The amuse-bouche was water chestnuts and duck air.
The sous-chefs came out of the closet
for us, and their courage was as palatable
as a raspberry. An aniseed was broken open
in the other room, and our wine underwent a small
change (that being its forty-second
birthday and all). We applauded the wine for this,
and, much to our surprise, our hands clapped up a micro-dust
that smelt of frozen celery and germs. A decoy
course was served, throwing us for a loop.
It was plated in a collapsible polyethylene house and diverted
our attention just long enough for the ether to kick in.
After a few hours laughing and sharing secrets,
the appetizer arrived. It was dandelion greens with
a bear-tooth enamel vinaigrette, fried giblets and giblet foam,
and two roasted hazelnuts. The horniness of the dishwashing staff
was beginning to move into the dining area, so the host wheeled
a pale eunuch through the dining room to equalize
the atmosphere. The post-appetizer was a listening course.
Canary whistles and horse hooves clacking on a paved road. It was meant
to evoke jam and peanut butter, but my partner and I agreed
it was not sweet enough. For the main course, we were given
each a Swahili name and taught a kind of rural Nyanzan dialect, the better
to enjoy the goat meat, which was prepared simply, in a car fire.
Dessert was an edible concept. A kind of white chocolate arithmetic
that was more befuddling the more you understood it. It was served with an
uroboros-shaped tuile wafer, which repeatedly consumed and created itself.
On the cab ride home, we passed a theatre playing old movies,
and my partner remarked, “It’s a shame that we weren’t given popcorn.”
And indeed it was a shame. It was a shame that the restaurant was real,
and not some old, old movie.
This appeared in the October 2014 issue.