Well, shit. It feels petty and small to add the following little lamentation to the logs of a day full of more serious losses, but... The LocoMotive Restaurant is closing its doors at the end of this year! I know it doesn't compare to the loss of a father or a sister or a cat, but The LocoMotive is my favorite restaurant in the world, and I'm not ashamed to admit that I had to blink back tears when I first saw the news on their website, www.thelocomotive.com, an hour ago (I check it almost every Monday or Tuesday, to keep up with their weekly menu changes).
It's hard to express what I'm losing here, but I think what I'll miss most of all about the LocoMotive is the inspiration. Their food is truly great, their staff friendly and knowledgeable, the ambience classy without being stuffy, but best of all is the palpable sense that the restaurant is a labor of love. After my first dinner there, I wrote a short review of the LocoMotive for a local restaurant listings website and a longer one for E2, which earned a C! from our formidable sneff. Later I wrote the same formidable sneff for advice on petitioning the LocoMotive for a chance to work in their kitchen, but before I could apply the wisdoms I received in reply, and muster the courage to write the Loco crew a letter, I saw a "help wanted" ad for another local restaurant I liked, and applied there instead. sneff's good advice served me well in the subsequent interviews; I got the job, and have been working as a line cook for the Glenwood Restaurant ever since, and for the most part, loving it. Of course, everything sneff told me about the life of what he calls a "professional pan-rattler" is true --- it's hard work, for not much pay, at often terrible hours --- I can't say I wasn't warned! I also can't say I would've ever thought to pursue this avenue of employment without his advice, and the LocoMotive for inspiration.
So now I'm trying to write a letter to the owners of the LocoMotive that expresses some of these feelings and experiences. It's hard going. What I've got so far goes a little like so:
Dear Lee and Eitan,
Please put me on your mailing list, if I'm not there already. Eating at your restaurant inspired me to try working with food for a living, expensive college education be damned, and in turn find the best job I've ever had. If there's anything I can do, as a writer or a cook, to help bring a LocoMotive cookbook into existence, please, let me know.
Best wishes for your retirement,
---fuzzy and blue
It isn't enough. Eating dinner there every week from now until they close on New Year's Eve at the end of the year won't be enough. Damn. I don't know what else to say.