Saturday, March 17, 2012

New Menu to be Launched on March 20th, Celebrating 100 Nights of Open Mic Night, and Much More!

I saw her running down the street, and said to myself, "She's going to fall..."  No sooner said than done.  And I remember those days in New York City, seeing people running and rushing.  Don't get me wrong, I love that New York City is just about an hour and a half away from Frenchtown, NJ and The National Hotel.  It's a treat knowing that we're withing driving distance of New York City,NY,  Philadelphia,PA and Princeton, NJ.  But as I saw that woman getting out of a New York City taxi, frustrated at the garbage truck blocking the street, I knew that in her panic to not be late, something awful was about to happen.  She took off running, and I could predict what would happen--what with her numerous bags, designer boots, and unsure sprint down the street dodging dogs being walked, people looking down and clicking away on their smartphones...and then it happened:  She fell.  Typical New Yorker that she was, she just dusted herself off, put her bags on her shoulders and walked on--but she didn't run any more...

This whole episode came to mind as I walked down Race Street in Frenchtown, NJ, accompanying one of our overnight guests to the Delaware River Tow Path --our beautiful 70 mile-long walking and jogging path running parallel to the Delaware River, and running the length of the covered old train tracks--when I realized how fortunate I am to be able to share this beautiful little corner of the world with The National Hotel overnight guests and friends.
Courtesy of NJ Skylands Magazine
I was struck by the difference in the pace of our walk, actually able to greet passersby, to look at the beautiful shops' windows and see what was on display, and to take in the fact that the flowers have begun to bloom ever so early this year.  It is, after all, still winter.  But moreover, the fact that no one was running, no one was rushing.  Frenchtown defines tranquility.


But tonight, I think Frenchtown will put on its best Irish hat and celebrate St. Patrick's Day...after all, we're all a little Irish on St. Patrick's Day.  The National Hotel is pleased to welcome the Celtic Rebels Band who will entertain our patrons starting at 9 p.m. tonight, downstairs in The Rathskeller Pub (a.k.a. The Rat).  We have our outdoor lights all set to shine brightly in green all night, while the music puts us all into our best "Irish state of mind."

Just before sitting down to click away and write this blogpost, I walked past our front porch this afternoon and had the opportunity to chat with a few of our guests who were enjoying some dishes from of our weekend Additions to the Menu on the porch.  It's been such a delightfully warm day, that it was a treat to see others enjoying the sun and warm temperatures while also relaxing on our beautiful front porch--the perfect spot to hold an enjoyable conversation with a friend, share a slow-paced afternoon with a friend or loved one.  And to my surprise, one table of friends had seen the article in dTown Magazine that featured The National Hotel as being voted for having the Best Burger in Frenchtown.  They were so kind and complimentary in how much they also loved the way that our burgers are prepared, and especially the ingredients used, from the Ground Black Angus Sirloin, to the maple-candied applewood bacon, to the sharp cheddar cheese, and even to the type of fresh-baked bun we feature.  What a joy to know that people really do care about how much effort our kitchen staff, led by Executive Chef Lisa Frederick, puts into supporting local and sustainable farmers, while bringing to the table each and every day the very best of the best.  And just wait until next week, when we launch our NEW spring menu!  It's going to be a new savory way to enjoy dish after dish.  Go to our website starting next Tuesday, to see what we've done, and drop by The National Hotel to see this first hand beginning Tuesday, March 20th.

Speaking of the best of the best, we saw this just last week, on the 8th of March too, when it was our weekly Open Mic Night friends who showed us what The National Hotel means to them--they brought the best of the best talent in our area to our door, and helped us celebrate the 100th night of our weekly Open Mic Night program.  And what a night of fun it was.  We've uploaded quite a few videos from that night and hope you'll visit our YouTube channel to take a look at some of the stellar performances.  We had one patron, Kevin Gilson, who together with Chris O'Sullivan, treated us to his rendition of an homage to The Rathskeller Pub, thanking Alex Wolfson for bringing this program to The National Hotel, and letting us know how much this program means to our community.

The night was a wonderful way to let off some steam, to enjoy the creative energy of our local artists--some who traveled over an hour and a half to participate in that night's special program--and all of us in attendance, to share in an absolutely sizzling night, escaping the fast pace of the work week, and putting the joy back in our lives.  Frenchtown can do this.  Frenchtown offers a release of energy, an avenue for creative pursuits, while also the opportunity to find serenity and tranquility.

And that is often what so many of us crave.  How many times have our lives sailed past us where we are just "along for the ride?"  I could be wrong, but it feels as though given half the chance, many of us would choose tranquility, space, and beautiful surroundings over the fast-paced life.  Of course, work "gets in the way" of so much that we want to accomplish--or it is the means by which we will be able to accomplish our goals.  We can all aspire to at the very least, enjoy the work we do.  But when it comes to spending a day or more in Frenchtown, NJ, you'll see how many people who work there also find absolute fulfillment in their lives, while balancing their lives with the joy of what this pristine area offers.  From new preserved land for the outdoor enthusiast, to the beauty of the Delaware River--be it kayaking, canoeing, or tubing--to cycling winding country roads, to visiting the unique shops and galleries that line the small town's main downtown streets, to enjoying the day and being greeted by people walking down the street, there's something for everyone in Frenchtown.

We feel an absolute pride knowing that our guests to this little area can put their worries aside, forget the pressures that suffocate their daily lives, and help rejuvenate them during their visit, carrying over to their return trip back home.  We hope you will make the time to visit us in the near future, so you too can experience all that Frenchtown, NJ and the surrounding towns have to offer.  Call us with any questions at 908.996.3220, or email me directly.  Both Pete and I always enjoy hearing from so many of you, and having the opportunity to meet you when you have the time to stop by The National Hotel.

As always, please continue to stay up-to-date with everything being planned, by checking our websitecalling us at 908.996.3200 or: 

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 Thank you again.