Babalouie's The thin-crust pizza is a marvel any New York pizzeria would be proud to claim. Kael likes the Isabella: roasted sweet potatoes, parsnips, shaved fennel, onions, garlic, mozzarella and Parmesan (286 Main St.; 413-528-8100).
Castle Street Cafe "I've watched this restaurant become more elegant, and tastier, over the years," Kael says. The current menu includes everything from an olive sampler to a salmon fillet with green-tomato salsa (10 Castle St.; 413-528-5244).
Union Bar and Grill This popular American hangout can get boisterous, so Kael often phones in a takeout order. "They're wizards with portobello mushrooms--they mix them with the damnedest things" (293 Main St.; 413-528-6228).
Verdura Kael says this year-old Italian restaurant "may be the best place in town." The owners are members of the back-to-basics Slow Food movement; their cooking is both simple and sumptuous (44 Railroad St.; 413-528-8969).