Now some folks may think sky diving, base jumping or running with the bulls in Pamplona is exhilarating, but for the more grounded folks like myself, I will have to pass on such activities.
However, two Fridays ago, I did journey to the edge of the envelope.
Took a walk on the wild side.
Put myself in harm's way.
It may have been one of the riskiest things I have ever done in my life and if you ever have an opportunity to do this, I strongly recommend careful consideration.
In my 28 years, I have ridden a roller coaster, been up in a hot air balloon (I assure you only once) and climbed a mountain, but all pale in comparison to one of the more treacherous feats I accomplished on May 13.
I can now chalk up "eating lunch with an offensive linemen" as one of those once in a lifetime type events. I say once in a lifetime because I think that is all my stomach would allow.
When LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette contacted me inquiring if I would be interested in having lunch with Stephen Peterman, I leapt at the opportunity. While I figured it would be a great opportunity to chat with the former LSU all-American about the ins and outs of the NFL, along with getting the inside scoop on playing for the legendary Bill Parcells, like every good sports writer I never miss an opportunity for a good lunch.
Myself, along with some select members of the media and some officials from LSU were all to meet Peterman at Tigre's, a new restaurant located on Highland Road at Kenilworth. Peterman is part-owner of the establishment, which originated on the Mississippi gulf coast town of Pass Christian, a neighboring town of Waveland, from which Peterman hails. The second-year offensive lineman for the Dallas Cowboys teamed with high school friends Thomas Genin and Victor Pickich to open a Baton Rouge version of Tigre's. Genin, who graduated from the prestigious Johnson and Wale Culinary Institute, worked throughout France and was one of the youngest people ever hired to work for Emeril Lagasse at his flagship restaurant – Emeril's. Pickich also worked for Lagasse after graduating from Southern Miss on the Coast.
Needless to say, these guys know what they are doing. Luckily, I had the opportunity to find out first hand.
I was the first to arrive and found Peterman seated along with his agent Steve Colson. We chatted for a while and enjoyed a couple of appetizers consisting of pan-seared tuna and sautéed shrimp while waiting for the others to arrive. A couple of close friends of mine – Mike Triplett of the Times-Picayune and Michael Cauble of WBRZ Channel 9 – were the next to show up later followed by Bonnette and fellow SIDs Kent Lowe, Brian Miller and Jason Feirman. Equipment manager Greg Stringfellow tagged along to round out one motley – and hungry – crew.
Now when I accepted this invitation I was expecting to arrive, order an entrée, chat a while with Stephen and be on my merry way. Not quite. Peterman had other plans and what was supposed to be a lunch turned into a multiple hour affair.
Chefs Genin and Pickich came out to greet our rather large table and announced we would enjoy Tigre's "Chef's Food Tasting," which consisted of several rounds of (what I thought) appetizer like portions.
The first course arrived and it was the same helping of tuna that I shared earlier with Peterman and Colson. However, this time it was all my own. Same for the next round as well, which was four sautéed jumbo shrimp. Although my stomach was quite happy, it was quickly filling with one dish after another appetizing dish.
After round two we took a short break allowing our appetizer size dishes to settle. Then came the entrees. Seated next to Peterman, I have never felt so small. The 6-4, 347-pound ex-Tiger had arms the size of my waist, which was growing as we spoke. While I took a deep breath, Peterman never flinched as the third round was presented, a nut-crusted tilapia.
While I was thinking I shouldn't be eating this much, I could not resist bite after bite until round three was sufficiently scarfed.
Smothered lamb chops over risotto consisted of round four. The tender lamb pulled off the bone with a fork and the risotto could not have been more perfect.
So finally we came to the final serving. Something small to top off this feast fit for a king right? Not quite. An eight-ounce petit filet mignon served over mashed potatoes. The plate of foot found its way to my stomach, however, at not quite the pace it did for Peterman who systematically consumed the piece of beef in three bites.
By now it was getting close to 2 p.m. and we were set for a tour of the restaurant. We had been dining in the wine cellar which is decorated with an assortment of black and white photography. The wine cellar is open for lunch Monday thru Friday 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The bar is open Monday thru Saturday at 5 p.m. with live piano on Thursday thru Saturday.
The restaurant, which is adorned with enormous LSU athletic paintings, is open for dinner from 6-10 p.m. Monday thru Saturday. Call 225-766-3232 for reservations.
If you are looking for a fine dining in the Baton Rouge, with exquisite dishes and the most extensive wine cellar in the capitol city, call on Tigre's.
However, I strongly caution anyone who might dine with an offensive lineman.
Matt Deville is the editor of Tiger Rag Magazine. He can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.