This is big.
This is so big.
I’ve been gone for a while. I’m sure you noticed. No posts, tweets, facebook updates. But I have a good reason. A very good reason.
You see, for the last few months, I’ve been hiding a very big secret.
I’m opening a restaurant.
Me! Can you believe it? WE, actually. My friend/partner Erin and I, along with our husbands, Uri and Alejandro. I didn’t mean to keep this from you, but I had to wait until I quit my job – and last week, that’s just what I did. I walked up to my boss at my cushy desk job and said, “I quit. I’m opening a restaurant.” It wasn’t quite that dramatic, but it was scary as hell.
After hours, days, months and countless emails to friends, we named our restaurant Little Mac. Cute, huh? Mac for macaroni and cheese, because that’s what we’ll have. All kinds of mac and cheese, using local cheeses and farm-fresh produce. Of course that won’t be all. We’ll also have salads, craft beers, California wines and nostalgic desserts like homemade Oreo cookies. We don’t have a final location just yet, but we hope to set up shop in downtown or uptown Oakland, and if we’re really lucky we’ll open our doors by mid-summer.
Another reason for keeping this secret was that it didn’t quite seem real yet. I’ve been talking about it for years. How one day, when the time is right, I will open a restaurant. And now, at 30 years-old, I’ve been married, and divorced, and married again. I’ve gone back to school for a Masters. And I quit a few credits shy of a degree to move across the country– to a place I’ve never been to before. And once again, I’m changing everything. Putting everything we have into a dream.
It hasn’t been easy. This past week in particular was extraordinarily disheartening. But we’re ready for it. Ready for the ups, the downs, the disappointments, the excitement. And wait until you meet Erin. She’s awesome. Besides being a chef and a lawyer, she’s the kind of friend everyone wishes they had. But you’ll see. In the coming weeks you’ll hear much more about Erin, and maybe I can even convince her to write a post of her own.
So are you ready? Will you follow us for the ride? I’ll keep you posted on landlords, brokers, lawyers, distributors, architects, contractors, city officials and everyone else who will make or break us along the way. And I promise to post more often. My last day of full-time work is Thursday (holy crap!), and then me and my fellow Pisces girls, Claudia and Erin, are celebrating our birthdays barrel-tasting in Sonoma. But after that, I swear, no more disappearing, and I’ll be back to posting at least twice a week. For those who want recipes and who don’t really care about the restaurant, you’ll get that too. Like this deconstructed frittata using the season’s first asparagus. Asparagus, finally! That might be even bigger news than Little Mac!
Actually, no. Little Mac is definitely bigger than asparagus.
Deconstructed Asparagus Frittata
2 fresh, organic eggs
4 small creamer potatoes, sliced very thin.
6 asparagus spears
Extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Chili Marash (awesome spicy chili powder that Erin introduced me to)
Snap the ends off of asparagus, and slice horizontally through the center of each spear, creating two thin slices. Slice again vertically to create pieces about 2 inches long. Blanch spears in boiling water for 30 seconds.
Heat up a cast iron skillet and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When oil is hot, arrange potatoes in a single layer in the skillet. Let cook for 3 minutes, then flip. Add salt and black pepper and cook for 2 more minutes, until brown. Be careful not to burn potatoes. Drain on a paper towel.
Arrange crispy potato slices on a plate. Top with asparagus.
Crack an egg into the same skillet and cook for one minute, or until the egg white is set. Slide the egg on top of your plate. Add a sprinkle of salt, marash chili and a drizzle of olive oil. Repeat with the remaining egg, adding a touch more olive oil to the skillet if needed.
Where I Shopped:
Local eggs, asparagus, creamer potatoes: Berkeley Farmers’ Market
Marash chili: The Pasta Shop, Oakland