Tuesday, January 31, 2006

We get email at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here is an email I received today. While it relates to Halloween, and that is either long past or halfway here again, it is written in a very heartfelt manner, and I love to get mail like this to share with our staff, and all of you.

Dear Juli,

Regardless this late email, I’d very much like to thank you for a wonderful Halloween! I had the distinct pleasure of being in attendance this past October for your Medieval Madness Ball on Oct. 31st 2005.

It was with out doubt, one of the most memorable Halloweens for The Coffin Lady and the guests of Ded Mann Inc. Your coordinating such an event was quite professional feat! I must comment on your hotels graciousness and outstanding service. Everything from the lay out of the floors to the food was flawless. The theatrical production you created at the Hawthorne was beyond belief.

The feature I found most important was your staff, they were not only accommodating but, courteous, warmhearted and personable! I travel often and I must commend your management of staff, as it excelled my most critical expectations.

Thank you very much for such a wonderful experience at your Hotel.

During your event we had numerous photos taken, if you see any that you would like to post on your site please let us know and we’ll be happy to forward them to you. These may be viewed at www.4halloweencoffins.com. Most photos taken at your event are under "Fans & Friends" on our site.

I've taken the liberty of forwarding this email to S. Dodge as well .

Sincerely, I am thankful,

Ms. Stevie

Ms. Stevie J. Mann
Ded Mann Inc.
PO Box 875
Madison, MS 39130

Monday, January 30, 2006

Flags of the Week, January 30 to February 5, 2006

Monday , January 30 ~~ Dominican Republic and Arizona
Tuesday , January 31 ~~ East Timor and Arkansas
Wednesday , February 1 ~~ Ecuador and California
Thursday , February 2 ~~ Egypt and Colorado
Friday , February 3 ~~ El Salvador and Connecticut
Saturday , February 4 ~~ Equatorial Guinea and Delaware
Sunday , February 5 ~~ Eritrea and District of Colombia

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Asahi Japanese Restaurant -- A Good Neighbor and Great Restaurant

I love to tell you about some of our favorite neighboring restaurants, because I want you to have the best of all possible visits when you come to Salem and to the Hawthorne Hotel.

One of my favorites is ASAHI RESTAURANT. This is a classic Japanese Restaurant, with everything you would expect, all done exceedingly well. In the photo here are the sushi chefs, (left) Norio Ishii, and (right) Masa Moriwaki, known by us regulars as Mori.

They have a sushi bar, as you can see in this photo, a teppan-yaki room with four teppan grills, and a regular dining room.

This is not a hybrid restaurant that tries to be all things to all people; it really specializes in Japanese cuisine. Everything is expertly prepared, and the fish and other ingredients at the sushi bar are always fresh and delicious.

When I first went to Asahi, I was impressed to see that they have one of my favorite, but little-known, items on the menu, a kind of combination soup-appetizer called Chawan-mushi. This is a dashi broth based non-sweet egg custard, filled with shrimp, shiitake mushroom, fish cake, ginkgo nuts, and chicken. It is all steamed right in a covered soup cup, and brought to the table searingly hot and fragrant--perfect on a cold winter day!

Another of my favorites is on the lunch menu -- a stirfry of crunchy fresh vegetables, with little else except a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds, called Yasai Itame. It is both healthy and delicious.

If you go to Asahi, please tell them you read about them on our BLOG, and that Juli from the Hawthorne Hotel sent you!


P.S. I should have given you their pertinent information. They are located at East India Square, which is the fountained area just across Essex Street from the PEM on the pedestrian mall. You can also get there by going through the Museum Place Mall, and you can park in that parking garage. Of course, if you are staying at the Hawthorne Hotel you can simply walk the 1-1/4 blocks from the Hotel down Essex Street to the restaurant. Their phone number is 978-825-0077. They are open Tuesday through Sunday.

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Teppan-Yaki at Asahi Restaurant, Salem, Massachusetts

Howard, the teppan-yaki chef at Asahi works his magic. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 28, 2006

The S.S. Hawthorne Hotel

Our captain's midnight buffet was served a little early last night, in order to accommodate one of our clients who comes to us each year for a truly special and unique holiday party.

We design the theme, create the menu to fit that theme, and provide all of the specialized decor, all for a set price.

We provided this company with a "Ports of Call" themed event, where our 'ship' visited Thailand, Puerta Vallarta, and the Greek Isles.

If you have a large corporate or social event, we may be able to do something like this for you too. Please contact our Director of Catering, Karen Cotton, to discuss your super-event!


Juli Posted by Picasa

Puerta Vallarta at the Hawthorne Hotel

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Thailand at the Hawthorne Hotel

This was one of the ports of call on the SS Hawthorne Hotel, for a special event held here by a local company for their staff. Posted by Picasa

The Greek Isles at the Hawthorne Hotel

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Karen Cotton, Hawthorne Hotel Director of Catering

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We get letters

Today we received a very nice letter which I thought I would share with you here:

"I would like to take a moment to compliment a professional within your organization. With only 2 days to plan, I had contacted the Hawthorne Hotel to arrange a very important reception for one of our clients. I was put in contact with Karen Cotton, the Director of Catering. Karen professionally guided me through the planning process, leaving me assured that everything would be taken care of and I had only to approve the paperwork. Within minutes, I had a breakdown of my costs and an event order detailing everything she had suggested. The whole transaction from inquiry to payment was completed in 15 minutes.

There are so many businesses available to us today where we have to deliberate through hoops and red tape to get things done. I was pleased that the Hawthorne Hotel is not in that category. As a hospitality consultant, my business depends upon my ability to work proficiently and at the same time be able to conduct business seamlessly. Karen has this down to a science. You are very fortunate to have someone of her caliber amongst your team of professionals.

Continued Success!
David M

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Nathaniel Hawthorne Speaks

Every individual has a place to fill in the world and is important in some respect, whether he chooses to be so or not. ~~ Nathaniel Hawthorne

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Salem Rotary Member and Speaker, Dr. John Quinn

John Quinn with his favorite bird, an Eastern Bluebird. He tells me it is special to him because it won an award at the Marblehead Festival of the Arts in 1998. He was originally deterred from even entering the bird, because he was told that carved birds were not considered art, but were instead a craft. He went ahead and entered anyway, and won a special award for it!

John was our guest speaker at our Rotary Club meeting yesterday.

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A whole flock of birds, each carved from a single block of wood. Posted by Picasa
Detail that you just cannot believe ~~ you feel like you should touch them to feel the feathers! Posted by Picasa
John Quinn sets up the display of all of the items that he has carved, that still belong to him, and to his wife Lorraine. John told me that Lorraine is happy to claim each and every piece that he starts that doesn't already have a predetermined owner!

John told us the story about how he came to be a wood carver. When he was first married, his wife wanted to learn to paint with oils. He drove her to the lessons, fully intending to simply drop her off. After a few weeks, he accidentally wound up waiting for her at her lesson.

Her instructor piqued John's interest, and he learned to paint, taking lessons for five years. That led to involvement in an art guild, which eventually led to John being introduced to sculpture, and then on to carving. That is where he felt the most comfortable, and he has been fully engaged since the late 1980's.

Now he teaches his art to people at Brooksby Village every Wednesday, although he told us he can teach us all we know to do this in 20 minutes. Right!

Thanks for sharing, John. You are so very talented.


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Nathaniel Hawthorne Shakes off the Snow

Over the past ten days or so we have had unseasonably mild weather here in Salem, Massachusetts. So mild, in fact, that I played golf on Saturday, in temperatures that approached 60. It felt good, and weird at the same time.

Yesterday our winter came back, and dumped several inches of snow on us here on the North Shore.

Here is a photo of our namesake, Nathaniel Hawthorne's statue, with those inches of snow in evidence. He does appear to be ignoring the weather.

I hope you'll ignore it also, and come to Salem for a visit. Our fireplace is crackling in the Tavern, and our Artful Teapot package is a great value, as well as being something that is just fun to do.

See you soon?

Juli Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 23, 2006

Flags of the week ~~ January 23 to January 29, 2006

Somehow we got a little out of order, so this week is dedicated to getting us back into our own self-determined 'correct' rotation. If it makes no sense to you, that's okay.

I was happy to see Alaska come up in this week's rotation, because I lived there for 14 years. I particularly like the state song, called The Alaska Flag Song, so here is a link so you can hear it for yourself. This is courtesy of University of Alaska at Fairbanks. http://www.uaf.edu/music/akmusic/snd/Flag2.mov

Here is a link to see the flag and read a little about its design: http://www.50states.com/flag/akflag.htm

Monday , January 23 ~~ Uruguay and Washington
Tuesday , January 24 ~~ Czech Republic and West Virginia
Wednesday , January 25 ~~ Denmark and Wisconsin
Thursday , January 26 ~~ Djibouti and Wyoming (a link to information about Djibouti) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Djibouti

Friday , January 27 ~~ Dominica and Alabama
Saturday , January 28 ~~ Dominican Republic and Alaska
Sunday , January 29 ~~ Ecuador and American Samoa


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Cozy Room at the Hawthorne Hotel

Here is a snapshot of one of our smallest rooms at the Hawthorne Hotel. I'm guessing that some marketing consultants or advertising types would tell me not to show this to you, but that is not my style.

I think that some of our potential guests will be perfectly happy in a room such as this, knowing that while it is indeed small, it also comes with all of the services of the Hawthorne Hotel. I know that there are people in the world to whom service is what is key.

Our staff is known for how it provides genuine, caring service to our guests. While some businesses pay lip service to that kind of feature, our staff members provide it because it is what they want to do, how they want to treat our guests, how they naturally and normally behave.

So, if you need a room in Salem, and want the best value we have to offer, try going to our website, www.HawthorneHotel.com, and clicking on the RESERVATIONS link. You can check out our complete inventory of rooms, see photos of the room types, and see all of the rates that are available. We have a number of packages as well, and those are always an excellent value.

If you are coming to Salem to see the sights, to tour our wonderful museums, shop in our great little shops, and eat in the myriad of restaurants we have here, both in the Hawthorne Hotel and around Salem, maybe one of our "Alphonsa" rooms, such as the one shown here in this snapshot, is just what you need.

Whether you stay in our tiniest room, or our grandest suite, I know you will enjoy all of the amenities of the Hawthorne Hotel, most notably our outstanding service. I hope to see you soon.

Juli Posted by Picasa

Saturday, January 21, 2006

This and that

Flag Schedule Revised

Due to a last-minute request of a wedding couple, today's country flag will be that of Great Britain. That means also that tomorrow's country flag will be the flag that we were going to fly today, Saturday January 21.

Sunday Brunch Entertainer

Tomorrow's jazz entertainment for brunch will be by Ferdinando Argenti. If you want to know more about him, see my blog post of November 5, in the archives of this blog. Reservations are not required, but always a wise thing to do. You can make reservations by calling us at 978-825-4311, directly to Nathaniel's Restaurant.


Friday, January 20, 2006

Nathaniel Hawthorne

Can you imagine him washing dishes? See next post.

Juli Posted by Picasa

An Amusing Nathaniel Hawthorne Quotation

Recently I happened upon this quotation attributed to our namesake, Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The washing of dishes does seem to me the most absurd and unsatisfactory business that I ever undertook. If, when once washed, they would remain clean for ever and ever (which they ought in all reason to do, considering how much trouble it is,) there would be less occasion to grumble; but no sooner is it done, than it requires to be done again. On the whole, I have come to the resolution not to use more than one dish at each meal."

~~Nathaniel Hawthorne (1844) while Mrs. Hawthorne was away~~

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Cornerstone Books

Yesterday I had the honor, as the new president of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, of participating in the ribbon-cutting for our newest Salem business, Cornerstone Books. This new store is just charming. It is located at the old Salem Laundry building, which has recently been converted into lovely loft-style condos, with new retail space on the ground floor.

There are nooks and corners everywhere, with comfy chairs, coffee and tea available for you while you shop, read or chat, and very nicely selected books, all arranged in logical and interesting fashion. It was so appealing that I left with a bag of books that I couldn't resist purchasing!

If you want to visit their website, go to www.cornerstonebooks-salem.com. I do hope you will stop by 45 Lafayette Street, and say hello to Gilbert Pili and staff, from Juli at the Hawthorne Hotel.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Artful Teapot Package at the Hawthorne Hotel

We are so fortunate to have the Peabody Essex Museum right here in Salem, as our neighbor, and partner in the promotion of Salem as a visitor destination.

Currently we are the corporate sponsor of the exhibit entitled "The Artful Teapot" at the PEM, and we could not be more pleased with the exhibit. We have created a package here at the Hawthorne Hotel, which will allow you to visit the PEM, see "The Artful Teapot" and all that the Museum has to offer (which is huge), and have a relaxed and comfortable stay with us at the Hawthorne.

The package includes an overnight stay in deluxe accommodations, breakfast for two, tickets for two to the PEM, "tea for two" welcome gift (which is a treasure in itself), and a complimentary beverage in our Tavern. The price is only $169 plus tax, making it a tremendous value.

And if you come to visit us on a Sunday through Wednesday evening, you can also take advantage of our "Two-for" specials in the Tavern and Nathaniel's Restaurants. They are both tremendous values. For details, see prior posts on this blog.

I look forward to welcoming you.


The Artful Teapot at the PEM ~~ I'm a Little Teapot

2000, Cheryl Frances. Metal teapot, metal objects, doll parts, silver and other paint. 11.5 x 9 x 7 inches Posted by Picasa
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The Artful Teapot at the PEM ~~ Eye Ohr

New World Series, 1993, Michael Lucero. Wheel-thrown and altered glazed earthenware. Each teapot: 12 x 17 x 8 inches. Posted by Picasa

The Artful Teapot at the PEM ~~ Acacia Trunk Teapot

1995, Ah Leon. Hand-carved stoneware, 18 x 19.5 x 4.5 inches. Posted by Picasa

The Artful Teapot at the PEM ~~ Armadillo Teapot

1997, Peter Grieve. Recycled tin. 6.75 x 16.25 x 5 inches Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Bourbon-flambeed Skillet Lobster

This month we are offering a new version of our Nathaniel's dinner menu. One of the new items is this locally caught lobster, flambeed with bourbon in a skillet, and served in the shell, with fingerling potatoes, baby carrots and tarragon-infused broth. The flavor of bourbon and tarragon are a natural pair that combines to compliment the briny-sweetness of a very fresh lobster.

I hope to see you in Nathaniel's Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel here in Salem, Massachusetts.

Juli Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 16, 2006

A Salem Icon -- The Flags of the Day at the Hawthorne Hotel

Each day of the year we change the two flags flying on the front of the Historic Hawthorne Hotel here in Salem, Ma. This is our attempt to help all of us remember that we live in a wider place called the world. We hope this small gesture in some way fosters more peaceful relations to our fellow inhabitants of planet Earth.

We fly both a country flag and a state flag. On this particular Monday, set aside in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we hope you will take a moment to reflect on how knowing more about others leads to more respect amongst people and nations.

Monday , January 16 ~~ Costa Rica and Texas
Tuesday , January 17 ~~ Côte d'Ivoire and Utah
Wednesday , January 18 ~~ Croatia and Vermont
Thursday , January 19 ~~ Cuba and Virgin Islands
Friday , January 20 ~~ Cyprus and Virginia
Saturday , January 21 ~~ Czech Republic and Washington
Sunday , January 22 ~~ Denmark and West Virginia


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Power Breakfasts at the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem, MA

The North Shore has but one place for a true 'power breakfast' and that is the Hawthorne Hotel's Nathaniel's Restaurant. On any given day, you will see the movers and shakers of Salem meeting and eating and doing business over breakfast, right here.

There are other places to eat, but only one place to dine for breakfast, and that is right here.

In addition to a lovely atmosphere, the food will absolutely meet your every expectation. Whether a top-notch version of Eggs Benedict with real Hollandaise Sauce is your choice (shown here), or a simple plate of eggs and the best sausages in New England, or terrific, made-from-scratch pancakes served with real maple syrup, all shown below, you will love breakfast at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Since today is Sunday, I will tell you about the best-kept secret around ~~ on Sunday, from 9 am to 10 am, we serve an abbreviated version of our Sunday Brunch. It is Sunday Breakfast, served buffet style, and is half the price of our Sunday Brunch. Make sure you get here early, because we are always sold out, and we cannot do any late seatings for this most-reasonably priced, outstanding breakfast buffet anywhere. It includes are luscious Eggs Benedict, Belgian Waffles, and Made-to-Order Omelets, the best sausages ever, bacon, fresh fruit, and a whole lot more.

I hope we see you for Breakfast at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Juli Posted by Picasa
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Saturday, January 14, 2006

New Menu in Nathaniel's Restaurant, Hawthorne Hotel

Here is the new season's menu for Nathaniel's Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel, here in Salem, Massachusetts.

One of the exciting new things about this menu is the debut of 'demi' portions on many of the entrees. If you are like me, and like to try a number of small courses, instead of having lot of food of one kind, this might be exactly what you are looking for.

In this way we can have an appetizer, a salad, and an entree, and still have room for dessert! I hope you enjoy our new format as much as we do.

To make reservations for Nathaniel's, you may call there directly, 978-825-4311. While reservations are not required, they are always appreciated.


Sashimi Tuna Napoleon
Soy-ginger marinated yellowfin tuna, sesame seaweed slaw,
and fried wontons with red chile and wasabi oils
Twelve Dollars

Gorgonzola Gnocchi
Served with braised lamb and roasted tomato demi-glace
Ten Dollars

Traditional Shrimp Cocktail
Cocktail sauce, horseradish and lemon
Twelve Dollars and Fifty Cents

Lobster and Crabmeat Strudel
In filo with cream cheese and scallions, tarragon cream sauce
Twelve Dollars and Fifty Cents


Soup of the Day
Our Chef’s daily creation
Six Dollars and Fifty Cents

Steve’s Seafood Chowder
A tradition continues…
Six Dollars and Fifty Cents


Caesar Salad
Parmesan cheese, garlic croutons
Choice of Mediterranean white anchovies or apple-smoked bacon
Eight Dollars and Fifty Cents

Mesclun Green Salad
Crumbled Gorgonzola cheese, sliced cinnamon-dusted apples,
toasted pistachios and Dijon vinaigrette
Eight Dollars and Fifty Cents

Romaine and Radicchio Salad
Roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, asparagus tips,
sundried tomatoes, Parmesan cheese and tomato-basil vinaigrette
Eight Dollars and Fifty Cents


Grilled Swordfish
Lobster-chive vinaigrette, sundried tomato risotto and grilled asparagus
Twenty-three Dollars ~~ Demi-Portion Fourteen Dollars

Grilled Center Cut Pork Chop
Maple demi-glace, mashed potatoes, baby carrots, roasted shallots and parsnips
Twenty-three Dollars and Fifty Cents

Pumpkin Seed Haddock
Red onion jam, asparagus, herbed risotto, sautéed tomatoes, snow peas
Twenty Dollars ~~ Demi-Portion Eleven Dollars and Fifty Cents

Chicken Toscana
Grilled chicken breast sliced and served over mixed greens with marinated artichokes,
crisp prosciutto threads, roasted red peppers, olives, pine nuts, lemon-thyme vinaigrette
Eighteen Dollars

Lamb Osso Buco
Mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, parsnips and natural braising liquid
Twenty-six Dollars ~~ Demi-Portion Fourteen Dollars and Fifty Cents

Boiled or Baked Stuffed One and a Half Pound Lobster
Steamed red bliss potatoes and broccoli, lemon, drawn butter
Thirty-Six Dollars

Center Cut Sirloin
Gorgonzola demi-glace, horseradish whipped potatoes,
grilled asparagus and sweet onion confit
Twenty-seven Dollars ~~ Demi-Portion Fifteen Dollars

Grilled Salmon
Baby spinach, sautéed fennel, roasted tomatoes and saffron lobster broth
Twenty-one Dollars ~~ Demi-Portion Twelve Dollars and Fifty Cents

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
Roasted peppers, onions, portabellas, scallions, asparagus and eggplant
layered between basil pasta, roasted tomato coulis
Nineteen Dollars ~~ Demi-Portion Eleven Dollars

Prosciutto Wrapped Filet
Wild mushroom sauce, Lyonnaise potatoes, baby carrots and sweet onion confit
Thirty-two Dollars ~~ Demi-Portion Seventeen Dollars and Fifty cents

Lobster and Scallops Sophia
Seared scallops, fresh lobster with sauce béarnaise,
grilled asparagus, steamed spinach, herbed risotto
Thirty Dollars ~~ Demi-Portion Sixteen Dollars and Fifty Cents

Skillet Lobster
Bourbon-flambéed, served in the shell with wilted spinach,
fingerling potatoes, baby carrots and tarragon-infused lobster broth
Thirty-six Dollars

Friday, January 13, 2006

The Employees of the Month, Year in Review, Hawthorne Hotel 2005

Here is the complete list of our employees of the month for 2005 for the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts. Our Employees of the Year were Jonah Pringle and Maria MacLeod. Separate profiles of them are in previous posts, January 10 and 11.

Runners-up for Employee of the Year, for the Hawthorne Hotel were: Richard Mullaney, Accounting; Bill Soper, Banquets; Susan Dodge, Sales; and Chris Donovan, Dining Services

January Department
*Neil Carlill, Banquets, Part Time
*Jason Richards, Tavern, Full Time

*Bill Soper, Banquets, Part Time
*Susan Dodge, Sales, Full Time

*Lisa Zenus, Front Desk, Part Time
*Nancy Stewart, Housekeeping, Full Time

*Elizabeth Dube, Banquets, Part Time
*Francisco Lora, Kitchen, Full Time

*Carmen Batista, Housekeeping, Part Time
*John Kluge, Kitchen, Full Time

*Shaela Riley, Accounting, Full Time
*Nathaniel Potter, Nathaniel's, Part Time

*Cheryl Ennis, Banquets, Part Time
*Marc Barclay, Banquets, Full Time

*Chris Donovan, Nathaniel's, Part Time
*Balerio Cuevas, Kitchen, Full Time

*Claire-Marie Gauthier, Banquets, Part Time
*Jonah Pringle, Housekeeping/Receiving, Full Time

*Herson Fermin, Tavern, Full Time
*Alison Austin, Tavern, Part Time

*Jose Rivera, Kitchen, Full Time
*Maria MacLeod, Accounting, Part Time

*Richard Mullaney, Accounting, Full Time
*Tom Marcou, Housekeeping, Part Time

We are especially proud of the fact that two of our employees of the month have been promoted to a role within our management staff this year, Lisa Zenus who is now our Night Manager and Nathaniel Potter who is now part of our Dining Services Management team.

Also of note is the fact that each and everyone of our employees of the month are still working for the Hawthorne Hotel right now; this speaks volumes about how the Hawthorne Hotel is as a place to work.

If you come to visit, and see any of these staff members, please congratulate them, for it is you, our guest, that really does motivate each and every one of them.

Thank you,


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Staff members of the Hawthorne Hotel mix and mingle at the annual holiday party

Clockwise, from the upper left, are:
Lisa Lynch and Deb Stephanides of our Dining Services Department; Ann Curley and Luis D'Avila of our Banquet Department; Rosa Nina-Brito of our PEM Staff (with her friend, Paul); and James Kluge of our Dining Services Department with Lisa Zenus, our Night Manager. Posted by Picasa

Meet the Staff of the Hawthorne Hotel

Clockwise from the left, are:
Tom Marcou of our Housekeeping Team, Shaela Riley of our Receiving Department; Lindsay Otis of our Banquet Department (with her friend, James), and Kelly Newell of our Catering Department (with her new fiance, Sean.) Posted by Picasa
More staff members for you to know, from the left corner, clockwise, are Nick Swindell, of our Maintenance Department (with his friend, Janet), Shannon Civitarese of our Rooms Department (with her friend, Paul), Lourdes Gonzalez de Reynoso and Carmen Batista of our Housekeeping Team, Ramon Rodriguez and Francisco Lora of our Culinary Team Posted by Picasa