Contigo. "With you." Intimacy. Connection. Togetherness. Friendship. Community. The relationship between farmers and consumers. Sharing the table with friends. Conviviality. Love. It says it all. Unlike ampersand, it says it in Spanish.
That was the clincher for me. I wanted the new name of my restaurant to be rooted in the source of my inspiration: Spain.
Contigo was inspired by a love song. Love and food are intimately intertwined in my mind, like the arms and legs of lovers falling asleep in a too small bed. More than any other name you or I have come up with this past month, Contigo embodies that image and message.
This is going to sound sappy, but I like that metaphor. My cooking, my work, my restaurant is my serenade to you. I chose this line of work (sometimes I think it chose me) because I like to take care of people, provide warm hospitality, and, with a little luck, add some sparkle to your lives. Opening this restaurant is my tiny, humble attempt to leave the world a better, happier place.
I hope you've enjoyed playing the Name Game as much as I have! I cannot thank you all enough for your participation. I firmly believe that I could not have come up with such a fantastic name without your help.
I've been really happy with the Name Game process, warts and all. I wouldn't have changed a thing. I loved all your candid, heartfelt, and often amusing comments. Even, no, especially the critical ones. I appreciated your openness. I have been astounded and tickled that so many of you put so much thought and effort into this game even though you have no stake in the end result. I will always remember how much support you showed me throughout this process. Your voting did play a key role. Your repeated support for the name Contigo in all the polls really helped me to see her charms. Sometimes you need your friends to take you aside and say, "look, Brett, don't be an idiot. She's a real catch. You'll regret it if you let her go." I truly believe we came up with this name together. How fitting is that? With you. Contigo .
I had a lot of fun and I hope you did too! I'm not worried whether everyone will like the new name or not. It's just a name, after all. I know from your comments that you all would have been supportive of my restaurant no matter what I ended up calling it (with the possible exception of Castropoda). I cannot wait to meet you all in person once I open Contigo's doors late next spring!
I haven't forgotten. In a few days I'll hold a drawing from amongst all the people who left comments to determine the winner of our other prize, a free dinner for two at Contigo and invitations to all the opening festivities. Remember, each comment counted as one raffle ticket.
Oh, and guess what! Stay tuned for construction pictures any day now in the new "Contigo update."