Berkshire County

There is good Italian food in the Berkshires, and there’s some of the best pizza in Massachusetts (I’d say that’s thanks to a New York and Connecticut influence), but it’s Asian Fusion we’re discussing when we approach Jae’s Spice on North Street, in a bustling neighborhood near the train station.

If you like any variety of Asian food, you’ll find something to satisfy yourself at Jae’s Spice. And if you don’t like Asian, there are flatbread pizzas, ($11.95-$19.95) salads, and a large wine and cocktail menu to keep you occupied.

The menu is a little overwhelming — really it’s huge. There’s an ample sushi selection, but I was craving something hot after a long day on the New York border.

The mandoo beef dumplings ($6.95) are a good starter. I had them fried, but you could also order them steamed. They are flavorful and satisfying without being too filling. The dish leaves you comfortable while ready for the main course.

Healthier and huger is the Jae’s paradise chicken with peppers, onions, pea pods, black mushrooms, and spicy Szechuan sauce ($13.95). It’s a massive dish that comes with white or brown rice (I had brown).

I left several pea pods and onions on the dish, and I would have added many more mushrooms and just a little more chicken, but there’s really not much to complain about with this dish. The sauce adds bite without a burn. The chicken is all white meat. The pods are crispy and edible. It’s a dish that leaves you full with no regrets.

For a more traditional fare, Jae’s Spice has a version of General Tso’s called General Lee’s chicken with broccoli $14.95). There’s also an oven roasted trout with roaster cauliflower and sesame-soy dressing ($16.95) and a delicious sounding macaroni and Maine lobster with spinach, bacon and chive creme fraiche ($22.95) that may be worth a second visit. I’m also interested in the Kobe meatloaf ($14.95) and the miso and sake glazed bass ($22.95).

For flatbread pizzas, try the Maine lobster, tomato, ricotta, arugula, and truffle lemon aioli option ($19.95).

And again, there are dozens of sushi selections.

The restaurant is “smart casual” with attentive service and knowledgeable bartenders. There was a lot of business talk going on in the bar on my recent visit.

The Berkshires are great for a romantic weekend, and Jae’s Spice gives you a little urban flavor in a small town package.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

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