And, another fine week it has been! With all the restrictions lifted the Bistro is back to full-tilt-boogie. We’ve been really, really busy. Actually busier that pre-Covid times. It is going to take some getting used to…100% capacity, voluntary face masks, and no social distancing. I love to see all 12 bar seats with butts in them vs. the 4 measly stools we’ve had for 15 months. We are still taking reservations for now. I’m not sure that they will work on the weekend nights any longer. It is just too hard to honor them in a timely manner. Depending how tonight and tomorrow go will help us to decide which direction we’ll take. Reservations were great at 50% capacity, much more difficult at 100% capacity. Another “thing” that may go away on the weekends is carry-out. We’ve got an extra 12 seats with the additional outdoor seating and that, in itself, puts so much additional burden on the kitchen. They are awesome but there are limits and I think that we’ve reached ours. It is imperative that our quality of food and service remain at the elevated levels they are rather than get greedy and fail at what is most important to us. We are still struggling with our suppliers being out of product that we’ve used for years. It is mostly meat items and due to the lack of employees in the processing plants, increased demand and the shortage of truck drivers. It is frustrating but so far we’ve been able to jump the hurdles in our path, some more difficult than others.
With all the rain my garden is just flourishing. Spindly basil plants are nearly bushes; there are lots of green tomatoes, peppers, lovage, vining spinach and huge rhubarb plants. Rhubarb, a hardy, herbaceous perennial grows from rhizomes and is a member of the buckwheat family that is harvested April through September. Interestingly, the more you harvest it, the quicker it regenerates. Although eaten as a fruit it is actually a vegetable. The red stalks, formally known as petioles, are similar in appearance to celery and the leaves highly poisonous. Known to the world for 4000 years it is native to Asia and has been documented as far back as 2700 BC for use by the Chinese as a medicinal. The English are credited as recognizing the culinary possibilities of Rhubarb and are credited with the development of recipes for pies, marmalades and chutneys. It was introduced in the United States after the Revolutionary War and first planted by Thomas Jefferson at his Monticello estate in 1809. I don’t consider myself a baker by any means but, out of necessity i.e. lots and lots of rhubarb in the garden, I’ve taken to making pies for the Bistro every few weeks. I actually find it relaxing.
Our dear sweet door hostess extraordinaire, Alida, will be gone for a month recovering from surgery that is scheduled on Monday. OMG will we miss her. She is so efficient with handling what I deem to be the hardest job in the Bistro. It takes incredible organizational skills to keep everything running efficiently and to be able to “keep your cool” while being bombarded with hundreds of people wanting to dine with us every day, phones ringing off the hook and managing carry-out orders. I have had the good fortune to work with Alida for 18 wonderful years. Her work ethic is impeccable. She is kind and caring. She is a strong woman and loving mom. She is fun. We love you Alida. You’re in our thoughts and prayers.
Another note on the medical front, Dave, the Dr. “D.” is recovering well from his hernia surgery and plans to return next week. It will be awesome to have him back.
Max was in charge of the Special Menu this week and he, Sharon and the crew have some awesome Chalkboard Features.
For a Starter,
BEEF CARPACCIO: A Classic Italian Appetizer consisting of Thinly Sliced Just-Seared Raw Beef Tenderloin, Toast Points, Smoked Sea Salt and Charred Shallot Aioli.
BISTRO PLATES INCLUDE:
ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN: Served with a Baked Sweet Potato Garnished with Corn, Spiced Peppers, Fried Leeks and a Warm Bacon Vinaigrette;
RICOTTA GNOCCHI: Tossed with Crispy Prosciutto, Spinach, Artichokes, Heirloom Tomatoes and a White Wine Cream Sauce;
CARIBBEAN GRILLED SWORDFISH: Presented over Coconut Jerk Rice with Fried Green Plantains and a Mango-Pineapple Salsa.
Save Room For RHUBARB CUSTARD PIE!!
WE WISH YOU MANY MILLION DOLLAR DAYS
LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BISTRO!!!
Mary, Maddie, Sophia, Z and Kos
Certified Executive Chef and Owner of Diamond Jim Brady's Bistro