The breather I kind of wanted

Dear Feastlings,

I won’t take the deep dive into Graduation and Mother’s Day weekend that I might have otherwise. Let’s just say that it was, well, bumpy. I got an email last week from one of you telling me to stop complaining and focus on making beautiful food, and while it was from someone who perhaps could be reminded that beautiful food is made by people, who evidently are still in short supply, I’ll also note that she was right. Time spent detailing our woes is time not spent in the kitchen, and last weekend, I got to oil my rusty skills on the line. While I’m still not the sauté cook I was in the early nineties, shuffling pans and hopping dexterously from ticket to ticket, it was good to be reminded that, forty-plus years in, in a pinch, I can still keep up, or at least catch up. Eventually. Anyway, I’ve been cooking, for what that’s worth, which is time spent not complaining.

Things are beginning to normalize, though, not necessarily because we have enough reliable, strong staff now, but because the wave of people who leave Tucson around Easter has now been followed by the wave of people who leave after graduation, and while I’m hard-pressed to want less business, I must say, anyone who’s released the steam valve on a pressure cooker and listened to the sharp hiss shift to a steady sibilant whistle and then to a soft wheeze knows how we’re feeling. It’s okay to open the lid now.

The catering jobs that have dragged the crew in at 2:00 am are behind us (thank you, those of you who came in at 2:00 am multiple times these past few weeks,) and the parties of six who needed six different, edited versions of the same dish will go back to the other places they eat until next Mother’s Day, and the nervous brides and grooms will lay low until October. Traffic will continue to thin for those of us who stick around in the summer; our haunts will be exclusively ours again, and people without a reservation won’t be turned away with regrets. For a month or so, we’ll be thrilled, but we’ll start to notice those favorite haunts make that shift from feeling free and breathable to feeling quietly wistful, and we’ll grudgingly admit to ourselves that we wouldn’t mind if everyone came back again. So, to those of you reading this from elsewhere, we look forward to your eventual return, even if we’re liking the traffic for the time being.

To those of you reading this here in Tucson, we’ve still got some activities planned for you and yours. There’s this Saturday’s wine tasting, obviously,

The boot.

and then, a week from Tuesday, a full-on wine dinner with our buddy Bryan Klassen.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the equator…

For those of you who are used to attending the Last Sunday of the Month tastings, we’re experimenting this month, and offering the Last Sunday tasting as a Last Saturday tasting instead. You’ll see more about this posted soon, but essentially, since we’ve been closed on Sundays, we thought we’d see if it made sense to push the end-of-month tastings to Saturday until such time as we can reopen on Sundays. I’m happy to read or hear your feedback on this one, but this month, we’re giving it a go. You’ll read more about that tasting soon, a tasting of Spanish wines that’s essentially a preview of the Bonfires of San Juan, the day we make all sorts of traditional Spanish food and offer discounts on all of our Spanish wines. That will happen on Tuesday, June 20th.

For now, I’m back to work, having written most of this early this morning, still half-asleep, and finishing it now, around 4:30, half-asleep again. Time to pull a shot of espresso, shake off the day, and get back to work. See you soon.

Your friend,


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