Route7 Grill in Great Barrington, MA-
The Berkshire’s Route 7 Grill is not part of the urbane restaurant scene of downtown Great Barrington, with its shops, galleries and pedestrian traffic. Instead, you have to hop in the car and drive 2 miles south on busy Route 7 to reach this restaurant Nirvana for BBQ meats. But a trip from anywhere to this remodeled road house grill is justified to savor the pleasure of eating locally sourced meats, which have been tenderized by slow-smoked cooking.
A friendly bar area is separated from the casual dining room by a stone fireplace, with two hearths, made of a variety of grey-toned stone, which is sculptural in its beauty. Mark Mendel, the local mason/artist, deserves a special mention: www.montereymasonry.com. Although I’ve been keeping a mostly vegetarian diet, I could not resist the Chef BBQ Tasting for one, which included a moist and tender ¼ chicken, Hereford beef brisket and pulled pork, with the grill’s tangy, sweet and sour BBQ sauce. A side of sautéed spinach and sweet potato fries completed the satisfying meal. My dining companion enjoyed the special of the day of sautéed chicken with local Zehr Farm shiittake mushrooms, capers, in a buttery wine sauce over pasta. The house salad of Equinox Farm greens, Vermont cheddar, apples and smoke almonds was a perfect accompaniment to the excellent pasta dish. The day’s dessert specials were also appealing: a fruit crisp made with local Bartlett Orchard’s apples and a fudge-nut-cream brownie with local SoCo vanilla ice cream. A glass of the lush and juicy Spanish tempranillo blend red Bodegas Lomablanca Gabarda was a natural pairing for the BBQ. When the craving for BBQ made with local, pasture raised meat overtakes you, Route 7 Grill is the destination. The grill deserves special praise for its community involvement in sponsoring a pig roast (local and spit roasted) fundraiser for Project Sprout, a student led gardening project that supplements food served in Great Barrington’s Monument Mountain High School (FB 5/26/10). [Route7 Grill, 999 S Main Street, Great Barrington, MA, 413.528.3235, Lunch: Sat & Sun 11:30AM-3:00PM, Dinner: Mon-Thurs 5:00PM-9:00PM, Fri-Sat: 5:00PM-10:00PM www.route7grill.com]