On an Overcast November Day, Christmas Comes Early

This has been an interesting weekend, in a good way.

Up until Friday afternoon, we had been planning on going up to New York City to visit the New York Chocolate Show.  We went once, about three years ago, and it was all flavors of awesome – rows and rows of high end chocolate vendors from Paris, Japan, and the United States, all giving out free samples, plus many culinary demonstrations from top chefs.  Hell, this year they even had chocolate covered bacon.

The couple that we had wanted to go with, though, weren’t able to do the show on Saturday, and as the day passed on Friday, I became increasingly disenchanted with the notion of doing this grand day in NYC on a Sunday, standing in line to get Chocolate Show tickets, maneuvering among the throngs of chocolate-faithful, then having to do the drive back to Pennsylvania and getting in late.  So, on Friday evening, we decided to cancel the weekend.

On Saturday, with a suddenly open schedule in front of us, we decided to take a drive through the rain-soaked farmlands of Chester County.  On a whim, we decided to stop into Talula’s Table in Kennett Square to pick up some cheese and bread, and ran into Aimee Olexy who, as usual, was found running around doing a bit of everything.  As readers may recall, Talula’s Table is the neighborhood foodie shop that transforms into a 12 seat BYOB private dinner at night, and it takes reservations 365 days ahead of when you really want to eat there.  For a recap, read here, here, and here.

While we were talking to Aimee, I noticed a small handwritten note on a whiteboard behind the cheese counter which directed folks to watch The Martha Stewart Show today, Monday, November 10.  As it turns out, Aimee’s husband, Bryan Sikora – who is the chef here – was going to be doing a cooking demonstration on the show.

We remarked that we were glad to have secured our June 2009 reservations, because while it was impossible to get reservations as it is today, after being featured on The Martha Stewart Show, it would become even more impossible.  Aimee agreed, and said that while she tried to keep the reservations process democratic (first come, first served, which means that the reservation for November 10, 2009 was locked up within moments of the first phone call being answered this morning) it was still pretty difficult, and the wait list was getting out of hand and not serving anyone well at all.

Aimee said that she had just started this new tactic, of editing the Talula’s Table website to list cancellations when they came in, to give people a chance to grab it.  In fact, she said, she had just listed a cancellation for a night within the next two weeks. “We’ll take it!  We’ll take it!” was my wife’s reaction.  I was sampling an extremely ripe Camembert, and would have concurred if I wasn’t chewing at the time.

So now, because we elected not to go to NYC this weekend, and just because we decided it would be a nice day to have some cheese, we managed to score an on-the-spot reservation for the farmhouse table.  And the funny thing is, the June 2009 reservations were so far off, I had put that entire affair into the back of my mind and haven’t really thought on it.  Now, we’ll be eating there in less than two weeks, and it still hasn’t really sunk in, because I’m so used to regarding dinner at Talula’s Table as something of a “coming much later” concept.

And, as I do think about it, I get more and more excited because Sikora is a genius with seasonal ingredients.  We used to make a point of going to Django at least twice a year, once in the warm months and once in the cold months, just to see what was coming out of the kitchen – now, we’ll be lucky enough to experience the Talula’s Table menu in both seasons.