Homey Kettle Black Kitchen gives tired cooks a break | Food & Drink

There are vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. The menu will always have a seasonal dish or two, like an autumn pasta bowl ($12) with turkey and cranberries that Alicia likes so much, she asks him to bring extras home.

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A recent menu at Kettle Black Kitchen included this house salad with carrot tahini dressing. 

Dessert is a team effort. The Hamiltons are home schooling their daughter Eleanor, age 7. Alicia and Eleanor make ice cream from scratch and bake the cookies (recently chocolate chip) for ice cream sandwiches.

“We incorporate her math lessons into it,” Hamilton said. “She’s selling me the cookies and we’re teaching her how to do the math on each cookie to find out how much she has to sell each one for, to make a certain amount of money.

“She’ll probably learn that lesson before I do!”

Hamilton has already learned from some early missteps. He needs to scale his portion size down a bit, he said — as a restaurant cook, the portions always look to small, so he adds more. At first he was changing the entire menu every week, which became unsustainable quickly.

“I put up a menu and the response was overwhelmingly great,” Hamilton said. “I got so much word of mouth and people loved it. It was so good, the second week I totally blew it.”

Now Hamilton knows that if he makes fried chicken again, he may not offer so many side dishes. And keeping an entrée like carnitas on the menu for several weeks in a row means that when folks try it and love it, there’s time for their friends to get some, too.

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