Sweet potato with kale, dried fruit, brown butter and pecans.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — It doesn't get much more local than Berkshire Palate, a family-run eatery that offers homegrown flavors.
Paul Brassard and his three sons Nolan, Aaron and Zach have had Berkshire Palate on the mind for some time now.
"Zach was making his own jams and spice rubs, so he was kind of outgrowing that," Paul said. "We always wanted a restaurant and once he went to culinary school then it went from 'it would be cool maybe someday' to 'when?'"
The Brassards looked at 13 locations but settled on 240A Main St. in the Colonial Plaza, which they thought was a prime location on Route 2.
"We liked the traffic and we liked the fact that we are right on this strip that is getting developed," Paul said. "We can throw a rock in that direction and hit a hotel and Tourists is right down there."
While Nolan handles the back end of the business, Aaron and Zach run the shop. Paul says he fills in when needed and a professional photographer has captured the delicacies on the "Modern American" menu.
"Zach has come from pretty higher-end places and we wanted to bring that style here but we also wanted to make it approachable, so we added more sandwiches and sliders," Paul said.
Many of the dishes on the Berkshire Palate menu can be found on the restaurant's Facebook page. Dishes include the "Pig Wing," a roasted sugar pumpkin dip with crostini and chile-toasted pumpkin seeds and seared salmon with quinoa, kale, and grains.
And then there are the sliders: Carolina pulled pork, steak, and red pepper relish, and buffalo chicken.
The Brassards partner with local farms and crafters whenever possible and currently have relationships with Equinox Farm, Mountain Girl Farm, Ioka Farm, Soco Creamery, and Tunnel City Coffee.
"It is definitely good for you and we don't take stuff off the U.S. Food truck and throw it in the fryolator," Paul said. "We use a lot of local products."
Paul said they are planning a grand opening Dec. 8 when these local establishments will visit Berkshire Palate to meet with patrons.
He added that Berkshire Palate does vegetables right.
"One of the best things about this place is the way we treat veggies. Everyone says Americans don't eat their veggies but if you open up a can and throw it in the microwave, who wants to eat that?" Paul asked. "If you roast vegetables it is a whole new world."
He added that it ceases to amaze him how many people order brussels sprouts off the menu.
"We had people come in here the other day. They ate and then the ordered extra brussels sprouts so they could dip them in the multi aioli," he said. "A lot of people ask for them. It is surprising."
Paul said so far business is good and the 32-seat restaurant fills up quickly. He said they also do takeout and catering.
He said in the future they would like to specialize in outdoor catering.
"We can play inside but we really want to think about more outdoor stuff," he said. "There are these five-foot grills and when you put three together you get 15 feet. With the hot coals, it is a cool presentation. Fire, meat, and vegetables."
Berkshire Palate is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11:30 to 9:30.
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Mount Greylock's Williams Gift Keeps on Giving ... Fodder for Debate
By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Whatever decision the Mount Greylock Regional School Committee makes about how to spend the remainder of a $5 million gift from Williams College, this much is undeniable: The vote will not be made in a vacuum.
More than three years, countless hours by several committees and thousands of dollars worth of professional planning have been spent developing plans to apply the proceeds of the gift, given in early 2016 to help the district pay for things not covered under the Massachusetts School Building Authority's building program.
Shortly before member towns Lanesborough and Williamstown approved the $64.8 million project that March, the college gift gave the School Committee some cushion to pay for things the MSBA would not, including: a parking lot; repairs needed to make the school's playing fields compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title IX; and a new home for the central administration that ran Mount Greylock and its two feeder elementary schools, Williamstown Elementary and Lanesborough Elementary.
Eventually, Mount Greylock's School Building Committee decided it could keep the parking lot in the building project and pay for it with proceeds from the money borrowed by the district at 3 percent interest, keeping that nearly $1 million in the Williams College Endowment, where returns historically eclipse that 3 percent figure.
More than three years, countless hours by several committees and thousands of dollars worth of professional planning have been spent developing plans to apply the proceeds of the gift, given in early 2016 to help the district pay for things not covered under the Massachusetts School Building... click for more
The current question is whether the School Committee will continue to preserve a portion of the Williams capital gift for future extraordinary maintenance needs, like a new boiler or a new roof.
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The Rockwell Museum, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Chesterwood, Hancock Shaker Village, Naumkeag Public Garden and Historic Home, The Mount and Tanglewood will follow in the path of Williamstown's Clark Art Institute, which offers 140 acres of lawns, meadows and walking trails that have been open to... click for more