Throughout the winter season The Manor House is offering two night packages with 40% off your 2nd night’s stay. We promised ideas on things to do in and around the Norfolk area, and to share our dining adventures so here we go. First stop is in Great Barrington at an amazing restaurant just twenty five minutes from the Manor House after a scenic drive through the lovely antiquing town of Sheffield. Prairie Whale is a term coined in the 1800’s referring to pigs. It is also the name of the restaurant we have fallen in love with.
Owned by Mark Firth, a former partner at the Brooklyn restaurants Marlow & Sons and Diner, we had the pleasure of meeting Mark who was enjoying dinner at the bar along with his guests, many of whom are regulars at this cozy, candlelit renovated old house with a wood burning stove and great music playing from the sound system.
There is a warm neighborhood vibe here. Local beers are on tap. Rich ordered the Big Elm American Lager from a brewery in Sheffield and I had a glass (or two) of Les Here & Iques, a French Red Table wine, which is now my new favorite glass of vino. It was delicious with the charcuterie plate we order that included pork rillettes, head cheese, country pate, cornichons, and the most amazing toast points to slather it all on.
We had a chance to talk to Mark, a hands-on owner who seems to know most everyone in the place, and if he doesn’t know you yet, he soon will. Having left Brooklyn for the Berkshires to raise his young family in the countryside and also raise pigs, his original idea was to deliver his pork to New York restaurants dedicated to farm to table menus, but soon realized the job he is best at is being a restaurateur. He opened Prairie Whale three years ago and serves pork dishes made from grass-fed pigs, vegetables and herbs from his gardens, and sources most other ingredients locally, trying to keep it all within a twenty file radius of Great Barrington throughout most of the year.
We love dining at the bar and sharing food, so next up was the fried chicken with cornbread, jalapeno butter, and mesclun greens. Words cannot describe how delicious this dish was. The cornbread tastes of honey and the butter – oh that big slab of butter. Julia Child would be proud. The chicken is perfectly crunchy and moist and a combination bite of chicken, cornbread and greens it what great restaurant dining is all about. I will be craving this dinner until I can get back to the Prairie Whale, which will be very soon.
Call us to plan your two night getaway at 860-542-5690, and we will assist you with dinner reservations, outdoor activities, shows at Infinity, and any other ideas to make your getaway weekend relaxing and memorable.
~ Rich & Sheila, Innkeepers
The Manor House