GUIDO'S: MAZZEOS MEAT & SEAFOOD
“I wish they had a Guido’s in New York. It’s a mostly organic grocery store that has fantastic brands. It’s like a Citarella, but it’s not about being fancy; it’s about being good. There’s an incredible meat market, fish, vegetables and fruit. There are interesting things to discover — dairy and ice creams and cheeses. And of course, a lot is local. It’s my main grocery store.” Adam Lippes’s Guide to the Berkshires | The New york times T magazine
"It is a go-to stop. Within Guido’s is Mazzeo’s Meat and Seafood run by brothers Mark and Rudy and they have a fantastic selection: certified black angus, 30-day aged meats, grass-fed local beef, fantastic air-chilled chickens as well as great shellfish and fish – their selection is equal to any market in Manhattan." Chef Alfred Portale’s The Berkshires | FIND.EAT.DRINK
Rudy Mazzeo, descends from a long line of butchers, “My father was a butcher and so was my grandfather.” Rudy runs the meat and seafood department at Guido’s, and his brother Michael manages the Pittsfield store, also inside Guido’s.
Their father, Rodolfo, and their uncle, Pasquale, started Mazzeo’s Market in Pittsfield in 1960. That classic Italian market had the romantic charm so characteristic of family-run Italian markets. Extending the tradition, Rudy and Michael now manage Mazzeo’s Meat and Seafood from inside Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, and their family’s history of service is still alive and well in their commitment to their customers.
If you’re familiar with Mazzeo’s Meat & Seafood in Guido’s, you know the meat and seafood is always excellent, always fresh. What makes Mazzeo's exceptional is the extensive variety of choice – 18 homemade sausages, 8 kinds of stuffed chicken, marinated lamb, pulled pork, and all kinds of cuts of steaks and roasts. Mazzeo’s gets high marks from professional and dedicated home cooks. Many local chefs from the Berkshires shop there as well.
Seafood is delivered fresh several times each week. The salmon comes from the Faroe Islands, and wild salmon and halibut are FedExed direct from Alaska. Most everything else is brought in from Boston or New York. Rudy says they get lots of celebrity chefs buying their meat and seafood, and one chef in particular from New York City says he has the “best fish around”.
The butchers behind the counter are rich in personality and warmth, and they probably know most people in Berkshire County, because they LISTEN to you, then give you advice. It’s not unusual to see them in vegetable aisles talking about the best herbs for roasting meats.
In the Great Barrington meat market, Rudy, Germana, Rob, Mark D. and Mark Mazzeo are the real thing. And Ed and Sue work the fish. In the Pittsfield store, Mike Mazzeo, Sean, Dave, Jack, Shane, Scott work the meat counter and Mike and Charleston do the fish. They want you to be happy, and they want you to come back – and everyone does come back.
HOLIDAY FAVORITES Favorite holiday meats are filet or rib roast. Mazzeo’s prepares the center cut filets differently from most other butchers – they take the strap andsilver side of the beef off. NY Strip roast is increasingly popular, and Mazzeo’s does a nice job trimming it and tying it up. The beef at Mazzeo’s is grass fed and grain finished. Rudi says the grain gives it more fat and taste. More favorites for the holidays are:
- Turkey breast stuffed with a cranberry walnut stuffing
- Chicken breast with apple stuffing, sausage stuffing or cranberry walnut stuffing
- Lamb racks marinated with fresh mint, parsley, rosemary and canola oil, with balsamic vinegar to break down the meat
- Sausage – Mazzeos’s makes its own. Some favorites include:
- Chicken, spinach & feta
- Sweet Italian pork (from Rudi’s father’s recipe, “way back”)
- Salmon, fresh halibut and tuna (sushi grade) are all popular during the holidays
- Shrimp is also a big seller – both raw and cooked
Mazzeo’s serves all kinds of customers, from those who want something already prepared, to the cook looking for a special cut. What’s great about the Mazzeo pros is their approachability and commitment to service. The place gets ultra-busy sometimes, but these professionals show tremendous grace and patience, and they really know how to take care of you.
RECIPE: Mazzeo's Sausage Stuffed Chicken Breasts
1 small onion
3 stalks celery
1/2 bunch fresh thyme
2 sprigs tarragon
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
2 sprigs rosemary
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
1 quart croutons
1 quart chicken stock
2 lbs. sweet sausage (out of casing)
4 boneless chicken breasts (with skin)
Chop and sweat onions and celery. Add pork and cook through. Add chicken stock, tarragon, thyme and all seasoning (leaves off stems). Bring to boil and simmer 10 minutes. Pour over croutons and cheese and mix well. (Pour and mix gradually, so the liquid is soaked up by the croutons. If the bread is nicely saturated by the liquid and you can shape the stuffing into a ball, then you've added enough stock. If the croutons become too wet to shape into a ball, then add more croutons.)
Shape stuffing mixture into a ball and stuff into chicken breast cavity (leftover stuffing can be frozen for later use.) Grease bottom of baking dish with olive oil and place chicken breast in the dish - stuffing side down, chicken skin up. Brush top of chicken breast with olive oil and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
Article by Caroline Alexander/ written for EDIBLEberkshires Fall 2014