May 4, 2020

Is it just me or is everyone surprised that May is here? For me it still feels like March 16th when we learned that our beautiful dining room would be without the energy and good spirits of my lovely guests. But then, really, we are not without that vibe here at the Simone. Because of you… continuing to reach out to say hello, to be excited about our Simone a-Go-Go dining program, stopping by in person to pick up (fab face masks and all!) and enjoying a cocktail or glass of wine at your usual table, sharing your stories of how you are spending your time and of course, what you all are cooking at home and drinking!

Chip this year became infatuated with the “slaw”…interesting takes on the traditional one he grew up with in North Carolina that always came with the famous pork barbeque that Carolina is known for. When in France this past January we used it as a nice “salad” addition to the dinners he prepared for our guests at the Inn in Jura. One evening he did a Roast Leg of Lamb on the grill he discovered outside on the patio, bourbon and cigar in hand of course! With that he did the most delicious slaw of red cabbage, pumpkin seeds, radish, red onion and apple. A vinaigrette using pumpkin seed oil finished it off. So refreshing a sidekick any grilled meats during the winter months. That evening we enjoyed a red wine from the Jura made from the Trousseau grape.

This past week saw a few favorites for the guests to enjoy in their homes: Flounder seared crispy, reminding us that summer is coming and made us all want fish sandwich! And our Rabbit from the Hudson Valley showed up classically wearing a sauce of Dijon. But the two items that really made them happy were the Venison, coming from our friends at Millbrook Farm in upstate New York and Rainbow Trout oven roasted with the first of ramps from also upstate. Desserts are still flying out of kitchen with the first of the strawberries from California showcased in a vanilla cream tart and the ever loved coconut cake. Soave recioto for the coconut cake is the most perfect bite ever.

Our friends Christopher and Stacy paired a Muscadet with stuffed artichokes for their dinner one evening and now I cannot wait to try it myself. These are the moments that mold our days and evenings. The simple pleasures. A reminder to ourselves that we are fortunate to enjoy them and share them with others. Chip is making braised chicken thighs with couscous, apricots and almonds tonight for dinner and I would give anything to put my hands on a white from Chateau Kefraya…wishful thinking.

We thank you for keeping us in your thoughts. Our souls are filled up with the generosity of our guests who have made the “Brown Derby” fund a roaring success and allows us here to feel all is possible. We are looking forward to taking care of you in person. It is because of all of you that we are reminded why hospitality called our names out years ago. It is our privilege to take care of you.

–Tina, Chip and the staff at the Simone