So, what’s in name?
Well, the title of the new, spirited eatery replacing the old Brix Wine Bar alludes to the curious case of railroad worker Phineas Gage whose unlikely survival from a large iron rod rocketing through his skull, was followed by peculiar changes in the man’s behavior. Hypotheses abound as to why the severing of a portion of Gage’s frontal lobe led to an apparent string of changes in the once-dependable Phineas that included the “inability or refusal to hold a job, heavy drinking, bragging, lying, gambling, brawling, bullying, and thievery” – or in other words – a complete lack of morals, never mind a moral high ground.
Hence, this new restaurant’s tongue-in-cheek name offers a “whimsical” reflection of what the owners say is a real change in attitude.
“It’s going to be very different in atmosphere and our approach to the community,” said part-owner Jenn Jennings, who recently moved to the Berkshires with her family, including her husband and two young daughters. “We wanted to take away any feeling of pretentiousness” that was apparent based on feedback they received from the community.
Still, for those who enjoyed the finest dishes Brix had to offer, Jennings says that the new Phin’s will still offer items of “superior quality” like their fried oyster salad, venison sausage, or beef tartare, but unlike before, you’ll also be able to order a burger or even a grilled cheese sandwich.
So, sophisticated, but not snooty.
Jennings became acquainted with the former Brix in its earliest days during visits to the Berkshires, and became friends with fellow owner Joad Bowman, who can be credited for instilling a finer dining experience at Brix as the eatery evolved. Now as owners, Bowman and Jennings are putting their stamp on the offerings as well as the space.
When you step foot inside 40 West Street, the change is inescapable. Just begin with the appearance of a new bar, the installation of which is documented with photos on Phin’s facebook page.
It’s also hard to miss the fact that there are chalkboards on the tables and walls, creatively painted bathroom walls, and a bright array of colors that imply fun over stuffiness.
For Taste of the Berkshires Phin’s will offer vegetable skewers with balsamic glaze and also a selection of beef and chicken skewers. Use the skewers carefully, Phineas’ cerebral cortex appreciates it.
With their website still under construction, Phin’s has a hopping facebook presence, so check it out, call 413-236-9463, or stop by any day from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at 40 West Street.
We’ll be back Monday with another Taste!
Meanwhile, log onto the Taste of the Berkshires facebook page to learn more about the event, buy tickets and learn more about the Junior League of the Berkshires.