North Adams Restaurant to Reopen With Med Menu
|The set-to-open Mediterra will offer Mediterranean dishes, a sampling of which was offered at a recent gathering of business and cultural representatives.|
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Local is undergoing a name and menu change.
The restaurant at 67 Main St. was closed over the weekend and is set to reopen on Wednesday as Mediterra, with a new menu of Mediterranean dishes along with some American bistro-style option.
According to a statement through the North Adams Chamber of Commerce, owner Fahri Karakaya, who opened the restaurant last year with sandwich and breakfast offerings, has been considering the change for some time.
"It was always in my mind to open a Mediterranean restaurant. After operating The Local for over a year, I have realized that there were many similar restaurant concepts in the area, but no Mediterranean cuisine," he said. "Many of The Local guests constantly asked if I was thinking of making a change, and here I am. I am running toward my dream."
Karakaya previewed some of the dishes at a recent gathering to update the area on coming events, including the Solid Sound Festival. He said he has found an experienced chef to execute the new menu of Turkish, Italian, Greek and Lebanese selections.
"I am proud of my Turkish heritage and am looking forward to sharing this with my guests," he said.
Several upgrades have been made to the kitchen as well as painting and redecorating the dining room.
With the change, Mediterra will be open for lunch and dinner during the week, and will also include traditional breakfast choices on the weekend. The restaurant also offers beer and wine.
Hours will be Tuesday to Friday beginning at 11 and serving dinner; breakfast will be offered on the weekends beginning at 8 a.m. Closed Mondays.
For more information, 413-346-4172.
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Something Fishy Is Happening In The OceanWILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Oceans Symposium at Williams College will show the film "A Sea Change, Imagine a World without Fish," which follows the travels of retired history teacher Sven Huseby as he attempts to uncover the mystery of what is happening to the oceans, specifically the rise in acidity and its effect on the fish population.
The showing is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 27, at 7 p.m. in Thompson Biology, Room 112, and is free and open to the public. A Q-and-A format discussion, led by The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert, will follow the screening of the film.
The film's website notes that Huseby became "obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans" and how this change can affect the human race after reading Kolbert's article "The Darkening Sea." Throughout his travels in Alaska, California, Washington and Norway, and from his conversations with oceanographers, marine biologists, climatologists and artists, Huseby learns that increasingly acidic ocean water can effect both the fish population and up to 1 billion people who depend on the protein of those fish.
"A Sea Change, Imagine a World without Fish" debuted in March 2009 and was well received. Southern Fried Science, a blog comprised of marine science graduates, insists for everyone to see this film. The blog said: "Regardless of your science background, you will not only understand the complex science of ocean acidification, but you won’t be able to take your eyes off the screen while you do. I can’t remember the last movie, fiction or non-fiction, that made me so scared, so hopeful, so sad, and so happy within such a short time frame."
Kolbert, now on her 13th year at The New Yorker, previously reported for The New York Times for more than a decade. Since joining The New Yorker, she's tackled climate change, as well as other topics. Her three-part series "The Climate of Man" discussed global warming and earned her the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award, the National Magazine Award for Public Interest, and the National Academies Communication Award.
The next lecture of the Oceans Symposium, scheduled for March 6, will feature Scott Doney, professor in marine chemistry and geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Doney will also touch on this subject in his talk titled, "Rising Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Ocean Acidification."
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Wild Oats Names New General Manager
Durfee is stepping into the shoes of Michael Faber, who left last year to manage a co-op in Keene, N.H. He will oversee finance, marketing and operations for Wild Oats Market, which has nearly 40 employees and sales of approximately $3.6 million last fiscal year.
A Berkshires native, Durfee is committed to local food production, sustainable living, and green business practices. He has promoted municipal composting, is very involved in his community through coaching and other volunteer activities, and has extensive experience working on non-profit boards and organizing community events.
"I was attracted to Wild Oats because of my desire to work in a values-driven and socially responsible organization," he said. "I'm looking forward to getting to know the Wild Oats community and working with the staff to build on the successes of the past few years."
Durfee, who currently resides in Shaftsbury, Vt., is a graduate of Williams College and holds a master's in business administration from Cornell University.
He was a senior forecasting analyst for the Vermont Country Store in Manchester, responsible for corporate sales budgeting and forecasting and oversight of the customer database. He also was director of marketing and communication for the Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge and its sister inn, Porches Inn in North Adams, and held management positions with Rodale Inc. in Emmaus, Pa., and Sanyo Electric Co. in Kobe, Japan.
"David's background in business, finance and marketing is a valuable addition to the expertise of the co-op's current strong management team," said Wild Oats board President Alison Kolesar. "We're excited to have him at the helm of our co-op and look forward to continued growth under his leadership."
Wild Oats Market is a member-owned, cooperative-based whole foods market specializing in local and organic products.
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Petrino's Cafe Changing Hands
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Mark Petrino is calling it quits and heading West.
"I'm ready for something new," said a cheerful Petrino on Tuesday, who opened his namesake cafe on the Main Street corner barely a year ago. What's new is an offer he couldn't refuse from Colorado State, which will put him back into college food service.
It was Williams College that brought him to the Berkshires, then long miles traveling to colleges around the area for for AVI Foodsystems put him back into restaurant mode. Now he's ready for academia again.
Petrino's is the third eatery to try the corner of Holden and Main, following in the footsteps of the Cup & Saucer and Applachian Bean. It offered up fresh and local fare for breakfast and lunch, with various wraps along with some really great burgers, coffees and specialties. All the sandwiches were named after "relatives" to give it a homey touch. Our favorite is the Cousin Mary (chicken, chipotle sauce and Provolone) with an occasional Counsin Paulie (turkey, spring greens and feta on a panini roll).
It's no secret that the restaurant biz is the hardest, and this season has been brutal — too much snow and cold was keeping people inside. The restaurant has been closed on Mondays since February and rumors of its closure were going around weeks ago. Asked last week on the eatery's status, Petrino said he hadn't made a decision yet.
But Petrino says the new owner (he didn't want to say who yet) is in negotiations with building owner David Carver and is expected to take ownership as soon as next week. The new proprietor is considering getting an alcohol license and change to later hours, he said.
The cafe could close for a couple weeks to give the new owner a chance to do some renovations and "put his stamp on it," said Petrino, but it will be open in time for the avalanche that is the Solid Sound Festival in June.
"He knows Wilco is a cash cow," said Petrino, "he'll be open."
On a related note, we received some concern over the status of Desperados on Eagle Street on Monday after a large blue tarp was seen covering the entrance. No vandalism, broken glass or anything drastic — the restaurant was putting down new floor tile and had covered the entranceway to create a workspace.
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Route 7 Grill Is Taking It Easy
GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — I like to revisit food, at least, good food. In that way, we are like well-trained dogs. Good food feels good and makes me happy, bad food feels bad and makes me sick.
Ask me when was the last time I stepped foot into a Burger King.
On Saturday night, maybe because the full moon had us all swooning with the prospect of spring, or because it was late and we (we meaning myself, the kids and the nearly 7-foot eating machine called the boyfriend) were in the mood for some good spring eats.
And what says spring more than barbecue?
"Let's go to the Route 7 Grill," I said to the kids, whose faces were buried in their Nintendo DS game. Lucian was killing Anna; it seemed like a good time to break things up. They perked up immediately at the suggestion.
"I'm totally getting a cheeseburger," Anna said in her annoying, pre-teen voice. Lucian just nodded his head saying something about the cornbread and butter.
Let me back up for just a second. My first run in with the Route 7 Grill on Main Street was about five or six years ago. It was a spring day and I was scheduled to do an interview with the owners of this new BBQ joint that had just opened. I thought I could kill the interview and then make my way up to the DMV to get my license renewed, which was, like my inspection sticker, long overdue. So, there I was, the rookie reporter sitting with the owner, Lester Blumenthal, talking about slow smoking and roadhouse culture in the Berkshires. As much as I wanted to get in and get out, I could not refuse the brisket sandwich and fries that Lester put in front of me. I took a bite; he held his breath.
"That's d*mn good," I said, savoring the buttery meat and sauce. "Wow, really d*mn good."
My review/interview that day was their first write-up in print. Since then, the Grill has been in several foodie magazines and seen numerous reviews and accolades. But, we grew up together, Lester and I. The rookie reporter and the business guy turned professional meat smoker.
Filled with the usual good will and nostalgia, we dove into our meal by the light of the Crow Moon. Immediately I noticed something different about my salad. The smoked chicken was richer, much richer, almost as if it had been sitting in a hickory tree for weeks, waiting for me to enjoy. I took several bites, savoring the familiar flavor of my childhood.
The kids ate in silence, Anna just humming and chewing on her burger and Lucian deftly focused on his homemade chicken tenders.
Lester sidled up to the table, ever the awesome host checking in with his clearly happy customers. Before he could even ask the question, I jumped in.
"What's going on, man?" I said. "This stuff is amazing. You're doing something different, you can't fool me."
"Nothing too different," he said with an almost sly smile. "Just taking our time. I had an epiphany a while ago. We slowed down the smoker, got some new recipes in there, and really looked at our ingredients."
So humble. The mashed potatoes with a hint of blue cheese made my mouth tingle, the smoky mushrooms with the meat were a meal in themselves, and the dessert, oh the dessert. Chocolate espresso cheese cake (all homemade, bitter grounds, handcrumbled crust) and a polenta dish with spiced apples and caramel sauce.
Simple yet effective is putting it lightly. The savory sweetness of the dessert pretty well encapsulated the entire evening.
A roaring fire, familiar faces, and a delicious meal with hints of woodsmoke and lots of surprises.
Outdoor pig roasts are coming soon on Fridays. You know where to find me.
The Route 7 Grill is on 999 Main St. (yes, Route 7), Great Barrington. Its hours are 5-9 weekdays (to 10 on Friday and closed Tuesdays) and lunch and dinner on the weekends. Check out the Facebook page.
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