Wouldn’t it be fun to find a place away from the crowded downtown, where you can share a four-course fixed-menu meal with interesting companions, while listening to live acoustic music?
Those are the reasons Joe and Sharon Grimes started their Second Saturday Series at Kairos-The Celebration Barn.
“One of the things we wanted to do with this series is to get out of the restaurant concept of ‘keep my table privacy,’” said Joe Grimes, Executive Chef. “Many come as couples, then occupy a table with other couples. People begin as strangers, and by the end of the evening they are having a great time and exchanging information.”
This couple moved here from Portland, Oregon, in 1999. Both had worked for the Marriott Corporation in the hospitality industry, but fell in love with the Texas Hill Country.
The venue is an 1850s Amish barn the family had shipped from Ohio to their property between Fredericksburg and Kerrville. It features hand-hewn timber beams, set with artisan limestone and stained glass. The outdoor flagstone patio overlooks the natural beauty of the area.
But the special draw for this occasion is the food. This month’s dinner is a tribute to Steve Howard, a noted chef who started Navajo Grill and who recently passed away.
“Steve was one of mentors,” Joe said. “I spent a lot of time in the kitchen with him, and really enjoyed the Southwest twist he had with food. His ability to improvise and develop unique flavors inspired me as well.”
That influence is evident in the menu, which features such Southwestern fusions as Chipotle Bacon Pecan Cornbread Muffins with Ancho Honey Butter, Santa Fe Grilled Beef Tenderloin Floret, and Poblano Potatoes Au Gratin. While not restricted to “foodies,” it helps to have a curious palate.
“We like people to be a little adventurous, to take a walk on the wild side,” he said. “To do something they wouldn’t normally do, like family-style community dining, with a set menu.”
Another purpose for creating this series was to introduce people to Kairos, which is popular destination for weddings, reunions, and retreats. But Second Saturday is open to anyone who wants to try something different, according to Sharon.
“We would go out and tell people what we did, and they would go, oh, yeah, we’ve seen that place but never been,” she said. “We wanted to give them an opportunity to come out and enjoy our beautiful barn, try good food, and hear local musicians.”
Recent entertainers have included Emily Jumes on harp and Kevin McCormack on classical guitar. This dinner will feature Bill and Sandie Smallwood.
Since the Grimes already had the big round tables for wedding parties, they decided to use them to advantage.
“We said, let’s have everybody sit together,” Sharon said. “They can bring friends or meet new friends. It’s been fun seeing people get to know each other while enjoying a community meal.”
It’s been so successful, many diners return every month. Sharon invited the curious to give it a try.
“We want people to come out and enjoy the beautiful sunshine in a pastoral setting, while enjoying live music and conversation over a three to five-course set menu.”
The next Second Saturday Series at Kairos The Celebration Barn will be on Saturday, April 14, from 6-8:30 p.m.
Cost is $45 per person, inclusive of meal, music, gratuity.
Kairos-The Celebration Barn is located at 1213 Kott Road, midway between Kerrville and Fredericksburg off Highway 16.
For reservations and schedules: 830-990-9515, at www.kairosbarn.com.
Menu for April 14: A Tribute to Chef Steve Howard
•Abiquiu Smoked Salmon Crostini.
•Baby Spinach, Shaved Carrot and Arugula Salad with Cilantro Lime Mango.
•Chipotle Bacon Pecan Cornbread Muffins and Ancho Honey Butter.
•Santa Fe Grilled Beef Tenderloin Floret.
•Poblano Potatoes Au Gratin.
•Taos Green Beans L’Orange.
•Vanilla Ice Cream with Cappuccino Caramel Drizzle and Candied Pecans.
Bring your own bottle of wine/beer, if desired (no hard liquor, please).
Phil Houseal is a writer and owner of Full House PR, www.fullhouseproductions.net.
Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.