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VINTAGE: A Cocktail Party Inspired by Classic Cocktails + Vintage Style

This holiday season I’ll be harkening back to the past for inspiration. I’ve always loved clothing and furniture from distant ages, spending years sorting through piles at antique malls, charming vintage boutiques and garage sales. Objects designed and constructed in the past usually have far more staying power than modern-day products. I love the concept of giving new life to something that was created long ago, and the simplicity of passing well-made items down throughout generations. With so many beautiful old things in the world, it’s hard to rationalize always purchasing the brand new. 210 The appeal of vintage style absolutely translates to the bar. Classic cocktails offer a connection to history and highlight well-made ingredients. Also, who wouldn’t want to fantasize about the glamour of days gone by? The music was lively, the drinks were strong and the ladies looked great!  This year, I’ll be serving the Hemingway Daiquiri to anyone who will let me get near them with a cocktail shaker. Here’s how you can follow suit:

The Hemingway Daiquiri

2 oz. White Rum

3/4 oz. Lime Juice

1/2 oz. Grapefruit Juice

1/2 oz. Maraschino Liqueur

1/2 oz. Simple Syrup

Shake and strain over ice into a rocks glass.

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The Hemingway Daiquiri. Photo by Angela Cardinali.

If you’re a vintage fan like myself, visit allium restaurant + bar (42 Railroad St., Great Barrington) this Wednesday for a special cocktail party. We’ve teamed up with two amazing local shops, griffinGB (177 Main St., Great Barrington) and VINTAGE (1695 North Main St. Route 7, Sheffield), who have decked out the allium lounge area with beautiful vintage furniture and goods.

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Decked out lounge at Allium Restaurant + Bar, thanks to GriffinGB and VINTAGE

Come for the classic cocktails and stay for a vintage fashion show (featuring clothing from both stores and fabulous models from our local community) and retro tunes from DJs Adam Post and Scott Clark. Here are all the details: VINTAGE: A Cocktail Party Inspired by Vintage Style + Vintage Cocktails Wednesday, December 19th at 7:30pm at allium restaurant + bar (42 Railroad St., Great Barrington) with special thanks to…

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Griffin New Logo

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that coat!- at griffinGB

 

December Cocktail Demo Days at Guido’s in Great Barrington

The act of multi-tasking is an undeniable saving grace during the wild winter holiday season. Luckily, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace has everything on your December grocery list covered. Where else can you pick up organic produce, free-range chicken, beautiful flowers for the holiday dinner table and an arsenal of homeopathic remedies to cure your post New Year’s eve “cold”?  In addition to gorgeous fruits, veggies and natural foods, Guido’s also carries a wonderful selection of beer and wine suitable for any celebration (find beer + wine in the Pittsfield location, and travel down to Great Barrington if you’re looking for spirits as well).

Photo by Angela Cardinalli

If you’ve been hoping to elevate your holiday beverage offerings this year, you’re in luck. Allium Restaurant + Bar is teaming up with Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Great Barrington to offer demonstrations on classic cocktails that are perfect for holiday entertaining. Allium bartenders Walter, Billy and Adam will be stationed throughout the GB store mixing up aperitif-based cocktails, classic cocktails and sours, collins + fizzes for your sipping pleasure. They’ll be sharing all of the necessary techniques, advice about ingredients and tips for stocking your holiday bar.

This year, embrace the virtue of multi-tasking (shopping, drinking and learning… wow, we really outdid ourselves this time!) Join Allium Restaurant + Bar’s special guest bartenders at Guido’s Fresh Marketplace in Great Barrington for December Cocktail Demo Days on Saturday, December 15th and Saturday December, 29th, from 12pm-2pm. For more information, visit the December Cocktail Demo Days event on Facebook.

 

 

Behind The Bar: Shake, Stir, Classics, Sours

As more people become curious about the food on their plates (where it comes from, how it’s prepared and why), curiosity naturally spreads to the contents of their glass. Enter the craft cocktail. Beautifully constructed and drinkable, a classic cocktail honors the integrity of its ingredients while providing a connection to history and a sense of ritual.

Take the Negroni, for instance. Bitter and aromatic, the cocktail made its debut in 1919 when Count Negroni (an Italian nobleman) requested gin in his Americano instead of the standard club soda. Mary, bartender here at Mezze Bistro + Bar, counts the Negroni as one of her favorites to make (and drink). “The campari brings out the bitterness of the citrus, but the sweeter aroma stays… it actually smells like a big glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice,” she explains. Refreshing and perfectly balanced.

Negroni
1 oz. gin
1 oz. campari
1 oz. sweet vermouth

Stir, pour over a chunk of ice + garnish with orange peel. It’s that simple!

With simple techniques and a small collection of essential ingredients, dynamic cocktails like the Negroni are within reach for even the most amateur mixologists.

We’re offering a chance to become a master of the classic cocktail, just in time for holiday party season! Join us for Behind the Bar: Shake, Stir, Classics, Sours – a small, hands-on cocktail class at allium restaurant + bar in Great Barrington — on Wednesday, December 12th at 7:30 pm.

We’ll advise on how to stock your bar with booze, mixers and garnishes for entertaining at home. We’ll suggest the essential tools to make great cocktails and will demonstrate mixing with different methodologies — stir/shake classics, sours, fizz, rocks or up. The class will whet the palate with aperitifs and aperitif-based drinks and will be followed by recipes and hands-on mixing of six delicious cocktails.

The cost is $40 per person, with limited space available. Reservations are required by phone or email. We hope to see you there!

42 Railroad Street, Great Barrington
413.528.2118
allium@mezzeinc.com

STAFF BIOS: David

One of our many gifts to you this holiday season is an introduction to the wonderful David Gold. David joined the Mezze Bistro + Bar team this fall after working up in Pownal, Vermont with our friends at Mighty Food Farm. He’s basically the real person manifestation of “farm-to-table”.  Enjoy learning about David and don’t be afraid to say hey if you run into him pouring your glass of water or perfecting a table setting.

NAME: David Gold

HOMETOWN: Teaneck, NJ

OCCUPATION: Busser, farmhand

ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Sagittarius

TITLE OF YOUR FUTURE BIOGRAPHY: Have you ever transcended space and time? (Definitely a reference to I <3 Huckabees)

WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING TODAY?: Coffee

WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING TONIGHT?: Mint tea

IDEAL WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Summer backpacking adventure

HIDDEN TALENT: Near-photographic memory for associating philosophical passages with their spatial orientation in physical text.

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU ALWAYS HAVE IN YOUR FRIDGE?: After this past summer, carrots

DREAM TRAVEL DESTINATION: Currently New Zealand, but I wouldn’t say no to Iceland or Norway

MOST PRIZED POSSESSION: Currently chapstick

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?: Food systems theorist

NAME ANY 5 PEOPLE, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO ARE INVITED TO YOUR FANTASY DINNER PARTY: Foucault, Marx, Barack Obama, Jesus, Hegel. Well, I would find it entertaining, anyway.

FAVORITE MEZZE DISH (PAST OR PRESENT): Calf’s liver

WHY THE BERKSHIRES?:  All the outdoor activities I could want and the best, freshest food available anywhere. Yes plz.

STAFF BIOS: Mary

Hey friends!  This post is the first in a series that will help you get to know some of the folks behind the scenes here at Mezze Bistro + Bar.  I’ll be profiling all of the employees that are willing to endure this hard-hitting survey, full of extremely important intellectual questions. First up is Mary!

NAME: Mary Susannah Vaughan

HOMETOWN: Lenox, Massachusetts

OCCUPATION: Hospitality Engineer (editor’s note: You can find Mary serving, bartending, and generally rocking the front of house here at Mezze)

ASTROLOGICAL SIGN: Cancer

TITLE OF YOUR FUTURE BIOGRAPHY: Mary Susannah Vaughan Cortez

WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING TODAY?: Short Americano

WHAT ARE YOU DRINKING TONIGHT?: The Newark- I need something to warm the cockles of my heart.

IDEAL WEEKEND ACTIVITY: Eating brunch and drinking coffee.

HIDDEN TALENT: Unicycle riding

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU ALWAYS HAVE IN YOUR FRIDGE?: Butter.

DREAM TRAVEL DESTINATION: Vietnam- I’m really interested in the French influence there.

MOST PRIZED POSSESSION: Sarcasm and my Kitchen Aid mixer. Intangible and tangible.

WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?: I want to own my own farm-to-table bakery.

NAME ANY 5 PEOPLE, DEAD OR ALIVE, WHO ARE INVITED TO YOUR FANTASY DINNER PARTY: My great great grandmother Winifred Stone (she wrote hilarious letters to my grandfather while she was studying at Oxford and he was living in Maine). Jon Stewart. Kai Ryssdal. Mary Frances Kennedy Fischer. My grandmother Celia Vaughan.

FAVORITE MEZZE DISH (PAST OR PRESENT): Panko crusted pig trotters.

WHY THE BERKSHIRES?: I’ve always felt magnetically  drawn to the place of my birth…. Berkshire Medical Center.

 

It’s Party Time!

Put away the rolling pins and aprons this year and let us take care of all the hard work.  Mezze Catering is the perfect choice for holiday parties, events and gatherings of all sizes (think delivery!). Give the catering department a call at 413.458.8745 for a price quote and availability.

Cultural Cocktails for 2012

Mezze Restaurant Group is offering a Cultural Cocktails Menu this season to honor the arts community in the Berkshires.

We’re thrilled to be working with Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Clark, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, MASS MoCA, Shakespeare & CompanyTanglewood and new to the menu this year… ArtBerkshires.

The Cultural Cocktails Menu will be available through the end of August. All drinks will be offered at Allium Restaurant + Bar in Great Barrington and Mezze Bistro + Bar in Williamstown.

Stop in and raise a glass to the rich cultural experience of our region!

Austrian Dinner at Allium with Chef Gerhard Schmid

An Austrian Evening at Allium:

With Honorable Guest Chef Gerhard Schmid,
Chef Dan Hardy + the Allium Kitchen Team

Wednesday, April 25 at 6:30 pm

Please join us the evening of Wednesday, April 25 as we welcome Guest Chef Gerhard Schmid to lead the Allium kitchen team and create an authentic and delicious four-course meal featuring traditional dishes of Austria. We will be sourcing a veal calf from a local farm and will create all menu items from scratch.

Four-Course Menu:

Schwammerl Ragout mit Servietten Knoedel
Mixed Mushroom Ragout on a Dumpling in Napkin

Rindsuppe mit Griessnockerl
Beef Consomme + Farina Gnocchi

Wiener Schnitzel, Erdaepfel Salat, Happerl und Vogerlsalat
Viennese Veal Cutlet, Potato Salad + Boston Mache Salad

Wiener Apfelstrudel und Linzertorte mit Schlag Obers
Viennese Apple Strudel + Linzertorte Chantilly

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Four-course dinner begins at 6:30 pm

$35 per person (not including beverages, tax + gratuity)
Austrian wine pairings will be available for an additional cost per person.

Reservations requested as seating is limited.
Please call Allium at 413.528.2118 to reserve seats.

Chef Gerhard Schmid

Most renowned for his award-winning culinary career, Chef Schmid has been a distinguished visiting chef at the College of Culinary Arts at Johnson & Wales University where he taught classical French cuisine for eleven years. As a participant in the Culinary Olympics, he personally received three gold medals, one silver medal and, with the national team of four, won the Grand Gold Prize (first place) for the USA in 1968 against 21 nations.

Chef Schmid’s work has been awarded four stars by the Mobil Travel Guide and featured in many publications including Yankee Magazine, The Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, The Springfield Republican, Dallas Morning Star and numerous international travel books. He has cooked for distinguished guests including Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, the Shah of Iran and various American celebrities such as John Wayne, Steve McQueen, Norman Rockwell, Arthur Fiedler, Barry Manilow plus many famous Tanglewood musicians during his illustrious career.

Chef Schmid opened hotels for Sonesta in Hartford, the Sheraton Boston Hotel, was the “experimental chef” for the first Hyatt Hotel, the Watertower Hyatt Hotel in Chicago and experimental chef for Americana Hotels and Sous Chef at the Ritz Carlton in Boston. He and his wife, Lilliane, owned the Gateways Inn in Lenox in the late 70s and 80s, and the Devonfield Inn, formerly known as Haus Andreas in Lee, from 1980-1994. They currently live in New Marlborough, Mass.

 

Ale + Swine Dinner at Mezze on Thursday, March 29

Join Mezze Bistro + Bar in Williamstown on Thursday, March 29th for Ale + Swine: a delicious dinner centered around pork and ale. Four courses, six beers and entertaining and educational conversation led by Justin Adkins of BeerGeekDude.com and Caitln Harrison of Mezze Bistro. The beer tasting begins at 6 pm with a prix fixe dinner to follow around 7 pm. The cost for the dinner is $50 per person including food and drink (not including tax and gratuity.) There is limited space available for 40 guests maximum.

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The Ale + Swine menu will include:

Hors d’oeuvres
Pork Rind Funyuns
Pork Liver Pate
Charcuterie Plates

First Course
Fried Pig Trotters served with Wild Mustard + Sauce Gribiche

Second Course
Confit Pig Heart + Roast Belly with Salad

Third Course
Smoked Pork Loin + Sausage with Beer Onion Orbs, Crushed Potato + Mustard Sauce

Dessert
Beer Float with Bacon-Caramel Gelato + Chocolate-Bacon Cookies

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Beer Flight will include:

Pretty Things Once Upon A Time…1838 (Somerville, MA)

Cambridge Brewing Company (Cambridge. MA):
Sgt. Pepper Saison au Poivre
The Audacity of Hops

Brewery Ommegang (Cooperstown, NY):
Hennepin
Aphrodite

Oskar Blues G’Knight Imperial Red Ale (Longmont, CO)

Allagash Brewing Company Curieux (Portland, ME)

Plus some surprise ales thrown in for added fun!

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This event will sell out, so please call 413.458.0123 or email Caitlin at <mezzebistro@mezzeinc.com> to reserve a spot! If you are interested in attending,
RSVP by Monday, March 26…

Staff Menu for Guests

We’ve been receiving great feedback about our new Staff Menu over the last month — a casual, creative, fun and affordable way to eat at Mezze Bistro + Bar.

The kitchen is cooking up their favorites and making it all in house. The Mezze team crafted the menu to include fun food items like East Mountain Farm Pork Pot Stickers, Croque Madame (pictured above), East Mountain Farm Pork Carnitas Tacos, Roasted Squash Cavatelli (pictured below), Beef Bulgogi Lettuce Tacos with Kimchee Slaw (pictured below) and Poutine — Steak Fries, Bacon Lardons, Maplebrook Farm Cheese Curds + Beef Gravy. Yum.

Our Staff Menu evolved from the popularity of Comfort Sundaya three-course prix fixe menu available from November through May. Inspiration for menu selections comes from the kitchen’s collective cultural heritage and adaptations of ‘junk food’ favorites. Staff Menu selections range in price from $6 to $16.

The menu changes frequently as it reflects the whim of the kitchen and what is available in season. Come in for some casual fare and order off the Staff Menu before it shifts again!

Check out the Rogovoy Report for additional info on our new Staff Menu.