Berkshires After Dark: Delicious dining at the Mohawk
It's about time one of us wrote about the Mohawk Park Family Campground Restaurant & Pub. Phew. That's a long name. Let's call it the Mohawk from here on out.
The Mohawk is located in the beautiful backcountry area of Charlemont, close to several campgrounds and outdoor adventures along Route 2.
For my latest trip to the Mohawk, friends and I started the day off right with some tubing on the Deerfield River. Now, I know this part isn't "after dark," but while we still have some nice weather working for Berkshire County, why not take a whole day to explore this northern region?
After renting some tubes for newcomers to the river at Hyytinen Hollow (www.hyytnenhollow.com) in Charlemont, we headed to one of several spots to launch into the river. You can ask the locals where's best to set tube, as our launching point is hard to describe -- I'm sworn to secrecy on this one. But there are plenty of wonderful spots to put your butt in the water.
To give a timeline, and following the dam release (you can't go tubing without the "bubble." Check out www.h2oline.com/255123.asp for the daily release schedule), we got in the water around 1:30 p.m. and floated for about four hours.
Just in time for dinner, we drove to the wonderful beacon of food hope that is the Mohawk. If you wanted to, you could rent a campsite here and stay the night to make it a full-fledged camping excursion. But since we were just hungry, we parked in the dusty lot, changed clothes, and were promptly seated by one of the nicest waitresses I've ever had.
The Mohawk is a pub. There are big TVs lining the walls, a newer jukebox and a pool table set on top of the wood floor. There's a porch off the restaurant, where smokers congregate and enjoy a beer after a day of tubing, hiking, biking, etc.
Back inside, a full bar offers several beers on tap, including some Massachusetts brews, for a relatively reasonable price. I got a Harpoon IPA, which ran me about $6.
For dinner, the tortellini casserole ($15) was a warm, hearty meal that filled me up immediately.
A light breadcrumb topping, chicken, broccoli and cheese-filled pasta was enough for three meals total.
Previous visits to the Mohawk had me ordering a haddock Reuben -- just like a regular Reuben, but with a piece of fish. This was one of the dinner specials earlier this year, and I have to say that it should be a staple on the menu. That was the best sandwich I had had in a long time.
The Mohawk also offers delicious appetizers, including crab-stuffed mushrooms ($9), and soups.
For dessert -- in honor of 1) my friends getting married; and 2) my grandfather's recent passing -- shots of Jameson whiskey went around the table. I will say that shots and fancier alcoholic beverages are not cheap at the Mohawk, but they are well-prepared and served quickly.
As you're enjoying your meal, take a look around the joint. The décor, in my opinion, describes Berkshire County: eclectic, random, sporty and a little kitschy. To fill out the size of the restaurant -- which includes a banquet area -- with any decoration must be a task. The trinkets on the walls continue to grow in numbers and the meals keep getting better and better at the Mohawk.
If you're looking for an end-of-summer trip, I fully recommend taking friends and family up north to Charlemont. Rent some tubes, hop in the water, and explore the awesome forests.
After working up an appetite, head down the road to the Mohawk for food and spirits -- and maybe a night of camping. The stars are bright out there in the north country, but hurry up to catch a glimpse.
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.