THE OLD INN ON THE GREEN
Chef Peter Platt and Meredith Kennard own The Old Inn on the Green in New Marlborough, MA, just outside of Great Barrington. INTERVIEW: “When people think of the Inn, it’s hard to separate the historic nature of the property from the restaurant. It was built in 1760 as a stagecoach stop, and to this day we accept travelers. People have their dinners downstairs and retire to their rooms upstairs. Our dining rooms are entirely lit by candles. So, when people dine here they really get the feeling of stepping back in time. They find that the cuisine here is contemporary, but the surroundings are historic.”
“Our service, and the nature of the food and the way we cook all lend itself to a certain casual elegance that works really well at the Inn. I think it also is in tune with the way this whole country is going. We’ve always been this sort of a place where you don’t have to feel like you’ve got to get dressed up, and yet you come with expectations of a wonderful wine list and excellent, extraordinary food. The cuisine here was described once as food that you can eat every day. And, I think that’s a nice way to look at it.”
“In terms of the simple preparations that we have here, they are grounded in quality of ingredients and the seasonal nature of our menu. We change … we can change items every day: that reflects what’s fresh and what’s good and what we feel like cooking. In the meantime, as an owner, I listen to the reaction of our guests and the reaction of the wait staff and try to please our customers.”
“It’s a personal cuisine. It’s a cuisine that we feel like cooking. So, we’re not trying to fit into a certain category. Sometimes we have Asian influenced ideas, sometimes they’re Central American ideas, sometimes they’re European ideas, sometimes they’re entirely local ideas. If we’re doing something with wild ramps and local bacon and shad roe, wild asparagus – those are all things that are native to this area.”
“I enjoy cooking food in a simple fashion, so the flavors of the chicken or the meat or the fish come through very clearly. I don’t like masking the flavors with a lot of seasoning or heavy sauces. I like serving fish in broths or chicken with reductions made out of the stock that we get. They’re flavored with herbs and done very simply."
"I cook behind the line, and I cook every night. I get pleasure from cooking things properly, sending them out just the way I like it, and hopefully getting good feedback from customers. We do a lot of repeat business, and I think for certain people they really like what we do.”