Betty Cole, Beverage Director of Texas French Bread

Dear Friends,

Occasionally I have the great pleasure of sending out one these weekly emails on a subject that is truly dear to my heart. I'm a single middle-aged man who is less likely every year to unexpectedly get hitched and start having kids. I don't know why that is, but arguably it's because I'm kind of married already to the restaurant (I mean it's got to be that, because I'm really super easy to get along with, right?). Anyway, it's always a special moment to me when one of my surrogate kids takes a meaningful step forward in their lives and embarks on a new stage in their journey.

This week, Betty Cole, who many of you know by her easy charm and lovely visage about the TFB dining room most evenings, has earned a promotion and is joining our management team. I couldn't be happier or more excited for both of us. Betty's new role will make her the primary leader for our service team in the evenings and in addition she will assume the all-important care of our seemingly ever-expanding wine list under her new title - Beverage Director. Woo Hoo - GO BETTY!

Not only is Betty one of my favorite people - she's also really good at her job. I've rarely met anyone who is so natural, real and comfortable with herself - especially not at her age. Over the past few years, I've watched night after night as she engages our guests with a gracefulness, competence, and a genuine interest in connection that represents the absolute epitome of what I want for our little community. As they say in baseball, she plays the game the right way and she always does the little things.

Betty came to work with us in the fall of 2009, shortly after returning from Los Angeles where she earned a degree in English lit from Scripps College for Women (she's also kind of a stealth heavyweight intellectual). She loves bookstores and reads about as widely as anyone I know - a discipline that I envy greatly - frequently passing along to me everything from contemporary feminist poetry to Melville's short stories (I'm going to get to that Melville book, I swear Betty).

In recent years, Betty has developed a deep interest in the kinds of wines that we sell at TFB - young, fresh, vital and made by individual people not afraid to get their hands dirty, much like the farmers whose foods we promote. She's gone way out of her way to get herself educated regarding viticulture, and (the Cousin Pur Breton notwithstanding) she's got a terrific palate. I am very much looking forward to seeing what new directions she may take our wine program.

Betty will also be in charge of special events at TFB, including the Springdale Farm dinner coming up on April 3, where she will have her first opportunity to suggest wine parings with the four course dinner. Note to anyone considering attending - please do consider purchasing the wine pairings - and not just because Betty has such great taste. We see these special dinners as an opportunity to open a number of bottles that are a bit more elegant (that's a polite way of saying expensive and delicious) and sharing them with our guests in a format where normally they might only get to taste from a single bottle. We think it's a great value and hope you'll give it a swirl (see what I did there?).

Click below to reserve a table for the dinner.

Anyway, please be sure and congratulate Betty when you see her. She's done amazing work for us, and we can't wait to see what she will bring to our leadership team and our wine offerings. Hope to see you in the restaurant soon.

bon appetit,


PS - speaking of our wines. I was recently interviewed by Mark Rashap on his KOOP radio program, the wine related "Another Bottle Down". It was great fun and if you want to hear the show, here's a link to the podcast. My contribution starts about halfway through the show.