Fiddleheads Grille: New location, and a new coat of paint

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GREAT BARRINGTON — A lot has happened that partners Cindi Joyner and Dave Pullaro didn't expect when they moved their restaurant, Fiddleheads Grille, from the Greenock Country Club in Lee to a large "Smurf-blue" building on Route 7.

They weren't anticipating: That the building they purchased would not have running water or proper electricity; that it would be difficult to find restaurant employees in South County; that they'd be pulling so many customers from Connecticut and New York; or that they'd have enough business to stay open seven days a week right from the start — and during the winter off-season.

"I had projected 35 people a day going into winter," Pullaro said. "We haven't had a day under 40 [customers] and that was our worst day."

What's drawing people to the new Fiddleheads?

The bright blue paint the couple applied to the exterior of the former beige Route 7 Grill certainly helps.

"Drivers are going by at 50 to 60 mph, we wanted to stand out," said Pullaro, who said the shade of blue reminds him of the Smurfs cartoon.

More than that, though, Pullaro and Joyner said it's their fresh food and warm ambiance that is attracting customers. The two started Fiddleheads at the country club in 2014 and decided to strike out on their own when their lease expired at the start of 2018. They bought their Route 7 restaurant, 999 South Main St., in Great Barrington, in July for $255,000.

Customers "like that everything here is homemade," said Joyner, who bakes all the sweets for the restaurant. Pie is always on the menu; on Tuesday the choices were banana cream or apple.

"We've got good food and reasonable prices," she said.

Before Fiddleheads, Pullaro was chef at Perigee in South Lee, and before that, chef manager at the Lenox Club. Joyner's culinary finesse is self-taught.

Fiddleheads Grille serves traditional American fare, which means you'll find comfort food from around the world and around the corner on the menu. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu includes fish `n' chips, pork schnitzel, grilled salmon, house-smoked barbecue, veal Parmesan, meatloaf, Thai mussels, falafel, fish tacos and a smoked-turkey club. Entrees cost $12 to $29.

Fiddlehead's new location expands on Joyner and Pullaro's ability to serve. Their new space has two large bars — one tin, one yellow wood — and a giant, stone dual-side fireplace in the center of the main dining room. An outside patio provides space for 50 diners. The partners said they're looking forward to serving diners at small tables and hosting parties, banquets and wedding.

"In general, we were looking for a place where we could do some catering," said Pullaro, who lives in Great Barrington with Joyner.

"I looked at restaurants in Lenox and Stockbridge and Great Barrington," he said. "Great Barrington used to not have such great restaurants 10 years ago. Now, it's a restaurant hub and a lot of people are happy to have us here."

Kristin Palpini can be reached at kpalpini@berkshireeagle.com, @kristinpalpini, 413-629-4621.


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