Is it a panic attack, the jitters, or just the heebie jeebies?

Dear Feastlings,
I’m sure throughout this mess you’ve been a lot like I have: you have days where you feel like everything might be fairly miserable, but we’ll probably get through this and a year or two from now will feel somewhat normal, and five or six years from now, you’ll feel like it was a rough patch but you’ve got some good stories to tell. You know, tragedy plus distance equals comedy.
Then there are days like today. I’m looking at the checking account, the mortgage payment, payroll and all our other bills and seeing how unsustainable this is, and after talking with a fellow restaurateur yesterday who’s closing up shop permanently (sorry, I don’t kiss and tell, so please don’t ask who,) I’m breathing into a paper bag today while I can still afford one to breathe into, crossing my fingers that the Congress and the Senate will find it in what hearts there are among them to get some aid out there for the 11 million people who work(ed) in the hospitality industry, and while we’re at it, the people who work in industries that rely on our success for theirs, of which are too many to list here. Yes, we’re getting ready to open our doors for dine-in soon, but before you write back to tell me that will solve all my problems, I can assure you that it won’t. We’ll have 13 of our 29 tables when we re-open- fewer than we had in our old location that had less than half the square footage and a third of the rent.
I say this not to make you feel awkward about not visiting us- it’s not your responsibility to keep us open- but I’ll throw it our there that you should consider a couple of things:
1) it’s free to contact your legislators and it sure would help out every restaurant in the nation. Here’s a link:

2) if the pandemic hasn’t affected you financially, I’d encourage you to think of a small business of any kind that’s important to you- restaurant or otherwise- and vote with your wallet a little bit. Or a lot.

3) vote with your ballot as well- there’s still ample time to get your vote counted and politicians of any stripe who’ll help keep businesses open and people employed and get us closer to a solution to this pandemic deserve your vote; I know a number of them have already gotten my own personal vote.

4) Just be kind, please. To everyone. More and more people are more and more often having the day I’m having today and that you’ve undoubtedly had scores of times since March.

In our own effort to be kind, we’re bringing meals to the good and very stressed people at the Pima County Elections Department, who’ll be working full tilt for the next couple of weeks. After an extensive back and forth with the Recorder’s Office, it’s been decided that they won’t be accepting food donations from us or anyone, so we’re redirecting our initial plan to feed just the Elections Department. Here’s the scoop on that:

Our next donation run: the people keeping our elections on the up and up

We’re also keeping a stiff upper lip, though, and in a effort to remain buoyant with gratitude and just plain buoyant, we’re gearing up for the Thanksgiving cooking we’ve customarily done for the previous 19 Thanksgivings. You can order all the way through November 22, and whether you’re braving a larger group this Thanksgiving and sitting scattered like sheep without a shepherd, or whether you’re sheltering in and it just doesn’t seem worth it to you to put together a meal that complex for the one or two or four of you, we’ll have Thanksgiving goodies prepared on Wednesday the 25th for you to heat up and enjoy on the 26th so you can sort through what things you’re feeling grateful for and with any luck get something of a spiritual restart. You’ve got weeks to decide what to order:

Thanksgiving carryout from Feast

You have less time to order for the wine tastings this weekend, and scared as I may be about the state of the restaurant industry, I know my plan is to drink the good stuff while I can. Tomorrow’s tasting will be a fun mix of blends, or a fun blend of mixes, depending on your vantage point,

How they blend in

And Sunday’s tasting, which, incidentally, you need to order today so we know how much food to make, will be an intriguing amalgam of European imports from our good friends at Louis/Dressner. We’re peeling blood oranges as we speak, but we need to know how many to peel.

Trust Your Importer tasting with Josefa Concannon of Louis/Dressner Selections

there is, of course, our regular menu as well, and bouillabaisse tonight as a special, so even if you don’t drink the good stuff, you can at least eat the good stuff. We can’t all be wine drinkers. In fact, I’m going to go work on some food pairings right now, and I may not spit out the wine I taste today. Stay well, everyone, and take care of a person you love, a business you love, or an ideology you love.

See you soon.


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