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Petrino's Open and Humming

Staff Reports

We are served at Petrino's Cafe on Main Street in North Adams on Friday while Mark Petrino takes an order. Everybody wears a shirt with the cafe's basil leaf logo.

NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Petrino's Cafe has been operating for a week now and owner Mark Petrino says things have been going well.

We finally got a chance to try it today and really liked the new decor and interior setup. Mark made good on his promise to move the deli case so that it's immediately visible when you walk in the door. It's also easier to get to the counter because the tables have been rearranged in a much better pattern.

The Cup & Saucer was like walking into a classroom —  all the tables lined up like a regiment, making things a little too cozy if you wanted a private conversation. If you were waiting for takeout,  you were always standing next to someone's table.

The new layout gets you out of people's way while you're waiting; plus, you can see the (cold) sandwiches right in the deli case. The interior's a lot brighter and the couch in the front has been moved to the back. Tables have replaced it in the window, which makes a lot more sense from a business standpoint. Why would you want potential customers to see people lounging with coffee when the money's in the food?

The tables and chairs are nicer, too. No more old schoolroom furniture.

We talked to couple regulars of the old cafe who were trying the new cafe for the first time. Their impressions were very positive, although Joe Manning says ditch the big TVs. Not good for conversation, he says, plus it feels like you're staring at the diners below — or being stared at if it's your table that's below.

We tried the Cousin Mary, a chicken breast with spinach, provolone and avocado in a whole-wheat wrap with a hint of chipotle sauce. Pretty good but for healthy eating, we'd like something other than chips on the side.

The cafe's offering a variety of wraps and sandwiches with fresh meats and vegetarian choices, burgers, steaks and salads. Breakfast is served until 11 a.m. with burritos, omelets and specials. On our list to try is the banana-stuffed ciabatta French toast with a meat side.

We've also been told the hours may change from 6 to 2 to 7 to 3 because more people are coming in later than earlier. The Web site's up, too, and actually posts soup and salad specials for the day. Yay for keeping the page current.

Tags: Petrino's, North Adams      

Petrino's Opens After Easter

Staff Reports

The new Petrino's Cafe on Main Street in North Adams opens Monday, the day after Easter.

 

In an earlier posting, iBerkshires  incorrectly special invitation-only event. We apologize for any confusion. (If we're invited to an open house, we assume everybody else is, too. It actually was a preview. oops.)

But the cafe will open to the general public two days later.

Anyone walking by Main Street can see the work that's been going on inside. The floors have been refinished, the kitchen expanded and reconfigured and a the deli case is right up front when you walk in. We can't wait to see the menu.

Petrino's is opening the space occupied by the Cup & Saucer for several years.

 

Tags: Petrino's, North Adams      

Moulton's Goes Supreme

By Tammy Daniels

Jessie Farquhar spins some pizza dough at the new Supreme Pizza on Main Street.

Anyone calling Moulton's Pizza in North Adams got a new message: "Hi, this  is Supreme Pizza, formerly Moulton's."

The new salutation — along with new, slimmed-down menu — began earlier this week but the transformation began taking place some two months ago when Antonio's Pizza Group bought out owner Turgut Aydin. Area residents will also be getting the new menu in the mail.

The restaurant is open to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 on Friday and Saturday.

Manager Spencer Leonard said the group was bringing the same sensiblity to North Adams as it has to the original's Amherst — deliver fresh, healthy products in a reasonable time to a college town. Everything that can be made from scratch, will be.

"Our pizza dough is made here, our pitas are made fresh, too, and they take a lot of time to do, and are garlic bread as well, that's a lot of work," he said. The first order was cutting down the unwieldy menu of 263 items by 100 by talking to customers. "We really attacked that."

The result is a menu with more vegetarian options, including gourmet pizzas, and discontinuing some of the Greek and Turkish choices in favor of more Southwestern flavors. The pizzeria is also offering Fuze drinks over soda as more healthy alternative. Soup will still be available as a daily choice, but not clam chowder to start.

In addition to college students, Leonard said the pizzeria will focus on offering healthier fare for the working lunch crowd and specials for the budget conscious.

The delivery area has been whittled down to ensure faster service: All of North Adams, Clarksburg and Williamstown, and limited deliver to Adams with a $10 minimum.

The group has brought in new equipment and the position of expeditor to ensure quality, accuracy and timeliness in orders, and is stressing customer service. It's mostly new staff, including assistant manager Jessica Wells, with a couple holdovers from the previous management.

The name of "Supreme" was settled on after the new management learned there had been other Anthony/Antonios in the area and its working with city on signage. Leonard would also like to see the Main Street side of the building put to better use, such as having meal preparation moved to the front window so passers-by could see the action. That's off in the future but the area, which had been used for storage, has been cleaned out.

Aydin, who operated the pizzeria under the Moulton's banner since fall 2006, said back in January it was time to retire and do some fishing. He stayed on for several weeks as the new management took over.

The building on the corner of Eagle and Main streets, once the location of Rice's Drugstore, is still owned by the Moulton family and was briefly operated by them when the Pizza House closed in that location.

"We've gotten a very positive response," said Leonard.

Tags: Moulton's, North Adams      

Gramercy Bistro Opens at MoCA

By Tammy Daniels

Gramercy's new look at Mass MoCA. The fine dining establishment opened last week.

Gramercy Bistro has settled into its new location in the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts complex in North Adams.

The restaurant had a soft opening this past Friday in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Latino. Owned by chef Alexander "Sandy" Smith, the restaurant first opened in 2001 on Marshall Street and seated about 60 after renovations a few years ago.

The new location offers a more comfortable layout and adds about a dozen more seats in the bar area and allows expansion into a patio during the summer. The somewhat spare decor of Cafe Latino has given way to a more luxurious look, with creamy yellow walls and charcoal shades on the many windows. White tableclothes, gleaming dinnerware and upholstered booths gives the space a more classic feel.

"We really wanted it to be fresh and new," said Sarah Smith on Wednesday. "We wanted to make it our own."

The restaurant's added on a lunch menu on Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 2 and a brunch on Sundays from 11 to 2 with menu items including apple pancakes and eggs benedict. The bar will be open from noon until midnight, offering a small menu of light fare between meal periods and after dinner service ends. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays for the winter, but will be open seven days from July to October.

The Adams Lions will hold its third annual benefit  'Flavors of France' at Gramercy on Tuesday, March 23.

In a statement, Alexander Smith described the opening as exciting. "We have been looking to grow for a while, and when the space became available it was the perfect opportunity," he wrote. "We'll have more seating for our growing dinner business, seasonal outdoor seating, and a kitchen that can accommodate more meal periods."

Sarah Smith said the restaurant's opening days have gone well. "We've gotten a lot of good response from our existing clientele."

The bistro will continue to offer contemporary classics and its strong commitment buying fresh, local ingredients as a member of Berkshire Grown. Gramercy also offers full catering service. It's Web site is currently being revamped.

Cafe Latino closed in September when its lease was up. The restaurant and its predecessor, Eleven, were both owned by Nancy Thomas and Bo Peabody of Mezze Inc.

Tags: Gramercy, MoCA, North Adams      
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