Wednesday, June 1- Big rainstorm ended right as we opened the door, making way for a beautiful Tuesday evening. Due to 2 call-outs (strep throat) we only had 1 SA per floor, with the runners acting as back-up. We also had 2 dishwasher stages, Xavier and Ren, who were both contributing a lot. Good amount of walk-in guests as well as notable guests, given full Lena Brava experiences through our teamwork.
Mood Scale: We had a couple wine situations tonight, that I was proud of handling with calm energy (a less experienced version of me may have panicked.) At one table, we had a master somm inquire into a bottle of bubbles that was 86’ed: when I went to the table to break the news, she asked me for my personal recommendation for a replacement. I went with the Jean Viselles, because I have learned the most about this bottle and it was my favorite in our tastings. While I opened the bottle at the table, I made the master somm and guest laugh saying this champagne is known for its fine mousse. The inquiry for the 86’ed bottle was a potentially treacherous moment in this wine savvy guest’s Lena experience: by having a recommendation in my back pocket ready to go and using humor, we were able to turn this into one of the highlights of their experience.
Appreciation: Mary Grace Viado Howard, chef of Village Tavern in Winston-Salem NC, and her husband, visited Chicago at the start of May. With no reservation, they somehow were able to sit for dinner as walk-in’s the very first night we were officially open, May 5. I remember talking to them at table 56 (the 2-top, it’s 54 now): they loved their experience and felt so lucky it even happened at all. Chef Mary sent a package addressed to the “support manager at 900” with a bag of grits as a gift, along with this note: “Dear Mr. Arthur, I am truly grateful to you and your team in having had us for dinner the first night you were open. Congratulations to you and your entire team for an amazing restaurant.”
Tom Skilling Says… More strong storms and rain to start June, with severe weather a threat again on Wednesday.