Voted the best place to see live theater in the Valley Advocate's 2011 readers' poll, the Majestic Theater envelops audiences in compelling stagings starring local thespians. In the midst of the Majestic's summer season, Two by Two juxtaposes the dramatic and comedic sides of Massachusetts playwright Steve Henderson by showing a pair of his enthralling one-act plays back-to-back. Theater-goers get a peek at the ins and outs of the fictional Morse brothers' complex relationship in Morse Code—a case study of universal truths about fraternity, such as the fact that it's more entertaining for others when siblings argue in public. The Gravedigger's Gift riffs on two grave-digging characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, extracting comedy from the dour business of burying the deceased.
Petra Café’s gustatory gurus transform pita or ciabatta bread into greek gyros and italian sandwiches at lunch. Diners send spinach-pie emissaries, made with phyllo dough, fresh spinach, and piquant feta ($3.50), to stomachs to pave the way for the Santorini lamb salad ($12.99), a vegetable-and-meat combination more satisfying than a genetically engineered hot-dog tree. Ruminators munch on attic classics, such as pitas stuffed with gyros meat ($6.49), falafel ($6.99), or, in a surprising twist, hundreds of miniature trojan horses. Taste buds can travel across the Mediterranean with the sicilian panini—grilled ciabatta bread enveloping pepperoni, genoa salami, and monterey jack and covered in layers of basil pesto and spicy mustard ($8.99).
A warm, crackling fireplace greets guests in The Radical Roaster's homey interior, and an alluring menu inspires them to snuggle up for an extended stay. Breakfast bites are served all day, such as savory morning sandwiches that invite you to shelter the group of orphaned egg, cheese, and meat of your choice in a doughy bagel, English muffin, toast, or wrap domicile ($3.95). Spoil your belly guests with a sugary pinwheel cinnamon roll ($1.95) or teach them to play mahjongg with a Belgian waffle ($4.75–$4.95). Free WiFi allows all device-equipped patrons to freely cruise the information autobahn one-handed while sipping hot candied apple cider ($3.25–$3.75) or an iced americano ($2.25–$2.75). Come lunchtime, customers can nosh grabbable grub such as the signature 'Berry the Rooster sandwich, a chicken salad sandwich infused with cranberries and walnuts ($6.25). Friendly servers accentuate the comfortable environment, where families are welcome to check out the night's entertainment, bust out a game of chess at will, or catch reruns of Who Wants To Marry a Chess Robot? on the plasma screen.
The fair-trade coffee and gourmet tea at Cup and Top Cafe intermingle with locally sourced breakfast and lunch dishes to create a mouth-mash of palatable goodness. Imbibing enthusiasts can enjoy an organic coffee ($1.45 for 12 oz.) or chai latte ($2.14 for 12 oz.), while serious apple-pie-eating energy-seekers can gulp americanos ($1.48 per shot). Supplied by sleep-deprived, jittery bovine, the espresso milkshake adds some oomph to a straw-clogging classic with Bart's ice cream and Mapleline milk ($4.30).
The talented roasters at Shelburne Falls Coffee—deemed Best of the Valley in 2009, 2010, and 2011 by Valley Advocate readers—percolate eight daily blends of organic, flavored, and single-origin coffees to entice tasters and nourish nostrils in a low-key, café environment. Guests can guzzle a regular cup of brewed coffee or add a splash of caramel-flavored milk, making sips as sweet and warming as a thank-you letter from a cupcake ($1.50–$3.21). After a hot cup of joe, cool off a piping-hot palate with the chai vanilla frozen blender—an enchanting swirl of homemade masala and exotic spices ($4.25). Acquire daily servings of fruits and breads without sneaking into the food pyramid with a fruit smoothie made of freshly squeezed orange juice ($4.50) and a bagel smeared with specialty olive or vegetable cream cheese ($3.30).