Bound for the Berkshires? Our travel issue explores this locavore wonderland that’s perfect for a weekend getaway. From raw milk cheese to whey-fed pork, here’s our short list of where to go and what to eat.
Harbour House Inn Bed and Breakfast
725 North State Road, Cheshire, MA 01225
This is a gorgeously classic B&B with lace curtains and claw-footed bathtubs, but the real gem here is owner Eva Amuso, an endless source of local recommendations, a very fine breakfast chef (think ricotta pancakes, homemade jams and corn cakes with poached eggs) and a flawless direction-giver. Eva is happy to accommodate special dietary needs and will warn you before slipping you an “adventurous” smoothie.
Cricket Creek Farm
1255 Oblong Road, Williamstown, MA 01267
This open-the-public working dairy farm is home to a herd of Brown Swiss and Jersey milking cows whose white-gold becomes rounds of award-winning ‘Maggie’ — a bright, earthy raw-milk cheese reminiscent of an Italian Toma. Take a walk around the farm, hit the store for well-curated local ingredients or BYO dinner-to-share at their Thursday Community Potlucks (call ahead).
224 Hillsdale Road, South Egremont, MA 01230
It’s little surprise that The Daily Meal named Dan Smith’s quintessential farmhouse-turned-dining-room one of the 25 Best Farmstead Restaurant experiences in the world. Berkshire-raised culinary gems fill the sophisticated menu, from currants and chevre to veal sweetbreads. Catch the $40 ‘Featured Farm’ Prix Fixe, Sunday-Thursday, for three-courses of locavore indulgence.
Route 7 Grill
999 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
Spit-roasted pork, beef heart rissole and duck wing confit all happily coexist under one roof at this modern riff on a BBQ pitstop. Snag a picnic table out back and tuck into Taft Farm’s romaine drenched in housemade caesar dressing while watching ribs turn on the outdoor spit.
780 Holmes Road, Pittsfield, MA 01201 (413) 442-1793
Historic home of Moby Dick author Herman Melville, Arrowhead now houses a collection of Berkshire memorabilia dating back to the mid 1800’s, and hosts events like Yoga on the Lawn, County Fairs and an educational CSA complete with farm program for children. Call ahead for information about tours and classes.
Big Elm Brewing
65 Silver Street, Sheffield, MA 01257
Naming their beer biz after a beloved tree so gigantic that 300 people could gather under it, Bill and Christine Heaton brew craft IPA, stout and signature ales in the name of sinking their own community roots. Grab a growler of the pink peppercorn & chamomile infused ‘413’ farmhouse ale.
178 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
At Mark Firth’s third venture (his first two being Diner and Marlow & Sons, in Brooklyn), simple reigns supreme. While the interior might hint at city sensibility, the cooking speak to the slow and low Berkshire vibe: think blistered peppers, smoked fish and cured pork from Firth’s own pigs.
Red Lion Inn
30 Main Street, Stockbridge, MA 01262
Awash in history, The Red Lion Inn offers time travel to 18th century Massachusetts: wood fire aglow in a swanky bar room, complete with a pewter collection and a solid sustainability stance. Belly up to the bar in the Lion’s Den for a craft beer and pub snacks or take a seat in the main dining room for a grassfed steak.
44 Railroad St., Great Barrington, MA 01230
Owner Nancy Thomas and chef Daire Rooney share deep commitments to farm-to-table ingredients and overall excellence. Stop in for the awesomely-curated wine and beer list, featuring regional brews like Jack’s Abby Jabby Brau, then stay for the tagliatelle with poached egg and Swiss chard.
Pleasant and Main
1063 Main Street, Housatonic, MA 01236
Lovers of Manhattan’s now-shuttered Bespeckeled Trout or Cosmopolitan Café will find familiar ground in this hardware-store-turned-café with an antique shop vibe. The deep red walls are covered with shelves full of old and alluring things. Our writer ate the best fish sandwich of her life right in front of an old courting canoe that was carefully restored by the owner himself, Craig Bero, who traded the West Village for Housatonic.
PUBLIC Eat + Drink
34 Holden Street, North Adams, MA 01247
Around the corner from Mass MoCa, duck into this farm-fresh gastropub. Wash down a lobster roll with one of 11 craft beers on tap, and you’re likely to hang out here all day. Art? What art?
Photos by Erica Gannett