The standard question this week, "Are you ready for Christmas?", is generally one I am never at a loss to answer - because I am always ready for Christmas! Who isn't ready for a couple of days off from work, days you spend most of your time eating all sorts of tasty things that you really shouldn't, drinking champagne, sharing gifts and basically acting like you haven't a care in the world? Oh. You mean do I have all my shopping done? My tree up? The cards mailed? Oh. Well. Don't I still have a week?
Last night's pictures of the menu came out a little fuzzy. Not sure why I had such a high failure rate, but it happens, just not typically with almost every shot. Here's what we've got, plus a few extra:
The first course was this spinach salad with roasted apples, carrots and onions, drizzled with a molasses vinaigrette. The vinaigrette was the topic of conversation at one table, where it was debated as to being too strong a flavor or not. It was pretty much a fifty/fifty split. It was certainly an unusual dressing, and one that was well suited to the salad, with it's spinach base and winter vegetable components.
And that's pretty much all I got - the shot of the catfish, spice rubbed and served with LBS, came out so blurry as to be almost unrecognizable as food, and the dessert was vanilla ice cream with peppermint chocolate sauce, not too photogenic. However, there are more reports on BT food to compensate.
As usual, Kevin has grown tired of one of the dishes on the current menu and we will spend the next few weeks verbalizing the change in the chicken dish. He is modeling the new chicken on the ballotine we had for our TG turkey - the breasts are removed from the bird, the leg meat is ground with sage and Smithfield ham and packed into the well of the split breasts.
He then wrapped the breasts into a tube shape with plastic wrap and will poach them to doneness.
The finished plate looks like this, served with a sauce of oysters, cream and chicken stock:
Again, as par for the course last night, not the greatest picture, but you get the idea. I think it will be a very successful replacement of the bone-in chicken. Certainly easier to eat, and definitely not something most people would make at home.
In other BT food news:
We've been serving a very popular grilled cheese sandwich at lunch, lately using this potato bread that Kevin has been making specifically for that sandwich.
The St. Brigid's Farm veal special this weekend was medallions graced with pearl onions and shrimp. Yes, it sold out way too soon. And we forgot to erase it from the special board in a timely fashion, which is never a way to start an expectant diner's evening...
Sausages continue to reign supreme in the BT larder, from the extremely popular hot-dog on the lunch special menu to these veal sausages that have been on the dinner special list this week.
Here they are plated, with a grainy mustard sauce. I am not ashamed to say that my mouth was watering when I saw this plate, destined for Table 16 but coveted by yours truly.
Mussels have also been on the special list in recent weeks - including this latest bowl with hand cut fettuccine, sausage and spinach. A mighty nice small plate, although my favorite remains the curried coconut milk treatment.
At this festive time of year it is customary for Kevin to make batch after batch of his salted nut brittle to mail off to friends and family. This year was no exception; the only difference was the use of the Steen's cane syrup. This stuff is sorely addicting, and, as I write on the label, "recommended by dentists nationwide".
We are, of course, looking forward to our Christmas Break. Four days off in a row. Have I mentioned this already? We'll spend the first day getting ready to be closed for two extra days, but after that it is going to be a wonderful long weekend full of food, family and relaxation. Meanwhile, even as we coordinate our own holiday dining plans, Kevin is putting the finishing touches on his New Year's Eve menu, which I should be able to post this afternoon or tomorrow morning at the latest. We are just about booked with reservations - despite the menu still being a bit of a mystery! - and look forward to seeing the results of his planning. It will all, as is also traditional, be documented here.