Monday, September 01, 2014 02:38pm
North Adams, MA now: 82 °   
Send news, tips, press releases and questions to info@iBerkshires.com
The Berkshires online guide to events, news and Berkshire County community information.
SIGN IN | REGISTER NOW   

Home About Archives RSS Feed
High-End Italian Meets the Laid-Back Berkshires
By: Nichole Dupont On: 02:32PM / Monday March 28, 2011
Important
0
Interesting
1
Funny
0
Awesome
2
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

Fiori more than fills the empty void at the end of Railroad Street.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — The haunting of Railroad Street has come to an end, hopefully. The dark shell of Pearl's, which has stood empty for nearly two years, is now bustling with a stylish crowd and an impressive menu of new Italian classics.

Enter Fiori, which opened recently at the "bottom" of Railroad Street. Of course, I wanted to go in on opening day and do my little write-up then, but reviewing a restaurant when its first opens is, I feel, in bad form. So, last week when a friend suggested that we meet at the bar for a drink, my curiosity got the better of me.

"Of course, sounds great," I said, thinking that I was being rather gallant by steeling myself against ordering any food, because then I'd absolutely have to write a review.

When I arrived there, I was relieved to discover that my usual attire of jeans and black T-shirt was actually fine. In fact, the place was crawling with jeans and T-shirt folks (one was even wearing a baggy sweat shirt) just looking to eat some good food. But, again, I was not there to eat, just to sip a cocktail and watch everyone's dishes go sailing by leaving the delicious fumes behind to torture me.

Needless to say, the torture didn't last long. I tried sipping my Old-Fashioned with indifference, until my friend piped up.

Fiori is operated by brothers Alexander and Matthew Feldman at 47 Railroad St. Serving dinner daily beginning at 6; expected to open for lunch this summer. Find out more by calling 413-528-0351 or friend them on Facebook.

"You want to get some apps or something? I'm a little hungry."

And that was that. Before I knew it I was looking at a little bar menu (on very nice card stock, I might add) deciding on whether I wanted the cheese plate, the fries with garlic anchovy sauce or the duck liver pate over crispy bread. I finally settled on the pate and this curious little dish that sounded so intriguing I had to try it — anchovy-stuffed sage leaves fried with a panko breading. How could I not. My friend ordered the fries with the sauce and scallops from the dinner menu.

"I'm not trying to impress anyone tonight," she said.

We waited and chatted and enjoyed the general feeling of vibrancy around us. Once our pungent order came, it was all business. In fact, we didn't even try to carry on a conversation for the first 10 minutes. We just savored and sighed.

The pate, which is always an acquired taste, was the perfect mix of salt and the mild, irony tinge of all things liver-related. It was served on warm bread (spread for you) and that warmth seemed to allow the flavors of the pate to mix and soften. After taking a few bites of that farm-y deliciousness, it was time to move on to the anchovies. What struck me immediately was the breading. It was practically greaseless and when I bit into it, my mouth did not fill up with the oil that usually comes out of such a dish. In fact, the panko breading was just a formality compared to the explosion of sage on the palette. It seemed that the flavor would stop there, but the anchovy in the middle immediately dissolved the taste of the sage so that all that remained was a salty, herbal taste on the roof of the mouth.

"You've gotta try one of these," I said, pushing the basket of little fish to my friend. She dove in and had three while I took liberties with her saucy fries.

Don't be intimidated by Fiori's Manhattan, hipster-esque reputation (thanks to Pearl's). Although the high-end Italian cuisine gives pause, especially to local diners, it also encourages you to eat with your hands and savor every bite.



Tags: Fiori, Great Barrington      
Riverbend Cafe Serves Up Healthy Fare
By: Nichole Dupont On: 09:48AM / Thursday December 30, 2010
Important
0
Interesting
0
Funny
0
Awesome
0
Infuriating
0
Ridiculous
0

Riverbend Cafe, dares her customers to try something new and healthy.

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Lindsey Tuller's got a good thing going and she knows it.

For the last eight years, the 31-year-old owner of the Riverbend Cafe (formerly Uncommon Grounds) at 403 Stockbridge Road has been serving up organic coffee, vegan biscotti and specialty smoothies to customers looking for a healthier food experience. And for eight years, they keep coming back for more. The secret to her success, she said, is not being afraid to try something new.

"I get a lot of suggestions from customers and from my employees. I take their input seriously," she said.


The cafe offers up several specialty fair trade coffees.
As a result of that input and of Tuller's own food sense, the cafe has become a hotspot for tourists, locals and passers through. The menu includes 20 different homemade smoothies geared toward every taste, Fair Trade organic coffee beverages, hearty sandwiches on bread made in-house, a full breakfast menu and a children's menu that includes the classic Peanut Butter, Banana and Honey Sandwich.

"We really get everybody in here," Tuller said. "We definitely get more of a family crowd, but we also get the construction guys. At first they come in here and kind of make fun of each other for ordering, especially the soy meats. I guarantee them that they will like the breakfast sandwich with soy sausage, and they always do. It's about trying something new."

In addition to the breakfast sandwich, which is "affordable and fills you up," the menu also includes baked goods, all of which are made on the premises.

"We now do all of our own baking. All of our flours are organic, the bread is homemade, there is no butter in any of our cooking," she said. "We do try to cater a little bit more to the vegans as far as our bakery items go. I don't think any other cafe does what we do."

And does it well. Tuller said the Riverbend is solely reliant on its local clientele to keep the place hopping. Art, statuary and good food make Riverbend home to a diverse crowd of skiers, writers, builders and, most importantly, area residents.


Art, statuary and good food make Riverbend home to a diverse crowd of skiers, writers, builders and most importantly, locals.
"The summer crowd makes it doable, but we are only here because of the regulars," she said. "In July and August a lot of our customers go into hiding and they return right after Labor Day. They get their coffee, their sandwiches; they buy pounds of coffee and get gift certificates for their teenage kids. I have one customer, he's from South Africa, and he's here every day at 7:30 in the morning waiting for us to open up. That says a lot."

The family atmosphere, according to Tuller, is a natural offshoot of the atmosphere surrounding the Riverbend staff itself.

"It's hard to stay inspired in this business. I rely on my employees to keep me inspired. I need them to tell me what I'm not seeing," she said. "We call each other family. We are a family."

Tuller's place at the head of the family table was hard-earned. At 23, she bought the business (that she managed for two years prior to the sale) and became an instant entrepreneur. While most people were supportive of her endeavor, Tuller said she would have done a few things differently.

"For the first four years, I wish I'd asked for more support. I learned that over the years," she said. "A lot of business owners, especially women, have come forward and given me things that they think I need and that's been great. This isn't the kind of business that will pay you while you're not here. I'm not a vacationer. I'm here, every day, right alongside my employees. I'm in it."

The Riverbend Cafe is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and weekends from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 413-528-0858.



Tags: Great Barrington, cafe      
Page 1 of 1 1  
News Headlines
Larabee, Giorgi Honored With 'Frankie' Awards
Former Finance Director Returns to Williamstown as Pastor
Armory Takes Lead in Torchia Softball League Final
Legislative Q&A: State Rep. William 'Smitty' Pignatelli
MCLA Women's Soccer Ties; Tennis, Volleyball, Men's Soccer Win
Holiday Hours: Labor Day
Clarksburg Weighing Bridge Plans, Preparing Special Town Meeting
MCLA Men's Soccer Rolls in Opener
'Sin City: A Dame to Kill For': Graphic, Indeed
Register now for Ys Superhero 5K Challenge on Sept. 13

Stephanie Farrington of Berkshire Food is contributing to our Eats blog — all about food, all the time. 

 


Farmfare
Seasonal Farmers Markets

Berkshire South Community Market
15 Crissey Road, Great Barrington
Saturdays through Oct. 27 from 11 to 3

Berkshire Mall Market
Sears parking lot, Route 8
Wednesdays & Saturdays through November from 8 to 2

North Adams Farmers Market
St. Anthony's Municipal Parking
Saturdays through Oct. 27 from 8 to noon

Great Barrington Farmers Market
Taconic Avenue & Castle Street
Saturdays through October from 9 to 1

Lenox Farmers Market
70 Kemble St., Shakespeare & Company
Fridays through Oct. 5 from 1 to 5

Oits Farmers Market
L & M Auto, 2000 East Otis Road (Rte. 23)
Saturdays through Oct. 6 from 9 to 1

Pittsfield Farmers Market
First and Fenn streets, across from the Common
Saturdays, May 11 through Oct. 26, from 9 to 1

Sheffield Farmers Market
Old Parish Church, Main Street
Fridays through September from 3 to 7

Williamstown Farmers Market
Spring Street parking lot
Saturdays, May 25 through October, from 9 to 1

Hoosick Falls, N.Y.
The Armory
Wednesdays, 4 to 7

 



Categories:
Agriculture (8)
Asian (5)
Bakery (3)
Beverages (2)
Brewery (1)
Changes (12)
Closing (5)
Coffeehouse (2)
Deli (5)
Diner (3)
Education (4)
Farm (18)
Fine Dining (8)
Fun Stuff (43)
Italian (7)
Locavore (21)
Mexican (6)
Moving (5)
New Business (17)
Opening (19)
People (13)
Pizza (5)
Pub (0)
Vegan (3)
Archives:
March 2014 (1)
January 2014 (1)
December 2013 (1)
November 2013 (1)
September 2013 (1)
Tags:
Beverages Farming Farmers Market Food Mediterranean Soup Berkshire Grown Breakfast Petrino's Sushi Alberg Hops And Vines North Adams Cafe Farm Award Food Festival Pittsfield Restaurant Fundraiser Csa Chocolate Wild Oats Winterfest Books Great Barrington Barbecue Local Food Hancock Shaker Village Wing Fling Festival Eagle Street Mezze Competition Gluten-free
Popular Entries:
New North Adams Restaurant Celebrates BBQ & Bourbon
Good Hospital Food. Who Knew?
New Cafe to Open in North Adams
Wild Oats Names New General Manager
New York Columnist Speaks on France & Food
Nudel Owner Nominated for People's Best New Chef
Desperados Reopening In North Adams
That's A Wrap A Quick Hit On Spring Street
Cole Slaw Sandwich, Yumm!
Something Fishy Is Happening In The Ocean
Recent Entries:
Lenox Chef Nominated for National Award
Wild Oats Chef to Attend National Healthy Food Conference
MediTerra In North Adams Closed for Winter
Storey Publishing Celebrates 'Soup Night'
Berkshire Food Festival Serves Up Local Fare on Sunday
North Adams Restaurant to Reopen With Med Menu
Barrington Brewery: Come for the Beer, Stay for the Cake
The Hub Restaurant Celebrates 5 Years on Friday
Nudel Chef-Owner Nominated for Top 100 Chef
Berkshire Grown Hosting March Maple Dinner


View All
Friday Soccer Scrimfest
Friday afternoon girls soccer 'Scrimfest' at Drury High...
Pignatelli Campaign Kickoff...
State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli held a kick off...
Down Street Art
People flooded main street to see the new art installations...
Western Mass Beer Fest 2014
Hundreds turned out for the 9th annual Western Mass Beer...
High School Soccer
High School soccer practice got under way on Thursday.
Motorama
Hundreds of cars, trucks, motorcycles, snowmobiles and...
Chamber Nite @MountainOne
A who's who was at the MountainOne-hosted Berkshire Chamber...
Third Thursday Aug. 21, 2014
The August Third Thursday event in Pittsfield included a...
High School Football
High School football practice got under way on Monday.
Giorgi League Semis: B&B vs...
Burr and Burton held a steady lead over Bennington, Vt.'s,...
Giorgi League Semis: Drury vs...
Alex Heck scored 19 points to lead the Drury boys...
Mill Children Opening
The 5 Hoosac Street Gallery held its grand opening Friday...
Downtown Celebration 2014
North Adams held its annual street fair on Main Street on...
Worcester Bravehearts vs...
Key at bat helps the Worcester Bravehearts defeat the...
9th Annual Rock, Rattle &...
This year's theme is "Living in Harmony, Fulfilling Our...
Softball Series: Berkshire...
Friday Soccer Scrimfest
Friday afternoon girls soccer 'Scrimfest' at Drury High...
Pignatelli Campaign Kickoff...
State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli held a kick off...
Down Street Art
People flooded main street to see the new art installations...
Western Mass Beer Fest 2014
Hundreds turned out for the 9th annual Western Mass Beer...
High School Soccer
High School soccer practice got under way on Thursday.
| Home | A & E | Business | Community News | Dining | Real Estate | Schools | Sports & Outdoors | Berkshires Weather | Weddings
Advertise | Recommend This Page | Help Contact Us | Privacy Policy| User Agreement
iBerkshires.com is owned and operated by: Boxcar Media 102 Main Street, North Adams, MA 01247 -- T. 413-663-3384 F.413-664-4251
© 2000 Boxcar Media LLC - All rights reserved