It was a very special occasion, namely the wedding of two of my oldest friends. Actually, it was the night before the wedding, with just the groom and intimes (a "Last Supper" of sorts). First of all, I should have noticed the ominous sign of starting with a wine, Chateau des Tourrettes, named after a cursing disease.
I hasten to add that the wine was excellent, as was a parade of interesting dishes that came to the table.
There was seafood-mango salad,
But the dish I almost didn't recover from was called "Frogs in a Pond." I felt I had to order it because it was so original and so different from anything I'd ever seen: frog meat and marinated seaweed in a broth -- a playful reflection of the dish's name. It's the Four Seasons, right? I'm sure it will be superb! Well, I was very surprised that when the dish arrived, it tasted exactly like a frog.
In a pond.
The frog meat was fishy and the seaweed was stringy like genuine pond scum. The basil seeds were supposed to represent little frog eggs waiting to hatch into tadpoles. Not only is the very thought of this unappetizing, but the seeds were slimy. And the broth tasted precisely like pond water. The miniature lily pads were actually not bad, but I wondered if they were genuine lily pads from a puddle out back. It was all a bit too literal.
Fortunately, my entrée made up for it. It was called "Fisherman's Catch" and had a little of everything. Snapper. Crab. Lobster. It even had popcorn shrimp topped with actual popcorn. Brilliant touch. Trouble is, it kept reminding me of that merry song about cannibalism from the musical Sweeney Todd, called "A Little Priest," in which they sing of eating "shepherd's pie peppered with actual shepherd on top." But if I didn't let a spawning frog ruin my appetite, a little cannibalism certainly wasn't going to stand in my way.