Upscale ingredients such as pancetta and aioli imbue Public eat+drink's menu of casual American fare with a gourmet touch. Beneath exposed-brick walls bedecked in brightly colored artwork, friends’ forks share small plates such as tempura-battered red onion rings ($5.95) or baked brie with apples and walnuts ($8.95). Rubbed with herbs and cooked under a brick, the cornish hen entree sails to tables with a helping of roasted root vegetables ($15.95), and fish ‘n’ chips dip into a side of house tartar aioli ($10.95). And, like a self-portrait made from Easy Mac, a blend of pancetta and smoked gouda elevates mac ‘n’ cheese from comfort fare to high art ($13.95). Although alcohol is not included with today’s Groupon, Public eat+drink also pours an extensive list of craft beers and signature cocktails.
Northern Berkshire peaks peek through the windows of Taylor's, where surf and turf unite in a lamp-lit, exposed-brick dining room. An army of appetizers kicks off the menu, including the baked brie, which is infused with grapes and sprinkled with brown sugar, walnuts, and apples ($8). A fresh garden salad sidekicks every entree, serving as a momentary plate mate for hearty dishes such as the filet mignon ($24) and its aquatic, redundant counterpart, grilled mahi-mahi ($21). The ratatouille with tofu forgoes filets for a mix of stewed eggplant, zucchini, and tomatoes that are fresher than haircuts of the eighties ($16).
MASS MoCA, experts at curating contemporary art in both indoor and outdoor settings, will host eight bluegrass acts and nine shows in intimate, art-filled spaces. The museum's first bluegrass festival features up-and-coming pluckers as well as seasoned stars, with a roster including The Infamous Stringdusters, Yonder Mountain String Band, and Del McCoury. Fiddling kicks off on Saturday with an evening performance by David Mayfield at The Speed Way, an outdoor extension of the museum that showcases three new works of art and avant-garde asphalt meadow landscaping, which is ideal for sustaining herds of robotic cattle. The revelry then shifts into the museum's spacious Hunter Center and courtyard and carries over into Sunday, when Ramblin' Jug Stompers serenade their favorite brush strokes in art-festooned gallery space.
The strong-armed kitchen colossi of Hot Tomatoes hand-stretch disks of dough, slather them in sauce and cheese, and then fire them in a hearth oven to create a menu of unusual pies. The tortellini white pizza ($14.95+) lithely pirouettes cheese-stuffed pasta about its doughy dance floor alongside duos of fresh tomatoes and melted gorgonzola. Make a bet on flavorful odds with the clams casino pizza ($14.95+), where glitzy shellfish hangout on strips of bacon and roasted red pepper, blowing all their pearls on games of five-cheese stud. The eggplant and goat cheese pizza ($14.95+) overthrows herbaceous hungers with a revolution led by breaded eggplant, rebellious goat cheese, and other mercenary flavors. Foodsmiths carefully craft the shrimp and capers pizza ($12.95+), balancing powerful flavors in the saucy valley between the rising crests of crust, creating a stunning view for the ingredients and ostrich epicureans who have buried their face in the pizza.
The Four Chimneys Inn, a rebuilt and restored Georgian mansion, resides on 11 acres of old Revolutionary War country, inviting guests to rest within its hearth before they take to the streets to explore the picturesque surroundings. Two nights in a bright and cozy guest room—all with modern luxuries such as private bathrooms, TVs, DVD players, high-speed Internet access, and air conditioning—coddle travelers as they preorder their next morning's breakfast (up to a $588 value). A complimentary bottle of champagne flatters with its ebullient comments on your level of taste (a $24 value), while samples of chocolate from Vermont Confectionery fulfill food-pyramid requirements (an $8 value). Guests can take a day to immerse themselves in the area's Revolutionary War stories and other local lore with two tickets to the Bennington Museum (a $20 value), located less than half a mile away from the Inn. The museum is closed on Wednesdays and during the month of January.