The Barn — Bring back the rack of lamb!

I still remember my first time at the Barn at the Williams Inn. The first meal I ever had was a ribeye with truffle fries and salad there for a Gaudino event organized by the psychology department.

The food was excellent and set a strong tone for my exploration of restaurants in Berkshire County. At the Barn you can expect a hot, large portion of great food, a warm and lovely atmosphere and attentive staff.

Rack of lamb shows tender and rare pink at the Barn restaurant in the Williams Inn.
Photo by Scarlet Rusch

Rack of lamb shows tender and rare pink at the Barn restaurant in the Williams Inn.

They offer a rotating seasonal menu, switching every few months with some offerings remaining consistent. My favorite entree is their rack of lamb – generously plump, encrusted with flavor and seasoning, and plentiful. It has consistently been my favorite dish there.

I am also a fan of the calamari, ahi tuna nachos, and crispy cauliflower as appetizers, which seems to be many people’s favorite. The calamari is massive, and I will often visit the Barn by myself and struggle to finish an appetizer and entree.

I’ve also had many of their steaks – ribeyes, prime rib, and New York strips. Their specials are also reliably delicious as was their New Year’s prime rib special.

There’s also a great deal of involvement with the college for programming and events. Their catering for events is splendid. One of their best event items is their custom pastas at various events where we could get anything we liked – shrimp, chicken, mushrooms, vegetables, etc. It was memorably delicious.

One winter I stayed at Williams over winter break, and the college arranged for all students to eat at the Barn for two weeks during the dining hall shut-down. During that time I got to know the staff there. The staff is lively, interesting, and upbeat.

The setting of the restaurant is pleasant and comfortable. The fire pits are also another great feature. I think of sitting down and reading there at the fire. Once another patron in the restaurant paid for my meal at the Williams Inn.

In my last two visits this summer, I’ve noticed a small decline in the quality of dishes prepared at the Barn. I’m hoping that service evens out as we come into fall season, since I’ve enjoyed so many meals here over the years.

The new Williams Inn at the top of Spring Street basks in the morning light.
Photo by Kate Abbott

The new Williams Inn at the top of Spring Street basks in the morning light.

Exploring new tastes

Below is a review of each item I’ve ordered at the Barn.

Ribeye – excellent portion and thoroughly delicious. I’ve had the half holstein (for size), half wagyu ribeye, which is fantastic.

Strip steak – I don’t like it as much as I do the ribeye, but the strip steak is still delicious here.

Cheeseburger – delicious, one of the least expensive options and quite good.

Cream sauce over penne with chicken and mushrooms – I wish it would come back! The Barn served this dish at their custom pasta bar …

Pasta drizzled with a custom sauce sits warm at the Barn restaurant in the Williams Inn.
Photo by Scarlet Rusch

Pasta drizzled with a custom sauce sits warm at the Barn restaurant in the Williams Inn.

Rack of lamb – the best food on the menu, according to me. Juicy, huge portion – two whole racks (in comparison The Red Lion Inn offers four small chops) and perfect flavor. (As of August 2022 it’s not currently on the menu.)

Charcuterie board – I am not super into charcuterie, but a friend of mine would always fight me to order this as our appetizer and he quite enjoyed it.

Calamari – my favorite appetizer. Very crisp, salty, and delicious. I was disappointed by my last order, which was soggy and not so flavorful.

French fries mound high with catsup and mayonaise nearby at the Barn restaurant in the Williams Inn.
Photo by Scarlet Rusch

French fries mound high with catsup and mayonaise nearby at the Barn restaurant in the Williams Inn.

Ahi tuna nachos – Excellent – fantastic flavor and taste. Everyone loved it.

Crab cakes – a close friend’s absolute favorite food at the Barn. He kept ordering crab cakes everywhere after he tried them at the Barn and the ones at the Barn remained his reference.

Sweet chili and cashew cauliflower – this is pretty much everyone’s favorite appetizer at the Barn. I was disappointed the last time I ordered them, but every time I’ve had them before has been delicious.

Sliders – good and too filling! I am not fond of sweet food and these were bbq pulled pork so a little too sweet for me.

Truffle fries – always an enormous portion and delicious – have a sort of sweet layer of flavor to them.

Prime rib – quite tasty, but do not expect a midwest-sized portion of prime rib. This prime rib is good, but small and thin.

Oysters – I was not a big fan of the oysters that I ordered. They were decent, but nothing remarkable.

Clam chowder – a solid clam chowder.

Gelato – it has been a long time, but I remember my gelato being tasty.

Southwestern steak bowl – my steak bowl was lukewarm and disappointing in flavor. I won’t be ordering this again.

Fish tacos – great balance of acidic flavor and crisp fish. I’m ordinarily not a fan of fish tacos, but I enjoyed this one.

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