It happened a few months ago. Many of you have come in to visit, which has been a lot of fun. I always hoped our place would be the kind of place that our friends come to often and where we can have at least some interaction with folks in the middle of service. That seems to have happened.
Here’s how the last few months have played out:
We had out big friends and family weekend, which was wonderful, involved a lot of toasts, a lot of bubbly, and a few rounds of applause. We cooked a tasting menu of the whole shebang, learned a few things along the way, and felt we were ready to open. We opened to the public and things were insane, we had a few staff issues and shake ups, (one of which made me discover my Black Skull Of Banishment’s true purpose. If you hear a shaker being violently shaken in the kitchen, with some guttural cursing underneath, then you know that I want someone gone!) I stopped eating entirely and lost at least 15 pounds in a couple of weeks. I slept at the restaurant once (only once!) And we started to feed people regularly. Tons of people came in from the neighborhood, we met a lot of people, and we got a few reviews. The moules poutine is clearly a hit.
One development that we did kind of see coming was that Monday became a day of binging. My cooks, Cam and I have started the hashtag #24hourweekend. Usually this involves two lunches followed by a big dinner. Since we work all the time, nobody has time to spend money except on Monday, so might as well get the big order of biscuits for the table, no?
Something I had missed in my time leading up to the opening, basically the 6 months of just working on the buildout of the restaurant, was the culture of the kitchen, which has been much rapsodized and deserves every glowing wistful cheffy praise given it. Simply put: nobody is funnier than kitchen people. Part of that, in my opinion, comes from the environment of the kitchen. People are talking and joking while they’re working, and the nature of the work means that someone might have to walk away in the middle of your story or joke. It’s not rude, and you know it, because shit needs to get done, and if I don’t walk away right now the artichokes will burn and that is not acceptable. Thus, after a while, cooks adopt a manner of speech similar to old sitcom writing. Every sentance needs to be funny every ten seconds or less, otherwise people will just walk away. We also listen to comedy albums on spotify in our kitchen, which ups our game a lot (a favorite is patton oswalt because he talks about food and he is loud, so we can hear the jokes over the hood. Also, Katt Williams, just substitute weed for food.)
And now the Farmer’s Markets are really coming into full swing, so my dour, root-heavy winter menu is giving way to ramps, asparagus, peas, and all the other harbingers of crispness. Things only get more exciting from here. I will definitely be writing more often as well, now that I have gotten things figured out to a point where I doubt I’ll have to sleep at the restaurant any time soon. So expect dispatches on greenmarket visits, the music we’re listening to in the kitchen, the books I’m reading and getting psyched on, and probably talk about the hot toilet.