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On the Menu - Heritage Beef at The Backroom

January 20, 2016

On a cold winter weekend night, there is no warmer spot to cozy up in for a delicious and inventive meal than The Backroom in Pittsfield. In the summer and fall months, Kevin Lasko and Katie Stiles are busy running Vermont Farms Catering, but once the temperature drops, they open their small, pop-up style restaurant in the back of Pittsfield Original General Store (also run by the couple) and let the menu run wild - wherever Chef Kevin’s inspiration leads him. The restaurant seats only 20 people, and the vibe is like a lively dinner party – with an acclaimed chef at the helm.

The menu at The Backroom is always a surprise, and guests are often treated to local fare with a story attached. This weekend and next, Kevin’s inspiration for his menu is Randall Cattle, Vermont’s own heritage breed, raised at Newhall Farm. Kevin connected with Ted and Linda Fondulas of Newhall Farm on his search for heritage turkeys for a Thanksgiving themed meal this fall. Ted and Linda had just the birds he was looking for, and also sparked his interest in the Randalls – a few of which they’d have available for meat. 

Randall Cattle are a unique breed and quite different from a typical beef cow. They are harder to breed and slower to mature but are docile and have good mothering instincts, which makes them well suited to raise humane, pastured, rose veal. Chef Kevin will work with Randall rose veal for this weekend's dinner and Randall beef for the next. While Chef Kevin will wait until he has the product in hand to experiment and create the menu, he did let us know a few of his plans for the beef. “We are getting many different cuts from Rib Eyes (which we will dry age for a couple weeks and use at a later point), long bone short ribs, tongue and stew meat. We will most likely do some tartar and perhaps a terrine for cocktail hour, maybe a stuffed pasta or take on bolognese for the first course and some kind of roast for the entrée.”

Kevin and Katie only have a few spots open for the Randall dinner on January 30th - this weekend's dinners are sold out, as is their beef dinner on the 29th. They are open Fridays and Saturdays through the winter by reservation. Guests this winter can expect, as always, locally focused meals but also inspiration from their recent honeymoon trip to Italy! Stay tuned for special dinners with Vermont beverage producers Stonecutter Spirits and Foley Brothers Brewing, and new Sunday Suppers featuring classics like Roasted Chicken and Beef Bourguignon (with a Backroom twist, of course) at a slightly lower pre fixe of $35 per person.

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