Holland America’s “An Evening at Le Cirque” is inspired by the famed Le Cirque Restaurant in New York City, a culinary institution well known for innovative menus featuring surprising, well prepared cuisine. One night each cruise, the Pinnacle Grill is transformed with fanciful plates and table decorations which help set the mood for the meal.
Upon first inspection the menu looked simple. Deceptively so. As it turned out, the ingredients used in the Holland America “Le Cirque” themed evening in the Pinnacle grill were so much less that they were really more.
The simple ingredients were perfectly prepared and put together in surprising combinations. Squash and berry, lobster and grapefruit, salty anchovies and creamy dressing. Opposing flavors married together in perfect harmony; the whole meal was like a surprise in my mouth.
The obvious obsession with perfecting the little details in the recipe was amazing. The lobster salad was like a work of art on the plate, and the butternut squash soup was poured into the bowl around the chilled compote table side so that the filling would not get warm before it got to my mouth. Perfection.
Highlights from our meal:
The lamb was meaty and not “trussed up”. It was simple, juicy and flavorful, like meat should be.
The black cod was the most moisture infused piece of fish that I have ever eaten.
There is nothing else that I can think of to say about the creme brulee other than, “Heaven in a bowl”…we got the recipe at a cooking demonstration on the ship and it is truly one of the simplest and stunningly impressive desserts that I have ever eaten!
After dessert we were served delightful little confections delivered on a silver platter with our coffee.
After-after dessert: Just when we thought out dinner experience was over, the innovative flavor combinations fading from physical sensation into memory on our taste buds, we returned to the room to find the surprise of two well made truffles waiting for us in a special souvenir box.
Insider tips: If you aren’t into fish and seafood, your only option for appetizer is a Cesar salad (once you pick the anchovies off of the top, the dressing for the salad was not fishy tasting.)
Oh, and do spring for the extra $20 for the wine paring of wines from the Le Cirque collection that is offered with the meal. It includes one glass of Prosecco with your appetizer, one glass of white with your soup and one glass of red with your entree, and they were all lovely wines that were carefully chosen and paired well with the bold flavors of the food.
Verdict? If you are heading on a Holland America and you love creative, innovative, well prepared food, do check out Holland America’s signature “Evening at Le Cirque”. I think that you will enjoy it!
The restaurant carries an additional charge of $39/person ($59 with the wine pairing).
Holland America generously provided us with dinner for two in Le Cirque. All thoughts and opinions are always my own.