Each year I find myself writing some version of the same email with regard to New Year's Eve. It's probably not that great of a sales pitch. It begins with some general thoughts regarding the nature of the season and the holiday. I note that the days surrounding the winter solstice are short, and a sacred time for taking stock, finding meaning, and setting one's intentions for the year ahead.
I recall that spiritually, the season is a time of symbolic hibernation and physical regeneration. Our bodies seek rest. They need to recharge as we await the return of the sun, and along with it, the renewal and vitality of gorgeous spring days to come. Rarely has this felt truer than this year, with these gloomy skies and temperatures hovering near freezing in recent days. The cold and dim light leave me wanting a bowl of hearty soup, some crusty bread, a good book, and maybe a hot toddy followed by an early bedtime.
Then I confess that even in my youth, our popular New Year's motifs didn't quite work for me (think of tall flutes overflowing with Veuve Clicquot set on spotless white table cloths, long sequined evening gowns, and dancing long past midnight in the expansive ballroom of some very expensive midtown hotel).
It is usually at about this point that I make something of a U-turn. I note that despite my feelings about the character of the season, I am a social creature, and that I've always tried to guide us on the middle path as we plan our New Year's Eve dinner service at TFB. I promote the idea of an intimate and elegant gathering of friends to celebrate the turning of the calendar.
Well, this year we'll keep this same theme going at Texas French Bread. As Whitney mentioned in an email she sent out earlier this week, we have some terrific and comforting fare on our prix fixe menu - beef short ribs and Boggy Creek polenta being a personal favorite.
And though last year I seem to recall standing behind the oyster station, swearing under my breath that I'd never put my poor bruised fingers up to the rough shell of another oyster again - all I can say is, silly me for thinking that. Recently, Josh casually mentioned that we'd be serving oysters again this year, and would I mind...
What was I going to say? So sure enough, I'm on oyster shucking duty again this year. (And you wouldn't want me to just stand up there with nothing to do, amirite?)
I should also note that in addition to the adventures offered on our current wine list, we've laid in several new Champagnes from producers that, in my humble opinion, are far richer and more complex than the Veuve I referenced above.
We'll have two seatings - one at 6 - 6:30 pm and a second seating at 8 - 8:30 pm, either of which will have you home early and into your warm, comfy jammies by a completely reasonable hour.
I hope you can join us.
PS. One last thing, if you'll indulge me, because in one particular way, this holiday season breaks with those that I've enjoyed in recent years. Those of you who follow these emails will note that over the last year, I've mentioned my sweetie, Carissa, on a number of occasions. Those of you who are friends and know Carissa will know that I met her about a year ago at a special event we held here at TFB. I would tell you that I knew about 8 seconds into meeting her that I was, as the expression goes, "all in," but I would be lying. It didn't actually take that long.
Yesterday, at lunchtime, Carissa and I drove to a modest blue house just north of downtown. We sat in a conference room for a bit, waiting for the Justice of the Peace, as my heart tried to beat its way out of my chest. We said our vows, and then we left there - newly married. I literally could not feel more fortunate if I had won the lottery.
My wife and I will be in attendance at TFB on New Years Eve. We hope to see you there.