Friday, April 30, 2010
MAY IS GOING TO BE AMAZING!!! KENTUCKY DERBY, FRENCHTOWN FIRST FRIDAYS, CLASSIC BIKES AND BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So it's now just over a week since our very FIRST wedding reception, held at The National Hotel! We are just so thrilled at how smoothly everything went. Quite honestly, although as proprietors we are ever so proud to have been a part of this exciting day (& weekend), our efforts to make this run smoothly paled with the efforts of the bride and groom, and of their friends and family.
Truly it was the bride and groom's family and friends who made this wedding a total and utter success. We'd love to take credit for it...but it was a team effort. The bride was very organized and prepared, and her friends and family were not only supportive, but absolute "worker bees."
We had the pleasure of coordinating the BIG day's event, side-by-side with the bride's amazing friends, who instantly helped ratchet down the stress level and organize things, from the simplest little details, to the overall theme. Thank goodness for good friends!
And thank goodness for a family that is participatory and thrilled at being a part of such a wonderful occasion. Both sides of the family were welcoming, gracious, and truly good hosts. The rehearsal dinner the night before at our Restaurant went off without a hitch. Everyone enjoyed themselves, gave us wonderful feedback on the staff, the chef, the ambiance...everything. And then came the wedding day.
The simplicity of the floral arrangements added to a sense of elegance and freshness. The flowers came from our very own Frenchtown neighbor, Valley Florist, and they saw to it that everything was delivered on time, and set up beautifully. The National Hotel "smelled" like spring. It was just a beautiful transformation, from our normal Restaurant decor, to the bridal touches that completed the room's ambiance. The service was held in that room, giggles heard, tears wiped, and vows made. Everything came to a standstill during those precious minutes.
Congratulations to the bride and groom...you know who you are. Thank you for making our weekend so special, and for choosing The National Hotel as a wedding venue that will forever be etched in our minds as "The Place" where two families became one.
We are ever so pleased to have been a part of this momentous day, and hope to have many more opportunities to share special and exciting days with other couples. From our luxurious guest suites (a few with jacuzzi tubs!!), to our Restaurant and quality dining choices, to our unique and signature drinks at our Bar and Rathskeller Pub, The National Hotel is poised to cater to its guests' unique and individual needs. We are fortunate to have a staff that is keenly interested in being the very best, and in giving their focused attention to each guest's requirements.
If you haven't had a chance to visit our establishment, please take some time to do so. Give us a call at 908.996.3200, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll give you a personal tour of the building and share some tidbits about its history. It's wonderful to have the opportunity to meet so many people who have been to the building before, or those who are new to the area, as well as those who have driven through the town but never entered this historic property. Make the time to come out, and we'll make the time to share some stories with you.
It's a gem of a town, Frenchtown. Now that the weather is better, be sure to come and see us, whether you're planning an event, birthday, wedding, girls' night out, or just taking a drive through our scenic country roads on a Sunday afternoon. We'll work with you side-by-side, to make your special day memorable. We hope to see you soon.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Earth Day is celebrating it's 40th year. As a parent with school-age children, one hears about the importance of this day, from a child's perspective. Rather than looking at the macro--at issues that are so big that in fact cause "decision paralysis" among many of us--children have a way of concentrating on the micro--on manageable, small changes we can all make that collectively make a difference.
There are lots of sites that have information on Earth Day and ways to make a difference in a personally relavent manner. Just do a quick google search and you'll find lots of great websites, blogs, and tips.
How about re-using that printed sheet of paper, flipping it over, and running the back-side through the printer when we are just printing out receipts or "works in progress?" Or don't print it at all...or, how about using discarded sheets of paper for scrap paper? Seems simple enough, but you'd be surprised how often we waste opportunities to be "green," because it's just not on our radar. Our girls are even re-using poster board from projects they've completed, and always find use for wasted or discarded printed paper, for solving math problems, scribbling, or test practice.
And what a great way to celebrate Earth Day--together!
Sunday, April 18, 2010
We can’t wait until later this afternoon, when Chuck Schaeffer ("The Chuck Wagon") together with Vern Warta, makes us all move, when he entertains us with his mix of Rockabilly, Folk, Americana, and Country Rock. Does the word “FUN” come to mind? We’ve been approached by so many talented musicians, that we are now pleased to offer music at The National Hotel almost every Sunday through the end of June. Be sure to join us today, Sunday, April 18th, from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., downstairs in The Rathskeller Pub Lounge to catch Chuck Schaeffer.
And don't stop there, because you'll find that we're going to play hosts to other wonderfully talented musicians throughout the next couple of months. There are so many people involved in putting together a successful event. I know this from my own life, having worked in the non-profit sector for nearly 20 years, but what's so unusual about The National Hotel, is that so much of the "fun stuff" we offer, the Open Mic Nights,
the Sunday Music in the Afternoon series, actually happens because of the efforts and interest of the community. Pete and I essentially play hosts, offer the venue, but it is our Frenchtown and Hunterdon County friends and neighbors, who have made it a point to ensure that their treasured gem of a building never again closes its doors, never again is boarded up to create sadness and angst amongst all who pass by. Pete and I have been charged with taking on a business venture that is less business and more passion. We have engaged in an exercise of personal and community necessity, which drives us every single day to do our very best to make sure we meet (and wherever possible, exceed) expectations--our own, and those of our great neighbors.
Pete and I are just blessed to have been embraced by this community of artists and art aficionados. And to have captured the attention of the media, just means that we are also getting recognized for consistently creating quality dishes and providing an inviting atmosphere for the local resident as well as the traveler who comes from afar.
It ‘s only been about a month since our last review in The Courier News, where The National Hotel dominated the front page of one of their interior sections. The reviews of the food were fantastic and of the establishment itself too. And now, just 2 weeks ago, we were fortunate enough to have been a featured center story in The Good Times section of The Trenton Times. They captured one of our bartenders, Tobi “in action” pouring a martini, and offered a beautiful photo of our historic Bar.
It also captured the new covers to our menus, which we just LOVE! It seems like such a small detail, but to us, a lot of thought, time and attention to detail went into picking out just the right covers, making sure there was synergy between them and the room’s décor. Have you seen them? Do you like them?
And then you open them, and you find the most incredible assortment of wonderful food carefully planned and prepared by our kitchen, led by our executive chef, Ron Rittenhouse. From the appetizers to the small plates, to the main entrees, we have gotten such wonderful feedback from our patrons. They love the food, they love the classics on the menu, they love the exotic seasonings we offer for some of our dishes…and they love the prices.
It’s still a recession out there. There are still so many people hurting, looking for work, struggling. The National Hotel is not the kind of establishment you frequent only once a year. Oh no. Pete and I are living the American Dream, but precisely because this great country has allowed us to do so, we are also well aware of the struggles and road blocks/challenges we have faced and that others in our community are currently facing. Two immigrants, naturalized citizens from two different parts of the world—it could really only happen that one person with an Indian passport meats another with a Chilean passport and actually connect—came together, formed a family, took a risk and started their own business, and now have the support of neighbors and friends, many of whom can trace their roots for generations in this very area.
And that’s a very powerful reason why we want to offer a variety of choices on our menu where everyone can find something that they can afford and that they can enjoy. And this extends to our commitment to support our local merchants and our local farmers. Pete and I want very much to make sure that our establishment adds to the growth of our local community. And we are pleased that Ron has been able to make our vision and our goal a reality, by working with local producers and farmers and to offer these great products to our patrons.
From menu choices that run the gamut in ethnicity to sensitive pricing of the dishes, to offering what used to be “alternative” choices, and are now desirable and sought-after food choices labeled as vegan and vegetarian, The National Hotel’s vision is to create a culinary experience that will keep you coming back.
I hope we have achieved that. I know our patrons have embraced our Thursday to Sunday Specials Menu, to the point where we were just “testing the waters” to see if we should even deviate from the main menu, and now have made it a weekly tradition to offer new options at the end of the week to liven things up a bit. Your feedback did that. It was your comments, your suggestions, your interaction with us that helped us bring these dishes to fruition. Pete, Marlon (our General Manager), and Ron, always keep their ears open for these nuggets of information. Hearing our patrons tell us that “We’ll have to bring our parents next time. They’d love this place,” or “What a great meal…and those martinis!” We can’t get enough of it. And Ron and Kasey Goyette, our lead bartender, who designed the signature drinks for The National Hotel, just get such a bolt of energy when they hear that they’ve hit a home run, that we cannot thank you enough for letting us know.
Now that our Thursday to Sunday Specials Menu has been so successful, keep your eyes open for our summer menu that we’ll kick off as the weather gets better…we’ve even planned some dishes that have a stronger ethnic fusion, while still offering your traditional favorites. We can’t wait for your feedback once we launch it!
Friday, April 16, 2010
“How appropriate to carry forward the tradition of the arts that have been a center-point of The National Hotel for more than a century and a half. Writers put on paper what we all feel, what we wish we could say, what needs to be shared. What a wonderful experience to share with everyone.”