Wednesday night's menu began with these duck croquettes. They reminded one guest of the goose croquettes she used to make back in the day, which I took as a supreme compliment.
The main course was a beef "roulade" - slices of beef filled with bread crumbs, bacon and Swiss cheese. This received muted comments, mostly because the meat was a little "toothsome". The flavor was very good, but after the first couple orders we began placing a steak knife alongside the plate...
Dessert was bread pudding with caramel sauce. We were a little busy during prime time, but it dwindled down to nothing by 7:30; at 8 o'clock all the remaining customers - about 4 tables worth - were all up and leaving the dining room at the same time! The dark weather this time of year traditionally cuts the dining hour short, and you have to wonder, around here, who gets any dinner business after 7:30 or 8? On the weekends we see plenty of traffic on the later side, but during the week, not so much.
In other news, Kevin was moved to document my latest posture:
Texting while walking. Who ever knew? Whatever works, eh? From the look on my frowning face, it's not good news, as usual, on the screen of the cell phone.
Speaking of good news, we had a visit from EMR today, to repair the all important convection oven and replace a part in the food processor. For those who may not be familiar with the company, EMR stands for Expensive Motor Repair. Ha! Just kidding, EMR! We love you! This is the only company I know of that you can call for your commercial equipment who will actually show up when they say they will and do the job the first time. Yes, they are expensive - you never want to call them. As a matter of fact, when the repairman left this morning, Kevin warmly said "Thanks. I hope I never see you again." It's $112 minimum for the first trip, $68 for any returning trip and $75 an hour for labor while they are here. So, when you call them, it better be for a good reason.
New Year's Eve reservations are currently being taken - as a matter of fact, prime hours are just about gone. We have not fine tuned the menu as closely as I would like to have by now, but that doesn't seem to be stopping our regular NYE guests. Thank Goodness! The entree choices have been narrowed to veal and salmon, but the particulars have not revealed themselves as yet. This week the Chef is going to be experimenting with quail and foie gras - hmmm, nothing wrong with that! I hope to be able to report back to you on the results!
Speaking of experimenting, we tasted a pretty decent California Cabernet last night, from Newton Vineyards in Napa, that is price-worthy as well. It's a blend - which is probably why I liked it - with 76% Cab. I could actually pick out the black cherry flavors, and while it may be a little light for some, it was smooth and without the harsh tannins I find disarming in some young Cabernets. This one will soon be on our list by the bottle, which will be a great relief to all of those who have requested a Cab selection for their drinking pleasure.
We've also got a nice selection of Big Beers going lately. The biggest - in terms of flavor and appearance - is probably Firestone Walker's Double Jack: 22 ounces of Imperial IPA. Add to this a couple of Sam Adams' small batch selections in the same 22 ounce format - notably the Voyager, which is a double IPA, and the Vixen, a chocolate chile bock. I have tasted only the latter, of which you could definitely pick up on the dark chocolate lurking in the background, but not so much the chile, at least not so much that it was spicy. Both very good beers, and both perfect for when you want to have just "one". As in "Honey, I only had one beer."
Cheers! And take note: eggnog time will soon be here!