The rest of our entrées went to gray scale, dimmed by the smell. "Well, we have to eat it," said Adam, reaching to the far corner of the table where we'd pushed it. He pulled a tiny morsel to tine of his fork. He led the bite to his mouth. We waited for disaster.

"It's not bad," he said reservedly, "but then you get that smell at the finish." I went for a forkful, concerned that I might lose it. It went down fine. But then came the smell, a pungent brume that drifted from my palate and into my nostrils. It was worse than burying your head in the garbage truck on pickup day in the summer.

Within ten minutes of our having gotten our plate, the entire dining room had cleared out.

Lobster with ginger and scallion.
Lobster with ginger and scallion.

"We have to get this out of here so we can eat," I conceded. By this time, our table was laughing maniacally, chafed that we'd been defeated by our selection. Despite the smell, it hadn't pummeled our appetites or our enthusiasm for Silver Pond.

We called our waiter over. "You're done?" he asked, shaking his head in disapproval, whisking the offending plate away. A parade of servers peeked over from the kitchen and the dining room, watching the scene, inspecting the other dishes we'd ordered.

After our defeat, we moved to the safe plates, particularly the chicken, one I'd wished had more heat like numbing Sichuan peppercorns. "I liked the sheen of the sauce," said Adam, though we craved more flavorful thigh meat rather than chicken breast pounded into paillards.

We never got around to ordering the Peking duck, the traditional dish that's one of the reasons we had chosen Silver Pond. Despite the smelly mishap, we remained intrigued by the huge menu left to explore. There will be many more next times. I'm ready to go back for lunch.

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