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What Is Your One Thing?

October 19, 2010

My wife and I took a trip to Nantucket recently to celebrate our anniversary. We walked the cobble-stoned streets, toasted champagne on the beach, indulged in a couple’s massage, and took a sailing excursion around the harbor. It was a very romantic, almost magical return to the place of our original honeymoon.

Ladies and gentlemen, I highly recommend it.

 One of the highlights of our dreamy getaway was a magnificent meal at a restaurant called, Company of the Cauldron. Its brick walls, exposed beams, and candlelit lanterns evoked a quaint old world European ambience, bringing us back to the heyday of the Nantucket whaling sea captains.

We asked the manager, an attentive woman wearing a flowing black blouse, where that strange name came from. It turns out that “Company of the Cauldron” is the English translation for “La Societa del Pauilo,” which refers to a hip artists’ club circa 1500 in Florence, Italy, run by the eccentric sculptor, Giovanni Francesco Rustici. These exclusive soirees were a sort of cross between an elaborate gourmet potluck dinner party and gallery reception, where the elite artist, architects, goldsmiths and musicians of the day would gather to unwind, free from their business patrons, to talk art, poetry, music and big ideas over fantastic food. The caveat was that each member was required to bring a meal that was also a sculptural creation.

Once she explained, we got it immediately: her restaurant is about bringing people together to enjoy a celebration of food, conversation, and good company.

To continue reading, click here to head over to The High Calling.

Photo by Kostas Pagiamtzis, used with permission.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2010 10:24 am

    Great post, Brad. I’m nostalgic for Nantucket. My grandparents lived on the Cape for years and I found the best time to visit was after all the tourists left.

    My husband and I dine out often and almost every restaurant we’ve visited that offers the limited pre-fixe approach does a marvelous job.

    I agree with you that finding the one thing done best is important. The odd thing I find about some businesses is how well they start out doing that and then mess up a very good thing, usually citing need to compete or finances as the reason. There’s an analogy for every field, including art.

    Happy anniversary. Sounds like you had a sublime time. Loved the story about the restaurant’s name.

  2. October 19, 2010 10:30 am

    When I want to do too many things, it’s because at the root, I don’t trust others.

    I need to do my ‘one good thing’ and do it well, and let others do their ‘one good thing’. And together, we can produce One Great Thing.

  3. October 19, 2010 11:05 am

    yes. i know my one thing.

  4. October 19, 2010 5:43 pm

    I was hoping you’d post something about your trip. Sounds so dreamy and necessary.

    this concept is one of the reasons I chose to stay home with my children. not judging , it was just a fit for me.
    I’m guessing it’s a difficult balance for business, the be all things to all customers retail store , even websites, blogs…

    I know what I am not. Pinning down what I am is a little fuzzy.

    ( and I thought of you today when I posted a Wendell Berry poem. )

  5. October 27, 2010 4:03 am

    Happy Anniversary, Bradley! 🙂

    Wanted to drop by and say I enjoyed this post over at High Calling. The one thing I’m hoping to get good at is being faithful to my devotion to God. Whenever I stray from that I get too stressed with too much to do or too bored with too little change. Always fun and spiritually stimulating over here at STC!

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