It’s hard not to root for a restaurant closely affiliated with the Giving Kitchen , a nonprofit that provides economic relief to restaurant employees during times of trouble.
It’s also hard not to let a story of cancer — which took the life of the man originally behind the restaurant — pull at your heartstrings . Death, economic hardship. They are never easy.
The survivors pick up the pieces and try to move on — survivors like Jennifer Hidinger, widow of chef Ryan Hidinger. I never knew Ryan Hidinger, but I’ve seen Jennifer in action, gracefully presenting me with yeasty house-made potato sourdough rolls.
The night I got those rolls, they were delivered because I requested them. My dining partners and I had eaten our way through about four protein-laden dishes from the a la carte menu, and we needed carbs. I’d tasted those divine, oily, dense-ish, you-can-taste-the-fermented-potato rolls on an earlier visit when I forked my way through the five-course tasting menu. The rolls are served midway through that menu, curiously as a course of their own, with whipped olive oil studded with thyme. In those rolls, I tasted love, passion and dedication. I wanted them again.