You Know What I Love? Restaurants.


You know what I miss? Restaurants. Long amazing lunches and dinners with my wife where we can reconnect as a couple over a glorious bottle of wine, a meal that doesn’t require us to wash plates afterward. I miss the fancy dishes prepared by classically trained chefs, and I miss my go-to comfort food.

The next time I’m able to sit down at a table and have a server take my order, I’m going to slow the hell down. While I mindfully sip an aperitif with my legs crossed, I’m going to take my time scrutinizing the menu the chef poured her soul into creating. When the server sets down the first plate, I will take each bite like it’s my last, thinking about all the people who worked to make our experience special. I will look into the beautiful eyes of my wife and raise my glass and say, “Let’s never take our restaurants for granted again.”

I don’t know about you, but I live for eating meals with good friends, a bottle or two or three of wine on the table. I’ve worked in the wine business for a long time and have been savoring good bottles and writing about all things wine for even longer. To me, there’s nothing better than cozying up to my favorite table at my favorite spot; an open bottle, a board of cheese & charcuterie, a loaf of crusty bread, and good company surrounding me. I miss that. I miss it like crazy.

I miss my restaurant friends who I’ve come to know, the folks who visit our table during a slow moment in the dinner rush. I miss the wines they offer, the stemware they use. I miss the dishes that I could never begin to create at home. Not that I haven’t tried. My failed efforts make me appreciate you even more.

Here’s to the restaurateurs, the chefs, the dishwashers, the farmers, the wine and food suppliers, the distributors, the servers, the line cooks, the sommeliers, and the bartenders who are all fighting to save their jobs right now. We already know how tough you are after years of working this industry; hats off to you for being warriors now as we navigate this wild time together.

This pandemic has hit you as hard as anyone in the world. Thank you for closing down your businesses with such grace, so that we can flatten the curve and slow this threat to our society. What all of you are going through breaks my heart.

Though my wallet has been hit too, I’m still ordering takeout, and I’ll be first in line the moment you have our table ready. But be forewarned, I plan on camping at that table for quite some time and ordering damn near everything on the menu.

I speak for everyone at Hedges Family Estate in saying we miss you, we love you, and we’re pulling for you.

Sincere thanks,

A guardian of Red Mountain (and one hungry and thirsty gourmand)