"I had a vision of what the town needed. I thought it could use something that was affordable for everybody, but still with the upscale feel of a New York restaurant."
April 5, 2004
By: Paul King
Laura Shack can appreciate that things need to be changed. A New York City native who decided to change her life 13 years ago by moving to the Berkshire Mountain region of western Massachusetts, the chef-owner of Roseborough Grill knew last year that it was time to change the look and menu of her restaurant.
"I had a vision of what the town needed," says Shack, the former owner of off-premises caterer Place Settings in Manhattan. "I thought it could use something that was affordable for everybody, but still with the upscale feel of a New York restaurant."
Roseborough Grill, Shack explains, was a "country-style, antique-filled" space with a menu of American comfort foods, along with some Asian influence. "It had a dark-green and dustry-rose color scheme," she adds. "I liked the restaurant, but it had become tired."
Through the early part of 2003, Roseborough Grill was closed while Northampton, Mass. architect Thomas Douglas enriched the space with mahogany and oak and warm lighting. Shack turned to the menu and decided to create an eclectic mix of main courses, light plates and tapas, hoping to satisfy the wide variety of customers who come to the dinner-only restaurant, which was christened Firefly.
"The tapas took right off," Shack says of the menu, which includes meatballs with garli and tomato, roasted red pepper and feta dip with grilled pita bread, marinated white anchovies, buttery braised cabbage with chorizo and saut̩ed garlic shrimp. Tapas have proved to be particularly popular with the regulars who crowd around the mahogany bar that greets diners when they enter the restaurant, she adds.
Lenox restes in the heart of the Berkshires, a popular summer vacation spot that offers such attractions as the Norman Rockwell Museum and Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Shack, who noted that she often would summer in the Berkshires with her parents, came to Lenox in the summer of 1990, looking to escape the frenetic pace of the Big Apple temporarily.
"When I ran my catering business, I would usually take the summers off because business was slower then and get away to Europe or some other fun place. I decided to come up here that year and took a job at the Church Street Caf̩, and I never left."
Shack worked at Church Street until the end of the year, when she was able to acquire a space right down the street, where she opened Roseborough Grill.
With Lenox being fairly close to the Eastern Seaboard, Shack says she likes to make good use of available seafood and features fish often in her nightly specials. The one fish item on the current menu, grilled whole rainbow trout, is one of Firefly's biggest sellers. Other big sellers include the Count Neck clams with chorizo, warm duck confit salad and a braised Milanese lamb shank.
Shack also has taken the organics trend to heart, joining a cooperative that provides her restaurant and others with a variety of locally grown produce and other items. "The biggest challenge here is always the availability of product," Shack explains, "I like to change the menu every three to four months and keep things interesting and exciting for us and for the customers."
From casual cocktail parties to elegant and formal dinners, Firefly offers catering services for a wide range of events. With menu choices to delight all palates and options for every budget Firefly will make sure your event is truly memorable. Contact Firefly today to start planning your celebration.