Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Seabourn Legend: The Veranda Cafe: Tastings at 2

The Veranda Café on the Seabourn Legend turns into Two at night, and there, they serve tasting menus. Overall, we were pretty pleased. Interestingly, the menu was not really coherent and there was little relationship between items served in tandem, except for the soup courses. Many of the dishes were very good, but just did not relate to the others.

February 29th, 2008

Overall the menu tonight worked much better together than the other night. The dishes were mostly coherent when put together.

Mozzarella Bread
These were kind of the same as the bread at Tastings at 2 a few nights ago, but they were warm and cheesy and still quite good.

Lobster Martini with Watermelon Gelee and Vanilla Champagne Dressing
The dressing worked really well with the natural sweetness of the lobster.

Artichoke Salad with Cubed Tuna and Black Olive Vinaigrette
This was a flavorful and tasty dish.

Crab and Spinach Pop with Shitake Mushrooms and Bok Choy
This was a great little crab cake. There was very little filler, if any, and the outside was nice and crisp.

Cured and Roasted Duck with Mango Puree and Chili Mint Oil
This was really good. The duck was sliced super think and the accompaniments added to the dish without masking the flavor of the duck.

Lemongrass Seafood Consommé with Shrimp
The shrimp were tender and the broth was rich with the subtle flavor of lemongrass.

Tomato and Coconut Cappuccino
This was a really wonderful soup. It was tangy and slightly coconut-y, almost reminiscent of a tom yum gai, without any solids.

Braised Oxtail Cigar
This was a very pleasant interlude between soups.

Sea Bass with Beans and Citrus Sauce
The fish was great and the lemon sauce cut through any residual fishiness.

BBQ Short Ribs with Seared Foie Gras and Orange Mashed Potatoes
The short ribs were a tad under seasoned, but very tender. The mash was much better than expected, given we usually are uninterested in mashed potatoes.

Yogurt Lemon Mousse with Crushed Raspberries and Almond Brittle
Ok, but not our favorite.

Sweet Coffee Sandwich, White Chocolate Foam, Dessert Wine and Fleur de Sel Caramel Ice Cream
Most parts of this dish were forgettable, but the salted caramel ice cream was truly transcendent. It was the best ice cream Alexis has ever had. Creative and totally delicious. She ate her bowl and Giao’s.

February 27th, 2008
Warm Parmesan Breads
These were quite good and actually tasted like they were made with rice flour. They were very glutinous.

Shrimp Tempura Cocktail
This first taste was served with green papaya, orange aioli, jalapeno and a celery margarita. The shrimp were well cooked, but over all, the dish was far too mayo-y and we didn’t really taste the celery.

Seared Beef Tataki
This was served with pickled veggies, a ponzu gelee and tahini. These flavors actually worked quite well together and it was refreshing that the gelee was not served in the ever-popular cubed form. The beef was tender and flavorful.

Curried Vidalia Onion Rings
We couldn’t taste the curry and the rings were not particularly crispy. Overall, this was a miss.

Navy Bean Fritter with Cumin and Coriander Raita
This was very tasty, almost like a falafel made with a different bean.

Tomato Consommé with Goat Cheese Panna Cotta and Tomato Confit
The soup was very flavorful and the confit were also good. The panna cotta, however, was a bit spongy and unnecessary.

Chicken and Pesto Strudel
A crispy, flavorful interlude between soups.

White Tomato Cappuccino with Basil Foam
This was thick, creamy, and flavorful and the foam was well executed.

Grilled Dorade and Ricotta Gnocchi
This rather fishy fish was served with a wonderful preserved lemon sauce and topped with chorizo and parmesan. The gnocchi was also light and matched the fish well.

Lamb Shank Moussaka with Red Wine Jus
Giao liked this; Alexis thought it was just ok.

Bailey’s Sabayon with Crushed Chocolate Flakes
This tasted like a child’s dessert spiked with alcohol, but in a not entirely bad way.

Coconut and Passion fruit Gelano, Almond Foam, Dessert Wine and Blackberry Sorbet
We both like the gelano better than we thought we would. It was sort of light and spongy with a slight tang, and served with beet gelee and a beet tuile, which was rather nice. Giao liked the almond foam, although Alexis found it a bit sweet. The sorbet was a bit too sweet, but had a nice texture.

March 2nd, 2008

And, on to dinner number two. This was an ambitious idea that left us far too bloated.

Crispy Foie Gras with Port Wine Splash
You can really never go bad with foie gras.

Lobster Roll with Yogurt Caviar Sauce
Delicate and very good.

Salt Fish Fritter with Avocado and Tomato Salad
This was good, if salty. People really seem to love bacalao. We like it, but don’t love it.

Seared Salmon with White Bean Salsa and Pepper Coulis
Simple and flavorful.

Mushroom Toast
Not the best.

White Asparagus and Vanilla Cappuccino
Lovely flavor, although Alexis found a vanilla a tad sweet.

Shiraz-Braised Oxtail Consommé with Manchego Pot stickers
Very hearty for a clear soup.

Drunken Turbot with Porcini, Swiss Chard and Hazelnut Vinaigrette
Flavorful and well executed.

Braised Veal with Mascarpone Mashed Potatoes
The veal was very tender and the potatoes very decadent.

March 4th, 2008

Grilled Octopus with Fried Shallots and Lemon Grape Juice
The fried taste overshadowed the flavor of the octopus, unfortunately. This dish also needed a little more acid.

Chicken Brick Parcel with Mustard Dip
This was a light, tasty finger food. The chicken inside was surprisingly tender.

Crisp Lamb Kofta with Sun Dried Tomato Coulis
This wasn’t bad, but we were expecting something a little more heavy duty, buckwheat rather than a pancake-y coating.

Lobster Corn Dog with Truffle Sauce
The filling was a bit too solid and there was not enough cornmeal in the dough, but it was ok.

Butternut Squash Consommé with Foie Gras Sandwiches
The consommé was great. It had the flavor of the squash without the sweetness. The foie gras sort of disintegrated in the broth, but it was still a great idea.

Mushroom Crostini
The flavors were nice, but the center of the crostini was a bit soggy.

Granny Smith Apple and Salsify Cappuccino
A bit sweet but very, very good.

Roasted Salmon in Sake Ginger Brine with Israeli Cous Cous
The fish was a tad overcooked for our tastes, but the flavors were great. The cous cous was also really nice, although the corn seemed unnecessary, as it didn’t add much in color, taste or texture.

Orange Soy Duck with Artichoke Tart Tatin, Minced Quince and Proscuitto Sauce
The duck was perfectly cooked and the artichoke was nice, but the puff pastry was a bit soggy and better left aside. The quince added a nice sweet-tart flavor that cut through any saltiness.

Banana Foam with Fresh Blueberries
Giao quite liked this, but Alexis hates bananas.

Gingered Almond and Pumpkin Nougatine, Banana Toffee and Bourbon Ice Cream
The Nougatine was a bit of a single note, that being sweet. The bourbon ice cream was nice and smooth. Again, Giao liked the toffee, but Alexis hates bananas.

Food: 2
Service: 2
Decor: 2

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