Where’s the hidden camera?

Dear Feastlings,

I almost hate to mention it in front of others; I’ve become so skittish over the past three years and change that it feels like I’m flirting with disaster if I talk about something going smoothly around here. Yet for some reason, we placed ads and people replied. They showed up for their interviews. They had good references. I’ve started looking around to see who’s playing a trick on me, but found no one.

We hired them; they showed up to work on their respective first days. They even seemed as if they’d done this sort of work before. Again, I started snapping my head around, certain I’d catch someone with a camera ready to record the dismal failure that was sure to come. And still, there was no one there, no camera, no nothing. I’m still suspicious, and, with full moon ready to peek over the horizon, I’m ambivalent to trumpet what good fortune we’ve had of late. We still have a way to go, mind you, but little by little, we’re returning to something that has only been a dim memory lately- a restaurant that feels like a restaurant.

I felt it on Saturday- we were busy enough that I needed to be in the dining room, but in the kitchen; in the wine shop, but in the office; in the walk-in, but in the wine cellar. And yet somehow, it all worked itself out. Yes, there were a couple of groups who waited too long for their entrees, or who never got the printout of the August menu that I’d promised them, but overall, people left happy, and so, in turn, did I. It felt, I noted, like it used to feel. It felt like we each knew what our part was and we each executed it well, and that’s a feeling I wasn’t sure would ever come back.

Yes, we’re still short-handed and looking for another experienced cook, a dishwasher who can communicate with the rest of the kitchen staff, and whomever else we might be able to work well with when the chips are down, but there was undeniably a feeling in the air last Saturday, a feeling like we knew what we were doing and people were responding to it.

One step forward, two steps back, but finally, another step forward again. We got to exhale last Saturday, and it felt comforting. I feel like I’m wearing a thunder jacket and everything is going to be okay.

Sure, the baby corn didn’t come in today, and our fresh water chestnuts will be held up this week. Sure, the dishwasher we hired three weeks ago told us Saturday that she got a second job and wouldn’t be in today, and that she’d let us know tomorrow whether she’d be in tomorrow. But that’s the sort of thing that has happened with dishwashers since- well, since there were dishwashers.

The baby corn will arrive, and so will the water chestnuts, and today, the food will still be good- we tasted through the new menu items today and everyone had a different favorite dish. You can decide what your favorite is, and you can do some reconnaissance here:


The menu began today. Soon I’ll be posting the menu for Ferragosto as well, and in the meantime, we’re tasting Italian wines on the weekends to get ourselves motivated.

Italia di nuovo

And tonight, full moon or not, busy or slow, it will feel at some point again like a restaurant.

See you soon.



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