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The whale wins
GETAWAYS • The Berkshires
One of the joys of getaway dining is the return visit to a favorite restaurant after months (or years) away. That foreign-familiar blend evokes feelings on a different register than returns to a local favorite. In the Berkshires, Prairie Whale hits that spot for me.
Opened in 2012 by Mark Firth, restaurateur Andrew Tarlow’s original partner in Williamsburg’s Diner and Marlow & Sons, the restaurant occupies an old Greek Revival house on Main Street in Great Barrington, the region’s best food town. The vibe captures what a tavern in the town might have felt like a couple hundred years ago: handmade furniture, a wood stove, mismatched Americana on the beadboard walls.
What brought us back last weekend was our memory of all this. Just after the 5p open, our three-generation gang settled into the big table in the back of the main dining room.
The menu changes regularly, befitting a true farm-to-table outfit (Firth and his wife/partner, Bettina, own a farm nearby), but stalwarts include brick chicken and tagliatelle. Both dishes held up beautifully: the chicken pair with delightfully chunky roasted potatoes and chimichurri, and the fresh pasta — served on this night with pulled pork — so good our table ate two servings’ worth.
The bar was already shoulder-to-shoulder by the time we departed, the familiar building buzz of an enduring favorite. I’m not sure when, but we’ll be back. –Lockhart Steele
→ Prairie Whale (Great Barrington, MA) • 178 Main St. • No reservations, except for parties of 6.