If you’re only going to have one specialty restaurant on a ship, better make it a good one. We were impressed with the setting and the cuisine at this French eatery.
The Normandie doesn’t just take its name from the SS Normandie, once the biggest cruise liner in the world; the eatery also is decorated with original paneling and ornamentation from the famed French ship. It really is a beautiful decor. All tables are set with white table linen, silver underplates, fine china, and real candles.
Celebrity offers traditional French cuisine with a modern twist. Some menu items are finished tableside. It’s almost like dinner theater. The Summit offers a tasting menu for $90, with wine pairing, or an a la carte dinner for $40. Both are worth every penny. Early reservations are highly recommended.
As an amuse bouche before starting with the meal, the waiters bring a cold soup in a shot glass. Ours was a delicious shrimp mojito, with orange and mango. We definitely did not see that one coming. Delicious surprises are always the greatest reward for dining out, aren’t they?
For appetizers, the menu offers pan-seared foie gras with a delicious duck rilette and an interesting ginger sauce. A second appetizer is a tomato and buffalo mozzarella salad with apple and cantaloupe. However, the wild mushroom cappuccino with porcini ice cream was among the most flavorful.
The main courses include lobster, risotto, duck breast, and the Normandie’s take on the “surf and turf.” If you want your dish finished tableside, you have to order either the filet Mignon or the crispy loup de mer. If you’re satisfied with the food that’s finished off in the kitchen, instead, (we call that the boring way) we can highly recommend the crusted venison loin, with celery fondant, spinach, red cabbage marmalade and lingonberry sauce.
Another nice touch in the Normandie the “Champagne high tea”, which is organized on the last day of the trip. For a fee of $25, you get several sandwiches and pastries, warm raisin scones, a glass of champagne, and loose teas. Now that’s the way to close a vacation.
The dessert menu offers a chocolate souffle and a dessert sampler with rose water creme brûlée, white chocolate mousse with raspberry, dark chocolate mousse, strawberry in a Pinot Noir sauce, apple crumble pie, and a mint sherbet. Every one of them was delicious. Another dessert is the mango souffle, a fluffy little cake made of egg whites with small mango bits at the bottom, topped with a mango sauce.
The extensive wine list in the Normandie includes many France vintners (no surprise), but also many from other great wine regions of the world. Wine pairing is only available for the tasting menu, but the sommelier will gladly help you find the right wine.
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