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Theology and the Modern Restaurant
February 4th, 2012

Dear Friends and Customers of Solo Bistro:

It happened the other day that I half heard someone reading part of the Christian Apostle Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians –half heard until a phrase jumped out at me: “Food does not bring us closer to God; we are no worse if we do not eat and no better if we do.” The restaurateur in me wanted to shout out “Now just hold on there!”

As a diehard fan of the movie Babette’s Feast, such a statement seemed to contradict what is, if not quite a personal article of faith, then at least a deeply felt aspiration, that a good meal can inspire the essential element of grace, which is gratitude. As far as I know, no guests of Solo Bistro have yet launched into spontaneous hymns of praise for the Creator upon finishing a meal at Solo Bistro like they did at the end of Babette’s feast, but hey, we’re still cooking!

On closer examination, the passage (1 Corinthians 8:8) refers to food offered in sacrifice before an idol, which seems to have been thought by some in first century Corinth to give it a little extra juice, perhaps a sort of supernatural hot sauce. Being idol free, I figure at least superficially we’ve got a bye on this one, and I’ll leave the deeper stuff to the non-restaurant theologians. (Knowing that there are several such theologians among the readers of these commercial missives, I might suggest the new Solo blog here for comment, if you are so inclined.)

Of course for those hungering for slightly less ethereal fare at a down-to-earth price, there’s always the $17.99 three course Wednesday Special!

Wednesday Special 

For this week’s $17.99 Wednesday Special we head south, an entirely understandable sentiment on the part of Chef Lavelle! The meal will start with a salad of black-eyed peas with a bacon vinaigrette. The main course will be buttermilk battered “Baptist”(full immersion) fried chicken with mashed potatoes and green beans. Dessert of course is where we run into problems: caramelized banana cake with rum sauce and whipped cream may require a resort to pre-Reformation theories of salvation. Talk about indulgence — goodness!

In recognition of the southern theme, Old Fashioneds will be on sale for $6, and for the wine we’ll try the Alexander Monmousseau Vouvray dubbed “Ammonite” by the glass for $6.50 In addition to being a somewhat fuller-bodied Vouvray than usual and thus a good match for the chicken, the name – from the fossils of that name found in the vineyard – has an Old Testament ring to it, and the Monmousseau winery dates all the way back to the Reformation in the 1500’s.

Friday Night Jazz February 4
This week up-and-coming Bowdoin jazz pianist Molly Ridley returns along with Solo newcomer Jason St. Pierre on alto sax. Molly plays with Jason’s jazz trio which has recently released a cd, and the third member of which is bassist Tom Bucci who has played the New Space a number of times. Molly is now in her sophomore year at Bowdoin and building quite a following here in the Midcoast, not least among the habitués of Solo’s Friday Night Jazz, and Jason is a well-known sax man who plays and teaches throughout the region and whom we are delighted to bring to Solo at last. Jason and Molly will be playing from 6:30 to 9:30 PM this Friday.

As always, we look forward to seeing you on Front Street in downtown Bath, where theology and doctrine may be a little shaky, but there’s always a good meal to be thankful for!

Pia & Will Neilson, Owners




Draggin’ in the New year
February 4th, 2012

Dear Friends and Customers of Solo Bistro:

Last Tuesday it was all about the deep freeze, this Tuesday it’s all about the shirt sleeves. It looks like the January thaw will be brief, as have been the cold snaps. More than just meteorological bungee jumping, everything today seems to this correspondent to smack of ambitendency – the tendency to exhibit contradictory behaviors arising from conflicting impulses. For example, the news this morning reported on Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon which begins today, and then on the passage by the French Senate of a bill criminalizing denial that the almost century-old killings of Armenians in Turkey was genocide. And as I write the political rituals of the the State of the State and the State of the Union addresses are kicking off with all their own — or, perhaps, our own — bipolarity.At least the media is saying that the Year of the Dragon is the luckiest of the 12 years in the Chinese “zodiac,” so there’s something to look forward to!

Of course every week of every year since 2006 brings something to look forward to in Bath: the $17.99 three course Wednesday Special, and this week is no different!

Wednesday Special 

This week’s $17.99 Wednesday Special will start with a classic salad of iceberg lettuce dressed with a parsley vinaigrette. The main course will be the Solo take on one of my childhood faves, shepherd’s pie — ground lamb, onions, carrots, peas topped with house-made duchess potatoes. For dessert, a delightful and delicious sticky toffee pudding. Sweet!

For the wine pairing this week, we’d like to introduce a pinot noir from Oregon that we have recently added to our list, the 2009 “Heritage Cuvee” from Arbor Brook Vineyards. It’s an elegant example of what this fine grape can produce, one the Wine Spectator rated at 91 points. It’s a very fine wine, and at $6.50 a glass it’s a steal that’ll make shepherd’s pie a meal fit for a king, not to mention a duchess!

Friday Night Jazz January 27
This week Flash Allen returns to the New Space with his keyboard, his voice and his inimitable panache. A consummate entertainer, Flash is a master at going with the flow of a room, moving from background to foreground and back again as the mood requires. If you’re looking for a thoroughly thrilling or at least particularly pleasant experience to round out this yoyo of a week, you’ll find it here at Solo Bistro this Friday from 6:30 to 9:30 PM!

As always, we look forward to seeing you on Front Street in downtown Bath, where the ambitendentious, ambidextrous, ambulatory or merely ambient are seldom ambivalent when it comes to good chow!

 

Pia & Will Neilson, Owners




 
     
     
Solo Bistro Bistro 128 front street, downtown bath maine, 207.443.3373
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