Happy New Year to everyone! I think most of us are glad to be back in our "normal" routine - whatever that is! We had a very successful New Year's Eve - at least from the standpoint of the kitchen. Kevin was ready at 5PM, in time to meet with the dining room staff about the menu and to relax a few minutes before the show began. The guests began to arrive promptly at 5:30 and the parade of plates appeared soon after.
The staff went over the menu with Kevin before service started - it was all new dishes to them, and they had 30 minutes to learn it and be able to explain it to their customers. They practiced with one another until the first guest came through the door, and then it was showtime, ready or not.
The first plates of appetizers await their quail and goat cheese.
The buttermilk fried quail appetizer was a little large, but it sure looked delicious, and was met with positive reviews from diners.
The brick pastry wrapped goat cheese was garnished with the kumquat chutney and fennel.
The garnish for the consomme was a slice of rare SBF sirloin, pierced with a skewer and placed into the hot broth.
Foie gras graced the bowl of chestnut soup.
One of the entree selections was the SBF veal medallion with fried oysters on top and oyster mushrooms as well. That is some of the preserved Meyer lemon you see on the oyster.
The fish selection was Scottish salmon with lobster lasagna - a beautiful plate that seemed to be appreciated by all who ordered it.
The dining room crew did a fabulous job, especially considering they do this once a year! In front you have Kaitlyn and Rhianna, the bussers. In back is Nicole, who ran trays, Ashley, Val the bartender, Lisa and Thomas. It was a busy night, with a lot of stress. Three courses had to be fired by the servers, in order that the meal be paced smoothly for the guest. That was probably the most difficult thing to get used to, plus the fact that everyone had four courses before dessert, not just one or two. The bussers had to do a lot of clearing before they were finished with a table, plus bread service was timed differently than usual. Nonetheless, they managed to get into the swing before long and while things were a little close, reservation wise, no one had to wait for a table. Whew!
For the most part, comments were positive. It wasn't good that we ran out of veal before the night was over, even though we had the back-up plan of Pineland N.Y. Strip to replace it. I think some were really happy to have steak with fried oysters, but the veal would have been a little more "special" and we disappointed a few diners when we had to tell them it was sold out.
Anyway, it's all over for another year. Kevin and his crew put on a spectacular show, and the dining room staff was a terrific support system to get the menu out to the dining room. It wasn't easy. The next few weeks will be slowish, and we sort of look forward to the quieter pace, for a little while anyway! Don't forget, we are open the entire month of January and most of February, with vacation not arriving until the last week of February.