tomato season is here
the Blues have arrived
oh the beloved has arrived
Father’s Day is coming up soon. The reservation book is now open and we will be opening at 8:00am Sunday June 19th to welcome you and your Dad, grandad, uncle etc etc. We wish a Happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there and to all the men who have stepped up and been a father to someone. I’m pretty sure I won the big door prize when it comes to fathers. Let me share him with you.
I’ve been ‘my father’s daughter’ since the day I was born when he arrived at the hospital with a nosegay of flowers for me. He is a man meant to father a daughter. Proudly so, I’ve been his ‘little girl’ for all of my 62 years. Growing up in my house was a bit like ‘wait till your father gets home’, not to say my mother wasn’t a perfectly capable task master or disciplinarian but there was something about disappointing my father that was different. I always wanted him to be proud of me and my actions. Because of this I rarely broke rules and to this day that pretty much holds true.
Growing up my father always told my brother and me ‘blood is thicker than water’, meaning friends are fine, but we are family and family will always come first. Along with my mother, they have managed to instill that strong sense of familia in not just 1 but 3 generations of Kostopouli. My father would do anything for his family, both immediate and extended, and over the years I have been witness to this. And I am quite sure there is even more that I know nothing about. He has always led by example.
When I was 26 and working retail in Portland’s Old Port my father felt I lacked direction. My major in Women’s Studies hadn’t panned out into a career. He asked if I wanted to open a restaurant with him. He said, “I’ll make you a star” and in a way he did, we did. We have been partners for some 36 odd years, it hasn’t always been easy, but it has always been rewarding. He taught me perseverance, bravery and loyalty. In a time where there were few female restauranteurs in Maine, he made me fearless and gave me the tools to succeed. Never once has he made me feel being a ‘girl’ could or would stop me from achieving anything.
Over the years I have watched my father be a father figure to so many people. His ability to make someone feel loved, help solve life’s problems, make them feel safe and worthy seems boundless. My father thrives on being a father. I have happily shared him with the masses.
A man of honor, that is Anthony Kostopoulos. He is truth and honor to the umpteenth degree. His word is gold. Anthony Kostopoulos is a husband, father, papou and great papou. Each and every role he does better than any other man I know.
My father hung the moon. He has given me the stars, love, laughter, success, a good moral compass, passion, a childhood to brag about and bouquets and bouquets of flowers. This Father’s Day I am here to shout from the roof tops, thank you Dad. I adore you.
May 11th, 2022
What's New 4/20/22
Mother’s day is the next big thing here at The Good Table, we love our Moms. Anyone who knows us knows our matriarch Sylvia, while she only has 2 biological children she has mothered many, many more. A lot of the crew here look to her for mother love. She’s really good at it. So Mother’s day has always been a favorite of ours. The reservation book is open, we have reserved only half of the dining room leaving the rest open for walk in business. I won’t lie, it’ll be busy, but our crew is top notch and we will be well prepared and things should run smooth as butter. If you need to wait for a table we’ll have coffee on the front porch for you. Per usual all Moms will get a beautiful rose and a big love.
Finally. It’s here. We took a nice end of winter break in mid March, we are rested and rejuvenated and excited to bring new flavors to the house. Spring dug parsnips arrive tomorrow, asparagus abounds, spring cocktails are here. Hello spring. Soon we’ll be at the market picking up plants and herbs for the gardens. Greens, ramps, rhubarb, radishes and fiddleheads will follow. Hello spring. We start dreaming of summer strawberries, corn, tomatoes, it is the start of a glorious time of year to cook in Maine.
The war in Ukraine breaks our hearts. The need to help in some way inspired us to raise money through sales of goods from The Sweets Department, your personal donations, a 10% charity day and The GT’s matching funds we raised $2,390. I am never more proud to be a small business owner then I am at times like this, when we along with your giving can help. Thank you. The money will be split evenly between Save the Children, Unicef and World Central Kitchen.
Easter is coming up hot. We will be open from 8:00 am until
2:00 pm. We will serve Breakfast and Brunch all day. We will forgo the lunch and diner menu and stick to brunchy foods. Sorry, no ham, no lamb, but we’ll have plenty of Cinnamon Buns, Creme Brûlée French Toast and Blood Orange Mimosas. The reservation book is open on April 1st, we are taking reservations for half the dining room with plenty of room for walk in guests. There will be coffee on the porch waiting for you.
We’ve stopped offering Take and Bake Family Meals with the end of winter. The Sweets Department though is still offering all sorts of goodies to take and bake in your own oven. Check our weekly menus for offerings.
Enjoy the beginnings of the green life. Come visit and taste the season in our menus. Happy Spring Maine.
‘the cure for anything is salt water..sweat, tears or the sea’
What's New 3/8/22
Raising money for charities has always been important to us over the years.
Saturday, March 12th we'll be donating 10% 0f profits to various causes that feed, cloth, house and take care of Ukrainians fleeing war.
What's New 01.21.2022
Here we are, 2022.
I meant to write a pre new year’s ‘What’s New’ but it didn’t seem to happen. I was stumped. While it is a new year, everything seems not so new. So ‘What’s New’ became a little bit of a challenge. But, I will dive into ‘What’s New’ for lack of a more apt heading.
The past year at the restaurant found us settling onto the new normal (forgive me that term), finding our balance, our rhythm and flow. What seemed once to be an absolute necessity or constant, no longer is. As we ourselves get older, as the restaurant gets older, as this pandemic gets older, we have a different playbook. Flexibility has become our most important tool. Acceptance and adaptation reside in that same tool box.
The GT has always had the good fortune to have many long time coworkers and a certain charm that has allowed and enticed past coworkers to return, sometimes more than once, to work beside us. When The Good Table is referred to as a family restaurant they could just as easily be referring to the staff. Headed up by the Kostopoulos’s, we are a family. Blessed at that. So we carry on as a tight crew, onward and hopefully upward.
In the past year we have all been so touched by the gratitude and support you have all shown us. I have had so many folks touch my arm, look me deep in the eyes with such sincerity and say ‘thank you for still being here. thank you for feeding us.’ It is humbling. It reminds me that we are all in this wonderful community together. I thank you, as does the entire family and crew, for weathering the last years with us. Thank you for your support, kindness, patience and love. It has always been and remains our pleasure to feed you.
I thought it would be nice to share our family new year’s tradition. It has changed in the past years because of the pandemic but remains a constant in one form or another in the Kostopoulos family. Vasilopita is the traditional new year’s bread most Greek Orthodox families make for the celebration of a new year.
For my entire life I have made this bread with my mother and she with hers and so on and so forth. In our big fat Greek family every woman and girl child has shared in this tradition. This bread is made to be cut with great ceremony among family and friends on new year’s day. A coin wrapped in foil is baked in the sweet round loaf. The bread is cut by the head of the household, a slice is cut first for St Basil, then the church, then for each member of the family starting with the oldest to the youngest. The person who receives the coin is destined to have good fortune for the upcoming year.
In our family every woman and girl gets their hands in that dough, even infants are encouraged to squeeze some through their little fingers. In one day we make the Christmas bread, called Tsouraki, sweet braids stuffed with raisins, cinnamon and butter and also the big loaf of Vasilopita. When the braids are done we pull out the large round pan, wrap a coin in foil and nestle it in the dough. The Vasilopita is decorated with a six pointed star of almonds.
Before the pandemic there would be upwards of 12 women and girls around my kitchen island, kneading and braiding. Four generations plus cousins make this bread together. It is a beautiful tradition, one that has been sorely missed as we separated into pods during the last couple of years. While we have not made it en masse, it has been made by each family. I even hear that some men and boys been able to join in in some houses!! Even Tony has joined in.
In long tradition my mother, Sylvia, always assures we make many more loaves then we need so that we have extra to share with extended family and friends. This brings me back to St Basil and the tradition of Vasilopita. I knew very little if nothing about St Basil. I found the story.
St Basil realized his flock was poor and suffering but also understood they were a proud people who would not accept charity. He asked the women of the church to cook loaves of bread with coins scattered throughout them. After church services the bread was shared among the community, each slice holding a coin or two. St Basil was being charitable without making his followers feel needy. And he did it without expecting recognition. It made me think about our own giving and sense of charity. Do we give enough? Do I give enough? Do we give with no strings, glory, no expectations, no prizes?I do believe St Basil has a lot to teach us. All the best in the year to come.
‘the cure for anything
is salt water..sweat, tears or the sea’ isak dinesen