I never forgot Valentine’s Day. In a typical year, I would wait until New Year’s Day and then call my favorite restaurant (for years it was Café des Amis) to get a prime-time reservation. Then I would call some of my buddies to remind them to do the same before all the good spots were gone. I’d write poems, buy jewelry, dress well, eat and toast to enduring love. Shortly after Janet and I had fallen in together I was preparing to engage in my New Year ritual and I mentioned to her that I would soon be making dinner reservations. “Ack,” she screeched before launching into a practiced tirade that revealed a pig-pile of industry prejudices against my favorite holiday. It was a crushing blow that she has lived to regret dealing me.
At Bethany’s Table, Janet stands her old reality on its head. No longer does she take the typical industry-jaded view of Valentine’s Day as a night to be endured. Now, for her, it’s a time to be celebrated. Janet starts her menu planning at the turn of the New Year. She (maddeningly) does not finalize the menu however until the last minute, fishing for special ingredients and trolling for inspiration. Janet sees V-Day as an opportunity to create something very, very special – not only for our regulars, who have learned her proclivities and eagerly await her next explosion of creativity, but even more so for the uninitiated. She delights in the prospect creating experiences that become indelible memories for the lovers who entrust their romantic aspirations to her. In the final analysis, it does not make sense to expend as much effort on Valentine’s Day as Janet and her crew invariably do. That is, except for the love. It’s all about the love.