image (top): Peter Barrett

image (below): Jori Jayne Emde

As we have reached out to friends old and new in an effort to expand the reach of the Fish & Game Quarterly beyond solipsistic ramblings concerning our little creative endeavors within the restaurant, I have resisted releasing any sort of “State of the Restaurant” type addresses. However, with all that’s happening this spring, it’s only appropriate that I update the reader.

First off, we have a robust issue for you, including writings from friends as close as down the street in Hudson, NY to as far away as Ubud, Bali. The Spring 2016 issue includes digital art pieces, photos, recipes, meanderings, and meditations. I am thrilled to bring it to y’all! (as Jori Jayne would say).

So, after two consecutive years of playing the role of nominee (year one: best new restaurant, year two: best design), we won a James Beard Award! This year we won for Best Chef Northeast. I got the nod in name, but all involved and anyone who has been in the business know that this award was the achievement of a hard-working, highly skilled, and dedicated crew and strong partnerships. I have done all I could not to lead, but somehow we have been banded together for over three years now and it still feels new!

One might think the news could not get any bigger, but wait, there’s more!

Fish & Game has a new menu! Yes, we have pretty much changed our menu every week for the last 3 years but it has almost always been a set menu of seven courses. From the time of our break in March we have been planning and testing a new menu format: one that allows the diner to graze, that ranges from lighter snacks to robust larger format portions for two or more people. As our tastes change, so does the format of the menu and we’re at the point where we would like to have the freedom to go big on some nights and keep it light on others. When I’m dining, light or heavy, I always complement my meal with a bottle or two from our award-winning wine list

The a la carte experience begins Friday May 20th. Groovy.

The crew at the Quarterly has yet another reason to be proud this spring: we sold the Fish & Game Cookbook: Project 258 to The University of Texas Press for release in the spring of 2017. Peter and the gang have been working on this book, documenting the inner workings of the restaurant since before we opened our doors. It was a fascinating and incredibly time consuming way to build a book and it’s unlike anything I’ve seen out there. Peter was truly an embedded reporter, on the front lines of service with us for a couple years. Sadly, I don’t think he’ll ever make enough from the book cover the psychiatric bills from treat PTPD: Post Traumatic Pomplun Disorder. We wish him the best and a speedy recovery!

And, well, there’s one last piece of news. We have a little sister spot up the road a bit on Warren Street, 347 Warren Street, to be exact. Those of you who live in town know it. The spot is called BackBar. We’ve been open for a little under a year, serving drinks and light food to a great crew of regulars. None of this will change; rather, it will all be enhanced. By mid June we will be offering a new, larger menu of food inspired by Southeast Asian flavors. We’re calling the food component Bakar, which refers to the Malaysian roadside restaurants hawking Ikan Bakar, grilled or griddled fish. Literally translated as burnt fish. The Bakar menu will include light salads, fish, curries, and meats, many of which will be cooked on the plancha or griddle in the style of a Bakar restaurant.

That’s enough from me for now.

Enjoy the Quarterly!