Recently, clients have come back from Celebrity, aboard the Celebrity Solstice and her sister ships, raving about the specialty restaurants, so I was eager to try one. Having a suite allowed us an evening in either Murano, Tuscan Grille or Silk Harvest at no additional charge. We chose Murano, largely because they have both an appetizer soufflé (goat cheese) and multiple dessert soufflés (chocolate and Grand Marnier), and our party of six could enjoy private dining in the wine room. There are also a few other tasty treats in between soufflés.
Our first adventure was only OK, between the poorly cooked lamb chops for FKGuy (mine, on the other hand, were
perfect) and several service hiccups. But that was not acceptable to the Maitre D’, who insisted that we come back and try it again. So we did.
Dining in the wine room was fabulous. It felt like we were in an exclusive shore side restaurant, not just on the other side of a window (with lovely curtains) from a bar and live music. On our second visit, we were treated to table side preparations. Very little of what we ordered was actually on the menu. All of it was fantastic.
The first course was some sort of seafood dish, served with a pesto risotto. In the description, I had no idea what to expect, but was delighted with the result: a plate of shrimp, lobster and scallops in a butter sauce with risotto. What could be bad? It was the main course, however, that had me really excited.
We were promised Steak Diane, which you may remember from 1978 as a popular “fancy” dish. I do. It was one of my favorites as a child. (I think we have already determined that I did not have normal child eating habits. Whatever. I liked my steaks then, and I do now. I also love a good pan sauce.) Steak Diane is made by pan frying the steak, and making a sauce of shallots, pepper, mushrooms, mustard and cream, then flambéing the whole thing with brandy. It is one of those rich, indulgent dishes that makes me wonder why the food media describes it as a relic. Just because it was popular in the ’80s, doesn’t mean it should not be popular now. Unlike leg warmers and jelly shoes. I’m glad those have gone away.
Before I tell you all about the amazing desserts, I need to take a moment to talk cheese. Blue cheese, cheddar, brie,
stinky cheese, goat cheese, soft cheese, hard cheese… I love them all. I can make a meal out of bread, cheese and wine. I serve cheese courses at home all the time. I actually enjoy shopping for, and trying new cheeses. So, when I laid my eyes on that beautiful cheese cart, I was a happy camper. Our cheese course was nothing short of divine. It was pretty hard to find room for dessert after all of these indulgences, but we persevered.
Here is where it is important to learn from one’s mistakes: during our first visit, I ordered the Grand Marnier soufflé, because I don’t believe there is a better dessert, and also I am very lazy about making souffles for myself or my dinner guests. It happens, just not very often. FKGuy, on the other hand, ordered the chocolate soufflé, because he likes chocolate better than Grand Marnier. I understand that as a premise, and I love, love, love chocolate cakes, cookies,
ice creams, etc. But when it comes to fluffy egg whites folded and baked, the orange liqueur is going to beat the chocolate. As usual, I was right. My soufflé won the showdown. By the time we made a return visit, FKGuy ordered the Grand Marnier soufflé, too.
After our first adventure in Murano, I told Linda, the Maitre D’ in Luminae about our meal and the amazing soufflés. The next night, she
brought in soufflés just for us. Amazing.
I am eagerly awaiting our next cruise, which is planned for the Celebrity Reflection, when we can try out some of the other specialty restaurants.
Does this all sound fabulous? I am a full service travel agent and more than happy to help you book your next adventure.