SPRING 2004

Dear Neighbors,

“Go local, young man!”

Horace Greeley popularized the John B. L. Soule quote, “Go West, young man, and grow up with the country,” in 1865. This notion was a huge part of my (Dennis) youth, growing up (or, at least getting older) in Iowa, Nevada, but mostly in Western Montana. The drive-in theater near Missoula was even called the “Go West.” Now, with this humble enterprise, right here in the Old North State, we are declaring, “Go Local!!” Our guests are local, our staff is local, we are local… let’s be more and more “local.” (You’re thinking loco, aren’t you?) We will buy more “stuff” that is made locally. For us this could mean as much as “Go West” has meant to many.

Three years ago we started along these lines with our Sustainable Practices Initiative and now we are formalizing the notion of buying not only food, but also other things that we need from local artisans and craftsmen. In this letter, we’ll talk about commissioning objects of art that are made with love and passion. (Visit our QWRH website to learn more about our “nearer the farm to the fork, the better the flavor,” ideas, and in future letters, we’ll explain how we intend to take this “Go Local” mantra further.) We’ll also talk about our outdoor dining environments, plus we’ll share some news about deals at the O.Henry and a spring recipe.

Cheers!   Dennis & Nancy King Quaintance


Scroll down to read our entire Neighborhood Letter or click the links below for articles of interest...
Dine Alfresco
Get Local & Go (a rambling by Dennis Quaintance)
She Spoiled You, Why Not Spoil Her? (news about Mother's Day)
"Flight" of Wine
Upcoming Packages & Deals at the O.Henry
Wedding Celebrations
Lemon Tart Recipe
Upcoming Featured Menus
Contact Information


Dine Alfresco!!

Our outdoor dining areas at the Green Valley Grill and Lucky 32 in North Raleigh, Cary and Winston-Salem are garden-like, outdoor rooms; soon the Veranda that we are building at our Greensboro Lucky’s will be open. These are (or will be) pleasurable spots for enjoying an alfresco lunch meeting, a leisurely dinner, or a late-night snack after the theater. Our full menus are available until “late night” when we serve a lighter menu.

The Green Valley Grill’s courtyard is an intimate outdoor dining area, inspired by the hidden urban gardens found throughout Europe. It’s focal point is a soothing fountain surrounded by lush plantings. The terrace at our Cary Lucky 32 includes a “secret garden,” and our North Raleigh Lucky’s features a covered area, so dining outdoors is comfortable (almost) year-round, rain or shine. If you join us on the courtyard of our Winston-Salem Lucky’s this summer, you’ll hear live jazz on Thursdays (exact dates to be announced). Plus, you’ll soon be able to dine under a wonderful trellis on our Greensboro Lucky’s Veranda. Chip Holton’s sketch demonstratesthe garden-like environment that we’re creating.

 

 

 

 

 

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Get Local & Go
(a rambling by Dennis Quaintance)

A couple of years ago we decided that we wanted to warm up the “feel” of our Lucky 32 restaurants so we installed some small lamps around the dining rooms to help. They looked OK but they were not “us;” they lacked authenticity — they bugged me. That was about the same time that we bought our “Field Truck” and started buying more of our food locally. Well, sometimes we are a little slow, but we have finally connected the dots.

Since we seek “authenticity” in our own dining experiences and we want to offer such to our guests, by golly, let’s get some of that authenticity potion. My experience of authenticity is linked to being in the presence of (or, in the case of food, consuming) things that are nurtured with love, cooperation, free ideas and high spirits. (This is kind of like that infamous quote about a non-related subject, “I don’t have a definition, but I know it when I see it.”) So---two years later, we don’t have those less than authentic lamps, we have “tulip” light diffusers commissioned from Raleigh artist Matt McConnell.

With our “Go Local” notion, we are seeking “authenticity” for our guests, our staff and ourselves. Here is a little bit about some of theauthentic artists (I’ll leave it to you to decide what I mean by that!) who create objects for our restaurants and hotel that I sincerely hope brighten your day. (The artists’ quotations are from interviews conducted by our good and authentic friend, Sara Sherman. Obviously we edited out their “less than flattering” comments.)

Greensboro artist, Frank P. Holton, III (better known as Chip Holton)
“My friend Don Rives [our Minister of Design – ed.] introduced me to Dennis when they were in the planning stages of the first Lucky 32 in 1989. I painted the murals at the Lucky’s in Greensboro, Winston-Salem and Raleigh. I also painted the large mural in the Green Valley Grill dining room, and I’ve worked on a few other projects at the O.Henry. Working with them is great – we get together and brainstorm, then I interpret what we’ve talked about. This way my unique abilities as an artist come out, and that is really satisfying.”

Greensboro sculptor, Jim Gallucci
“Dennis and Don first came to me when they needed some bar stools and coat racks for theGreen Valley Grill and things have just snowballed since then. I love the process of working with them – it’s like art class. The hotel and restaurants are unique destinations, in part because the artists they work with provide a unique sense of place. Art creates community, awareness and interaction.”

Raleigh artists, Matt McConnell and Mac Farrior
Dennis called me after seeing some lights I made for the café at the NC Museum of Art and within two months we had installed the lighting in the new Cary Lucky 32. Then we went on to create custom lighting at the other three Lucky’s. They are the best clients, not only because of the volume and scale of the work, but also because they’re fun, light-hearted and creative. There’s a good balance between finding creative solutions to problems and being high energy and focused. ”

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She Spoiled You, Why Not Spoil Her?

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 9th! Lucky 32 and the Green Valley Grill will open earlier than usual, at 9:00 a.m., to better accommodate everyone who wants to take Mom out for her special day. Remember, we offer reservations and call-ahead seating. (Phone numbers are at the end of this letter.)

For an extra special surprise, treat Mom to the O.Henry Hotel’s Royal Retreat. This package is normally $249 but we’re offering it for $199 on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9, 2004, only. We’ll treat her like a Queen!

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“Flight” of Wine

We offer smaller portions of four wines using these nifty holders so you can enjoy your own wine tasting “flight.” Our Wine Spectator award-winning lists include nearly sixty choices with about thirty by the glass, plus the Green Valley Grill has an impressive “captain’s” list. Our friendly and competent staff will help you select a great wine (or flight) to complement your meal.

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Upcoming Packages & Deals at the O.Henry Hotel

Get the royal treatment with our Royal Retreat for $249*. This package includes one night’s gracious accommodations; a cheese & fruit platter, with a bottle of wine delivered to your room; breakfast in bed; late check-out and a refreshing “spa” gift basket filled with Cru de Provence milk body lotion, bubble bath, hand cream, foaming milk bath, a decorative canister of foot soak, bath salt, bath tea, scented soap, a thick bath sponge, back scrubber, wooden shower brush and a red candle.

Fulfill your dreams of spending an enchanted night away from home. Take advantage of our Mid-Summer Night’s Dream Package that includes one night’s gracious accommodations for two, a $30.00 gift certificate for the Green Valley Grill or Lucky 32 and a full, hot buffet breakfast. For an extra special evening, dine under the stars in Green Valley Grill's Courtyard. This package is available June 1 – August 14, 2004 for $194*.

The award-winning professional theater, Triad Stage has two plays left this season, Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler (through May 16) and the Pulitzer Prize winning Driving Miss Daisy (June 13 – July 11). Our That’s the Ticket Package makes a night on the town complete. We’ll provide two tickets to a performance, transportation to and from Triad Stage in our stylish London Taxi, one night’s gracious accommodations and a full, hot buffet breakfast for $194*.

We’re partnering with the Eastern Music Festival  to help sponsor their 43rd Season, from June 26th through July 31. We’ll offer a special rate during this time for participants and audience members – just ask for the EMF rate when making your reservation.

For reservations or more information visit the O.Henry Hotel website or contact our Reservations Manager, Ana Abella, at 336-544-9603 or 800-965-8259.

Rates are based on double occupancy, subject to availability and do not include tax.

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Wedding Celebrations, Large or Small

Many of our neighbors know that the O.Henry Hotel is an elegant setting for weddings. You may not know that we are also able to accommodate smaller gatherings such as rehearsal dinners, bridesmaid’s luncheons and groomsmen’s dinners. Our Merchants & Manufacturers Room is especially intimate and elegant. Its design was inspired by the wine-tasting rooms found adjacent to fine subterranean wine cellars and it seats up to 14 guests.

Of course, we can accommodate larger groups, as well. Our banquet space is versatile, our catering team is accomplished and our planning professionals are attentive. Please let us know how we can help plan your next event by contacting Leslie Dupuis at 336-544-9609 or visit the O.Henry Hotel website for more information, including menu samples and room diagrams.

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Lemon Tart
 makes 1 tart

Filling Pastry
2 eggs, room temperature butter to prepare pan
3 egg yolks, room temperature 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces dash almond extract
zest of 2 lemons zest of 1 lemon
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/4 cup 10X sugar
1 tart pastry 1 teaspoon salt
  11/4 cup flour

To prepare filling: Combine eggs, yolks, and sugar in the top of a double broiler or a bowl placed over a pot of boiling water. Whisk over boiling water until the curd is thick and pale yellow, about 8-10 minutes. Add the butter, piece by piece allowing each piece to melt before adding the next. Add zest and lemon juice, whisking about 4 minutes, until the mixture is thick and custard-like and the first bubbles appear on the surface. The mixture should not boil. Pour the finished lemon mixture into the pre-baked and cooled lemon tart pastry. Smooth the filling with a spatula and set the tart aside “to set,” for about 30 minutes.

To prepare pastry: Pre-heat oven to 350. Butter the bottom and sides of a fluted tart pan and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the melted butter, vanilla extract, almond extract, lemon zest, sugar and salt. Stir to blend. Gradually incorporate enough flour to form soft smooth dough. Place the dough ball in the center of the prepared tart pan. Using your fingertips, press the pastry evenly on the bottom and sides of the tart pan. The dough will be quite thin. Place the tart shell in the center of the oven and bake until pastry is firm and lightly browned, about 18-22 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completely before filling.

©1989-2004 This recipe is property of Quaintance-Weaver, Inc. Unauthorized commercial use is forbidden.

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Our Upcoming Featured Menus

Every month or so our featured menus at Lucky 32 and the Green Valley Grill change to reflect the season. At Lucky 32 each menu features an American regional cuisine, while the Green Valley Grill features menus that are inspired by European regional recipes. Visit our Lucky 32 and Green Valley Grill websites for our upcoming featured menus.

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“She was dressed with such expensive plainness that she made you consider lace and ruffles as mere tatters and rags. But one great ostrich plume that she wore would have marked her anywhere in the army of beauty…”
From Thimble, Thimble, O. Henry (William Sydney Porter)


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