New Year’s Eve 2009

Today we are beginning some of the preparation for the New Year’s Eve dinner this Thursday. This year we are offering three courses in a reservation only format. You can choose two seatings, at 6PM or 8PM. Call 402-438-2255 to hold a place.

So you’ll have a good idea of what we are serving, below is our menu, true to our simple food and drink form.

To start:

Beef Consomme with Wilted Spinach

We are making traditional beef stock from roasted bones and mirepoix and later clarifying it with a raft of egg white and ground beef. The resulting clear … more »

Vince Guiraldi and a 471

I remember a year ago about this time of year, it was Miles Davis and an Anchor Steam. This evening its Vince Guiraldi and a 471.

Our staff has all gone home, Karen has taken a friend to church, our kids are with friends, and I sit and ponder the beauty that is this Christmas season.

I’ve been here since 3:45am, making cinnamon rolls to fill the orders for people to enjoy with their friends and family tomorrow morning. It was an expected slow day, but nonetheless, a pleasurable one, as I think back on the road traveled to … more »

It Doesn’t Feel That Cold In Here…

To me, music is an important component of the dining experience. I like what I hear in the restaurant to match the mood that is being set for me. To be able to hear the boombox back in the kitchen puts a damper on that tone, or to have some random playlist going from one genre extreme to another doesn’t say that all the details have been thought through.

If you’ve noticed, the Coca-Cola thermometer above the door way back into our kitchen always reads 55 degrees. It serves as an icon of what we hope your experience will be; … more »

Let Me Digress…

In my next life, I might choose musician over chef, as music holds deep meaning for me. I admit a bit of hesitation in the making of “Best of” lists, because of my thought that Top 10 music lists are often only a means of carving out a place to stand and brag about bands that only you and no one else has any idea even exists, thereby proving you a person of superior taste and judgment. If no one knows what you are talking about, it’s easier to dismiss criticism.

With that disclaimer, I reflect on five albums that … more »

A Word About Substitutions

I understand my role as a chef is to make people happy, and take that role very seriously, but sometimes feel my hands are tied when a request comes back to the kitchen to alter a dish in some way. Food allergies, I understand. Picky eaters, let me offer some advice.

I am a professional. I cook food for a living. In the same way that you trust your car to a mechanic and your teeth to a dentist, consider putting your palette under my protection. By sitting at my table, you are driving up to the bay and saying, … more »

Put Bisquick on the list…

Maybe you’re like me in that you like the idea and the spirit of the holiday season, but all of it gets so easily intercepted by the other trappings that tag along with it. In protest against it, some folk go to the extreme by ignoring the holiday all together. No tree, no lights, no presents, no music, etc. While I can appreciate the decision, I’m afraid of what I would miss out on if I were to take the same tack.

I cannot control what my culture at large does with Christmas. For example, I can do without the … more »

41 said it was bland…

As I was watching Iron Chef last night, guest judge Donatella Arpaia commented, once she was able to speak without being interrupted, that the dessert Bobby Flay made was good, and tasted fine, but that it seemed safe. Her comments need to be taken to heart by any aspiring chef. To make great food requires one to take some risks.

The kitchen is not a safe place to work.

The essence of the chef life is danger. Not because of the flames of the stove or the spatter of hot grease or use of sharp knives all day long. The … more »