All of the things.

Dear Feastlings,

As much as I feel like a chef, I feel like an administrator, and like a project manager, and like a human resources director, and like a columnist. While it’s normal for a restaurateur to do all of those things (with the possible exception of columnist,) and to be an amateur plumber, electrician and who knows what else, this week has been a little bit rough around the edges.

All I can do is repeat my mantra: “Everybody is dealing with something. Everybody.” Whether I’m chasing down the credit for the special order of caviar where they sent the wrong thing the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day and have still done nothing to resolve it, or calling the linen company because the towels they shorted us last week that were going to arrive this morning were literally the only thing the driver didn’t bring; whether the company that has ignored our calls for two weeks after their driver blocked a dozen or so of our guests in their parking spaces in the middle of a Friday night dinner rush is sending a rep to try and make amends, or I’m scrambling to find a last-minute recipient of donated meals this week- which I did; I just talked to Jon at Banner’s Crisis Response Center- I just need to remind myself that it’s not the fault of the people I’m dealing with any more than it’s my fault that people’s food took too long on the night we were short two people in the kitchen and two in the dining room. We’re all over the same barrel.

So if you haven’t gotten an email from me in a while? It’s because even though we’re doing a quarter of the business we were doing two years ago at this time, we’re trying to keep on top of it with fewer people and more disruptions than ever before, and it’s peppered with daily texts from one member or another of the staff each day: “my kids are sick,” “my roommate tested positive,” or “I can’t cover for the person with the sick kids or the one whose roommate tested positive.” I count us lucky that people like Lydia, who’ve left us for other industries, have jumped in to help us out as we wait for the next person in line to heal up enough to come in. So, hey, Lydia- thank you. For everything.

I have another thank-you as well, to the people of Hill Farm Neighborhood, who took it upon themselves to donate meals to hospital workers through us this week, and they donated so many that when we’re finished feeding the Emergency Department at Banner South Campus, we’re going next door to feed more people at the Crisis Response Center, as mental illness has only increased since we were there last.

Mental and physical health care workers

Meanwhile, there are seats available, both physical and virtual, in this Saturday’s wine tasting, a happy backwards glance at 2020 (how often do you get to say that?) If you’re interested in tasting, learning, or any combination thereof, I’d suggest giving us a call. The number is 326-9363, and the information about the tasting is here:

2020 vision

We also have a handful of seats left, either early or late, for our Valentine’s Day prix fixe menu, which will be strictly in person- these dishes won’t travel all that well, so we’re only offering them in the dining room on Monday (yes, that’s right, we’re opening on a Monday. Evening. Only. Just this once.)

Valentine’s Day

Now it’s time to get back on the phone, send out a dozen emails that have stacked up, and see if we can scare up some paper towels.



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