Early Days Of Restaurant Life

Today is day three since we signed our lease. We are all busy. Each of us has something we’re concentrating on. James is getting ready for school to start on Monday. He has the challenge of getting his body on a normal time schedule after months of sleeping in. He wrote a paper on the Grapes of Wrath and finished with four days to spare. We call him the genius in our house.

Anne’s been baking like a maniac. Today she made brownies for the third time. This time she nailed it. The brownies were moist, chocolaty and very addicting. That is what we are striving for, food that after one bite makes a person go a little crazy and then get’s them thinking about the next time they are going to eat that terrific food.

She baked lemon-rosemary and lavender sables. Sables are a French butter/sugar cookie. They are normally round and about the size of a quarter. They’re light and satisfying if you want something sweet and don’t want to eat a big huge, chocolate chip cookie. People like them especially women because they can sneak a sable and still feel like they are keeping to their diet.

We will offer probably four different sables, lemon-rosemary, lavender, anise, chocolate-pistachio.

The boys and I are working on homemade sodas. We won’t offer coke or pepsi type products, but will make homemade sodas. We plan to feature cola and root beer flavors. They’ll be mixed with cane sugar but we are experimenting with sweetening them with agave. The only problem is that agave costs five times as much as cane sugar.

I’m torn about whose espresso beans we’ll use. Recently I tasted two of the best espressos that I’ve had outside Italy. One was from a local Los Angeles roaster called Cafecito Organico. They’re a small time roaster, but their beans are terrific. The espresso is strong and thick like molasses and has hints of chocolate.The other espresso vendor is a pop up coffee shop called Cognoscenti Coffee. Their store front is in Eagle Rock. His beans are from a small roaster named Four Barrel in San Francisco. I have to give him the nod. His espresso is smooth and not at all bitter. It leaves a pleasant taste in the mouth. Since I’ve had that espresso I can’t want to go back for another. I also love the name Cognoscenti. It’s Italian and means well known or famous.

Tomorrow I will work on hooking up the espresso machine. Patrick and I have resorted to walking to Kaldi down the road for our espressos. They’re good. but I think we can do better with our Cognoscenti beans.

We have spent three days cleaning the kitchen. I have worked in kitchens all my life and one thing is certain about a kitchen. Every single kitchen has a film of grease that glazes everything from the walls, to the sinks, to the floors. We have scoured these surfaces with comet, degreaser and everything else you can think of. We’ve made a ton of progress and it feels great. I even cleaned the pipes under the sink.

Tomorrow we paint. Hopefully we’ll get half the kitchen done by tomorrow. We’ll see.

Take a look at Anne’s brownies. Look pretty good?

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