For a rural, sparsely populated area, we are blessed with many excellent restaurants, and are doubly blessed that there are so many local farms to supply those restaurants with everything from meat and dairy to fruit and vegetables. One of my favorite restaurants, and one which takes great advantage of our locally grown food, is John Andrews Restaurant in South Egremont, Massachusetts.
The gaily painted restaurant is surrounded by extensive gardens.
In nice weather, the back deck beckons – a relaxing spot to have a drink and enjoy the gardens, several sculptures, and old out buildings that date from when the place was a farm.
The restaurant describes itself as a farmhouse restaurant, and a special midweek prix fixe menu shines the spotlight on a different farm supplier each week. One week it might be Indian Line Farm in South Egremont, one of the first CSA’s in the country. Another week it might be Cool Whisper Farm, just down the road from the Inn in Hillsdale, which raises pigs, chickens and Highlander cattle – you know those beautiful cattle with the long horns, and shaggy red coats. And if you haven’t ever seen one, I will show you the way to that farm.
The restaurant has a modern vibe inside, with Venetian plastered walls, and simple sconces. The back room has the feeling of a porch, with large floor to ceiling windows opening out onto the pretty back gardens.
Of course, the main reason to visit John Andrews is to enjoy the inventive meals created by chef/owner, Dan Smith. I am one of those people who finds a favorite dish, and tends to order it over and over. I have a hard time straying from the delicious duck, served rare, and the sweet breads, which no one does better. However lately, my favorite dinner option is to sit in the bar and order the mussel appetizer and a salad. The mussels are served in a bacon, roast tomato and pastis broth, and I can assure you, none of that broth goes back to the kitchen! Did I mention all the pasta served at the restaurant is house made, as is the ice cream? Whatever you order, the food is delicious. So let me make a reservation for you the next time you are visiting the Inn at Green River!