Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year's!

Well, we survived it and I would say, it was our best one yet! Often New Year's Eve can feel like Valentine's Day: forced and eerily quiet. As soon as you have a group of people gathered together with expectations of merriment, the situation can go terribly awry. However, this year, everyone seemed relaxed and connected and happy to be out having dinner. Lots of tables talked across to each other and were very playful. The room looked so pretty, with silver stars and balls and garlands; all twinkly and pretty.

It was a busy one, too. The restaurant was basically full at 4:00 and stayed full until midnight. I think most tables turned 4 times and the kitchen did a great job. We had dinner specials (that I assume Alex will blog about) of lobster and veal, with a fantastic appetizer of oysters - they were so yummy, I think I had six at the end of the night! Our drink special was so popular we went through a bottle and a half of Red Alize. I was feeling particularly proud because I made it up and it had what we call "high poundability" which essentially means the drink is easy to drink and goes down like beer on a hot summer's day. Sometimes cocktails can be big and complicated but this one was simple and yummy.

Champagne Martini
1 oz Red Alize (passionfruit liquor)
1 oz cranberry juice
Shake in a martini shaker until it's nice and cold and frothy. Pour into a martini glass.
Top with Champagne (we used Prosecco but a Spanish cava would be lovely or go for the real deal and use Veuve Cliquot! - my favourite)
We garnished with blackberries and raspberry but you could use strawberries or frozen pomegranate pips.

So now that 2010 is upon us and the party is over it is one of my favourite times of the year. I spend a great deal of time running between commitments and feeling like I never quite accomplish what I need to in any given day. The beginning of the year is often a great time for me to contemplate the path ahead and get my ducks in a row. This contemplation comes at a time when the restaurant seemingly slows down (although last January was ridiculously busy so I think it is a bit of an illusion - it just seems slower compared to four turn nights like Thursday!)

This year, I have a new office in our home which feels like a delicious treat. There are six people living in our home and space can be at a premium. We love living in this cozy, hectic environment but it sometimes translates to highly makeshift arrangements like my tiny desk and filing cabinet about a foot from where I sleep at night. My desk is moving into the music room! Yeah! Move over banjo, guitars, basket full of weird Kindermusic instruments, piano (okay, I now that isn't happening), I am making space to think and work! Hopefully my schedule and instrument practice schedule are able to co-exist...

So the question is: what am I working on? Well, there seem to be a lot of rumours flying around (feel free to check out my previous blog entitled "Fish Bowl") and so here is the state of affairs from my perspective: Yes, we are thinking about expanding our space to include a lounge and a private function room. We plan to keep the two space mainly separate, connected by a doorway, in order to maintain the feel of the bistro. We are also looking at 3 other opportunities and thinking about writing more (I will write more about those as they come together). We both love to keep our brains going and feel engaged with life. And, given that it is January, we need to write those folk festival menus! We're also working with the festival to offer food in new areas. I want to put a Bistro 7 1/4 booth at the festival but Alex thinks I'm crazy (I always worry a bit when Alex thinks I'm crazy...)

This year promises to be another fun-filled adventure and I wish you all peace, health and happiness in your year to come!

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