December 14 2017

Party In Focus: An anniversary dinner for two

Like many couples on their wedding night, Defne Amado and her husband Reza Madani were too busy greeting guests and twirling on the dance floor in The Franklin Institute’s Franklin Hall to fully enjoy the multicourse meal prepared by Frog Commissary catering. Both missed the dessert (“my favorite!” Amado says) and Madani never got to eat the red-wine braised short ribs he’d been craving since the tasting. That was why, four years later, Amado emailed Frog to see if they could somehow recreate the meal for their wedding anniversary—a surprise gift to her husband.

Friends in grade school, the pair both grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs, visiting The Franklin Institute frequently on school and family outings. Years later, after they reconnected during graduate school, fell in love and then got engaged, a family friend suggested they consider the science museum as a wedding venue. Both scientists now—she’s a neurologist at University of Pennsylvania; he’s a pediatrician–they found it the perfect, nostalgic and eminently Phillycentric place to declare their love in front of 300 friends and family.

The wedding, on September 7, 2013, was a night they both cherish. “My favorite part was just after the ceremony where we went to a private room, and drank champagne and ate our hors d’oeuvres and reveled in the fact that we’d just made it official. But the whole wedding was incredible. Our friends and family still talk about it frequently,” she says. “It was just a magical ambiance, and the food was wonderful.”

Last summer, Amado was pleased to get a prompt personal response to her email from Frog CEO Christina Sterner, expressing delight about the idea of an anniversary meal.  “She told me that as a catering company it wasn’t something they ordinarily do, serving just two people, but they would figure out how to make it work,” Amado says.

When it came time for the big night, the staff at Frog set out to get all the details right. Amado told her husband she was planning something special for the two of them but managed to keep it a secret. They set off for an evening stroll from their Center City apartment to a mystery destination. As they neared The Franklin Institute, Amado suggested they stop on the steps for a romantic photo opp. Once they were on the steps, she suggested an “impromptu” look inside. At that point they were immediately whisked to the private Rain Garden where they were seated at a table with a floral arrangement that mimicked their wedding flowers from Arrangements Unlimited. They were served a platter of hors d’oeuvres and glasses of champagne, just as on their wedding night.

That was followed by a Boston lettuce, watercress and endive salad strewn with apple, caramelized walnut and Roquefort cheese with a cider vinaigrette. Next were the legendary short ribs, served over a truffled potato puree, along with glazed tricolor carrots, and topped with a tangle of frizzled leeks. “During our tasting Reza’s dad, who had never eaten short ribs before. loved them so much that he now orders short ribs at every restaurant he goes to.”

The meal ended with a surprise for both of them: A miniature two-tier replica of their wedding cake—vanilla genoise layered with raspberry buttercream and frosted with white chocolate buttercream and decorated with fresh raspberries. “It was wonderful and so romantic,” Amado says. “I couldn’t have asked for a better celebration.”

Contact us today to plan your wedding (and future anniversary celebration) with Frog.

Read other December 2017 Newsletter articles

Fresh From The Oven
Seasonal Musings
The Dish
The Takeaway
At Home
Sweet Talk
By The Glass
TFI News