A Little Sentimental

I’ll let you in on a little secret—I’m sentimental. Usually I try to keep this side of my personality under wraps. Men don’t like to be thought of as sappy. But sometimes I can’t help it, like with this month’s GUIDEPOSTS cover story on chef Bobby Flay.

Bobby talks about opening his first restaurant, Mesa Grill, some 18 years ago in Manhattan. Back then, Julee and I were newlyweds and, like most young Manhattan couples, hustling to make ends meet (me with my new job at GUIDEPOSTS, and her working in an off-Broadway show).

Every once in a while, though, we’d insist on treating ourselves, and our favorite place to go was the hot new restaurant on lower Fifth Avenue, Mesa Grill. We could blow practically our entire week’s food budget on dinner and gladly live on mac and cheese till payday. We’d make a real night of it. Julee and I both have a thing about the West.

Julee grew up in southwestern Iowa and I lived in Taos, New Mexico for a while. We used to fantasize about owning a cabin in Santa Fe and we’d talk endlessly about how we’d decorate.

If you’ve ever eaten there, Mesa Grill is done in a Southwestern style and perhaps its most distinctive feature is the fabulous cowboy upholstery on the banquettes. Julee loved that upholstery. We would pray that someday we’d own a little cabin, maybe not in New Mexico (it’s a little far for a weekend commute) but somewhere in the mountains that we could deck out in a real cowboy style. “Some day,” we would dream.  

Some day.

Well if you’re visiting this web site you probably agree with me that prayers do get answered. All these years later we have that little cowboy cabin up in the Berkshire Hills and we’re about to head up there for the long weekend. Yes, and the place looks like it could be nestled somewhere off the high road between Santé Fe and Taos.

Which gets me back to the Bobby Flay article this month. When we set up the photo shoot with Bobby at Mesa Grill, I made sure that Audrey, our creative director, instructed the photographer, Chris Weeks, to shoot Bobby sitting on one of the banquettes. “I want to see the cowboy upholstery,” I said. So turn to page 52 in the June GUIDEPOSTS and see what I mean.

The restaurant was Bobby’s dream. But a little piece of it helped build a dream for Julee and me too. And if that sounds a little sentimental, I apologize. I guess I’m just one sappy hombre.   

Edward Grinnan is Editor-in-Chief and Vice President of GUIDEPOSTS Publications.