Opening Weekend Snippets

Why do so many out-of-towners have dietary restrictions and food allergies?

Why do out-of-towners love balsamic vinegar?

Why do they drive like assholes?

My feet are throbbing.

It was a good weekend.

I see tremendous promise in my kitchen.

I really like Sam, he’s a good guy with tons of potential.

I’ve had several beagles named Sam.

Despite a few correctable glitches, dinner service was smooth both Friday and Saturday.

I started at The Wine Bar seven years ago today.  I’m glad to be there at this point in my career and regret those days that I wasn’t there. It really is my spot.

As I was leaving Saratoga after work last night some asshole stopped in the middle of Broadway to let passengers out.  As I went around one of the other assholes opened the back door of the Escalade with NJ plates and hit my side view mirror.  He was holding a cocktail as he exited.  I stopped to make sure there was no damage and to remind these overgrown children that they’re assholes.  The mirror was fine.

If you’re from elsewhere, I’ll remind you.  Do not piss off a tired and over-worked chef in Saratoga during racing season.

Someone commented recently that we in the restaurant business should be thankful for the summer business, it makes our year.  Bullshit.  If you run a restaurant that needs that six weeks to survive then you do not have a very good restaurant.

The Wine Bar has been there for 19 years, six weeks of heavy business is a nice boost, but it won’t make or break the place.  Why?  It’s a good restaurant and the owners work hard all year.

Not drinking Bourbon is probably best, I’m glad (sort of) that I don’t.

I am not unwell, thank you.

Brindisi’s was a bad restaurant.  Grey Gelding was bad too.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the baseball season.

The three best teams are in the American league, so a National league team will undeservedly play in the World Series.

My dear friends Tom and Anne were in on Friday.  It is a real pleasure to cook for them.

It is a real pleasure to cook for many people.

I find friendship in many and varied places.

Sister Mary Elephant.


Provencal blue

I see a lot, and I certainly don’t let things slide.  I’ll catch up to everyone at some point.

I really could use a Bourbon.

Please and thank you are necessary words.

When you come into my kitchen use your words with specificity, tell me what you need exactly and briefly, then wait quietly while
we deliver it.

I’m not mean, I’m focused.

I eat not much more than a sandwich each day.

Theresa moved back home today.

A new server called me calm.  A server who worked with me during my last stint at The Wine Bar called me a work in progress.  She remembers the pre-Lexapro chef.

Tonight, I made pizza and wings for my family.  Tate said they were the best wings ever, so good in fact that he forgot to eat pizza.  That’s a far more satisfying comment than the customer who said the scallops are outrageous.

The table who said the lamb was not medium rare.  My sous vide unit begs to differ.  You cannot argue with precision.

Sometimes you’ve got to slow down to go faster.

Some people are just plain weird.

Fifteen minutes before closing, when the kitchen is cleaned, you want me to cook a chicken entrée with no seasoning to take home to your dog?  Like Jerry Seinfeld said to George Costanza lying on his floor with his pants at his ankles wanting to be his latex salesman, “I don’t think so.”  That’s a tremendous insult.

I really love dogs, but I’d never ask a chef to cook for the Chocolate Lab that lives at our house.

12 thoughts on “Opening Weekend Snippets

  1. Here’s a current Craiglist ad for a local restaurant. Think they’ll land their dream candidate at the peak of summer? “Looking for a server, experience preferred, to catch 25ish hours at established Saratoga Springs restaurant. Your ability to impress (crush side work, provide amazing customer service, learn wines/beers/liquors, having a healthy disdain for service industry drama ;)) will accelerate you into the best shifts and potentially earn you additional responsibilities/compensation. Social media competence a huge plus. Near open availability very important (especially weekends/Mondays).”


  2. I presume you were referring to my comment when you said, “Someone commented recently that we in the restaurant business should be thankful for the summer business, it makes our year. Bullshit. If you run a restaurant that needs that six weeks to survive then you do not have a very good restaurant.”

    Not only did you misquote me, but you also took what I said entirely out of context.

    Here’s what I said:

    “…But, do keep in mind that without the track, and the moneyed people it attracts, Saratoga would not be Saratoga. In my opinion, it’s worth putting up with that craziness six weeks a year, so us locals can enjoy Saratoga the remaining 46.”

    I did not say “the restaurant business.” I was referring all of Saratoga and the entire Capital Region hence: “us locals.”

    I stand by what I said. Saratoga would not be Saratoga without The Track, and that includes the assholes it draws during August. Those assholes keep the entire enterprise afloat.

    I’ll say it again; be thankful for The Track because, without it, Saratoga would cease to exist in its current incarnation. No Track, no Saratoga. It’s worth putting up with the assholes for six weeks a year so “us locals” can enjoy it the remaining 46. That includes all of Saratoga, not just the restaurants. And in my opinion, it’s a small price to pay.

    To believe otherwise is (to quote you) “Bullshit.”


    • No, Steve, I was not referring to your comment and did not misquote you. I actually talk to a lot of people and communicate with them in many forms aside from this blog, and I often write based on those other experiences. Your clarification is both misplaced and unnecessary.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Out-of-towners love balsamic vinegar because they have never had the real thing (neither have I) and believe that there is no other kind of vinegar worth tasting, e.g. good sherry vinegar.


  4. If out of town so I had any sense they would be thanking the townies for keeping town afloat all year. Saratoga survives just fine when racetrack isn’t open which is most of the year. There are plenty of people who come to Saratoga every year and have NEVER been to the track. Just saying.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with Steve. Seems like a cheap shot at a consistent blog poster. Cheap
    shot from you, Dom…to him. Seems to me Steve is part of our interweb family.
    I think he was spot on, in fact I had the same thoughts. Glad he rightfully defended himself. Don’t spin it, please. We all contribute because we care. Steve genuinely
    cares. Don’t know the man, btw…but always appreciate his input. We’re here for you
    Dom. You make mistakes, Dom. We ALL make mistakes. I truly appreciate your honesty. Now let’s be honest regarding Steve’s point. Btw, I’m Catholic.


    • Not only was Steve wrong to presume that I was refering to his comment, he was wrong about Saratoga. Too many non-Saratogians love to yell us how Saratoga functions. One thing they fail to know is that Skidmore is the number one contributor to the Saratoga economy and that there is far more to this community than six weeks of horse racing. Twelve years here has taught me that.


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