Thursday, January 20, 2011


Oh yes, what a fabulous way to start 2011.  Thank you to the Courier News' Lois Heyman for a wonderful article in her food column and on her food blog ( that blog, guys...truly wonderful writing and an exceptional way to stay on top of the latest food trends and venues in our area--where our new Executive Chef, Lisa Frederick, is highlighted and put in the spotlight.  Lisa is in fact an "original" having been part of The National Hotel from the moment we opened our doors, and for a few months now, having taken the helm of this historic "ship."  Lisa has managed to very quietly, with great humility and terrific talent, elevated the already high-standard of food preparation that had already been established.

[photo courtesy of Lois Heyman,]

How did she manage this?  Well read her own words where she is quoted in the Courier News article, "Global Influence":  It truly captures the essence of Lisa's vision for the restaurant and manages to wrap her arms around the ethnic flavors that Pete and I incorporated into our mission plan, whereby exotic (or ethnic) flavors and ingredients are interspersed with traditional fare, while still offering the all-American classics that everyone loves.  And Lisa has stepped up to the challenge and exceeded our expectations.  She is a consummate professional in the culinary field, but also a visionary in how she incorporates the products of local sustainable farmers into our menu.  It was always Lisa who spoke up and asked us to try this farm's produce, or that shop's product, because they were local, they were inter-generational farmers, or because they were truly a "green" organization.  Pete and I have learned that Lisa is not only capable, but also incredibly innovative and creative.  We are truly fortunate to be in the position to have Lisa as our Executive Chef.

Congratulations, Lisa, on the write-up!
And that's just the start.  Oh yes, so much!  How about the Casino Night we have planned for January 29th?  This is a fundraiser for the Frenchtown Lions Club that does so much for the children of our community.  Come on out and support their's going to be a FUN night for sure!!!  Make sure to contact us for information at 908.996.3200 or contact Sally or Andy directly at 908.996.7900, or email them at  It's sure to be a blast!

The "New Year" is almost a month old many of us have re-evaluated our resolutions?  I know many of The National Hotel's patrons have expressed a desire to not have ANY resolutions at just enjoy life, to live life in the moment, to listen to those speaking, to share honestly, and to just enjoy 2011 day by day.

Is this actually possible?  Truly, I don't know.  But I do know that Pete and I work feverishly to make sure that we meet expectations--and whenever possible, that we exceed them.  And truth be told, Pete is the one on premises, day in and day out.  My role and responsibilities are often easier to handle off-site, which allows me to have a tremendous work-life balance, by being able to work and still be around for our daughters.  That's one of the advantages of this technological age.  And yes, I LOVE THAT!!!

But in terms of The National Hotel, I also love the "human" interaction, the ability to talk to our clients and patrons who come in day after day, week after week, and absolutely assure us that our business model is "spot on".  It was our goal to make The National Hotel a community center of sorts, a place where local residents and tourists could find common ground and a comfortable setting where repeat visits became a part of their culture.  Here is where Pete and I were taken aback:  Not only did our establishment become a place where patrons felt they could frequent often, but rather, it was a place that welcomed the arts--music, poetry, art, "home-grown," and driven by our very patrons...not by us--we owe them a debt of gratitude for what they've done for us and what they've created:  a home away from home for local artists.  And so today, we have so many weekly events, it's often hard to track:

  • bi-weekly Tuesday Trivia nights
  • Wednesday Ladies' night (with 1/2 off drinks...hey, why not???)
  • Wednesday singer/songwriter "By the Fireplace" music series
  • Thursday Open Mic Night
  • Saturday Night live music series
  • Sunday Afternoon Musical Afternoon series
  • 3rd Sunday of the month poetry open mic, People's Poetry
And more ideas are still percolating...comedy nights anyone?

But here we go!  2011 full steam ahead.  Are you jumping on board?  This train is getting ready to leave the station and we hope you are right there with us when we depart.  Call us with any ideas you have for future programming, or email me at, or just post a comment on this blog.

Thank you to all those of you who have taken the time to email me, post comments, or call me directly.  Here's to looking forward to a wonderful and prosperous 2011 for ALL of us!  For more up-to-the-minute information, like us on facebook, subscribe to our youtube channel, find us on twitter, follow our blog, or check our website regularly.  Thank you for all of your support during the end of 2009 and throughout 2010.  Here's to a great New Year together!!!

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