Saturday, August 11, 2007

From Poland to Italy

Tonight is the Captain’s farewell dinner but M and I have been trying to secure a reservation in the Yacht Club which has been turned into an Italian restaurant for our return trip (it was Oriental on the way out and we weren’t so interested in that) so we forgo the formal meal for a bit of Italian. Being new to this cruising lark we hadn’t realised that reservations for the finer dining are sought after and you need to jump in early. However fortunately there was a cancellation and we were able to try it for ourselves tonight. It was slightly incongruous being in the full finery and sparkle in a place bedecked with red and white checked tablecloths, Chianti bottles and other Italian trattoria touches but it was all about the food so we didn’t mind.

We started with Carpaccio al PestoThinly Sliced Fillet of Beef, Dressed with a Light Lime-Basil Pesto and Grana Padano Cheese. This was very good and such a pleasure to enjoy some beautiful really tasty food. This was definitely not mass-catered but produced with care.
Then there was a bowl of Zuppa di Minestrone, they knew of my aversion to the dreaded tomato and warned me of it in the minestrone soup, it’s never been my favourite but I had a few spoonfuls and it had a rounded flavour.

Next it was the pasta. I’ve had a couple of pasta dishes whilst on this cruise and they haven’t really worked. I’ve found them to be a little stodgy and claggy and haven’t been able to finish them. But the difference with his Primo Piatto Pasta dish was the phrase “One of our Chefs will prepare a Pasta Dish for you in the Restaurant” and I tuck into a freshly cooked pasta bows in a pesto sauce and they do indeed prepare it in front of you. I could then scrutinise the dish to ensure no tomato slipped in whilst I wasn’t looking, it didn’t. M had the tomato version, how am I related again?

There was a choice of two mains, M had the Salmon and Tiger Prawns with Lemon Sauce, Stuffed Eggplant Rolls and Garlic Flavoured Mashed Potatoes whilst I relished the Saltimbocca alla RomanaGrilled Veal Scaloppine with Sage and Parma Ham, Served with Barolo Sauce, Romanesco with Pine Butter and Risotto. It was succulent and delicious and well worth the wait.

For dessert there was either Tiramisu for those who like coffee – M, and for those who don’t – me, there was plate of Formaggio – a selection of Cheese with Sweet Red onion Marmalade. Oscar proudly told me that he had beautifully decorated the Tiramisu plates with forks so I had to ensure a photograph for posterity.

This was the tastiest meal we'd had on our cruise! I will say that they do try ever so hard in the Six Continents restaurant but there's too many of us, they have to cater for many with not very adventurous taste buds and a predilection for overcooked meat. So this was all considerably more to our liking, viva Italia!

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