Tuesday, November 3, 2009

So Halloween is over...but the festivities continue.

We had an amazing night yesterday, tasting the wonderful, flavorful, often exotic dishes that our executive chef, Ron Rittenhouse, created. We were joined by our family and a few friends who heard whisperings of the tasting--not one person walked away with even 1 criticism. The whole idea, was to get those who knew us best to give us their honest opinions. We asked them to be absolutely brutal. But either they love us so much that they just saw through any hiccups we may have had, or in fact, more likely, they truly and honestly had an amazing evening.

I met Ron's mother and his wife. Both are just lovely--intellectually stimulating conversation, & attractive to boot! Today, after a long day of visiting with vendors and accounts in NYC, I had the pleasant surprise of finding a thank you note from Ron's wife:

I'm blown away. I know, I know, you're probably saying, "That's your executive chef's wife; how can she not like it?" Truth be told, after meeting her, I just know that she has integrity. She is the kind of person who wouldn't pay you a compliment just to make you "feel good." And honestly, I can say the same about my mother.

My mom has what we call in Spanish "No tiene pelos en la lengua" which translated literally means "She has no hairs on her tongue." The actual meaning is that she doesn't mince words; she's very honest and direct. I love that about her. And having gone through numerous restaurant, bar and nightclub openings of our family with her, I know my mom will tell it "like it is." She left me a beautiful message this morning on my voicemail confirming how much she had enjoyed the night. She not only complimented Ron, but also the decorating we'd done--thanks Kristine Marinelli (a.k.a. KM Interior Design)--and the upbeat, exuberant staff we had hired. Each and every one of our staff who has joined The National Hotel has shown us how committed they are to rejuvenating the business, to making sure Frenchtown is "front and center," and to maintaining a high-level of quality that will surely be enjoyed by our guests.

Hey, that's not to say that we won't make mistakes along the way...but honestly, you have ALL shown us that you love this building, the history behind this building, so much, that any little bumps along the way, are well worth having as long as we reach our destination.

So let's lift our glasses to this grand old building, its history, its secrets, its quirks. Let's be a part of the next lines that need to be written and recorded as it now breathes and welcomes the new and the old back on its premises. Cheers!

And don't forget, that if you have a story to share, you are always welcome to post a comment. I hope to meet each and every one of you who have taken the time to read this blog. Can't wait until tomorrow...wait...it's 12:45 a.m...already tomorrow...where are you?


  1. Just this morning I got to your website by clicking on Ron's name but it was in "test" mode. Since then, I haven't been able to access. Maybe I'm jumping the gun but I wanted you to know the site is not fully up and running (you're probably working on it now). As for my sneak peek: it looks wonderful! A bunch of us on 8th St. are planning on coming by the Rat after work and voting tonight. Can't wait! Skye Van Saun

  2. Tuesday was just awesome...so many of our Frenchtown friends were here to share this special day with us. I'm so happy you made the time.

    I really appreciate your feedback on the website. If you are still having trouble viewing it, please let me know: www.thenationalhotelnj.com. The site went live at the same time the brick and mortar building opened its doors. Virtual and Reality all at once.