Sometimes a local business seems to have been here forever, and sometimes it has made Durango its own more recently.
In the case of Seasons Rotisserie & Grill, it has been 19 years, and to celebrate the anniversary, owners Wayne and Karen Barger invited faithful patrons to mark the occasion Dec. 10 by raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Colorado. Guests were asked to donate $25 per person for the cause du jour.
It is always a wonderful gift for a nonprofit to be selected as the beneficiary for the evening, and I can't begin to determine how much money the Bargers have raised through this event and their Burnin' Down the House, which benefits the Hundred Club in thanks for the response of firefighters when the restaurant caught on fire in 2008.
But I do know how much Big Brothers Big Sisters received for the evening. A very nice $7,500, with the only effort required to inform supporters about the event. That has to be such a relief for a nonprofit – to have a restaurant or other business do all the organizing, and staff and board just show to up to talk about their cause.
And as BBBS Executive Director Tracy Cornutt is wont to say, her organization needs two things to survive: mentors and money. The folks at Seasons gave Big Brothers Big Sisters a great shot of the latter.
Erin Gregory and the rest of the front-of-house staff made sure there was never an empty glass or stomach. Executive Chef David Stewart and his crew, including sous chef Neal Drysdale, cooked up a veritable storm, creating a wonderful menu. I wouldn't read the next part unless you've either just eaten a superb meal or have a towel nearby, because salivating is in order.
Guests were served Chincoteague Virginia oysters on the half shell; house-smoked ham sliders made with local pork; seared rare bigeye tuna canapés; house bacon-wrapped Brussels sprouts; hoisin barbecue pork ribs; wood fire-grilled pizza with assorted toppings (mine was the housemade bacon, housemade fresh mozzarella and caramelized onions, yum); an artisan cheese platter served with Jenn's crackers and grissini with Manchego, Cabot clothbound cheddar, Landaff, Belford and Bayley Hazen blue cheeses; artisan-cured meats, including prosciutto di Parma, Virginia Surryano ham and Olympic Provisions saucisson sec; LB Farm country pork pâté; Gruyère-and-chive gougères; buttermilk-battered fried oysters; potato-and-cheese croquettes; and caprese salad skewers made with the house mozzarella.
Libations flowed aplenty. Several suppliers donated the potent potables for one of their favorite clients, including Winebow – Barbara Weddig and Classic Wines; Mark Price from Platinum Beverage and Leah Deane from Republic National Distributing Co.; Dave Jesperson from Southern Wine and Spirits; and Tito's Handmade Vodka from Bev Distribution Co. and Tito Beveridge.
Not like there's any pressure or anything, but I can't wait to see what stops they pull out for the 20th.
Singing “Let it Snow” as they make their wish while blowing out their birthday candles are Carole Sheldon, Norm Stern, Tom Caver Jr., Lisa Govreau, Nicki Masseion, Bonna Steinle, Steve Govreau, Jake Barker, Don Bruning, Charles Reid, Daniel San Miguel, Paula Seay, Ashleigh TerMaat, Harper Hartman, Jack Kleva, Toby Ward, Julie Atchison and Grant Pierce.
Jingle belling on a one-horse sleigh for their anniversaries are Rita and Ward Lee, Wayne and Kathy Pratt, Daniel and Stacy Webb, Duane and Marcia Heidenreich and Frank and Mary Ruth Bowman.
The Neighbors column will be shorter for awhile as I save stories for slow-motion January.