Sunday, March 24, 2013

In a Nut Shell

So it has been about a week since I have last written a post, and a lot has happened since St. Patrick's day.
I finished my last few days in the Catarina kitchen. Everything went pretty smoothly, besides the fact that the last night of service, we went through an entire recipe of soup, and I had to whip up some more at the end of the night so that the next class would have some to start with.
Yesterday was our first day in the dining room. I was over joyed. As I have mentioned, I thoroughly enjoy being in touch with the customer in the front of house. And as soon as I entered; the high ceilings, dim chandeliers, sparkling silver, and background music, my dining room destiny was confirmed. As I was readying myself for service, I was advised that I was only responsible for a two top that would be arriving at seven. I was a little disappointed, but anxious for my table to arrive. Chris was assigned to the pantry, which meant that he would be combining and foaming the cappuccinos, expressos, and coffee. He was glad to stationed in the kitchen, because he is concerned of the service aspect in the front of the house. I assured him he will become more comfortable as the block goes on.

My table landed a half hour early; an older couple with sweet faces. I ordered my assasgios- cute one bites- a welcome from the Chef. These amuses change each night, this particular evening they were a chic pea sofrito on top of a crustini. I offered the couple beverages from the bar and the woman mentioned it was their twentieth anniversary, and that she would have a glass of wine. I brought her the driest of the red wines that we had in stock which she fell in love with. The couple was so friendly and chatty which made the experience for both of us more pleasurable. They were interested in where I was from, when I was to graduate, where I had ventured on externship, and where I was off to at the end of May. The table was very satisfied with their food, and left with smiles on their faces.
Four people walked in around eight fifteen, and I volunteered to take the table, and rushed their order to the kitchen so that they would not drag our night on, as the kitchen does not take any more orders after 8:30. I was happy to serve them their three courses, it gave me more practice on the POS system. We got out of there at eleven and Christopher and I returned exhausted. That was my Friday.

I should mention that Chris and I have both had the sniffles all week, and the coughing. It's no fun to be sick, but even worse then that is when your caretaker is not feeling well either. Crankiness, coughing, drowsiness, neediness, and all. (most of it coming from me, but normally Chris does his best to take care of me.) So this week has been very tough for both of us, but we are using this weekend to recuperate and become healthful. This morning, we got ready, and headed out for the car, I turned back for something that had slipped my mind, until my phone was Buzz. "Babe, we've got a flat". Just how I deserve to start my day. It was the same tire as earlier this month, and so as Chris tried to crank off the tightened lug nuts, I phoned AAA. As the mechanic arrived, he could not even remove the lug nuts, and blew up the tire which would get us to Sears- where I gave them an earful. As far as I am concerned, they should have replaced the tire the last time I was there if it was going to blow out again. Chris escaped to the waiting room, so I wouldn't embarrass him. The technician affirmed that they should never have patched up the tire because it was way past due for a new tire. And after a while of debating, I had to pay for the tire, but not the service.

Amuse Bouche

It has been Hudson Valley Restaurant week, which means that participating restaurants decide on a price for three courses that they offer to the public. Christopher made reservations at Swift at the Roundhouse which was located a top a waterfall, and gave us a beautiful view. We decided on our courses and critiqued the service. We were presented with an amuse of himachi fish, which was quickly followed by our first course. Chris had ordered the bacon appetizer, and I decided on the Fluke- although I was not aware that it would be raw as well.

Fluke with fried Quinoa 
Bacon with Lentil puree 

Lamb with Peas, Yogurt, and Mint

Duck accompanied by Brussels Sprouts, Carrot Puree

After that, Chris settled on the duck after perusing the menu for several minutes, trying to make sure that he none of his courses would echo the flavors in his other course selections. And I thought that since the first course had not filled my rumbling tummy at all, that I would go with the lamb. Both dishes were satiating but we were still eagerly awaiting dessert. 

Our dessert was the best thing we ate, and had the most remarkable presentation of all the dishes. As a lover of goat cheese, I picked the goat cheese cheesecake with honey, plums, and pistachios. Chris ventured for the brown butter cake with strawberry foam. 
brown butter cake

Our evening ended with a trip to Barnes and Noble, where we spent an hour gorging on culinary books. I ended up with a new book by Ruth Reichl per Christopher's suggestion. And Chris treated me by buying a copy of Les Miserables, which we just finished watching. So that has been my week in a nut shell. Tomorrow we have to get up early to go to church, it's Palm Sunday- which means Easter is a week away, and we will be back Upstate soon. We cannot wait. Thanks for reading, until next time. 

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