Spring is the time for new beginnings. But it is with a heavy heart that I must first say goodbye to Gather, a restaurant I opened in July 2018.
Our big debut was the night of the Taste of Downtown, one of Carson’s best summertime events hosted by Advocates to End Domestic Violence. We won “Best Discovery” that year. This honor, bestowed upon us by the community, put us on the map. I had opened a real restaurant.
Additional recognition would follow, winning “Best Taste” in 2019 and that same year, we were voted “Best New Restaurant" in the Nevada Appeal’s Best of Carson City for 2019.
But the biggest and best recognition we received was from our customers. I met so many wonderful people at Gather and made handfuls of memories. I loved watching people take part in what I had built and enjoy the food and drinks that were brought to their table. It makes me so happy to know that Gather became a place for people to enjoy a special meal, whether it was for a birthday, anniversary, graduation, date night, or simply a gathering of friends.
We also had great dinner parties! My favorites were the meet your farmer dinner and our legendary End of Prohibition party. We had a great time with our customers, and I will cherish those memories. To all of my customers, I’m sending you a big “thank you” from the bottom of my heart for your love and support. I can’t say enough how much your friendship and patronage means to me.
Before opening our doors, Gather was the culmination of two years of study, planning, and networking. I am grateful to the folks at Adams Hub and the volunteer entrepreneurs at Entrepreneurs Assembly for teaching me the ins and outs of entrepreneurship. I am grateful to all of the chefs and restauranteurs who shared their insight and expertise with me, including Linda Marrone, who gave me advice that was always heartfelt and useful, and who put me in contact with numerous restaurant owners and chefs.
I am grateful to my employees for their hard work and contribution to my dream. I am grateful to everyone who offered me an opportunity to promote Gather and make our presence known.
Most importantly, I am grateful to my family for their endless support. I could not have opened Gather without your moral support, love, and time. While my husband and I financed Gather ourselves, we received some donations from key family members, and I thank you for your generosity and investment in my dream.
Thank you to Dana Hastings, who worked very hard and brought Dana’s Desserts of Carson City to Gather, always keeping our palates tempted and satisfied with your delicious desserts.
I am proud to have partnered with our local farmers and ranchers. Northern Nevada is immensely lucky to have the number of wonderful growers and ranchers that we do. I am proud to have partnered with many non-profit groups, holding fundraisers or donating food to benefit amazing organizations such as Northern Nevada Children’s Museum, The Greenhouse Project, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Western Nevada.
From the beginning, it was important to me that Gather actively participate in our community, and I think we accomplished that during the time we had our doors open. From beginning to end, Gather was a labor of love to the greatest degree.
Eating seasonally was an important theme at Gather. Many menu options would change to reflect the bounty of the season, and we made an extra effort to highlight the produce and meat options we were lucky enough to source locally. We even wove the concept of drinking seasonally into our cocktail menu.
If you’d like to know more about what types of produce are seasonally available in Nevada, check out the Nevada Grown website at www.nevadagrown.com.
For this week’s recipe, I chose Brussels sprouts. This recipe truly highlights how versatile Brussels sprouts can be, as the recipe below can be modified in many ways: made more spicy by adding red chile flake, made more citrusy by adding lemon zest along with the kumquat, utilizing different citrus such as clementines or naval orange, by substituting nearly any nut instead of almonds (or leaving them out entirely), or by adding a little salty meaty flavor with bacon or pancetta. Your options are endless. Enjoy!
Honey and Kumquat Brussels Sprouts With Crispy Basil
10 brussels sprouts, washed
3 tablespoons olive oil (for sprouts) plus 2 tablespoons (for basil)
1/8 cup almonds, rough chopped
10 large basil leaves, washed and dried
Large bowl of ice water
Put a large pot of salted water on to boil. While the water is coming to a boil, trim the sprouts and remove the outer leaves. Reserve any leaves that come off for frying along with the basil. Once water begins to boil, place whole sprouts into boiling water and cook, stirring constantly, for approximately 2 minutes. Immediately remove sprouts from the boiling water to the bowl of icy water. This will prevent the sprouts from over cooking. When sprouts are cool, transfer to a cutting board and cut each sprout in half. Pat wet sprouts with a paper towel to dry.
Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan on medium to medium-high heat. Place sprouts in pan, making sure that each sprout touches the bottom of the pan (to ensure even browning). Once the first side of the sprout is cooked just past golden brown (but not burned), flip the sprout and repeat on other side. When sprouts are fully browned, remove from heat. I used a separate pan to fry the basil, but instead, you can remove the sprouts from the pan and use the same pan to cook the reserved leaves and basil.
In a frying pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium to medium-high heat. Once oil starts to warm, place reserved Brussels sprout leaves and basil into pan. Be sure to spread each leaf out evenly, so that all surfaces of the leaf can brown and crisp in the pan. Fry each leaf until it is brown and crispy. When leaves are finished cooking, return Brussels sprouts to the frying pan, pour in the rough-chopped almonds, and warm on medium-high heat for approximately 1 minute. Pour the dressing into the pan and remove from heat. Move the sprouts around in the pan, making sure to evenly coat the sprouts, almonds, and leaves with the dressing. Once the sprouts, almonds, and leaves are evenly coated with the dressing, serve immediately.
1 Meyer lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar (may substitute with red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar)
2 tablespoons liquid honey
Salt and pepper to taste
Cut the kumquats in half length-wise and cut out the inner pith and seeds. Thinly slice the kumquats into half moons. Juice the Meyer lemon and combine all the juice with the olive oil, white wine vinegar, liquid honey, and salt and pepper. (I used Rau Bees’ honey along with a raspberry vinegar made and gifted to me by Linda Marrone.) Whisk together with a fork or a small whisk. Then add the kumquats and stir.
Angela Bullentini Wolf was born and raised in Carson City, and she loves to cook for her family.