Thank you from Birthdayland.

Oh, Feastlings,

How I wanted to have it all ready here for you- the Mother’s Day menu, the wine tasting, the May menu- and as much as I tried to pull it all together, I find myself once again only capable of eking out the bare minimum. Yes, we had the May menu ready on Tuesday, but I didn’t have the time to send the email, and yesterday I hid under a rock. Today, I’m dashing off this note between wine reps to at least get you the May menu


and this Saturday’s wine tasting,


and to broadcast a hearty thank you to everyone.

Feast, quietly, on Monday while we were closed, completed its 22nd lap around the sun. And while I’m not much for birthdays myself- I think the last time I made a big deal of a birthday was around age 9 (thanks, Mom, for making that chocolate cake with the cream cheese ribbon I love so much even to this day)- I do like to celebrate Feast’s birthday with an understanding of how tenuous the existence of any restaurant is, particularly upon its opening, and again particularly during these past three years. With that precariousness in mind, I always like to say thank you.

So thank you. Thank you, guests of Feast, first and foremost. I told the staff the day before we opened that they didn’t work for me; all I did was open a place where people could come and let the crew work for them. Please know that we all appreciate your support over these past twenty-two years, whether you join us daily, weekly, monthly or occasionally. Thanks for celebrating your birthdays and anniversaries with us, for letting us be part of your engagements and weddings, your board meetings and memorials. We’re honored to be a part of your orbit, and we extend to you our sincere gratitude.

Thank you, people who’ve worked at Feast. Those of you who’ve come in to cover one another’s shifts, who’ve come in to get a catering job out at two in the morning, who’ve driven to Nogales or Marana or headed out with me to Paso Robles to put out a dinner in winery caves, or who’ve run to the grocery store on your way in to work or between the lunch and dinner rushes to grab whatever we were shorted on the produce truck. Thank you for making it seem like things were going smoothly when they weren’t, thank you for working a Saturday night and then coming back in on Sunday morning, and for working when you were stretched impossibly thin.

Thank you, purveyors of Feast. Thanks for driving halfway to Phoenix to pick up the wine that didn’t make the truck in time for a wine dinner, for putting three cases of short ribs into your car, for special ordering the thing that a guest wanted despite the fact that we don’t buy that much other stuff from you. Thanks for taking our calls and texts six hours after your work day is over because that’s when we realize that we sold twice as much salmon as we expected to, and thanks for growing Jimmy Nardello peppers for us when no one else would.

Thank you, colleagues. Thanks for letting us borrow everything from octopus to plastic wrap to Armagnac to a dishwasher. Thanks for swapping stories and warnings about the new rash of rooftop break-ins or counterfeit fifties, and for staying open later than we do so we can grab a bite or a drink after a rough night.

And thank you, family of Doug. Thanks for putting up with my schedule or lack thereof, for letting me take calls and texts at family events without judgement or anger, for letting me experiment on you only sometimes successfully, and most of all for letting me go on about the line cook who walked out mid-shift or the guest who treated me like an idiot because his butter wasn’t spreadable enough, or the predatory and litigious grease collector. I can’t say that this deeply into it, I’m always delighted to walk in to work, but I can say this: when I pause, and breathe for a few moments, and when I thumb through the catalog of memories we’ve made here for twenty-two years, I’m supremely grateful to all of you who’ve gotten us here. Thanks, everyone, for giving us our twenty-second birthday.




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