It's been a busy week, getting a lot accomplished and not minding the gray skies at all, although it is certainly nice to see the blue return this morning! (And how about that *snow* yesterday? where the heck did that come from? and as per usual, the mere threat is enough to shut down everything! Only in Kent County, methinks.)
Anyway, Wednesday night's prix-fixe was destined to be very popular - all seafood - and it was, although not a sell-out. We were very busy, with a few of the usual prix-fixe crowd and several tables of gunners.
The prix-fixe began with a salad of steamed mussels on a small salad and a toast of pecan raisin bread. A very tasty - and easy! - way to enjoy mussels.
The mussels were followed by a piece of griddled salmon atop coconut curried rice noodles and vegetables. Yes, this is the same dish we've just put on the lunch menu, only with salmon. There was a lot of delighted commentary on this entree.
Dessert was a slice of white chocolate chunk blondie. This was Cherelle's first stab at the recipe, and she made a small mistake. She only used half the sugar the recipe called for. Now, generally, this blondie is a very sweet - tooth achingly - dessert. It's basically a vanilla brownie, made with brown sugar, pecans and white chocolate pieces. You would never need to serve it with caramel sauce, like we did Wednesday night. The low-sugar version tasted fine, but it was more like a cookie in texture than a brownie. She made another batch yesterday, and this morning we did a side-by-side comparison so she could see what a difference the amount of sugar can make, both in taste and texture. She is an apprentice, after all, and there is a lot to learn. As long as I don't have to be the one making desserts, I don't mind teaching someone who has the willingness that Cherelle does!
The rockfish we served Wednesday night did its share to compete with the menu. It looked very good, on its pool of seafood sauce, surrounded by rice cakes, beets and Brussels sprouts. Kevin ordered the case of sprouts from Teddy Bear on Tuesday, and when they came in he was quite pleased with their quality. They've proven to be a delicious green touch on the dinner plates this week, with barely a complaint from the diners!
The lunch menu got a little update this week - no major changes, just some slight revising. This dish was on the specials list - a sheet of Kevin's pasta filled with the beef ragu, then baked and served with a side salad. It looked good, and I can only imagine cutting into that little pasta package to get to the beefy filling inside. It reminded me of an individual lasagna, in a way.
In other news, there is talk of a new restaurant coming to town!! Of course this is good news any time, but apparently this new dining arena will be a Gluten Free place, focusing, I guess, on all things wheat free. While I am not convinced that is necessarily a wise concept to base your restaurant on - I mean, you can offer plenty of gluten-free options without eliminating wheat entirely from your menu - it is still great to hear that a new business is entering into the hospitality fray here in Chestertown. As I said to a table of regulars yesterday - and by regular, I mean coming in seemingly every day, lunch or dinner - their kind of attendance to our table says either that they really like the place, or, that there simply aren't enough choices for them here in town. I sort of think it is more the latter.
The new place is apparently opening up in the former Brix location, next to Washington's Tavern on High Street. We wish them well and hope it is a sign of more independent proprietors bringing their ambitions and dreams to Chestertown.
One of our guests brought me a "bottle" of wine a few weeks ago, in the belief that it would be a good fit for our menu, despite its "green" packaging. Coming from a company called "Yellow + Blue", the sauvignon blanc from Mendocino County is a good one - crisp and fruity, without too much citrus, a good pair with food. The questionable part is the fact that it comes in a Tetra Pak, sort of like your kids juice boxes. You see liters of juice on the grocery shelf in the exact same package.
I wouldn't say that the packaging is attractive. But there is no denying that it is green!
Well, we're going to give it a try. It is a good price for a good wine, and perhaps we need to get used to this sort of container for our table wine. We'll be starting with it tonight, serving it by the glass, the half-liter carafe (which is about 2.75 glasses), and the liter "pak". It is a little difficult to pour from - easy to miss the opening in the glass, unless you hold the pak just right - so refills at the table, the way we normally do them, will be Interesting. I am hoping this will finally be the successful choice to replace the much loved and gone forever Rock Rabbit sauvignon blanc. We'll see how it goes!