anniversary, Barbara Pitcher, Chef Trevor, Duck, garde manger, grill, Hamlet, Invite yourselves over, Jody Brown, kitchen, Open Table, our house, Paella, Reservations, saute, Shakespeare, Sommelier, Sontes, Steak, Thursdays on First, To Reserve or Not to Reserve, Uncle Bob, Wine
(Part One was posted earlier this week.)
…About a year ago, a couple came in for their anniversary in the middle of the week. Both were doctors, and neither knew when they’d be able to arrive for dinner, or if it would happen at all given their schedules. They made an 8 o’clock reservation, and they told us their situation, so it was noted in the computer. They did arrive–about two minutes before we closed. Now normally by this point, we’d have the dining room pretty well cleaned and buttoned up. But the dining room is not such a big deal: chairs that go up can certainly come back down. Tables can be reset. Easy. The difficulty is with the kitchen: once machinery is turned off for the night, it takes time to heat back up.
Some notes on the kitchen here: The Söntés kitchen is comprised of various stations, each with their own specialties and a chef to make them. One station is for sautéed items, one for grilled, one called garde manger, which has cheeses, salads, and desserts. At home, your stove is typically within reach, or a few paces, of your fridge, making multitasking an acrobatic feat– but one that you do with pride. At Söntés, the fridge is about twenty feet from the grill, and even further from the stove. Multitasking, i.e., manning the different stations simultaneously, takes running. When there’s only one Chef left in the house, cue the running.
As it was with the anniversary couple last year, we knew they were coming. We were ready. At that hour, they were the only ones in the dining room, but we kept the staff late, had the lights down low and the candles burning. Chef Trevor himself came out with the menu and told them they could order anything they wanted; he’d make it personally. The server opened their champagne, and they proceeded to have a wonderful and romantic dinner fit for an anniversary. In their case, the reservation made all the difference.
So, to reserve or not to reserve? (Hamlet would conclude that the fear of arriving with no reservation prompts us to make the reservation in the first place. But you know your Shakespeare.) Some of us will still fly by the seat of our pants, and we’re happy wherever we end up. Life is our adventure, and the key really is being happy wherever we end up. Others want the guesswork gone so they can enjoy lunch or dinner and still get back to work, family, or the movies.
A reservation simply means that we know you’re coming. You are guaranteed a table regardless of how busy the restaurant gets. You’ll receive priority service, and even a snack from Chef if you reserve by 4 p.m. that day. If you make a note that you want the duck, and we’re selling out of them like crazy, we’ll hold one for you. Read that last line again and feel its weight: Chef will choose a portion especially for you and kept it from being sold to anyone else. You can even note the wine you want, and our sommelier, Barbara Pitcher, will set it aside for you. Imagine a family gathering where everyone’s eating chicken, but Uncle Bob doesn’t like chicken, so when he arrives, Grandma makes him a steak. It’s like that. (See our Once Upon a Time blog for more ideas on making computer notes, such as for allergies or food preferences.)
Reserve your experience with us today. Or leave it to chance. We’ll take care of you either way. You’re all family to us.
You can always feel free to invite yourselves over to our house.
For more information about blogger Jody Brown, see our Who We Are page.
Join Us for these Upcoming Söntés Events:
June 6: Thursdays on 1st Season begins! Paella on the Street!
June 20: Wine Class with Sommelier Barbara Pitcher 6:30 p.m.
(reserve through Barbara ph. 952.358.1285)
See the Söntés Happenings page for more information
& watch for future Söntés blog posts
Söntés phone 507.292.1628