To some people it may seem strange to want to have dinner where you work, as if you didn’t already spend enough time there. But to me it’s an important thing to do.
See, I never would have eaten at the last restaurant I worked and even talked my wife out of bringing her parents there to eat. The reasons were varied, but it told me alot about where I worked and why I needed to change jobs.
But where I work now is a far different story. When friends and family come to visit I want them to come and eat where I work, because the food is really good and is a good value as well.
Some of the dishes I want to try tonight come off my station, because I’ve never had the whole dish and I want to taste how the whole dish works when put together, even though I’ve tasted time and again each individual component. Two such dishes are the duck crepes and the sweetbread dish. I never get tired of making either, especially the sweetbread dish, which gets served with a puff pastry bouche, sauteed mushrooms, pearl onions and asparagus and is sauced with a sherry veal jus. It’s fucking delicious and it’s hard for me to understand why we don’t sell more of this dish, other than people are grossed out by it (but that’s another post). The crepes are two crepes filled with duck confit and butternut squash, sauced with pistachio cream sauce (the only cream sauce we use) and topped with black currant compote.
The only slight bummer in all of this is that Erin’s pregnancy diet excludes some pretty tasty things, like bleu/raw/soft cheeses, charcuterie items as well as a few others, which just proves to me why I’m happy to be a man. I’m happy not to have to modify my diet and am not so sure I could ever really exclude certain things, though I guess if I had to I could.
When I told my chef that we were coming to eat he was happy to hear it, as he should be. Based on my own experience I would be wary of any employee who didn’t want to eat where they work. Being on the other side of the pass and eating as customers do can give the cook a better understanding of what we do and maybe how to improve our performance.
In different and mildly entertaining news, Greg Cox, the restaurant critic for Raleigh’s News & Observer, released his list of Top 25 restaurants for the past year and my old restaurant makes its first appearance ever, calling into massive question the legitamacy of such lists. Excluding all the other problems this restaurant may have, how does a restaurant still serving a summer menu in January make anyone’s top anything list (unless it’s top places not to eat for lack of seasonability).
I just went to their website and here’s just one menu item:
A smooth and creamy risotto of asparagus and lemon. A perfect summery scent. 12.95
If the last time time he ate there was June then that’s fine, but he should have done some research before publishing such a list. I wonder if Greg Cox is aware that they lost their chef in June and the menu hasn’t changed since, because there is no chef? Which would necessitate another review in my humble opinion.
At any rate, this just further proves to me that critics know fuck-all and merely push whatever agenda they have on a relatively unassuming public, or maybe a public that wants/needs to be told what to think/do.