Hasn't September been exceptionally beautiful? And don't we deserve it?
Last night's menu was different but similar. The opening act was the goat cheese flan which we have seen both on the menu and on the specials list lately. It was garnished with honey-spiced almonds for a sweet crunch.
New to our menu is the lamb burger. Sort of a Salisbury Lamb Steak. Looked good under it's saucy glaze. I didn't get a picture of the Swedish Apple Cake, which was the menu dessert, but you can see it here.
And we were very busy. We had many guests following a talk at the college, including two large parties, so we were kept hopping.
And now, the weekend update...
Kevin went to visit his Dad in Florida this past weekend, with the plan being that Jay would be in to cover his lunch shift on Tuesday and Kevin would be back by 5PM and dinner service. That would have been an excellent plan, had a few extraneous events not collided to give us pause. First, on the Thursday preceding the important weekend, Jay experiences a family emergency which calls him away from the area for an unknown length of time. We manage to make it through last week's burger night with Arthur on the griddle and Rodrigo back on his old place in the middle of the line. Arthur's station is covered by substitute Rayvon, whose shift is covered by...no one. Rayvon does double duty, sliding back and forth between the dish and the cold station. Friday night Kevin and Rodrigo work the line by themselves, with Arthur back on the salad station, working with trainee Justin. (Whoa! I just saw a goose fly into the pond behind our parking lot! Fall really is arriving!) Saturday night - with multiple large parties on the book - saw Arthur back on the line and Cherelle picking up the cold station shift, after working her day porter shift as well.
We are so so so lucky that these guys can do all of this - work station to station, shift to shift. There is no way two people could have worked that line on Saturday night - it was difficult enough with someone who wasn't quite fully trained. I suggested to Kevin that he might want to "dumb down" the menu, make it a little easier to put out, but he felt it was going to be fine just the way it was. And he was right. The only conciliatory move he wanted to make was to reconsider entertaining a party at the kitchen table. We had a Chef's Menu reservation for 6:30, at the kitchen table, and I knew the couple was very excited about the whole idea, so I was understanding but reluctant to break the news to them. My fears were unfounded - Nick and Brittany were very cool about having their special dinner in the dining room, and we made arrangements for them to sit at the Kitchen Table on a less stressful night. Meanwhile, Kevin sent them out a fabulous 5 (or 6?) course dinner, which I think they really enjoyed.
So. We make it fairly unscathed through the weekend, and Sunday morning Kevin flies to Florida. Due to the uncertainlty of Jay's ETR, Kevin considered changing his ticket to a return on Monday, but when we discovered that it would cost almost 40% more to change the ticket than it cost in the first place, he decided to keep it as it was. As long as he was back by dinner service on Tuesday - and he would be, as far as we could tell - the lunch crew would be fine on their own.
You can imagine my relief when we heard from Jay on Tuesday morning that he would be here at noon as scheduled.
Well, remember the weather on Tuesday afternoon? Kevin's flight was delayed taking off, and delayed even further getting down to BWI. He was going to be over an hour late. We decided that Jay and Rodrigo could work the dinner line alone until Kevin got there - Tuesdays are usually pretty quiet and there is very little that Jay cannot do that is usually Kevin's role. We were not going to have to stop service after lunch.
So, when Kevin finally rolled in, close to 6:30, everything was in full swing. Several tables in the dining room, several tickets on the line, several parties already finished. I can't remember a service without Kevin being in the kitchen - and I am not encouraging another one - but it was a relief to know that his kitchen crew has what it takes to step up to the plate when we really need them to.