Yes, I know we’re not even halfway through February, but this meal was so all-fired bizarre that I cannot imagine anything even coming close in the next eleven months. And thus, I declare my dinner at Secret Location = My Weirdest Meal of 2014!
But what, you may ask, made it so weird? Well, allow me to break it down for you. All ten courses:
Fossilized? Let me look that up. Oh, thanks dictionary.com:
fos·sil·ize[fos-uh-lahyz] Show IPA
Texturally odd but nevertheless tasty. I wish we’d been given a spoon we could have used to scoop up the cheese crumbs.
Well, okay, I’ll take your word for it. For all I knew it could have been bison, chipmunk, or a leather instep, dehydrated and stripped. Again, texturally interesting but there wasn’t much distinctiveness outside of the sweet mostarda.
I believe the waitress said this was ostrich neck (which, I’m guessing, comprises approximately 60% of an ostrich). It lay nestled within a deep-fried and starchy vegetable (potato?) and crusted with I’m not sure what. This one, less texturally interesting with muted flavors.
Ah, now we’re on to something. Small but tasty, this marked the first (and quite possibly last) time I’ve ever eaten Buddha’s hand, a fragrant fruit that I suspect is about as popular a salad component as it is a Halloween ornament.
White asparagus with egg yolk textures
Those egg yolk textures being creamy fruit roll-up like. Good but the egg yolk elements felt more like a distraction. The white asparagus were very good though.
Hells yes! One of my fellow diners called this Kentucky Fried Sweetbreads with good reason. Probably not the kitchen’s intent, but it was spectacular nevertheless. The accompanying rapini offered a nice bitter element to contrast the (odd) vanilla jus. The plate of the night!
Qu’est ce que c’est ce “squab”? Well, remember the opening scene in Blade Runner. The one in which Leon is being interviewed? It goes something like this:
Holden: You look down and see a squab, Leon. It’s sitting in front of you.
Leon: Squab? What’s that?
Holden: You know what a pigeon is?
Leon: Of course!
Holden: Same thing.
More or less. So, yes, one of them “eatin’ pigeons”. And, yes, they’re supposed to be served medium-rare.
All in all, a very good dish – but the Kentucky Fried Sweetbreads are a tough act to follow.
Palate cleanser. This would have been better served following the final course.
Everyone else at the table loved this dish and Akemi declared it her favorite of the night. A very inspired plate that, despite my general disdain for a: light desserts, b: fruit-based desserts, and c: deconstructed desserts, I was able to appreciate nevertheless. My only quibble was the rose sorbet that proved rock-hard and near impossible to cut. One of my fellow diner’s attempt to split his in half resulted in his sorbet firing off his place to land at my feet. Careful. You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!
If I could, I’d like to make another addition to my disdained dessert list: d) vegetables, in any form, incorporated into a dessert. Seriously. I half-expected the kitchen staff to be secretly watching us, giggling amongst themselves: “Look. Look! He’s actually going to eat it! Damn! I knew we should’ve pushed the apricot pit sorbet.” The eggplant was off-puttingly firm, as if it had been served raw and tossed in sweet syrup. The “liquid rice pudding”, by the way, was actually cauliflower. Worse than I expected.
Continuing our Stargate: Atlantis rewatch with…Childhood’s End!
With the exception of those annoyingly precocious kids (with their – ugh – chocolate-smeared faces), I enjoyed this one on rewatch. And Akemi seemed fairly caught up in the story although, in hindsight, I wonder if it was less a case of her enjoying the episode as it was her trying to figure out what the heck was going on.
Surprisingly, she had little to say about Childhood’s End. On the one hand, she didn’t like Aries who struck her as exceptionally angry (and wore a “stupid hat”); on the other hand, she did like the fact the kids enjoyed chocolate (kindred spirits?). And her appreciation for McKay continues to grow: “McKay was funny. I like him more.”
Overall, she thought it okay although: “Hard to understand the concept thought.”
You can refer to my thoughts on this episode – in which I discuss Martin Gero, wall, and Death Bird Fall From Sky – here:
One other thing I noticed after all this time is that the actor who plays Aries, Dominic Zaprogna, was originally cast as Dr. Boone in Stargate: Universe, appearing in a couple of episodes (Light, Life) before landing the role of Dante Falconeri on General Hospital. Boone disappeared and was replaced by the character of Dr. Caine, played by Tygh Runyan. We ended up slipping a little inside joke into the episode Visitation when, after being greeted by Caine’s voice from the mysteriously-reappearing shuttle, our crew have the following exchange:
ELI: OK, trust me: these aliens built a planet from scratch and can just throw a shuttle between galaxies. I’m pretty sure they could impersonate Caine if they wanted to!
VOLKER: Boone used to do a pretty good Caine.
BRODY: I thought it was the other way around.
Now you know!
Tonight, we watch Poisoning the Well and then we take a break until Monday night when we’ll resume our rewatch with…Underground.
arctic goddess writes: “This was your and Paul’s first script for Atlantis. Can you walk us through the concept for this episode and how you pitched it to the other writers? Or did you chose it from a group of show ideas?”
Answer: Actually, the idea for the episode (Suspicion) came from freelancer Kerry Glover. Her name appears in the opening where she receives a “Story by” credit. Paul and I took over at the outline stage and ended up writing the script for which we received a “Teleplay by” credit.
Randomness writes: “Do you think had the situation been a lot less desperate that the attitude from some of the officers towards the Athosians may of been different? And maybe they would have been less suspicious?”
Answer: I don’t think desperation had much to do with it. Bates and co. were suspicious because the wraith seemed to know where they were whenever the team went off-world, suggesting they’d somehow been tipped off. In this scenario, the logical assumption would be that someone inside Atlantis was feeding them information about Sheppard’s team.