May 2009

wine office We will be working for wine from here on out (everyone except Hudson or Alex).

We did it, we have been approved to sell beer, wine and liquor for consumption off-premises.  That means no glasses of wine with your lunch and no bottles upstairs.

It does mean that we are having our first wine tasting this Saturday from 2-4 pm!!  We will be trying three wines (not sure which ones yet) and two cheeses!  Very exciting.

A few customers have expressed concern about where the wine will physically fit in the store.  Don’t worry!  The layout of the store is like a puzzle, I will contract and relocate other things to find space for the wine.  The wine is not going to take over the store, we are a deli that will now carry wine.

I also want to mention that at the liquor board meeting two hearings preceeded ours and both were for violations.  DJ and I watched two local stores receive fines and suspensions for selling alcohol to the same underage cadet.  Most importantly, we got a look at the cadet!  He is two months shy of 21, at least 6 feet tall, clean cut andfairly responsisble looking.  But the law is the law and both stores sold him beer, one even LOOKED at his vertical (indicates that he is under 21) license and STILL sold him the beers.  The board was not happy that the cashier who made the mistake is still working at the store.  If you don’t ask if your customer is 21 you can expect a $600 fine and a two week suspension of your license!  You can ask to pick which two weeks to serve your sentence but the board will ultimately punish you when they please.  One of the store managers tried to pick her two weeks.  I thought that was a little bold…

To avoid any confusion and violations of our own three of our employees shuffled off yesterday to a Techniques of Alcohol Management class.  Currently 5 of the 7 employees are TAM certified and at least one will be on premises during operating hours.


applicationYou may have seen the enormous sign in our window– really, you can’t miss it– it says that our application has been submitted in full and we are quietly waiting for our May 11th court date to roll around. Before you know it we will be able to sell Italian wines, beer, and spirits!! Our staff will be able to give precise pairing suggestions!! We will not fall prey to the young police cadet attempting to fool us into selling booze to his under-age self, like so many other local businesses have. His ID will be checked because we are all women here and we like to know the names of our cute customers. No, we will not relinquish our hard-earned right to sell alcoholic beverages. After all, it has been a 5 month process!!!  Fingers crossed.  My beer distributor rep told me not to worry if our application is protested that day, he said there is a lady who protests all applications and they all pass without a hitch.  I hope that is true.  I have had so many of our customers ask if we sell wine.  Just to set the record straight, we applied for an “off-sales” license meansing that the alcohol cannot be consumed on the premises with the exception of tastings.  A tasting is a no more than 2 ounces, not to total more than 8 ounces per person and snacks must be available.  I am TAM certified, I know these things.


Last Friday we hosted a tasting with chef Andrew Evans who makes all of our fantastic prepared foods.  Andrew showed us all how San Marzano tomatoes are less acidic than regular plum tomatoes which means they are indispensable on weeknights.  In about 15 minutes he put together a pasta sauce made from San Marzano tomatoes, green and yellow squash, eggplant, red onions and garlic.  [Andrew had already let the eggplant soak in salt water for 30 minutes before rinsing it and adding it to the sauce.  He explained how this is a good way to evenly extract the bitterness without using too much salt.]

While the vegetables were softening, we tasted three kinds of salume: bresaola (beef), salami toscano and (not so) hot coppa and also three kinds of cheese: marinated feta (cow), pecorino pepato (sheep) and gran pascola (goat) with dried cherries, chestnut honey and cogna jam.  Chestnut honey seemed to be a favorite for pairing with cheeses and everyone liked the salami Toscano from Fra’ Mani.  

Everyone was in the spirit of things when the pasta was ready and by the time it was dusted with parmigiano we all dove in.  

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getting ready to toss the pasta with the sauce

getting ready to toss the pasta with the sauce