Paul and Elizabeth’s Restaurant
By Mary Katherine McNeill, CISA intern, Summer 2011
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Paul and Elizabeth’s has been providing healthy, homemade food to Northampton residents and visitors for 33 years. Paul and Elizabeth Sustick founded the restaurant in 1978; today, their son Nate is the head chef.
Paul and Elizabeth’s menu has a strong Thai and Japanese influence, but specific dishes have changed over the years, reflecting customer interest, available ingredients, and the creativity of the chef. Right now, there’s a delicious Thai seitan dish and a variety of fresh fish specials. At the entrance to the restaurant, customers find a board presenting an abundance of specials that change daily, most including local ingredients.
Nate Sustick particularly enjoys creating new dishes, and this interest is reflected in the great variety of the menu. He notes that one of his favorite things about being a chef is working with what you have and constantly trying to improve it. When a dish isn’t quite right, he tests new combinations of ingredients to make it perfect.
Nate also emphasizes the importance of using locally grown products in the restaurant. “Local is better,” he says. “The tastes and flavors of fresh local ingredients really come through in the finished dish.” Nate also emphasizes the importance of establishing a connection with the farmers who provide him with the ingredients for his food, especially in a community like ours where agriculture is so common.
Nate Sustick was an infant when his parents opened Paul and Elizabeth’s. He didn’t plan to follow in their footsteps, but he now has a hard time picturing himself doing something else. If not at Paul and Elizabeth’s, he says, he would probably just be at a different restaurant—possibly some place a little more tropical!