In a season that sometimes focuses too much on buying, giving, and receiving I try and reflect, give thanks, and remember how lucky I am. This always ends the year with a sense of peace that brings balance to what usually is a chaotic reunion of family and friends. This year, 2011, has easily been the busiest year of my life with more blessings then any man should have.
In business I have found out what people are truly made of and that I am surrounded by a solid group of REAL people. They continue to pick me up after weathering another vicious uppercut, brush off the dirt, and throw me back in the ring with words of encouragement that make me wiser, stronger, and hungrier. When choosing where you work coming up in any field, finding the best leaders in your industry links you with so much: mentors, consultants, lawyers, purveyors, farmers, fisherman, politicians, cooks, bakers, activists. All are brought together by passion and a belief that America, and especially Boston, is and will continue to be an incredible place to eat and enjoy all that food has to offer. Boston is an incredible food town with resources that other cities dream about and I feel very lucky to call these people colleagues.
RnR is housed in a very special building surrounded by an incredible group of neighbors . I sat on the patio at table 31 six years ago on a sunny summer stroll with the woman that I would eventually marry and saw in what was Salute a restaurant space that seemed perfect for what I dreamed to do. What we ate at the restaurant I don't remember but the patio, how the windows opened the whole restaurant to the patio, the size and layout, how you could eat and have the breeze of a great summer day be a part of that made me realize the things that I wanted in my place. A place where nature's gifts could be a part of a dining experience, not just on the plate. After lunch and we ducked into the bakery, used book store, fish market, and Lebanese grocery I was left with an impression of Roslindale as a TRUE neighborhood city center that cared for itself and was growing with pride. I am very lucky to be a part of a group of business owners that work their asses off to make Roslindale Square real. Diverse, safe, friendly, inviting, vibrant, and beautiful.
A new restaurant is like a black hole that draws everything in without mercy or intention. As I pointed my hands together and dove into the center of this hole I took my whole damn family with me. Thankfully they were ready. My wife is a rock that I grip to by the fingertips keeping me from falling into this hole without chance to return. My kids support both of us with surprisingly mature understanding about the hard decisions we sometimes are forced to make. My brother is there whenever I need him, without fail, and also seems to know when to show up when I need him the most and don't have the time to ask. And he's the best egg cook in town especially when the Panthers are streaking. My other two brothers have been just as supportive with words of encouragement, investment on the fly, and helping me steer the ship in the right direction. My In-laws continue to amaze me with their advice whether about business or balancing life against it. Mom and Dad provide the anchor when the ship is caught in storm. Always solid, predictable, and there. Always there. Ready. Willing to give all they can and then some. Thank you all.
RnR is a team. Some places say they are and then are anything but. Not here. This team is one of the strongest I have ever worked with not because of experience or resumes or glamour. They have all that but what they all share in abundance is heart, drive, and want for a better place. They shoulder the burdens placed upon them happily and ready to carry more to help this place succeed. They are the nicest servers you will ever encounter, cooks who help each other out when in the shits, writers and artists that give the restaurant a voice that reflects the passion we all share for our work, and growing more and more each week. Who could ask for more then a staff that has endless potential?
The final group that needs thanks, probably the most, are our guests. Thank you for your support. RnR is nothing without your visits, encouragement, and continued patronage. I tell our regular guests when they come in with new people every time they are the most valuable commodity a restaurant can have. That is and will always be the truth. Now onward to 2012 and all it holds! Good luck to all and we will see you soon.