First course was a small spinach salad garnished with sun-dried tomatoes, pine nuts and goat cheese, dressed with the balsamic vinaigrette. The spinach is a new product we got from Teddy Bear Fresh; called Bordeaux Spinach, it has a little red in the stems and is very tender, perfect for salads. (Have I told you yet how happy we are with TBF - they are really great and our biggest regret is that we didn't call them sooner!)
As did Angie's lemon angel food cake, with it's smear of lemon glaze, which was the perfectly light dessert.
Of course the menu wasn't the only meal we served last night. Mussels have returned to the kitchen, and here is Rodrigo prepping a bag for service.
They are PEI mussels, which, while farm raised and available all year, are typically better in the winter months, when the water is colder and the mussels are fatter.
Last night we served them with a coconut curry sauce, which had a tiny bit of heat. This is personally my favorite way to eat them, with a creamy sauce that gilds the mussels. You need a spoon!
Rockfish was on the special list too last night, topped with a couple of the soon-to-be-famous fried oysters. The important thing to note here is that the oyster garnish is gluten free, being dredged in a mixture of corn and rice flours before frying. It surprised me how many people ordered the rockfish sans oysters - I kept trying to get Kev to give me their unwanted oysters, to no avail.
In other news, Chef Kevin will be working on Sunday. Well, sort of working. He'll probably be drinking a beer while he helps man the grills at the Second Annual Andy's Burger Night (Revisited) at Unity Nursery on Sunday. He will be grilling some sliders, along side Chef Robbie Jester, from Harbor House, at the Washington College Center for Environment and Society sponsored event. The burgers will feature ground beef from four local growers: Roy Crow's Angus beef, Sassafras River Beef from Cecilton, Chestertown's own Cedar Run, and, of course our favorite, St. Brigid's grass fed Jersey beef from Kennedyville. The rest of the menu will also spotlight local, as in Colchester and Against the Grain, not to mention 16 Mile and Cassinelli. What a line-up! It was a lot of fun last year, despite some organizational glitches, which means this year will be even better. Arranged by Andy and Tara, fueled by Eastern Shore food and drink, and entertained by local music, this is a day to get out and do.
Speaking of all things local, this man you see running from my camera is none other than Fairlee entrepreneur Melvin Thompson. Melvin and his wife own Chestertown Paper, and have to be two of the hardest working people I know. We have been buying just about all of our paper goods and a few of our cleaning supplies from Melvin for our entire restaurant career here in K.C., which is going on 26 years. You call him and he delivers - or rather, lately, Melvin Junior delivers - often the next day. If he doesn't have it, he can usually get it. When he's not driving around the county delivering paper products, he and his family can be found in the evening hours cleaning offices, banks and stores throughout the area. I don't think he ever stops.
Not even to have his picture taken. Unknown to me, Melvin is apparently camera-shy. He says he wouldn't even let his wife take a picture of him at the family reunion, so if I took one and she saw it, "I'm dead", he says. Hence the ducking around the corner with the collar rolled up...