Thursday March 11, 2010

I have a long, long list of nouns (people, places and things) that I have either yet to enjoy or haven't enjoyed in a good long time.

For instance, Nudel on Church Street in Lenox continues to get rave reviews every time I turn around. I hear the chef there is shaking things up with really imaginative dishes.

I long to go back to Elizabeth's on East Street in Pittsfield, where I've enjoyed many a fine meal. Last time I was there, I witnessed a friend propose to his girlfriend. They've been married for like a year now.

I've made it my late-winter resolution (I know, I'm so contrary) to get off my duff and start checking things off the list.

My first check mark sits neatly beside Perigee, a reasonably new restaurant in South Lee. My roommate started working there a while ago and has brought home humorous tales, and sometimes well-enjoyed leftovers, of the creative dishes coming out of the kitchen.

He promised a culinary treat, and I certainly heed his advice when it comes to food. He and I both have a ravenous and adventurous appetite -- never shy about trying something new.

Last Friday, after a long day of work and helping to set up for the IS183 Radioactive Bodega Party (more on that in a minute), I schlepped home to rinse off and put on my fancy pants for a grown-up evening out.

We arrived at Perigee around 8 in the evening and were seated at the bar. I decided a filthy martini was called for and what I received made me happy.

I've stopped ordering dirty martinis. They're never dirty enough. So I make them filthy. If I can see through the thing, I make it again. I want swamp water. And, at Perigee, that's what I got. Good start.

Since my buddy was well versed in the menu, I let him order. Like I said, I'm adventurous -- with food.

Before long, two plates sat before us to share. One was filled with a giant, juicy veal porterhouse. My experience with veal previously had been thin, wobbly, breaded, fried patties. Not appetizing. This was everything I wanted in a cut of meat.

The other plate was overflowing with lobster over pasta with a very light cream sauce. At that moment, I blacked out. When I came to, the plates were empty and I was full.

Fuzzy from an epicurean religious experience, I wasn't upset when I was forced to dive into pumpkin mousse in a marbled chocolate shell and delicious churros -- fried puffs of heaven dipped in chocolate.

An after dinner drink later, and my buddy rolled me to the car. I had to get up early. It was time to get radioactive!

If you missed IS183's Radioactive Bodega this past Saturday you missed, hands down, the most incredible party of the year. (Full disclosure: My employer, Blue Q, is a supporter of the event and I was a volunteer.)

East Coast Refinishing opened their arms wide to the event and welcomed in the most incredibly creative minds I've ever worked with. They turned this 28,000-square-foot industrial cave into another world. It had a dance floor worthy of the hottest New York club (thank you, DJ BFG), a world-class silent auction with contributions from an amazing array of artists and local businesses, free-flowing drinks and decorations that you'd have to see to believe.

Check out www.KevinSprague.com to see what you missed or, see if there are any pictures of you!

Business owners: you want to be part of this. Contact IS183 to see how you can help next year!

n

Now, I'm off to Anaheim for the Natural Products Expo West trade show. It will be as fun as it sounds, I'm sure. But I won't mind another trip to Southern California this winter.I think I hear In-n-Out Burger calling.

If I were home however, do you know where I'd be this weekend? I would be at the Lichtenstein Center for the Arts this Friday between 5 and 7 for the opening reception of my pal Bill Wright's Berkshire Veterans Photography Project. Bill, an accomplished photographer, has snapped Berkshire County Veterans ranging from 22 years old up to 99. It looks really remarkable, and knowing Bill's talent, I know it will be.

Oh well, so I miss the party. It will be on the walls until April 10. Go check it out. I know I will.

To reach Paul Boulais write to readers@berkshireeagle.com