Gwen Bell is a great and inspirational blogger. She is hosting a challenge in which she is asking bloggers to write about their "Best of" moments of 2009. I don't plan on participating every day, but loved the challenge for today:
It was about nine months ago when my friend Brett Emerson opened his restaurant, Contigo. I met Brett through blogging years ago. He writes In Praise of Sardines. Nearly the whole time I've known him, he was trying to open a restaurant in San Francisco.
Restaurants are a beast to open, and if you add in San Francisco costs and hurdles, it is even more difficult. If you read Brett's blog, you know that he not only had typical hoops to jump through, but a lot of personal events which caused the restaurant opening to delay ... and delay ... and delay. I think that one day I joked about making Brett a t-shirt that said "Don't ask." Because folks were constantly asking him when the restaurant would open.
Fast forward a couple years, and finally the restaurant was opening. We had lived through many of Brett's decisions and we were all invested. "This had better be good," I worried one day. "What if it's not good?" It's not that I didn't have faith in Brett's cooking abilities. I just knew that the logistics of a restaurant were complicated, and that we San Franciscans are a fickle bunch.
That first night, I think that all Brett's friends breathed a collective sigh of relief. Brett was happy and relaxed and in his element. His dear partner Elan was greeting guests, and making us all feel at home. And then the food started to come out. And it was magnificent.
I didn't mean for this to be a restaurant review, so I'm not going to wax on about the food (oh, the food!). There are many places online you can read about it -- nearly everyone who walks through the door seems to love it.
Here is what was important that first night: Our friend had succeeded among our wildest dreams, and we were ecstatic. And have been celebrating with him and Elan this entire year. It is a joy to go to Contigo, and I'm so glad that it entered our lives in 2009.
(Hat tip to Fatemeh, who wrote about her best trip of 2009 which inspired me to get involved in this challenge)