It was a total Power Move by the head of our Grounds Department- tasked with finding a spot for our interdepartmental luncheon (all of the departments that answer to my boss, that is), she picked one of the swankiest restaurants in the area, Irvington, NY's Red Hat on the River. It's a fancy New American place, with cuisine inspired by classic French bistro fare. Our boss, a magnanimous fellow, signed off on this, we had a successful fundraiser year, and we all worked hard to pull it off. One big joke is that we throw our 'Christmas' party in late January, when reservations are easy to come by, and prices tend to be lower than peak holiday prices.
It's a nice opportunity for everyone to get together. One of my subordinates hadn't even met some of the 7AM to 3PM crowd- he's kinda like Bigfoot, his presence is known, he's sometimes glimpsed from afar... he had a nice 'debut' today, having taken a half day off from his Day Job. It's also a nice opportunity to exchange stories- we night guys have the weird ones. I confessed to eating a Canada goose egg (not this one, which I passed up) when the topic of a goose chasing contractor came up. We also talked about the upcoming season, which promises to be an extra busy one- besides the busy tourist and fundraiser seasons, we have major renovation projects going on at two of our sites.
It was a fun lunch, a two hour extravaganza marked by fine dining and exquisite service (I went for the prix fixe 'bistro special'- pork/duck rillettes with cornichons, pickled onions, and greens followed up with boudin blanc with garlic bread, moutarde and greens). We all had a bunch of good laughs and caught up on the local scuttlebutt, both organization and town.
I'm still a bit awed by the choice of venue- our head of Grounds joked that next year she will find a place in Bali to host the luncheon. She's a feisty one, so she just might pull it off... things are usually quiet until May, after all.