Blog

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.

 

 

A Class of Wine: First Flight

Last night’s Class of Wine was really terrific. Our front-of-house manager Caitlin Harrison was entertaining, engaging and full of beans. Oh, and, information. Lots of it. A ridiculous fount of knowledge regarding wine. She talked about vineyards she’s visited, winemakers she works with, a sense of place, outdated wine expressions, the varietals that make up the Mezze wine list and why we should not smell wine like it’s a baby’s diaper. That’s right. No holding back when sticking your nose in the glass. Get it in there and go deep.

The food was fantastic and paired perfectly with the wine selections. Following is a lineup of what we tasted:

* Housemade Fries with Garlic Aioli paired with Cremant d’Alsace | 2007 Albert Boxer | Alsace, France
* Housemade Lardo on Rye Toast paired with Clos de la Vierge | 2009 Barrere | Jura, France
* Housemade Pork Pate with Caramelized Shallots paired with Les Pierres Girard | Domaine de la Bergerie | Anjou, Loire Valley, France
* Bone Marrow with Gremolata paired with L’uva Arboisana Rouge | Domaine de la Tournelle | Jura, France
* Mini Bistro Steak with Crimini Mushroom paired with Prieler (Blaufrankisch) | Bergenland, Austria
* Housemade Beef Sausage + Potato Puree paired with Dehesa La Granja (Tempranillo) | Ribera de Duero, Spain

This event was a very fun experience and a great way to meet like-minded wine lovers. And, we’re going to do it again. As much as possible.

So… if you’re interested in A Class of Wine at Mezze Bistro + Bar, gather up 8 to 12 friends and give a holler to Caitlin to let her know some dates that might work for your group. Six wines paired with six delicious foods for $40 per person (not including tax + gratuity.) We’re hosting private wine tastings on Mondays through Thursdays. Weekend wine classes are available on a limited basis.

Call Caitlin at 413.458.0123 for more info or to book A Class of Wine with some friends.

Photo credits Angela Cardinali

In the Allium Kitchen with Dan Hardy

Photo credit Jay Cavallaro

If you haven’t had a chance to stop in and say hello, Allium has a new chef and a new menu. Daniel Hardy, formerly Mezze Restaurant Group’s catering chef, is heading up the kitchen in Great Barrington and making delicious changes.

Dan has been in the Allium kitchen since November so the Berkshire Eagle’s Berkshire After Dark team thought it appropriate to check in and see what’s changed.

“Alium has placed its feet more and more firmly in the world of local food producers; this is further institutionalized with a menu section devoted entirely to seasonal vegetables… Most notably, the entrees now feature more “ways in” for a table of diners with mixed budgets… Hardy has introduced new entrée items that look very appealing, gastronomically as well as economically.” — Jeremy Goodwin, The Berkshire Eagle

Click here to read Jeremy Goodwin’s full article.

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Pictured below from left to right (top to bottom): Korean-style Tacos with Pork Bulgogi, Cabbage Slaw, Sriracha + Garlic Cilantro Aioli; Caramel-braised Pork Belly with Crispy Ginger Rice Cake, 60-minute Egg + Pickled Romanesco; Vietnamese-style Banh Mi Sandwich with Chicken, Vegetables, Cilantro, Mayo + Farmer Rich’s Housemade Potato Chips; Pumpkin Agnolotti wth Brown Butter, Sage + Roasted Squash; Steamed Pork Buns with Bok Choy Kimchi; Wood Oven-roasted Stuffed Chicken with Apples, Sausage, Celeriac Puree, Turnips + Parsnips.

Check out our new menu, changing daily. Reservations are recommended. Call 413.528.2118 or visit OpenTable.

Photo credits Jay Cavallaro

A Class of Wine: School for the Wine Enthusiast Begins

On Wednesday evening, January 11th, Mezze Bistro + Bar will host its first Class of Wine: A School for the Wine Enthusiast. Caitlin Harrison, our front-of-house manager and wine aficionado, will pair six wines with six flavors in food to demonstrate the symbiotic relationship between the two. Informational packets detailing the winery, grape varietal, notes on varietal tipicity, and fun facts and experiences will be shared. Walk away with a broader understanding of wine and how we drink here at Mezze.

Details follow:
Wednesday, January 11th from 6:30 – 8:30 pm
$40 per person (not including tax + gratuity)
Space is limited. RSVP by Sunday, January 8th.
Call 413.458.0123 for details.

This class is an introduction to A Class of Wine events series with private bookings available for small groups (minimum 8 people, maximum 12.) Mezze Bistro + Bar can host wine events Monday through Thursday evenings with weekend wine classes available on a limited basis. Call Caitlin at 413.458.0123 for more info or to book A Class of Wine with some friends.

Photo credit Kevin Kennefick

Wine Bottles (photo credit: Kevin Kennefick)

Mezze Kitchen’s Staff Menu is Out!

They’ve been talking about it, testing it and are finally ready to share it. Mezze Bistro + Bar guests can now nosh on the comfort food our kitchen and front-of-house staff loves to eat. The cooks are keeping it casual, cooking up their favorites and making it all in house, as usual. Check out our Staff Menu for fun and affordable foods that pair perfectly with a classic cocktail, a shorty or a big yeasty brew.

Please note, the Staff Menu is subject to change at the whim and mood of the kitchen. The menu posted below is probably already out of date. For the most current version of the Staff Menu, check out our website. If you have a favorite, come early and visit often. And, let us know what you love!

 

To see our press release about the new Staff Menu, check out this link.

Mezze Bistro Staff Menu