Presto chango—one corner of the Lido buffet is converted into a cozy Italian restaurant each evening.
The bustling Lido Restaurant slows down quite a bit at night, so Holland America takes a corner of the dining area and converts it into an intimate Italian venue. It’s a fairly distinct dining experience, with light opera music in the background. At our table we found a red rose, an electric candle, and our Indonesian waiters were surreally attired in striped gondolier shirts. Reservations were required, and most tables were booked by the midpoint of our cruise.
Editor’s Note: On our cruise there was no charge for meals at Canaletto. But shortly after our voyage on Veendam, Holland America Line began charging $10 to dine at Canaletto. The menu was also revised, but otherwise the venue has not changed. We’ll have a review of the new Canaletto experience on a future ship soon.
Our meal started with a basket of breads and there were bottles of olive oil and Balsamic vinegar on the table. The oil and vinegar was a nice touch, but we found the vinegar to be syrupy sweet. An inviting plate of antipasti was brought by for us to choose from—roasted vegetables, tomatoes, mozzarella, olives, calamari and slices of meat. We found greens for the insalata canaletto to be fresh, but the dressing on the side was overly acidic.
We were all set to try the cod putanesca, but our waiter steered us away. “I don’t recommend the cod tonight,” he said (which seemed strange since the fish is undoubtedly frozen). So we signed up for the chicken marsala scaloppini, which seemed like basic comfort food, the chicken served atop linguini, bathed in a gravy with tiny slivers of mushrooms; green beans, asparagus, broccoli and carrot were not overcooked. For dessert we tried the mille-feuille of chocolate with walnut praline and ice cream. The dish was dainty and not overwhelming—a good choice.
The ship’s usual selection of drinks and wine was available, along with limoncello liqueur for dessert.
Canaletto was open from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. nightly, and reservations were strongly recommended.
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