A head full of menus

Dear Feastlings,

Inspiration is great when you’ve got it in your back pocket, but it’s not a switch one can easily flip. Writing a menu can find one scratching one’s chin until one has to start scratching one’s head, until one realizes he’s no longer scratching, but beginning to pull his hair out, and I don’t have a lot of hair to spare. Add to it the continuing saga of a spotty staff who still has yet to coalesce post-pandemic, and worries about who’ll show up or who’ll do something unconscionable enough to require a dismissal, and it becomes more difficult. Add the usual bits we deal with- a mispick that means we receive a case of Evian instead of the pecan halves we need for a catering job that evening, say, or a refrigerator that breathes its last in the middle of the night so that we need to re-prep everything that was put inside it the night before- and it means that the impetus for a new menu isn’t necessarily inspiration, but rather panic.

I love me some wine, and it usually serves as inspiration enough to build a menu around it, but when you’re writing a menu for the Rogue Theatre’s benefit dinner (thanks, those of you who came out for that on Sunday,) for the month of February, for this Saturday’s wine tasting of Italian varietals that you don’t taste so often,

The Unusual Suspects

for Valentine’s Day,

Valentine’s Day at Feast

for our upcoming dinner with Darren Delmore of Tablas Creek Winery on February 29th, our upcoming dinners with Kent and Lisa Callaghan of Callaghan Vineyards, one at Feast on March 19th, and one at the winery on March 30th. Those menus, like the aforementioned February menu, have yet to be penned, but they’re all in the works, simultaneously, and while the wines are all inspirational indeed, there’s a point at which I have so many notes- a yellow pad full, the backs of three different envelopes, some hastily typed notes on my phone, riddled with typos and autocorrects I hope later to understand- that it’s become difficult to keep them all straight.

The other day I went over the list of what we need to order with Gaby in the kitchen, and I started asking her to get things we won’t need until March, and ignoring ingredients we’ll need by tomorrow. I’m mixing up dishes for the tasting with the dishes for Valentine’s Day, and I’m frankly hoping against hope that when I reach into the hopper of ping-pong ball menu ideas in my brain, that I’ll pull enough winners to write the menu that begins in a week and a half.

This note mostly serves as a way to clear my head before I dive back into what we might serve on the February menu, so here you have it: it’s time to make your reservation for the tasting, or Valentine’s Day, or for whatever other reason you might come join us, and it’s time for me to put the thinking cap back on my rapidly balding head and get you some more menus and some more reasons to stop in, have a bite, and say hello.

Thanks, everybody.



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