So another year has ticked off the calendar! It always grants the chance to pause and reflect on how lucky so many of us are.
As we brought in the New Year, I find myself thinking about the New Year and symbols of luck. There are so many traditions when it comes to colors, luck and the New Year. In our travels, I have had the opportunity to create a master list of lucky dishes across the country and around the world. At the top of the list are yellow flowers, black eyed peas, kale or collard greens, tuna, champagne, cabbage, pork, cornbread, pomegranate, noodles and rice in the orient.
It’s no coincidence that food and luck come together. At the top of the inventory of gratitude has to be those that we get to share our lives with. In fact, next month with Valentine’s Day, many of our customers and their dining patrons will celebrate those very special relationships for which we are most thankful.
The very nature of Valentine’s Day signifies lots of sharing and of course the predominant color is red. We suggest rethinking how you serve your menu on the special day with an eye towards sharing. We are working with many of our BHS/Weiss customers to create steak/beef or fish entrees served on wood platters and sliced at the table.
We love the use of shared side dishes served on red plates or bowls. We like many of the offerings from Schoenwald or RAK for the small plates and black or brass bowls from American Metal and FOH. We are also seeing many of our operators from restaurants to clubs getting creative with special additions to their Valentine’s Day menus. At the top of that list is offering fondues for both dinner and dessert.
Valentine’s Day also gives your culinary team the chance to enhance the mood for the patron. We are seeing many of our customers create an almost flower like look on their salads. There are also simple touches including dressing the salad at the table.
Oysters and champagne are of course synonymous with the romance that is Valentine’s Day. We suggest oysters served with champagne minuets, or “dirty” oysters served in copper or black bowls. We also suggest a double-walled plate from Steelite to set just the right mood.
Your cocktail menu takes center stage for Valentine’s Day with an eye towards all things red. It starts with a Champagne toast in coupe glasses, or Pinot shaped glasses. We suggest a flash frozen strawberry for garnish. Valentine’s Day is celebrated by many in Manhattan. Many of our customers make sure that they are utilizing the highest quality cherries. Many have even moved to a smoked cherries house that are smoked using a Henkelman bagger with a smoker attachment.
The Valentine’s Day experience for your dining guest is all about taking service and comfort to the next level. How about providing an extra pillow on each of your dining chairs for extra comfort?
A special reminder, call your florist as soon as possible. Your plan for Valentine’s Day starts with creating the right “red” feel in your restaurant/club by making certain that you have set each place setting with a special red rose to take home. While you’re at it, maybe a signature dipped strawberry or a special muffin or cookie to bring home might create a once in a lifetime experience for your guests. Remember we are here to help.