The Hartness Tavern at The Weston Playhouse

About Town, Cast and Crew, Featured, Meet the Family, Weston News |July 27, 2017

There’s a new kitchen in town

From Left to Right: Head Chef Nick Matush and Sous Chef Ben Minifie. Photo by Lucy Southwell.

For those Weston theatre aficionados looking for a well-rounded experience, the Weston Playhouse proudly offers dining before and after all MainStage productions. This season, The Hartness Tavern has taken over our downstairs kitchen to provide our patrons with fresh, local, farm-to-table cuisine night after night.

Head Chef Nick Matush was born and bred in Vermont and just can’t seem to get enough of the local fare. Also known as The Mad Pickler, Matush has been working for years to create a strong relationship with local foods and farmers. That relationship can be seen in every dish he creates.

“This farm-to-table cuisine is the future of food. I feel like if we aren’t growing the food to support our population, then what’s the point in populating? Food is essential to life and I get to see this firsthand because I cook it.”

Nick Matush. Photo by Amanda Taft. Head Chef Nick Matush. Photo by Amanda Taft.

Matush is also really thankful for his strong team that backs him up every night. “I couldn’t have done any of this without my Sous Chef, Ben. He’s really been a rock. If it wasn’t for him saying we could handle a second restaurant in the Weston Playhouse, I would have just thought it was a crazy idea!”

Sous Chef Ben Minifie is so excited to join the team in Weston where he can create new dishes for every show. “It’s fun that the menu changes for every MainStage show. The next menu is going to be mine, and I’m very excited about it. I think people are pretty set on the restaurants they already go to. Now we get to stir up the pot a little bit and create some variety– maybe we can give them a new experience.”

In addition to Nick and Ben, the kitchen staff consists of Nancy DeBona, Halley Riley-Elliott, and Julianna Sargent. Justin Hyjek of The Homestyle Hostel in Ludlow, VT, assisted in the drink creations for the restaurant. The ingredients used in every dish come from local farms, such as Black River Produce and Evening Song Farm. All of the restaurant’s eggs come from Zedd, a twelve-year-old farm boy from Weathersfield, VT, with 600 laying hens. With all of this support, The Hartness Tavern at Weston Playhouse is truly a community affair.

Nick Matush and Ben Minifie Nick Matush and Ben Minifie enjoying some time off. Photo by Lucy Southwell.

The Hartness House Inn and Tavern in Springfield, VT, is a historic home with a rich history. Stop by the Inn to enjoy some great food, such as the house favorite Dirty Potatoes. If you’re lucky, you may even get a tour from the chefs!

Learn more about The Hartness House Inn & Tavern.

Make a reservation or view the menu today!

Tags: Dinner and A Show, Southern Vermont Dining, The Hartness Tavern, Weston Playhouse Theatre Company


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