Coming up for air after another great weekend! We hosted the People's Poetry in the Rat from 2 p.m. - 4 p.m. on Sunday, and followed that with our 2nd dinner theater program in conjunction with River Union Stage, Boxing with Gaia (or love your mother), at 4 p.m. in the Restaurant. The building was filled with the arts, with people who enjoy performing, as well as those who love to be a witness to creative talent unfolding before their eyes.
And it was Frenchtown's Bastille Day weekend celebration too! The town was filled with people from the surrounding areas, and from distant places. People were walking around, shopping, enjoying the sunny (albeit HOT) days. We enjoyed having so many guests stopping by to cool down, have something to eat, and have a refreshing drink. Kasey Goyette, our lead bartender, made so many of her St. Germain cocktails, lychee martinis and pomegranate margaritas that even I got tempted and opted for a taste of the latter. But the St. Germain cocktails, made from a liqueur of elderflower blossoms, are an absolute hit. There was even a fabulous New York Times article recently about it, which even has the basic recipe at the bottom of it:
Two parts Champagne or dry white wine, two parts sparkling water or club soda and one-and-a-half parts St-Germain, garnished with a lemon twist.
The additions to the menu were outstanding! I kept hearing such great comments from our guests, that I just needed to share that statement, because it came from many of you...everyone seems thrilled with the new menu that our executive chef, Ron Rittenhouse developed, taking advantage of seasonal items, and maintaining our commitment to support local and sustainable farmers. It's so important for us to keep the community ever-present in everything we do. And this is just one way we've been able to "stay local."
I know that Ron is already thinking ahead to what he can change for the fall season...I can't wait for that!!! It seems so far away, and yet, I suspect these hot summer days will end soon enough given the speed at which all our lives travel these days. Soon we'll be welcoming Labor Day, planning our wine tasting dinners and martini nights, and gearing up for the start of that busy fall season.
In the meantime though, we plan on absolutely enjoying the summer months, continuing to welcome your feedback on what we're doing right and what we could improve. It looks like the People's Poetry is a big hit for our community, from your feedback. It was an organic process, completely organized and created by members of our community, Skye Van Saun and John Smith, and now features other moderators each month. And our Thursday Open Mic Night sessions are always well-attended, featuring numerous performers, each of whom have their own style--and many who have impromptu jam sessions. It really is so impressive how this comes together week after week. And that too was created through one of our Frenchtown resident's efforts, Alex Wolfson, and now it is hosted by numerous others in our musical family.
I've been neglectful in putting together the webclip that I envisioned creating from multiple video snapshots of our Open Mic Night sessions...making a note (again) to myself to do that. I'll post it on our National Hotel NJ youtube channel--there'll be additional clips from Chuck Schaeffer too! I just uploaded a couple of other clips from The National Palooza's live music festival. Those musicians absolutely got everyone in the mood to dance, linger, and enjoy a great summer afternoon and evening.
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And it's only the middle of July! Wait and see what's in store for August...