The Chef’s Table

Always an experience, we start by putting on white overcoats then walking through the main dining room (past the other drooling passengers) and then enter the galley.  Given that it is dinner time, there is a constant rush.  Staying to one side is a matter of personal safety as waiters have no time waste.

Our Executive Chef Raggie is introduced by our fearless leader, Frederico, the Maitre d’ Hotel.  Chef Raggie graciously explains the running of his galley.  Heading a staff of close to 300 between chefs, sous chefs, pastry chefs, wait staff and cleaning staff, he ensures that everyone has a job, knows how to do that job, and gets that job done.

Starting with a glass of Nicolas Feuilatte Brut (which wonderfully, Never seems to empty), our first galley appetizer arrives.  One after another 5 appear, brought out by different staff, each offered on a platter with a carved vegetable as their centerpiece.  If we had just more of all, they could have made a complete meal quite easily.  But, of course, nothing so simple was going to happen.

Our time in the galley has ended so back to the main dining room we go.  Doffing our overcoats, we make our way to a highlighted table, the middle of which showcases an amazing piece of blown glass from Murano, Italy.  This is in the middle of a spectacular mahogany round table that King Arthur would have been proud of.  Above us it a huge chandelier and all around the perimeter of our seating area is a curtain.  Actually it really is 2 curtains…one that wraps around, the other that drops down vertically behind the first. These two effectively close us off from the rest of the dining room.  From what we understand, this seating area alone cost about $250,000.

As we all sit talking and wondering what is going to come next, the Basil and Tomato Bisque with a Basil, Tomato and Cheese Sable arrives.  A dainty cup with an even smaller, yet perfectly sized spoon make enjoying this very easy.

The first formal appetizer then makes its way in front of us.  This is a wild Porcini mushroom risotto spiked with white truffle oil.  It’s nestled in a Parmesan crisp that has been formed (magically??) into a unique bowl.  Again, a potential dinner unto itself.  This is paired with an excellent Chamisal ‘Stainless’ Chardonnay from California.

Our main course is way over the top.  Unfortunately this is where a little disappointment comes to play.  It is a fantastic combination of Chateaubriand, Scallop, Lobster Tail and Lamb Chop, accompanied by little Parmesan bowls of vegetables.  The problem is one of a little inconsistency.  Where my tenderloin and lamb chop were perfectly cooked, my Dear Wife had both a little more well than perfect.  Enough to complain?  No, not by a long shot.  It was just something to note.  The wine now was a McPherson Shiraz from New Zealand.  And there was Nothing to complain about there.

Dessert now makes its appearance.  A bittersweet chocolate mousse with caramel cream and milk chocolate crunch.  The wine now is an Errazuriz ‘Late Harvest’ Sauvignon Blanc from Chile.  However, this was clearly insufficient.  Out come the petit fours. Those found their way back to our room to be enjoyed at a later time.  I mean…a later Date!  No possible way could more of anything find its way past my lips.

A truly outstanding way to enjoy a 3 hour dinner.

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