The stately gold letters distinguishing Sullivan Station Restaurant loom above a bold red door flanked by mint-and-cream paneling, standing as a handsome vestige of the restaurant's former life as the Lee Depot. Inside the 65-seat dining room, prime-cut pork chops, pastas, and sandwiches adorn striped tabletops amid rustic wood-paneled walls and vintage photographs. Outside, a striped awning shades a quaint back deck, where meals can be savored in the sunshine during the summer months. Lunchtime diners can witness the Berkshire Scenic Railway make its regular stops at the depot and even hop aboard for a picturesque postmeal jaunt or to jump-start a career as a lovable railroad vagabond.
A cobblestone path leads up to the front door of this canary-yellow Dutch Colonial inn, which is tucked amid the Berkshire Hills. Inside, the rooms reflect the building's turn-of-the-century roots with period furnishings that include four-poster beds, button-back chairs, and lace curtains. Some rooms have fireplaces to help keep you warm on chilly nights. A local family runs the inn, and it's easy to see personal touches throughout. The onsite restaurant, for instance, serves a homestyle menu that focuses on farm-to-table fare.
Diners can fill up on herb-stuffed trout and old-fashioned meat loaf with wild mushroom gravy to the sounds of live jazz and piano music.
The inn is conveniently close to several attractions in the Berkshires. It's a short drive from the Norman Rockwell Museum, family-owned wineries, and several area ski sites that are popular in the winter or after summer's first snowfall.
Anna Arace pays meticulous attention to detail. As the owner of Trattoria Il Vesuvio, she transformed a former art studio housed inside a red barn-style building into an airy restaurant with exposed beams and cathedral ceilings. Whether she's in the kitchen mixing fresh seafood with tomato sauce, pinot grigio, and garlic to create the Frutti di Mare—one of her trademark Campania dishes—or travelling to New York for fresh red peppers to jar through the winter, her attention to detail works to ensure that every dish served is fresh and authentic. Along with Campania-influenced dishes, Arace also creates northern Italian classics such as the Lasagna di Verdura to pair with a selection of Italian wines. Popular appetizers include the lightly breaded fried calamari and the melenzane alla griglia, grilled eggplant that's been marinated for up to three days and forced to reflect on its mistakes.
In 1949, Stanley Durmas and Charles Skiathitis decided to go the drive-in route and serve diners curbside for their restaurant. In keeping with the era, they also named their eatery after the popular tune "I'm Looking for a Four Leaf Clover." Twenty years passed before Charles's son Paul plucked up the Four Leaf Clover, transforming the modest 20-seat dive into a fully fledged restaurant. Today, the restaurant is 175 seats strong and helmed by owners Mark and Linda Snow, who have fine-tuned the kitchen's continental pub menu and modernized the business by bottling the original founder's signature barbecue sauce. Kitchen doors open to reveal servers, their arms stacked with juicy steaks, signature baked haddock, and hearty sandwiches lined with thin-sliced turkey and slow-cooked corned-beef brisket. While perusing the eatery's many wine, scotch, and signature-cocktail options, diners scan historical photos set warmly against barside exposed brick. Diners can also enjoy 5-ounce burgers in the separate Falls River dining room, which boasts wooden rafters, booths, tables, and human servers, which are far more functional than the outdated wooden ones.
Nobody can predict when a craving will strike. Luckily for diners at Rooster's Bistro, owner Corinne Allen serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner all day, no matter the time. Guests can start or end their days with thick french toast with real maple syrup or an over-stuffed omelet loaded with such ingredients as corned-beef hash or chili and cheese. Paninis and stacked sandwiches hide thick slices of turkey and ham, and dinner entrees, such as jumbo ravioli or smothered steak tips, provide a hearty plate of comforting flavors. Live music floats through the establishment every Friday night, and stillness falls upon Rooster's Bistro every Monday when the restaurant is closed and placed in cryogenic stasis for freshness.
The son of a woman who was consistently passionate about feeding her guests great food, chef Josean Jimenez has been doing the same for the last 15 years?except usually, he feeds total strangers. As the chef at MRKT Restaurant, Jimenez oversees a constantly evolving menu that shifts with the seasons but always features organic farm-to-table ingredients. Plus, Jimenez's kitchen often turns to local farmers whenever it needs vegetables, meats, and the lyrics to "Old MacDonald."