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Berkshire Palate Expands in Williamstown
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
06:32AM / Saturday, January 04, 2020
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Aaron and Zach Brassard handle kitchen duties with their father, Paul. Brother Nolan, not pictured, runs the business end of the restaurant.


The new location in the Colonial Plaza is 600 square feet bigger than the eatery's original spot.
 
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Berkshire Palate has moved to accommodate its expanding business. 
 
The eatery has moved just a few doors down at the Colonial Plaza into the former EAT — a more suitable location for its cuisine, business, and customers. 
 
"People are really receptive to the menu and I think they like that we are family owned and the food is local," co-owner Paul Brassard said. "They like the creative things we do on the menu and it is never the same old thing."
 
Berkshire Palate is a family business run by Brassard and his sons Nolan, Aaron, and Zach. Nolan handles the business side of Berkshire Palate while the rest of the family runs the restaurant and the kitchen.
 
The Brassards opened in December 2018 in 240A Main St. but just after a year they decided to move to to the larger storefront in December 2019.
 
Paul Brassard said the new spot is 600 square feet larger and not only offers more seating but a much larger kitchen to accommodate Berkshire Palate's growing catering business.   
 
"This kitchen is much better suited for catering," he said. "When we had to do a wedding for 100 people trying to do all of that out of that space was hard and now we don't have to rent a second space."
 
During the busy summer, the small restaurant simply could not handle the large influx of patrons in town for the Williamstown Theatre Festival, he said, describing it as more of a "sandwich shop" size that really did not reflect the high-quality cuisine they were pedaling.
 
"People would come into the other place and think it was a diner," he said. "Two of our best selling dishes are seared scallops with scallion sauce of verde and a beurre blanc sauce with roasted cauliflower. That is not diner food so this fits a little better."
 
Other than the physical storefront, not a lot has changed at Berkshire Palate that is still focused on using quality locally sourced food.  
 
"We keep a pretty tight one page menu. It is very seasonal," he said. "We are closing in on 20 different local food purveyors."
 
Zach stepped out of the kitchen and said this fluctuating menu is often determined by what is available. Meaning he often has to get creative. 
 
"I just see what is available at the farms and things like that and go off that," Zach said. "Winter time there is not a lot available ... potatoes, greens, root vegetables. That is it in the winter."
 
Paul added that there is a noticeable quality to the locally grown food that their customers appreciate. 
 
"We had two bags of pea shoots ... one was the kind you would buy from the supermarket and the other was overflowing and bright," he said. "That is what you get from the farm and this is what you get off the back of a truck ... we really try to use this stuff as much as possible."
 
Paul said this same ingenuity reaches into the catering side of their business and they tailor their menus to what the customer wants.
 
"We did one wedding with spit roasted lamb because that's what they wanted," Paul said. "How many weddings do you go to and get that?" he said. "We did another where the men in the family were all hunters so we set up a venison carving station."
 
Paul said they are happy to be in Williamstown and not only draw a lot of locals but tourists visiting the cultural corridor between Williamstown and North Adams.
 
"It is fascinating every other day we have someone from another part of the world. In the summer it is everyday," he said  "Last weekend we had someone here from Germany ... not too long ago we had some people from Hong Kong."
 
Paul said he and his sons have more plans for the eatery and although did not want to get into specifics, said they are still only in the early phases of their business plan.
 
"We probably have a seven or eight part plan we are probably just entering part three," he said. "But we will be here for a while for sure."
 
Berkshire Palate is open Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday 11:30 to 9 and Friday and Saturday 11:30 to 9:30.
 
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