And, another fine week it has turned out to be. Boy, we sure can’t beat the weather we’ve been getting. I love going to the nature trails in Kensington and was able to get in 5 miles on them yesterday. It is so peaceful to walk the woods and listen to the wildlife. Surprisingly I only saw one deer. Chipmunks and Sandhill Cranes were all over the place. Although there are signs not to feed the animals no one listens (I do) and the minute you walk by the cranes they are looking for a hand-out. It is un-nerving to me. Their beaks could do serious damage, fast. If they approach me I take a very wide berth or another path. The smaller birds are all over and will eat seed out of your outreached hand. I abstain from that too. Then there are the little “piles” of seeds on the ground and the chipmunks won’t even move as you come near them. They just fill up until their jowls are grotesquely extended and sit in place shoving more food in. I was tempted to see if I could touch one but decided against it. Dogs and bikes are prohibited. Only hikers. I didn’t see too many people starting out but by the end the parking lot was full and lots of mom’s and children getting their afternoon playground time were out and about. Also, the number of photographers practicing their craft is amazing. It was really great to see everyone having a good time, enjoying each other and for a moment forgetting the VIRUS!!
Speaking of which, I just read an email from the National Restaurant Association and the data is remarkably bad. Nationally 100,000 restaurants, 1 in 6, have closed permanently. And, 40% of remaining operators say that without additional federal relief they are in peril of being viable and open in the next 6 months. Nearly 3 million employees are out of work due to the closures. Survey results report that 60% of operators report costs higher to the outbreak. I can attest to that. Carry-out containers, cleaning supplies and food costs are way more than 6 months ago. It is nearly impossible to find disposable gloves and Sharon buys as many as we are allotted at 3x the previous cost. I consider myself fortunate that most of my staff is working as much as they want although their schedules are not as in the past. Day people are working nights to get their “hours” and visa versa. Amanda and Sharon are amazing with the magic they work with being fair, equitable and honoring the scheduling requests that they need to work around. The food service industry is the largest private sector employer in the nation and contributed 3 trillion, yes trillion, dollars into the economy until the shutdown. Once again, I consider all of us, me, Sharon and our team to be very, very fortunate. Yes, the volume is down, yes we have to wear masks 8 hours straight and yes costs are up. But there is also the bigger YES, we are still viable, able to pay our bills and grateful to have an incredible following that trusts us to be sticklers and follow the rules to the nth degree. We won’t deviate from that until we’re told the restrictions are lifted. Winter will be a challenge but we’re working on it and Spring will be a breath of fresh air.
The Winter menu will debut sometime next week. The Hat Trick Quick Snack Jar returns with layers of Chevre Cheese, Crushed Pecans and Sweet Pepper Chili Jam. The Watermelon and Summer Salad will retire and in their place the ever popular Crescent Chop of Shaved Brussels, Mixed Greens, Roasted Beets, Aged White Cheddar, Michigan Apple and a Champagne-Honey Splash. The Banh Mi Shrimp Tacos and New York Strip are going bye-bye and Grilled Mahi Tacos and A Coulotte Steak (Top Sirloin) are taking their place. Modern Meatloaf a.k.a. Turkey Meatloaf is back as is the Butternut Squash, Bacon, Cashew, Fingerling Potato Hash with the Scottish Salmon. And, we’re adding pasta, The No. VI, Fettucine tossed with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts, Caramelized Onion and Brown Butter Sauce.
Sharon and crew have some awesome CHALKBOARD FEATURES once again.
For a STARTER
CREAMY BURRATA (Soft Mozzarella) served with House Made Tomato-Peach Jam, Prosciutto and grilled Baguette.
BISTRO PLATES include:
GRILLED SWORDFISH: Accompanied with Ricotta Gnocchi Tossed with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Caramelized Onion ( a preview of the No.VI pasta being added to the everyday menu);
VEGETARIAN ACORN SQUASH: Just out of the Garden, Roasted with Brown Sugar and Butter and Filled with a Quinoa, Golden Beet, Baby Kale Stuffing then Drizzled with Cranberry Vinaigrette;
NOISETTES OF PORK TENDERLOIN: Pan Roasted and served with Buttermilk Mashers, Grilled Asparagus and a Brandy Peppercorn Sauce and last, not least,
BLGT WALLEYE: Basil Bread Crum Crusted Walleye, Fried Green Tomatoes, Arugula and a Warm Bacon Vinaigrette. YUM!!!
WE WISH YOU MANY MILLION DOLLAR DAYS
LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU AT THE BISTRO SOON!
XXOO, MARY AND HER FURRY BUDS!!!