Friday, December 26, 2008

Writing the Winter Menu

As soon as I finish one menu, I start thinking of the next one. Ideas spin around my head for the next two months. I talk to Danielle, Clint, all my staff about ideas I have. I look at books and magazines, play around, try things out, run things as specials. By the time I get to actually writing the thing I have a fairly clear picture about what I want to do.

Then I sit down to write it. I set aside a chunk of time, usually pour myself a glass of wine or port, and start writing. The picture I though I had is never as clear as I thought it was. And it is always a lot more work than I think it should be.

I like to have a fairly solid first draft before I show anyone. Then I will sit down with Danielle, and we will tear it apart. I will tell her the things I really like, and what areas I am struggling with. We will look thorugh books, remember meals we have enjoyed in the past, toss ideas back and forth. Danielle is a great cook, and also has a good idea of what types of things our customers love. Sometimes I overthink things, and Danielle will call me on that. We are driven by the idea of Luxurious Comfort Food, but mostly, we cook food we would like to eat. Hopefully, there are enough of you out there who like the same things we do.

So far, this is what I am thinking of:
I want to re-invent our burgers, I want to use pork belly in more ways, I want to do more weird fifth-quarter off cut stuff (We going to do a snout salad with pig snout cooked two ways), I want a luscious duck dish people go crazy for...
... then the question is always "what stays?" the livers and short ribs for sure, but what about the hammer chop? It feels kind of fall to me, but is is a fabulous dish and kind of unique to us. Do I keep the salmon the way it is? What new mussels will I do? What are my three small salads, what are my dips? Do we continue with the fennel maramalade?

So any way, time to start. I am using this blog to stall, so I am going to start writing. I will update this blog as I work on the menu. If you have any suggestions, feel free to send them to me with a comment. We can all be part of the process!



  1. I've been to your restaurant a few times, and it's safe to say it's one of my favourite in the city. One thing I would love to eat in the winter would be a luxurious macaroni and cheese. I could see you guys delivering something like that that would be delicious.

  2. Last year we did an inside out mac and cheese. We did a cheddar cheese ravioli in a rich cream sauce.

  3. We also routinely run a special called "stinky mac and cheese" in which we incorporate all the leftover cheese ends from our cheese board selections.

    we will definitely consider a mac and cheese for this menu...


  4. mmmm... stinky mac and cheese. That sounds good.

    How about a nice onion and leak tart? Maybe with some lovely Spanish cured ham?

    Adam Dooley