The Postman Delivers - theHumm February 2020
The Postman Delivers - theHumm February 2020
By Sebastian Weetabix
But first, a word from Weetabix on analogies and terminology, since exactly what is delivered is of interest. “Il Postino” in Italian is, literally, the postman or letter carrier. Il Postino in Almonte is a restaurant located in an historic building that once housed a post office. There should be no confusion as to heritage; Café Postino has deep roots in the restaurant business and no links to Canada Post. This is a very good thing. Café Postino consistently delivers high quality dining experiences and outstanding value.
On the front of Café Postino’s business card is a logo showing a crossed knife and fork circled by the words “Family owned and operated, Casual Dining, Quality Food, Fresh Produce.” Redundancy aside, this is accurate and modest. Beneath the logo appears “Café Postino,” the date established (2011), a small Italian flag, and words of welcome in Italian. Weetabix likes the presentation which succinctly represents the establishment, its culinary point of view and its ethos. Only one word should be added. In place of “Casual Dining” substitute “Casual Fine Dining”.
Steve Falsetto has almost a half-century of experience in the restaurant business and it is obvious that he loves it. It is also the business of his family, and he spent ten years in Miami where he owned and managed some of his family’s operations there. Prior and post his time there, he had been involved in several restaurants in Ottawa including Stefano’s, Amaretto and Café Zucchero. His wife Claire is a native of Cornwall, and when they returned to the Ottawa area they decided on Almonte as a home base. Commuting for a few years convinced them that they should work closer to home, and with the help of Stephen Brathwaite they found suitable space in the old Post Office building. The vacant space had previously been a restaurant and then a bar. Under Claire’s talented guidance (she is trained as an interior designer), necessary renovations were made and Café Postino officially opened on February 19, 2011. In Steve’s words: “We work hard to deliver good food and good value and have been well supported by Almonte.” Yes, but that is not enough for an article and Weetabix does not do food criticism, so Weetabix badgers Steve and is granted an opportunity for conversation. Truth be told, we have eaten at Café Postino on several occasions — always happily and always with the comment that we “must get here more often”. Consistency is not the same as lack of novelty; the kitchen is very well-run and Steve produces specials and event-driven meals (think Valentine’s Day if you can still get a table!) which are oriented towards Italian style with some international character. And so, back to Steve and what Weetabix considers to be a defining quote from a restaurateur: “I love what I do; the money is not primary… I live for compliments. It is my life — day and night — and for me, when I cook as proprietor, I have the authority to decide what I do.”
And then there’s the secret weapon, the other Steve (and no, we do not count Stephen Brathwaite here). Steve Galvin (two years into working with Steve Falsetto at Café Postino) is a returned Almontonean who brings a diverse experience in kitchens ranging from cruise ships to high-end temples of gastronomy such as Araxi in Whistler, including a stint as the private chef to the Lt. Governor of Nova Scotia and another as chef to the Canadian Ambassador in Rome. In 2016 he returned to Almonte with his Cape-Breton-born wife, decided to settle here, and soon after his return he joined Steve (I hope you are keeping track here) at the Café. The chemistry between them is obvious and synergistic, with Steve G. in the inside kitchen and Steve F. in an annex — both working together to create daily lunch specials from seasonally available fresh (and, where possible, local) ingredients. The partnership works and is supported by Claire and staff that are well trained and dedicated to making customers comfortable and happy.
Supply chain management is a critical part of the operation, as ingredients are a very significant factor in delivering quality while managing to keep prices reasonable. There is a constant need to balance labour costs with ingredients. Café Postino is dedicated to delivering a consistent value proposition that is enhanced by the setting and service.
Weetabix suggests some additional reading. The Café has a website and posts its menus at cafe-postino.com . Our recommendation is that you read it before you go so that when you are confronted with the specials you will be prepared to make hard choices. Don’t worry though — you can return! Also, do not neglect to enquire about possibilities that are not on the dessert menu; the torta dela nonna is excellent! Café Postino is located at 73 Mill Street.
In memoriam – Dr. Bill Buttle - theHumm February 2020
By Kris Riendeau
I honestly can’t remember when Bill Buttle first started contributing Artbeat cartoons to theHumm, but I think it was some time within our first year of publishing. So for the past two decades (give or take a year or two), his humorous take on the world of art and music has had pride of place here on page 2. On Sunday, January 19, Bill passed away peacefully in Arnprior at the age of 79, leaving behind grieving family and friends as well as legions of Artbeat fans throughout......
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
It is a true gift to discover a passion that endures and rewards for the rest of your life. Charles Spratt is grateful that he has had forty years to enjoy what it took him forty years to realize — he is an artist.
Interviewing artists is always an adventure. When he ushered me into the basement of the tastefully appointed home he shares with his wife Pat in Stittsville, I was astonished. Spratt’s man cave is unusual and fabulous. I would like to return a......
By Linda Beiglee & Sherrie Seward, CoProducers
This enchanting modern classic from Disney is based on the 2018 Broadway musical, bringing Elsa, Anna and the magical land of Arendelle to life onstage.
A story of true love and acceptance between sisters, Frozen Jr. examines the emotional relationship between Princesses Anna and Elsa as they embark on a journey. When faced with danger, the two discover their hidden potential and the powerful bond of sisterhood. With a cast of beloved characters, and laden with magic, adventure and plenty of h......
If you like your blues hard and heavy then you won’t want to miss the Bill Durst band at the Cove on February 21. Blues on the Rideau producer James Doran explains: “This will be Bill’s first visit to Westport, and I don’t know why it’s taken this long for us to get him here. I promise that anyone who loves Texas roadhouse-style blues (like ZZ Top) will really enjoy this band. This power trio blues rock is as good as it gets!”
Growing up in Wingham, Ontario, Bill was influenced by Mo......
Almonte’s Seedy Saturday - theHumm February 2020
By David Hinks
The fifth annual Almonte Seedy Saturday will soon be here. That’s right — fifth year — what an amazing anniversary!
Seedy Saturday comes to the Almonte Civitan Club on Saturday, February 8 from 9am to 3pm. Once again there will be guest speakers all day on a wide variety of topics, more than forty artisan vendors and not-for-profits, door prizes, plenty of seed swapping, and homemade brunch from the Civitan canteen. Johvi Leeck, a young local entrepreneur and owner of t......
By Smiths Falls Community Theatre
February is the dreariest of months — if you aren’t a winter person. There’s snow, cold, wind… it seems to have been here forever and seems like it’s never going to end. You need a pick-me-up! A night to forget about it all and just submerse yourself in a whole lot of nonsense. That’s where the Station Theatre comes in. Our production of the traditional British farce Key for Two by John Chapman and Dave Freeman is sure to lighten your mood!
First-time director Linda Pipher has put together a g......
Shift Happens: A Documentary Series The Impact of Humans on Our Planetand What Can Be Done About It - theHumm February 2020
Studio Theatre Perth, Biosphere Environmental Education, and Three Green Peas are pleased to announce a series of documentary films at the Studio Theatre in Perth.
Five award-winning environmental documentaries shown over five months will cover climate change and environmental challenges caused by human activity. One documentary from the series was presented in November 2019, and four more will be shown in February, March, April, and May of 2020. These films explore the dangers facing our......
By Miss Mills
OK — we’re tired of being indoors already, so it must be time to head outside for some awesome activities and marvellous milling about. No problem — Mississippi Mills has you covered (or uncovered, as the case may be)!
Monday, February 17 is Family Day in Ontario, and there are many affordable (and free!) activities to enjoy close to home. In Almonte, Pakenham and area, you can enjoy free public skating, explore local history, have fun outdoors, eat pancakes or catch a screeni......
By Heddy Sorour
Studio Theatre Perth’s upcoming production promises a heart-warming evening of discovery. Marion Bridge by Daniel MacIvor is a humorous and touching story about the power of realization and how it heals more than it harms.
“It’s a drama, with lots of comic moments. They’re amusing characters and the language is amusing and clever and it just flows,” enthuses director Barb Guthrie.
The play is about three sisters in their thirties who congregate at their childhood “home” ......
Artist Eric Walker has been creating his “painted constructions” — blurring the boundaries of painting, collage, and sculpture — for over three decades. Much of his work is linked to the history and culture of the Maritimes, combining elements of high art with more vernacular forms. Walker aims to call attention to collective history by focusing on a mix of commonplace subjects such as ships, trains, government buildings and cities seen from the ground ......
By Heidi Taber Work
The Perth & District Union Public Library is preparing to use their space like never before. On Saturday, February 22 at 8pm, the library will be transformed into a live music venue for ......
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