The pandemic has forced us to remove ourselves from our lives as we knew it. What was meant to be a two-week hiatus, turned into a nearly year and a half of lockdown and restrictions. To this day we still navigate the restrictions that have been implemented to limit the spread of COVID-19 and, as challenging as it may have been, the struggle is nothing in comparison to that experienced by those who lost loved ones due to the virus. One aspect of my life that I emphasized reflection upon is mental health.
It was during the Tokyo Olympics that I was first exposed to the US Women’s Volleyball Team. I’ve never shown interest in the sport, but their games were often showcased on TV as they were favorites to medal and potentially win gold. Yes, they were great and ended up winning gold, but what stuck with me the most was their demeanor throughout matches. As one would expect, many of the other Olympic athletes were laser focused, not daring to shed a smile. The Olympics are arguably the highest stage for an athlete and, with that, comes an immense amount of pressure to succeed. That’s what was so shocking about the US Women’s Volleyball Team. You could see their genuine joy for the game, even in its most crucial moments. Even more so, errors were met with laughter, smiles, and words of encouragement rather than scolds or signs of negative body language. In no other high-level sport have I ever witnessed this degree of positivity. I oftentimes relate moments in sport to that in kitchens. Kitchen culture is often more akin to traditional relationships within sport where coaches are hard on their players, raising their voice to emphasize failure. Ultimately, in their opinion, they are bettering/hardening the athlete, which breeds this behavior in the future generations of athletes or in our case, cooks. For sustainability to be possible, a new direction is necessary with an increased emphasis on mental health. I think we can all look to the US Women’s Volleyball Team as we forge our paths to ultimately bring balance and joy to our industries.
In the future, if you’d like to get to the informational point or “steak and potatoes” of the newsletter, you can scroll down and begin reading after this picture of a New York steak and buttered potatoes.
On October 14th, we’ll return to our roots, offering a Vietnamese tasting menu.
Turnip, tamarind, and Fall fruits marinated with lemongrass. Apple kombucha flavored with wild ginger leaf.
Dinner will be offered in two seatings each night, 5pm and 8pm, with the menu reflecting traditional and contemporary flavors and forms of Vietnamese cuisine.
Housemade preserves/ferments will often replace traditional pungent sauces/pastes as we emphasize the lightness and brightness characteristic of Vietnamese cuisine.
Our menu will be $115 per guest, with $55 wine and $35 non-alcoholic pairings available, as well as beer/wine by the glass. Reservations are pre-paid and arranged through Tock.
A 3% wellness charge will be added at checkout to allow us to provide all staff with fully paid health/dental care.
Our final savory course highlights whole pekin duck through traditional Vietnamese street foods reimagined.
The health and safety of our guests and team are extremely important to us. We are closey monitoring the local, state, and federal guidelines for restaurants and will continue to adapt to any changes.
We require guests to show proof of full-vaccination (2 weeks after your last dose) OR a negative COVID-19 test taken within at least 72 hours of your visit.
All staff are fully vaccinated and wear masks throughout service.
Bánh bò nướng grilled over charcoal and served with coconut cream, fig leaf, and caviar.
We are incredibly grateful for the support we’ve received over the past year+ and look forward to having you experience the new vision of Berlu.
Vince and Team