Bits and Bites: Food news in the Berkshires

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New menu

If you're stopping by Pittsfield's Marketplace Cafe for lunch this week, you may notice a few new, tasty offerings on the cafe's revamped menu, which rolled out to diners Monday.

"The menu that we have right now is very similar to the one that we started out with five years ago," said Shaun Muldowney, cafe manager. "A few tweaks here and there happened over the years as we introduced a few new items and also the 'Grilled Cheese Academy' to keep things fresh.

"Patrons of our cafe that is in Sheffield may recognize a lot of these new items, as their menu received a similar treatment a few months ago. But this will be the first time that Pittsfield will see such a dramatic, but incredible and delicious change!"

New additions like Gus's Big Boy — a peanut butter sandwich with jam, peanuts, sliced strawberries, bacon and peanut brittle for $7.95 — and the County Porkhouse — spiced braised pork with pickled vegetables, apple, cilantro, and Sriracha cream on a roll for $7.95 — join the chalkboard menu along with new salads and wraps. But don't worry, old favorites like Bartholomew's Gobble and Shay's Rebellion are still available.

For more information, visit http://ourmarketplacecafe.com/.

Hours changing

Effective Tuesday, March 1, Hops and Vines Beer Garden & Brasserie in Williamstown will be closed for lunch. The restaurant's new hours, according to a post on its Facebook page, will be 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Looking for another lunch spot to fill the void?

"No worries — come see us at The Log on Spring Street! Open every day at 11:30 a.m. for lunch," they write on Facebook.

Watch it

Looking for something to watch this weekend on Netflix? Stream Michael Pollan's new documentary series "Cooked" and catch a glimpse of local baker extraordinaire Richard Bourdon of Berkshire Mountain Bakery.

Pollan explores the methods by which cooks mediate "between nature and culture."

To learn more or to watch the trailer, visit http://michaelpollan.com/.

Cheers

The love child of two of your favorite beverage brands is finally here. Berkshire Mountain Distillers recently announced the release of the long-awaited Shays' Rebellion American Whiskey — a unique whisky made in collaboration with the Sam Adams brewery.

This smooth baby has been in the works since the summer of 2012, when the Sheffield-based distillery had the idea to experiment with triple distilling a batch of Samuel Adams Cinder Bock, "a fiery Rauch Bock beer," according to a press release from the distillery.

"The resultant whiskey made from this beer was then aged in Samuel Adams Utopias casks for nearly three and a half years, at which point the team at Berkshire Mountain Distillers felt it had finally reached perfection. Shays' Rebellion American whiskey maintains the smokiness and malt character of the Cinder Bock that it was made from, but finishes with port and dried fruit notes from the Utopias casks that it was aged in, resulting in a mature, complicated and delicious whiskey."

There will only be less than 3,000 bottles of this whiskey released, so if you're interested, grab a one before they run out. We Berkshire County natives are in luck — it's available at the distillery's retail store at 356 South Main St., Sheffield. For more information, visit berkshiremountaindistillers.com.

Fresh bread

On Saturday, celebrate the grand opening of the Bakery at Cricket Creek in Williamstown. From noon to 4 p.m., stop by and get a taste of their new breads and fresh cookies. You'll also get a chance to meet the farm's new baker, Zach, who has been busy baking some crusty, tasty looking loaves.

If you can't make it to the celebration, you can still grab a slice of sourdough and some delicious Cricket Creek cheese at the Farm Store, open Tuesday through Saturday.

For more information, visit cricketcreekfarm.com.

Farmers market

Discover the beauty and versatility of winter vegetables Saturday,March 5, when the Bennington Farmers' Market hosts "Back to Your Roots: Adventures with Winter Vegetables."

Children are invited to listen to vegetable-themed stories and create artwork with potatoes, carrots and other veggies. The 12-and-under crowd can sample sweet potato fries and everyone will have a chance to try roasted squash seeds.

Vendors will give out coloring sheets, word search games and recipes for using winter vegetables. Market bakers will offer goodies such as Chocolate Beet Cake and Carrot Cake with Lime Frosting.

The market is held the first and third Saturday of every month, November through April, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the First Baptist Church, 601 Main St., Bennington, Vt.

For more information, call Audrey Pietrucha, 802-733-6981.


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