Over the weekend of the 4th, I ducked out of the city for a brief jaunt to the Berkshires to see the parents. After I arrived on Saturday afternoon, Mom and Dad headed out to the James Taylor concert, so I was left to fend for myself for dinner (and dessert). Off to Great Barrington I went.
First up, a visit to Napa, which I'd been to once last year. I took a seat at the bar and ordered their beet and goat cheese salad. It was quite good: a layer of thinly-sliced, tender red beets covered in a lightly dressed tangle of mesclun, all accompanied by two small pucks of fried goat cheese. The most remarkable part of this salad was actually the mesclun-- it had flavor. Bitter, sharp flavor. Guess that's what real fresh lettuce can do!
After dinner, I ducked across the street to SoCo Creamery for some of the best ice cream in the world. I've been craving their cookies & cream ice cream ever since the last time I had it, and a small portion (which is huge) this time didn't disappoint. It's pure, fresh, sweet cream, packed with huge chunks of Oreos-- pretty much the perfect combination. SoCo is neck and neck with Thomas Sweet in my own personal Best Ice Cream rankings. Which are highly prestigious, of course.
To round out my Berkshire food tour, the next day Dad and I stopped into the newest sensation in town: Barrington Bites, a tiny little cupcake kiosk tucked into a kitchen supply store on Railroad Street. It's provisioned and staffed by one woman-- Wendy Weinberg, as the business card states-- and it traffics exclusively in mini cupcakes. Dad and I shared a "blue velvet," each getting one bite of the cream-cheese-frosting-covered red velvet knockoff. The frosting here was quite good, definitely tangy and not too sweet. The cake was very moist, which is sometimes hard to pull off when making mini cupcakes (they tend to dry out very quickly in the oven), but it didn't taste at all like cocoa. It seemed pretty much like an oil-based plain vanilla cake, but regardless, it was a suitable vehicle for the delicious frosting.
And there you have it. Less than 48 hours in the country, and I was back in the sweltering, 98-degree city. Back to reality!
Napa Wine Bar and Eatery
293 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA
5 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, MA
33 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, MA