Pretty busy Wednesday - we started the night off with three large reservations: a ten at 6PM, another ten that might be eight at 6:30 and then a party of seven at 7PM. With this knowledge in hand I made the safe (and in hindsight, smart) move to ask Nicole if she could come in and run trays. Thank goodness for that! We were slamming. The second 8/10 showed up as a 6, and eventually winnowed their way down to a 4, but we were still totally full, with the only available seating being at the bar by the later part of the night. And while the menu was popular, I can't say it was totally the draw.
The Prix-Fixe began with a salad of escarole, candied walnuts, roasted asparagus, shaved aged provolone and a scattering of Kevin's self-raised radishes. I was hoping he could use the latter greens and all, but this was not to be.
For the main course, chicken legs were simmered with a sweet and sour vinegar mint concoction, and then served with roasted peppers and onions, with a sauce made from the braising liquid
While Kevin remained unconvinced that he had produced the chicken he was striving for when he imagined it, no one complained, and several voiced their compliments. We will probably never see this dish again. Dessert was chocolate angel food cake with chocolate sauce. Cherelle is slowly winning the war of the angel food, after her wicked failure a few weeks back. She is learning to recognize "stiff" peaks, as opposed to "soft" and to realize what a difference this makes in the end product. Yesterday she was very frustrated because the whites got a bit overwhipped; I tried to explain to her why it was not a good idea to get mad at your cake, because then something bad would probably happen, just like when you get mad in life. Nothing good ever comes of losing your temper and throwing the bowl of cake batter on the floor.
I should know. Not only have I done just that - thrown the cake on the floor - but I feel like my blowing up last week over that burnt asparagus cost us a cook. Of course that can't be the only reason our new lunch line cook failed to return to work on Friday, but I gotta wonder. Some would perhaps say he needed to put on his big boy pants, but others - myself included - would muse that he hadn't been given enough positive reinforcement in his new position. That is Kevin's weakest point, as a manager, and while I try to play good cop to his bad, I was not able to last Thursday. No one ever said that working with us is a walk in the park, and there are plenty who have passed very quickly through our doors to prove it. We don't try to be difficult, we really don't, but honestly, sometimes you are so overwhelmed by everything that is going on, it gets hard to take the time out to coddle a needy employee. The ones who manage to stick it out seem dedicated and confident, thank goodness, but there are definitely more disgruntled ex-staffers than successful ones. You would think we'd have this figured out after twenty frigging seven years on the job, but no, we haven't.
In other, more pleasant news, Dr. Bill came by yesterday morning with some absolutely beautiful wild oyster mushrooms that he had foraged. We did a little barter for them. Look at those things! I think they are going to make an appearance on the asparagus tonight.
And speaking of (Redman's) asparagus - here are two of the more recent incarnations of this most welcome signs of spring:
The second was a small plate at dinner, featuring asparagus with bacon and mozzarella.
Can you get too much asparagus in one season? Me thinks not.
So, Kevin is back on the lunch line, meaning he is back to making quiche. He makes a pretty one, eh?
So, just a few more pictures of food before we call it a morning:
St. Brigid's Farm beef made an appearance as a "surf and turf" this past weekend, roasted to a perfect medium rare and served sliced on a mixed green salad with roasted shrimp and a sauce remoulade. When is the last time you had remoulade?? It is so tasty with the shrimp, and the beef for that matter.
Despite the price of the crab cake, we are serving quite a few. We've even had a few "insiders" order the crabsteak, which is quite an investment. But look how good it looks! Money is no object when it comes to a superlative crabsteak, I guess. And, as crab meat begins to take the front seafood seat, this is the last week for the oyster fritter. Those who live by the fritter need to come in sooner rather than later.
And finally, here's a last look at Kevin's recent radish crop. They are so cute!
Mother's Day is Sunday, and while we always like to think that every day is Mother's Day, we know that this second Sunday in May is always a little special for the Moms out there. I recommend dining out on this celebratory occasion. Mom will certainly appreciate it, and you won't have to wash the dishes! There are several venues around the county offering Mother's Day dining, but you better make the call soon, as this is one of the busiest days in the restaurant calendar.