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Women Winemakers’ Dinner at Mezze on March 18

WomenInWine

Friday, March 18 at 6 pm

Join Berkshire Organics, Oz Wine Company, and Mezze Bistro to celebrate female winemakers and their work. Mezze Bistro will offer a tasting menu with wine pairings from female winemakers across Europe, with Oz Wine Company owner Andrew Bishop dropping tidbits of knowledge along the way. The evening begins at 6 pm and Chef Nicholas Moulton will present five-courses to accompany the wine selection.

 

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Welcome Wine
Sparkling Rose Filipa Pato 3B Beiras, PT n/v

Raw Mackerel, Toasted Wheat, Blood Orange, Avocado
Sauvignon Blanc Domaine Adele Rouze Quincy Loire Valley, FR 2014

Slow-cooked Carrot, Feta, Vadouvan, Kale
Chenin Blanc Domaine De La Bergerie Anjou Blanc Loire Valley, FR 2013

Octopus Bolognese, Parsley Cavatelli
Uva Rara Cantina Castaldi Francesca Piedmont, IT 2013

Heritage Breek Pork, Maine Yellow-eye Beans, Cabbage
Red Bordeaux Chateau Falfas Bordeaux, FR 2014

Local Cheese Plate
Lambrusco Villa di Corlo Emilia-Romagna, IT n/v

Five-course Prix Fixe Menu for $68 per person. Price does not include tax or gratuity.

Please call Mezze Bistro + Bar at 413.458.0123 to reserve a table.

 

 

 

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Adele Rouze

Cantina Castaldi Francesca

Cochran

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Filipa Pato

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BO Logo 2015

A Tribute to Chef Joji at Mezze Bistro

Kim Wells of East Mountain Farm Shares His Favorite Menu at Mezze

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The celebration of Mezze Bistro’s 20th Anniversary this month got me thinking of the special meals I’ve had at Mezze over the years. Many of them were with Joji Sumi, a big fan of using pork and an experienced chef who practiced nose-to-tail cooking. Every other week, Joji would butcher a whole pig from my farm to make charcuterie and create mouth-watering dishes for the restaurant’s seasonal menu.

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Joji would visit my farm regularly and bring along his kitchen team to see where their food was coming from. They would save compost scraps from the kitchen for the pigs, which created this fantastic closed-circuit system of local food. Early on, I remember a time when Joji came up to the farm to see the pigs and a large heritage breed pig emerged from the forest. Its jowls were so large it could barely see past them. Joji was transfixed but finally turned to me and said, “I’m in love.”

That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship ;-)

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My most memorable and passionate meal at Mezze was the “pork-tastic” banquet Joji created for us at the end of August in 2010. I had just started selling a side of pork to Mezze and the first one I brought in was from a heritage breed pig with the usual two to three inches of fatback. Joji was quietly inspecting the pig and, given his expression, I thought he might be alarmed by the quantity of fat. I asked him if something was wrong and he said, “No, this is just me being happy!”

My oldest son was visiting from California that week so my wife Lynda and I, along with my mom and dad, headed out to Mezze on a Saturday night. At first, we were handed menus but when word got to the kitchen that the farmer was in the house, the server asked for them back and said we wouldn’t need menus. Joji had a special meal planned for us. All ten courses highlighted East Mountain Farm pork. Joji’s creative talents exploded once he had the raw ingredients and we enjoyed that meal immensely. I thought, with all the nostalgia going on with Mezze’s 20th Anniversary, that you would enjoy seeing the menu from that night.

Joji's porktastic dinner

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Kim Wells of East Mountain Farm

 

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Chef Joji Sumi, former Mezze Chef

All photos courtesy of Kim Wells of East Mountain Farm in Williamstown, Mass.

 

Celebrating Two Decades of Mezze Bistro

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Photo credit Amy Mendes

“We are so grateful to be part of our food and hospitality community – farmers, makers, servers, chefs, diners – all the people who have helped us become who we are today.
We extend our many thanks to everyone who worked with us, for us, alongside us in celebration of turning 20 this year!” – Nancy Thomas

MEZZE BISTRO CELEBRATES 20 YEARS

Vintage Menu Items, Guest Chef Dinners, Wine Dinners and Dance Parties Planned

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Mezze Bistro History: Old-world Exotic Meets Casual Chic

When Nancy Thomas opened the original 50-seat Mezze Bistro + Bar in a cozy Water Street building in Williamstown in 1996, she worked the stove as chef serving up Moroccan fare with tagines and small mezze plates. Her guests were loyal fans, many from the local dot-com crowd, and the collective youthful energy sparked recurring dance parties on the deck overlooking the Green River.

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Nancy Thomas, chef-owner

MENU 1, FIRST DAY 1996

Remember this from 1996?

FIRSTMezzeLocation_Deck photos 2001

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Chef Omar Montoya came on board in 1998 and the Mezze menu evolved to reflect his Latin-Peruvian background. During the initial years, Nancy partnered with entrepreneur and internet executive Bo Peabody of Tripod and grew the business to include other restaurants and a catering company.

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Chef Omar Montoya

 

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A fire in 2001 forced the restaurant to relocate and a newly renovated Mezze Bistro opened at the top of Water Street in May 2002, doubling the dining space. The popular bistro and bar with exposed brick walls provided a fresh platform for a modern-day dining experience when Thomas hired Chef James Tracey to craft the menu with his spin on contemporary farm-to-table fare.

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Second Mezze Bistro location — Photo credit Jennifer Mardus

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Second Mezze Bistro location — Photo credit Kevin Kennefick

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Chef James Tracey in Berkshire Living Magazine

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Mezze occupied their second home for eight years and welcomed Chef Joji Sumi who brought a Japanese take on seasonal cuisine to Mezze diners. During that time, Thomas opened Café Latino at MASS MoCA (now closed) and Allium in Great Barrington, while building Mezze Catering + Events to produce high-end weddings and galas in the Berkshires and New York City.

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Chefs Dan Hardy (L) Joji Sumi (C), Nicholas Moulton (R)

From_Parris_with_Love_FABIANI CHAIR SIGNS

Photo credit From Parris with Love

wedding

Photo credit ReadyLuck

In 2010, Mezze Bistro moved to its present bucolic setting just south of Williamstown next to Sheep Hill, protected by the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation. An eclectic mix of old and new, Nancy designed the restaurant to reflect a sense of its history – 1960s chairs from the old Taconic Restaurant down the road, outdoor furniture from Café Latino, recycled marble tops from Jae’s sushi bar which occupied the space previously, and wood from the Verdura bar where Allium is now located.

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Current Mezze Bistro location — Photo credit Jason Houston

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Current Mezze Bistro location — Photo credit Jason Houston

Current chef Nicholas Moulton, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America who worked for four years as Mezze’s sous chef, returned to Mezze Bistro in 2014 and now leads the kitchen team serving up casual-fine food. Producing simple food that is bright and full of life, Moulton is dedicated to the nose-to-tail philosophy and is involved in the harvesting and butchering of ingredients for the restaurant’s menu. As a chef focused on regional cuisine, he places an emphasis on plant-based foods and wild ingredients that grow locally and holds a strong commitment to building awareness of the region’s terroir.

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

Chef Nicholas Moulton — Photo credit Clay Williams

Eat Local

As a farm-to-table advocate with a commitment to supporting the local economy, Nancy believes cooking should be based on the finest seasonal ingredients produced by local farmers. Mezze Restaurant Group purchases more than $250,000 a year from 50 regional farms and food producers and is one of the earliest companies in the Berkshires to source locally grown and produced foods. In the Northern Berkshires, Mezze has been supporting Peace Valley Farm and East Mountain Farm for many years and Mighty Food Farm and Cricket Creek Farm since their inception. Celebrating native foods and artisan foodmakers, Nancy was the inspiration for the Berkshire Grown Holiday Farmers’ Markets, Berkshire Farm & Table’s Summer of Greylock Gin, Carhartts + Cocktails and numerous other local food-focused events in the region.

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Cricket Creek at Mezze

Photo credit Amy Mendes

Upcoming Anniversary Tributes and Collaborations

In honor of the occasion, Mezze Bistro will share early menus, vintage invitations and posters, and photos of fans and friends with online Throwback Thursday highlights and themed photo albums on social media channels. In early summer, an in-house pop-up shop will highlight fun takeaway items commemorating 20 years.

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Amazing JAZZ 1999

 

 

A series of special events are planned to commemorate Mezze Bistro’s 20th Anniversary. Guest chef and wine tasting dinners, 90s-themed dance parties, and curated arts and fashion events will take place over the next several months. Circa-1996 mixed drinks including the ever-popular Mezze gimlet, martini and cosmopolitan will be featured on the craft cocktail menu.

 

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In recognition of the chefs who helped shape the Mezze Bistro kitchen over the last two decades, Nancy will feature favorite dishes highlighting Mezze’s culinary history on the dinner menu in addition to her Moroccan dishes from the late 1990s. Modern-day Mezze Comfort Sunday, a three-course prix fixe menu, and Pasta Wednesday, a hand-crafted affordable menu special, will continue through late spring.

Dance Party & Valentine’s Weekend

On Thursday, February 11, the official anniversary date for Mezze Bistro, Throwback Thursday postings will begin on social media channels. On Friday evening, February 12, a circa 1996 dance party featuring DJ BFG will kick off the celebration which will blend into Valentine’s Day weekend. On February 13 and 14, Mezze will highlight perfect pairings for Valentine’s Day with a large selection of sparkling wines and a la carte specials including Fruits de Mer.

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For additional information about Mezze’s 20th Anniversary, please follow Mezze Bistro on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Nancy Thomas — Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Festive Menus for Family-style Fun

 

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Just in time for holiday season, we’ve created some fun family-style dining experiences for friends and family to gather without the fuss of cleaning, prepping, cooking, hosting…

Join Mezze Bistro on the guest side of the table. Create your own event in our Private Dining Room for up to 25 guests… We’ll even set the kids’ table! Choose from one of the following family-style menus and enjoy a sit-down meal in our house.

A minimum four-day lead time is needed to coordinate these dinners. Please call 413.458.0123 for more information or to reserve a private dinner. Menus are available through December 29, 2015.


Whole Roast Chicken Dinner

Seasonal Green Salad with Italian Dressing
Lemon & Thyme-scented Chicken Jus served with Potato Purée, Braised Greens and Roasted Carrots
Housemade Parker House Rolls served with Gammelgarden Creamery Butter

Dessert:  Brownie Sundaes

Price per person: $45 (plus tax + gratuity) | Optional wine service available throughout dinner with select bottles of wine offered between $26 and $30 each.


East Mountain Farm Pork Dinner

Bitter Greens Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette
Whole Roast Pork Shoulder served with Carolina BBQ Sauce, Charred Winter Greens, Berleberg Cheese, Soft-boiled Eggs, Crispy Pig Ears and an Assortment of Mustards and Pickles
Warm Housemade Epi Bread

Dessert:  Soft Warm Pretzels with Maple-Bacon Glaze

Price per person: $45 (plus tax + gratuity) | Optional wine service available throughout dinner with select bottles of wine offered between $26 and $30 each.


Italian Feast

Seasonal Green Salad with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Grana Padano + Chilies
Antipasti Platter and Baked Stuffed Clams
Two Family-style Housemade Pasta Dishes:  one vegetarian option + one featuring locally-raised meats
Garlic Bread

Dessert:  Tiramisu

Price per person: $45 (plus tax + gratuity) | Optional wine service available throughout dinner with select bottles of wine offered between $26 and $30 each.


Taco Night

Housemade Guacamole + Chips
Pork Carnitas or Spice-rub Roasted Carrot Tacos served with stacks of Corn Tortillas, Refried Heirloom Beans, Cotija Cheese, Rice, Seasonal Vegetable Slaw and garnishes of Cilantro, Mint, Scallions and Limes, plus Salsa Verde, Salsa Roja and Hot Sauce

Dessert:  Lime Ice Cream and Sopapilla

Price per person: $45 (plus tax + gratuity) | Optional wine service available throughout dinner with select bottles of wine offered between $26 and $30 each.

2015 Graduation Prixe Fixe Menu

Graduation 2015 Prix Fixe Menu at Mezze Bistro + Bar
Friday + Saturday nights, June 6th and 7th
$65 per person

Thank you for choosing Mezze Bistro to celebrate your special day.
Please find below the prix fixe menu our chef will be preparing for you and your family.
In staying true to the philosophies at Mezze, some menu items are subject to small changes based on availability from our local farms.

We look forward to seeing you this weekend!

* * * * * * *

Appetizer
(Please select one)

Chilled Asparagus Soup
green garlic, truffled popcorn

Spicy Salad Greens
brown rice-miso vinaigrette, mint, sesame

Salad of Spring Vegetables
banyuls vinegar, fine herbs, english pea butter

Pipette Pasta
bagna cauda, radish, grana padano

Hen of the Woods
duck confit, peas, egg yolk, sardo crumbs

______________

Entrée
(Please select one)

Orecchiette
spring vegetables, pesto, crowdie, sunflower

Salmon
swiss chard, rhubarb, cucumber, beet dashi

Roasted Breast of Amish Chicken
maine yellow-eye beans, fava beans, radish, basil broth

Garganelli
braised pork, short rib, italian sausage, kale, spicy tomato sauce, garlic crumbs

Duck Breast
couscous, oyster mushrooms, fava leaves, charred asparagus

Hanger Steak
beef fat potatoes, peace valley farm lettuce, baley hazen blue cheese, bordelaise

Scallops
morels, leeks, peas, tarragon, lemon +15 supplement

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Dessert
(Please select one)

Honey Cake
orange purée, almond crumble

Chocolate Pudding
whipped cream

Pavlova
lemon curd, blueberries

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar
sweet milk ice cream, caramel corn

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Earth Day Wine Dinner at Mezze Bistro

It’s Spring! After this old-fashioned, classic winter, we’re excited to celebrate!

On Wednesday, April 22 in partnership with Spirited Wines of Lenox, Mezze Bistro + Bar in Williamstown will be hosting an Earth Day Wine Dinner featuring the terroir of Austria and Germany. Chef Nick Moulton will prepare a five-course meal and wine importer Daniel Hubbard will be on premise to discuss the wines. Check out our menu below.

The evening will begin at 6:30 pm and reservations are required. The cost per person, all inclusive, is $75. Please call 413.458.0123 for more info.

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Mezze & Allium at the James Beard Foundation

The beginning of spring was glorious in our world. On Monday, March 9, members of our two kitchen teams traveled to the James Beard Foundation in New York to present our first dinner as a sister restaurant collaboration.

Hailing from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Chefs Nicholas Moulton from Mezze Bistro and Daire Rooney of Allium, along with their respective crews, prepared dishes in complementary cooking styles for the “Berkshires’ First Taste of Spring” dinner.

It was hard work, the team was on point and the experience incredible. We were honored and grateful to be there.

Pictures speak louder than words. What follows is a photo essay of the evening.

All photos courtesy of Clay Williams and the James Beard Foundation.

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com  © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com © Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

 

© Clay Williams / claywilliamsphoto.com

Proprietors and co-founders of Mezze Restaurant Group Nancy Thomas and Bo Peabody

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Team Players Wanted

Summer is just around the corner! We are seeking enthusiastic individuals who celebrate life through good food and welcoming hospitality. In the restaurants and in the field, we work with a stellar team and want to include more stars.

Mezze Bistro + Bar in Williamstown, Mass.
Allium Restaurant + Bar in Great Barrington, Mass.
Mezze Catering + Events, all around the Berkshires and beyond

Details on positions available:

Mezze Catering hiring Cooks
We are a full-service event company working throughout the Berkshire region looking to hire cooks experienced in seasonal farm-to-table cooking from scratch.  Our team loves to cook and we’re seeking like-minded players who are just as passionate about food. Email us with your resume copied in the body of the email along with a short note explaining why you feel you’re perfect for the job.  mezzebistro@mezzeinc.com

Mezze Catering hiring seasonal Servers, Bartenders and Captains
We are a full-service event company working throughout the Berkshire region looking to hire servers, bartenders and captains. If you are interested in joining our team, please contact staff@mezzeinc.com and let us know if you would like to work with our catering team.

Mezze Bistro hiring full-time Line Cook
We cook from scratch in our farm-to-table kitchen and are looking for others who have experience or want to learn how. Email us with your resume copied in the body of the email along with a short note explaining why you feel you’re perfect for the job.  mezzebistro@mezzeinc.com

Mezze Bistro hiring full-time Host
Administrative position working with Open Table, POS system, some computer work. Evening hours. Email us with your resume copied in the body of the email along with a short note explaining why you feel you’re perfect for the job.  mezzebistro@mezzeinc.com

Allium hiring front-of-house staff: Waiters, Bussers, Host
We’re ramping up for summer. Full- and part-time positions available. Email us with your resume copied in the body of the email along with a short note explaining why you feel you’re perfect for the job.  alliumbar@gmail.com

We look forward to hearing from you!

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Photo Credit From Parris with Love

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Photo Credit From Parris with Love

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Photo Credit Christopher Duggan

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Photo Credit From Parris with Love

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Join Us at the James Beard House on Monday, March 9!

On Monday, March 9, Mezze Restaurant Group will head to the James Beard Foundation in New York City to present a dinner with our talented chefs.

Hailing from the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Mezze Bistro Chef Nicholas Moulton and Allium Chef Daire Rooney will prepare dishes highlighting food produced in the region in complementary cooking styles for the “Berkshires’ First Taste of Spring.”

Please join us in celebration of this great honor!

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Looking Back… Forging Ahead

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

January is that moment when we reflect on the past year and recognize milestones and accomplishments of our awesome team. Following is a recap of a terrific 2014:

 

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Photo credit Jason Houston

HEY NINETEEN!
Finishing up our second decade… Mezze Bistro + Bar turns 19 this February.
In our third location and in our very own home!

 

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Photo credit ReadyLuck Photography

A BIG 4-0
Mezze Catering + Events planned and executed 40 weddings in 2014.
Blushing brides, beautiful settings, delicious food, fabulous flowers and happy guests. 

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

SIXTY
Mezze Restaurant Group employs 60 dedicated and attentive employees year-round.
We *love* our team!

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Photo credit Kevin Kennefick

8 IS GREAT!
Allium turns eight in May. Rockin’ the southern Berkshire universe!

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GIVING BACK
$10,000 donated to local charities in 2014.

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Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

FORTY-FIVE
That’s how many hard-working farmers and local foodmakers are our partners.

$200,000
What we spend on local food annually.
Fresh, delicious, high-quality food from our neighbors.

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

 

 100 PERCENT
Cooking from scratch. At every turn.

Photo credit Angela Cardinali

Photo credit Angela Cardinali