Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving all the thanks we got....

Cassoulet, oyster stuffing, carrot pancakes, green bean salad, campari cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts, Hirsch Gruner Veltliner, Gruet Pinot Noir, Hardcore (blend from Santa Barbara), pecan pie with Chartreuse whipped cream, Cazadores reposado, Wild Turkey, Old Pulteney scotch, Tecate, Prince, Dead Kennedy's, Hall and Oates, Steel Pole Bathtub. Myself, Karly, Boris, Andrew, Monica, Renee, Janiece, Larissa, Suzi, Cameron, Warren, Meryl and Jenna.
And that's just one day out of 365 in a year.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Three hundred and Seventy Three...

60 bottled beers, 10 drafts, over 240 spirits, 16 specialty cocktails, 23 wines by the glass, 6 sakes, 2 ciders, 3 meads, 19 menu items (not including specials), 4 desserts. Most of which you won't find at the corner liquor store or neighborhood pub. Much of it subject to frequent and unexpected changes.
Keeping staff updated and informed can be a Sisyphean task.
I give this thought today, in the wake of a (yawn) management meeting this afternoon in which the topic, among many, was staff education.
The responsibility for this, of course, does not fall on any one persons shoulders. It takes a village, as they say. But who reaches out for who? 
Do we make ourselves proverbial wells awaiting those thirsty for knowledge? 
Do we become the means and message at once, tracking everyone down, and forcing information on them? Quiz them?
Do I send them out to do research on their own?
Hopefully, all of the above. 
The missing piece, however, is the interaction over the table or bar. 
I am proud of the servers and bartenders, who give thoughtful and thorough service to a rather bustling crowd. 
What surprises me is how few of our guests ask questions!!!
It seems that in a culture that calls bartenders "mixologists" and chefs are television personalities, and cooking/eating the exotic is an extreme sport, someone might be timid to ask what gobo or nocino is. 
This poses some concerns... 
One, that a guest may not know what they are getting, therefore not enjoy it.
Two, afformentioned guest enjoys said dish or drink very much, yet not know what it was.
Three, my staff will atrophy in the absence of challenging questions.
So in a nutshell,  among other strategies, I have a solution.
I am going to invite our guests, specifically blog readers, to attend a number of staff product trainings so that as a community, or better as a family, we can start a dialog.
Then, I can get back to work shaking up my menu and screwing it all up again.
Also... do sign up for our twitter to keep up on nightly specials and events.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


We've got Zane from Vessel hanging out behind the bar. Be there.

Monday, November 17, 2008

99 gallons of beer on a wall....

My kitchen respectfully asks that you try some of our hand crafted draft and bottled ales, so that they might find some room in the walk-in. My back would also appreciate it, full kegs are heavy. Many thanks.
(Fantome Hiver on special, $22 for a 750 ml. )

Monday, November 10, 2008

Good times that won't break the piggy bank.

Fun stuff on the calender.

Sunday December 7, Sutton Sunday Supper with winemaker Carl Sutton. We're gonna cook a whole pig, and pour some of Carl's wines. Starting around 3 and continuing into the evening. Hope to see everyone there.

Also, starting tomorrow...... Happy Hour.

Half price nibbles 5-7pm Monday through Friday.

You know where to find it.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Feuilles Mortes

Autumn is in full swing, clocks turned back, change is all around us. As I fight a spot of post election depression, and pre-holiday anxiety, I am feeling strangely romantic about the whole deal.
This is a time of year that finds us together in front of food and drink celebrating, and it is a season of rich sensory experiences and memories. Today I am taking a bit of time away from the schedules, inventories etc... and turning my mind to the sensations of Autumn, and get some ideas cobbled together for some new jams at the bar.

Roasted, stewed.
crisp apples and pears
roasted squash 
mulling spices
pipe tobacco
wet asphalt

Just a few impressions. Send me your own if you like.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008