Since dining on a cruise ship is an entity in itself, we thought it wise to let this experience shine on its own. Needless to say, the food on the Sojourn was so incredible and unforgettable that we needed a whole other article just to tell you about it!
All of the menus onboard Seabourn are designed by James Beard Award winner Chef Charlie Palmer, who owns and operates 11 restaurants throughout the world.
One of our favorite places to dine was at the Patio Grill, where, at lunch every day, you can enjoy casual fare. At dinner, the Patio Grill offers a large selection of antipasti, along with a selection of fine meats and seafood (the swordfish was fabulous). In fact, we have to say that the cuisine aboard the ship was reliably terrific and top-shelf, and when we asked the Hotel Manager, Hubert Buelacher, just one of the things that set the ship apart, he quickly answered, "The food."
All entrees on the Patio Grill are accompanied by fresh vegetables, which can all be enjoyed outside en plein air. This is a great venue, when you simply want a casual dinner by the pool.
The Main Dining Room is outfitted with yellow leather chairs and is the epitome of elegance. Ladies, here’s where to wear your designer LBD with your Jimmy Choos. The menu featured starters like duck consommé and mesclun greens with pesto vinaigrette and entrees such as Atlantic turbot in Pernod sauce and vegetarian roasted pumpkin tortellini.
Restaurant 2, the only dining venue that requires a reservation, is a culinary delight, offering a wealth small bites. For example, you might have – are you ready? – a lobster corn dog, chicken with mustard, a butternut squash/foie gras sandwich, roasted salmon in sake ginger brine, salsify and apple cappuccino, fluffy banana foam with fresh blueberries and a nightcap of mocha Frangelico. Whew!
Going back to lunch, most folks head to The Colonnade. It is a self-serve buffet with oceans of options. We have to say that we are pretty fussy eaters – and always concerned about calories – but we were always able to find delicious food that was appetizing and friendly to our waistlines. On Christmas, we also enjoyed a fantastic traditional turkey dinner, complete with stuffing, giblet gravy, cranberry and butternut squash.
You Asked For It - You Got It
If you’re like us, you want to sail knowing that you can enjoy your favorite foods – whether you have special dietary restrictions or you simply want to eat something fabulous. Chef Cockburn handles all these requests with great expertise and certainly impressed us with our special orders for nonfat bran muffins, chocolate truffles, ratatouille and chicken cacciatore. "We can do gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, lactose-free, kosher, you name it," Chef told us.
On one cruise he even formulated special meals for one passenger who was allergic to poultry. And if you want something particular he can do that too – we heard rave reviews from passengers who enjoyed their special Shepherd’s Pie and Crepes Suzette. His most outrageous requests? "We take guests shopping to the market with us sometimes and when they see things like rabbit and brains, they ask us to make it for them."
The ship also has a Lighter Fare menu at dinner, offering cuisine that’s made with reduced cream and butter and is steamed or poached instead of sautéed in olive oil. "We try to lose the fat," he explained.
Chef Cockburn underscored to us the high quality of all the provisions that the ship purchases. For example, he said that Seabourn buys Sterling beef, imported French cheeses and "We go for the better brand names."
In addition, he explained, all of the chefs who work for Seabourn come from Michelin-starred restaurants and hotels, and so, they have a wealth of culinary experience that you probably won’t find on cruise ships from other lines.
But don’t just take our word for it. We met a lovely 82-year-old lady who lives aboard this ship for months at a time – in fact, she embarked on December 20, when we did, and she will stay onboard until November 2011! "I like the water, the ship is lovely and the crew and officers are very nice," she told Debbi. "I get my hair and nails done at the spa and most of the time, I just relax and enjoy myself."
Dining aboard the Seabourn Sojourn was just a highlight of our trip. To read more about this incredible new ship's accommodations, recreational activities, spa services and more, click here!