Saturday, May 31, 2008

Where are We Now

As we move forward to our projected opening date. We are now in the middle of construction, oredering, plate ware, silverware, smallwares TV, glass ware and the list goes on and on.
I have been involved in openings before but for some reason this one is something special. The bond we are forming as a team is starting to show more everyday. We spent an entire weekend at the owners Cape Cod bungalow(ok its bigger than most peoples everyday house) and had a great weekend of testing potential menu items, tasting wines and getting to know each other. We had the pleasure of hosting Matt maue, whom I hope decides to come on board as our Chef de Cuisine and my wife and our GMs wife and our children.
This business is the toughest business on earth in my eyes, being able to work with people that you are comfortable with, people who respect what we do for a living, and people who let us make desicions for the better of the venture is more than I can say for most.
I am now going to spend the next few weeks, finalizing the menu, writing manuals and standard operating procedures and hopefully get closer to a solid date for the grand opening.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Day at the Farm

Part team building exercise and part curiosity factor. The team and I headed down to Sid Wainer and Sons Specialty Produce and Specialty Foods to not only check out the warehouse but we were able to visit both green houses and the Jansel Valley Farm.
The green house next to the warehouse was truley amazing, they grow all the micro greens they can, mostly focusing on pea greeans right now but its amazing to see the manual labor and love that the growers are putting into the product they produce.

One of the highlights of the trip was actually driving to the Jansel Valley Farm in Dartmouth MA. Milton, the companies twenty something year old farmer was quite the knowledgeable farmer. While most of us are wondering what to order or placing our orders for the next day, Milton is concerned with the full moon and the possibilty of losing the crop due to a frost. While we aere there he was still deciding on planting baby fennel, building a wind house and setting up irrigation for the June bearing strawberry crop...It was 3pm.
One of the facts that was brought up was the reason they are doing all this, after all 80% of their business is still basic produce which they buy direst from the finest farms in the world. Farming is an art that is slowly disappearing in the state of Massachusetts and in so many other farming communities around the world. The next generation are not choosing to become farmers, they are becoming lawyers, doctors etc.....Sid Wainer hopes that by developing new farming methods, experimenting with new crops and developing ways to increase the profit for local farmers by showing them new techniques (all being developed by a young ambitious next generation farmer,Milton) that at least Sid Wainer has done their part in keeping the tradition alive.
Another very motivating day as we get closer to opening Tastings. We will be supporting Sid Wainer and the efforts they are putting into the food we choose to buy.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


What a meal! Matt(hopefully Tastings soon to be Chef De Cuisine) and I had a lunch to remember at Momofuku Noodle Bar today in NYC. Chef Chang is truly a master of simple full flavored, just damn done right cuisine. Usually when Matt or myself eat we can almost find something that we would do different, we couldn't. Every dish was perfect in more ways than one. If you have not had the chance to get to Momofuku GO! don't wait just go!,
Something about enjoying food with a fellow chef and talking to the chefs actually preparing your food(thanks Chef Scott)that makes you realize why we do what we do.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

chardonnay smoked sea salt

Fumee de sel Chardonnay, WOW! I have heard of this salt, seen it but never used it until a competition I competed in this year. The salt crystals are raked by hand. To dry, the salt is smoked over fires made from the burning of hand selected French oak wine barrels, which have been used to house and age fine French chardonnay for five to seven years. The salt turns a light brown hue from the roasting. The flavor is not only of the smoke but you can really taste the subtle hint of chardonnay.
I purchased approx. 6 oz for 18 dollars so its not your every day table salt, although I find myself finishing everything with it now. Spice House is a great online tool for purchasing not only this salt but many fine spices and herbs.

This salt is a finishing salt, Great on tartar and I have been using it alot in my ceviche preparations lately. This is a new staple in the kitchen.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

small plates

Tastings will be focused on globally inspired small plates using as much local and sustainable product that we can get our hands on. Small plate cuisine some would call is the newly accepted way of eating in the US. Every night millions of hipsters, the young and old, the after work crowd and the no work crowd, families, single folk and many others head out to experience the small plate movement.

The movement here in the states in still fairly new, with everybody jumping on the train with their own version. Asian tapas, Italian tapas, American tapas.....Funny thing is, although a recently accepted trend, it makes sense! Small plate dining and sharing makes total complete sense! The act of eating is so repetitious yet we wont survive with out it.In order to make it interesting (some more than others)we seek out new and unusual cuisine, ingredients, new restaurants and old restaurants just to keep it fresh. But when I sit down with a group of friends, family, my wife or children and we enjoy sharing multiple different dishes while we laugh and talk about our own life and dreams we are sharing in a tradition that has been around for thousands of years, the tradition of Tapas style dining is the most comforting and sensual way of eating one can experience.

More often than not we sit across from others at a restaurant and enjoy our own dish, our own little world so to speak, rarely caring about what the other is eating or experiencing. But when you enjoy tapas, everyone experiences the same flavors, textures, temperatures and visuals yet everyone interprets each of those characteristics so differently. Maybe I am just a sucker for dining and drinking with my closest friends and family, but next time your out, think about how much better that meal is shared amongst friends and loved ones.Think about the tradition you are taking part in.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

First Photos

Here are the first official photos of Tastings. Mike(GM/Wine Director) is the talented photographer. The first shot is of the empty shell, the second is the view from the patio. And the third is another angle. With the shell being handed over next week its GAME TIME!!