Out and about Grumpy and Mrs. Grumpy in the company daughter and son-in-law stopped at the Barrington Brewery in Great Barrington, MA for diner. Had never been there at dinner time and was pleasantly surprised at the selection of menu items.
I warned our vegetarian son-in-law going in that the pickings might be slim, but again was surprised at the numerous choices available.
The Barrington Brewery, as the name implies, runs their own line of brews and boasts the only craft brewed beer by solar power. Grumpy doesn’t know what that means except that those pieces of equipment that run on electricity are powered by solar array in the side yard. Makes Grumpy feel good that the brews he consumes here required no energy other than that supplied by Ole Sol.
Their list runs to eighteen unique brews, although not all are available at one time. Some are seasonal. Selection runs from Black Bear Stout on the dark and strong side through Barrington Blond a light pale ale but with plenty of body. A new personal favorite is their New Englander. A pale ale brewed from hops from the Connecticut river valley and barley from Maines potato fields. Matches well with most menu items, not overpowering for dishes such as fish and able to hold its own with buffalo wings. They do offer sampler board of five of their brews. Have yet to try it, Grumpy has decided tastes and has to drive after the experience.
Soup or salad comes with all full dinner entrées. Most had the salad but Grumpy, being a contrary individual, ordered soup, a spicy vegetable. Chock full of vegetables with hardly enough room for the tasty broth, this could have been a satisfying meal on its own. Looks of envy from his dining companions suggested they had made the wrong choice.
Grumpy’s dinner selection was herbed baked cod. Hesitated a bit over the selection as it is not usually a wise choice in a pub-like atmosphere. But being cautiously adventurous, he selected it. The light flakey cod was served over a bed of spinach. The whole dish was infused with a white wine sauce that included tomatoes, onions and garlic. The herb package was a subtle blend but rosemary predominated with an undertone of basil. Grumpy expected to manage only a portion of the mound of spinach, but the infused flavor was such, there was only a clean plate at the end of the meal.
There was no need to worry about vegetarian options. There are fifteen listings between appetizers and main menu, that’s not counting the seafood selections.
Two of us had the herbed cod, one fish and chips and the fourth the BBQ brisket sandwich. I got to try the leftovers from the brisket—lean meat, tender, in a BBQ sauce that made its presence known but did not overpower.
The fish and chips, breaded, sautéed and baked came as two massive filets along with the chips. Looked good, but one filet came home. Our cats enjoyed the leftovers.
Ambiance = 8
This is a pub atmosphere and loud. Our group was seated near the bar with a playoff game in progress with all of the cheering and jeering going on. There is a dining room but it is open to the bar so the pub atmosphere seeps in there as well. One does not go to Barrington Brewery for a quiet dining experience. Taking that into consideration, it deserves an “8” It’s a great pub that serves wonderful food.
Food = 9
The quality the food was high on all of the dishes our group ordered. An element of creativity pervades most offerings without being overbearing and off the charts on the wild side. Good solid cuisine served with a unique twist.
Service = 8
Despite the crowded conditions, our waitress was attentive to our needs. Only a few minor waits and our table was in another room.
Value = 9
Barrington Brewery keeps their prices reasonable, only one dish above $20.00. Cooking this good at these prices deserves praise and an exemplary ranking for value.