Thursday, October 23, 2008

Moving Into Fall At Papa Byrd's

School has begun, the tourist season is about over, but the great food at Papa Byrd's just gets better. Business has certainly slowed and our tanking economy hasn't helped much, but innovative Tracy has us serving half portions again during the day, and college has taken away many of our employees, so we continue on.

We slid gracefully into Fall with a lovely, artistic belly-dancing performance by Tracy's friend, Erika. Having only seen belly-dancers who danced for the tips lavished upon them, Erika's presentation was a pleasant departure into something that emphasized grace, artistry, balance, and form. The customers were very pleased and even the employees had to stop their work and become absorbed into the show. At the end, Erika did a beautiful dance while skillfully balancing a series of candles on a tray on her head. Beautiful!

Several weeks ago Josh's dad, Terry Sherven, played guitar and sang at the restaurant, along with local musicians Gary Lawrence (bass and singing) and Wayne Rau on mandolin. The customers really enjoyed the music. I had to agree with many of them that it sounded like Willie Nelson was in the restaurant. Great night!

We've had several perfect restaurant weekends because Josh and Tracy have been serving and the evening's flow has been everything a restaurant could wish for. We have an excellent core group of people that just cannot be beat. That's our dynamic duo: Tracy and Josh!

And our customers seems to be happy. We've had people from Seattle to Tasmania to Coeur d'Alene rave about the food. We even had a customer write about us at TripAdvisor.

Besides our regular menu which includes Mark's signature lasagna, Mark also creates the most delicious specials from Vodka Sauce on Papparadelle with Freshly Grated Parmesan to a Wild Mushroom Duxelles Sauce on Mushroom Ravioli topped off with a Balsamic Reduction to Orange-glazed Game Hens served with Wild and Brown Rice with Middle Eastern Herbs and Roasted, Locally Grown Apples and the list goes on.

I've created some new desserts, a favorite being my version of the Velouté au Citron (Lemon Velvet Cake), in which I use two biscuit layers in the center and two almond meringue layers for the top and bottom, thus creating a multi-layered cake. Last weekend I created a cake I called "Evita" because it had flavors reminding me of Argentina: chocolate genoise layers made with
Dagoba Xocolatl Hot Chocolate Mix, three layers of mocha buttercream, topped with a chocolate ganache, and then I trimmed the sides to show off the layers. Yummy! And last night I made a Caramel-Pecan Chocolate Ganache Tart. After "quality control," the kitchen came to a standstill.

Arriving home after work, I found the movie "Chocolat" just beginning on TV and was compelled to watch the entire movie for yet another time. It just captures me and dessert-making....

Well, off to work....