Deb (our wine saleswoman), Wes (CH Cook/Manager), and myself sat down and sampled some wine. We are updating the CH wine list so Deb gave us a little tour of her catalog. We landed three new wines so far. Here’s the takeaway of Two Boozehounds and a Professional Wine Taster:
Badger Mountain Chardonnay, Columbia Valley, Washington
Soft on the butter, heavy on the citrus notes. While swilling this vino it gives off a crispness and acidity that leaves little doubt it was fermented in stainless steel. Give me some melon layered with a little bit of lemon, all of which are organic. Did I mention that Badger Mountain makes 100% organic wine? CH will at long last be serving an all organic glass of wine, or make it a decanter. For the truly optimistic make it the whole bottle.
Prisma Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca Valley Chile
Cool name, REALLY cool bottle. According to the description, this is a 100% Sauv Blanc. The green skinned grape shows through in the color of this wine. The classic grapefruit character is prominent paired with additional citrus notes. Flowery middle. Ends with a silky mouthfeel. I like this one, it’s going places. Particularly my belly!
Tinga Reserve Red Blend Claret, Colchagua Valley, Chile
First thing that Deb and Wes pointed out was nut on the nose. I always have a harder time picking up on that particular smell. They called it though. It reads, “hints of nutmeg.” The deep red hue, however, is misleading – this booze goes down too easy. It plays keys on the pallet baby! Light berry with some stone fruit thrown in for good measure. Yup, the description confirms it and calls for plum. We all agree this is a lighter red blend than what we are used to but that should not take anything away from this well-produced Chilean vino.
On Saturday, June 27th, Colonial House friends and family tied their laces for a cause. A cause that we stand behind. It was a two mile trek that started at Memorial Park Band Shell at ten in the morning.
This walk raises money for a cure for ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis); a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells and the spinal cord. ALS is also known as ‘Lou Gehrig’s Disease’. The walk also brings hope to people living with ALS and is an opportunity to come together for something you care about. Plus, it is a tad bit warmer than dumping an ice bucket over your head.
Currently only 89% of the $40,000 goal has been raised for the Rapid City Walk to
Defeat ALS. You may still contribute to this year’s event by visiting www.ALSA.org, clicking on the ‘Walk to Defeat ALS’ and searching for the Rapid City event. Funds raised stay in our area to sustain care services and support research.
“When you turn 15 you come work for me,” Bob Beshara said to Sue’s doe eyed daughter. Sue Wherry served tables at the restaurant for 10 years! “Ok,” squeaked little Dani.
So on the day of her 15th birthday Dani came back to the Colonial House and filled out an application and Bob hired her on the spot. She started off bussing and eventually hosted with Nany at the till. Dani worked with us from 1990-94. She moved on and out into the world.
She spread her wings and felt the sun upon her cheek. Dani got married and had two adorable children. She worked here and there crafting cocktails and cracking open brewskies. But something burned deep.
She knew something was missing and she felt a yearning to return to the place that she had started. So, in March of 2015 she came back to us and we received her with open arms. Dani’s hard work ethic hadn’t waned and her ability to craft an amazing cocktail was much improved.
Dani put her hand to work revitalizing a dusty drink menu. Her finger prints are all over the rebirth of Colonial House cocktails. She’s raised the bar making drinks fresh, hand squeezed, with lots of love, and plenty of spirit.
Quite simply, her drink menu is a fantastic piece of art. If you haven’t recently been in to the bar at the Colonial House you’re missing out on one of the freshest, most talented, and dare I say cutest bar keeps in all of the Black Hills. Come in and say “Hi” to Dani, she’ll get you taken care of.
Brenden’s Rapid City High School advisor, Jane Oleary, called me last year asking if I would mentor a student who was interested in going to culinary school. We agreed and Brendon began working the 4 AM baking shift leaving at 7AM to make it to his school classes. This was a major effort for him, as not only did he arrive on time consistently for the schedule shift, but came early. O top of this he was riding his bicycle 2 miles one way, as he did not have a car. Recently he has fixed up one of his family’s older cars and is now driving to work.
Brendon is very polite, attentive and eager to learn and work. He has efficiently worked with a number of recipes, gathering all the ingredients, cooking and assembling them. He also does well at restocking all our ingredients at the end of the shift. Working clean and keeping our work area sanitized is another shared responsibility. I am really impressed with his work ethic and responsible behavior, which make for an excellent employee!
Brendon is graduating this month and will be going to Mitchell Technical College, attending their Culinary Arts program this summer. Colonial House presented him with a $300 scholarship check to be used towards his tuition from our “community dough donation fund”.We wish him well and hope he returns to Colonial House Restaurant for a waiting position in the bakery!
Becky Hollibaugh, culinary arts instructor at Central High School, invited me last year to present to her class a culinary exposition with demonstrations. She was looking for someone in the industry who could give her students a firsthand look at what it would be like for them to become a culinarian, cook or chef. Last year on May 5th I made a presentation to her 3 classes of 30 students each, beginning at 8 AM, then 9:45 and finally 1:45PM.
This year honor and celebrate mom at the Colonial House Restaurant and Bar. Where moms can enjoy and relax with their families. For moms we will be offering an 8oz Filet Mignon hand cut by the owner, my pa. With the Filet you get choice of soup or salad and choice of potato. Mom’s also receive a complementary chocolate covered strawberry and complimentary champagne, or a mimosa depending on personal preference. It’s only the best for ma. Of course if Filet Mignon isn’t quite your thing we will be offering our full menu Sunday, May 10th. Open 7AM-9PM. Happy Mother’s Day ladies! You are strong, heroic, and fierce! And, if you are my ma know this, I love you to the moon and back.
Every year, usually in March, the Colonial House crew rustles up and heads down to Hill City’s Alpine Inn for a feast of several courses known as the American Culinary Federation Academy Style Dinner. It’s awesome. Professional chefs aid and teach younger up and comings how to prepare fine dining on a large course. And they do it to feed us…! And to get an education, sure, but mostly the experience is intended to put incredible food and delicious wines in my belly.
Every year we have gone tables of other companies, restaurants, and enthusiasts share their thoughts on the different courses we get to enjoy. Colonial House has a 1-10 rating system. 1 being – Blahh, (nothing has ever received a 1), and 10 being – blow your mind amazing. If you can’t make up your mind, let’s say between a 7 or an 8 you can always give the course a hard 7 or a soft 8.
This year there were several high scores given even from our new comers Rachael and David. It’s always fun getting the newbies addicted to the fine dining experience. The highest score this year, and you may say I’m being biased here, was our very own Jeff Slathar. He whipped together quite the dessert with a name over a dozen words long! His creation was a Raspberry cream cheese blintz trio, checkerboard shortbread, chocolate mousse on meringue disc, raspberry coulis.
Mmmmm good and that’s how you receive a 10 from the Colonial Crew. Runner up was the Roasted beet salad/blue cheese cream, pistachio, pickled daikon and pear vinaigrette. Truly, all the meals were outstanding making it very difficult to decide. If you ever get the chance to go I highly suggest you make arrangements to do it. It is highly worth it. And if you do go look for the Colonial Crew so we can show you how it’s done!
A cake baking and decorating class was held at the Colonial House Restaurant Sunday, April 12th 2015. Eight students signed up for the class through the Community Education of the Black Hills 730 E Watertown, Rapid City. Call early to book future classes (605-394-5120) as the fill up fast! Students were learning basic procedures in proper sifting mixing and baking of a rich, fudgy chocolate cake in a commercial kitchen setting. Chocolate was tempered for both the gnache filling and buttercream icing that would fill and ice the cake. Decorators icing, a blend of shortening and confectioners’ sugar, was made and used to pipe roses and leaves on top of our cake. Raspberry’s were pureed and strained to be combined with sugar, lemon juice and “Framboise” (raspberry liquor) to make a “Coulis”. Cream was heated and an egg yolk sugar mixture were whipped and then tempered with warm cream. This cream and egg mixture was heated to our magic number 185 degrees (“Napa” French, meaning to coat the back of a spoon.) thus creating our “Anglaise”. Chocolate was then warmed to a spreadable consistency, placed in a rolled up piece of parchment paper (producing a pastry bag) and decoratively piped on a white 10 inch plate. The two sauces, “Coulis” and “Anglaise” were decoratively placed and completed piece of cake finished the ensemble.
Attentive students relished this hand’s on class and chose to take their creation home, rather than eat it in class, as our 3 hour class ran into overtime! We hope to see you all this fall at our next class and thanks for doing the dishes and helping to clean up!