Disney Cruise Line and Its Ports of Call LIVE! Guidebook
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Our Review—Remy blows Palo out of the water. It is by far one of the finest dining experiences most of us can have at sea and in most places ashore. While $95 may seem steep (one of the highest in the cruise industry), you’d pay $150 or more for the equivalent meal ashore. Add drinks and tip, and $150 per person is a minimum budget. We’d recommend Palo to just about anyone, but Remy is not for all. Diners should be comfortable with (or curious about) French haute cuisine, and at ease with the formal service and high prices. The service is indeed formal, but also warm, discreet, and never condescending. As everywhere else in the Disney realm, everyone is a welcome guest. Dinner begins with an off-menu “amuse bouche,” a tiny bite to, literally, amuse the mouth, plus a complimentary champagne cocktail. In keeping with the theme, that‘s followed by, again off-menu, the chef’s elegant variation on ratatouille. Your choice of two, five-course tasting menus (or a la carte options) then kick in, interrupted at times by a sorbet to cleanse the palate, and a fabulous cheese cart. After dessert come irresistible house-made candies, and a small box of chocolates waits for you in your stateroom. Even the “worst” dish we sampled (and we’ve managed to cover most of the menu, thanks to our companions) was very good, most were excellent, and several stood out as sublime. Our favorite? The lobster with vanilla, bisque and lobster roe foam. The lobster meat was gently poached to optimum tenderness, the vanilla enhanced the lobster’s sweetness, and the seafood bisque napped the bottom of the plate for a savory contrast. The veal, pigeon, and turbot (see below) were also stand-outs, and the Declinaison Tomate revealed new dimensions for that too-well-known fruit. Our dessert favorite was the richly caramelized poached pear, which far exceeded its simple description. Wine service is excellent, with too many ways to blow the budget on great vintages. Fortunately, there are more than 20 excellent wines available by the glass. (We prefer by-the-glass, to better match each person’s meal choices.) If the $99, five-glass wine pairing seems a bit too much, select two or three glasses on your own.
Dinner at Remy ($95/person) offers two set menus plus a la carte selections. All items on the set menus are also available a la carte. Saveur menu: Langoustines Royale (lobster with Caesar sauce); Declinaison Tomate (tomato prepared five ways); Turbot Cotier (turbot with gnocchi and yellow wine sauce); Pigeonneau (pigeon pie with foie gras, spinach, and tomato); and chocolate praline fondant with chocolate sorbet and hot chocolate foam. Gout menu: smoked bison with fennel salad and blood oranges; lobster with vanilla, bisque, and lobster roe foam; wild loup de mer (sea bass) with cannellini bean sauce, artichokes and Iberian ham; Wagyu beef with garlic-potato puree and petit carrots; and vanilla poached pear. Additional a la carte choices are a trio of veal—tenderloin, braised shank (osso buco), and sweetbreads; Alaskan King crab; John Dory (fish) with chorizo foam, and Cochon Cul Noir (trio of black pork loin, pork trotter stew, and glazed ham).
Brunch at Remy($60/person) is available on at-sea days on cruises of 4 nights and longer. The six-course fixed menu (alternate items are available) is presented at table and includes a glass of Taittinger champagne. Three more bubblies are offered in an optional $25 pairing. The meal starts with Jamon Iberico Pata Negra and that glass of champagne, and is followed by Petit Rois/Riz Souffle, Lobster/Caviar/Cauliflower Pannacotta, Tortellini Frai/Emulsion Carbonara, Poulet Rouge Oscar, and Chocolat (menu as of April 2017).
Pompidou’s Pâtisseries Dessert Experience ($55/person) is now served on the Fantasy, mid-afternoon on at-sea days. The Executive Chef and Pastry Chef are on hand to present the history and background of each item on the 5-course menu. A glass of champagne is included, and as at brunch, you can add a $25 champagne pairing.
About Ratatouille: This film from Disney/Pixar Animation, ranks as one of the greatest films about great food. Set in Paris, it stars a French rat (Remy) with unquenchable culinary tastes, ambitions, and talent. A rat in a restaurant?? Most human characters object, too, but Remy wins over everyone but the health inspector when they realize, “Anyone can cook!” The film’s passion for great food and the personalities it attracts is infectious. If you never “got” fancy French cuisine, watching Ratatouille may whet your appetite for a dinner at Remy.
Top Photo Slice: (℗ 25303) Photo contributed by © Dave Marx
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