Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 23 Evening - Wine Maker's Dinner

Tonight we are fortunate enough to do the Wine Maker’s Dinner.  We are scheduled to meet at 6:45 at the International Café and when we arrive and we recognize a few faces and we chat among ourselves.  

Franco our head waiter and our host tonight comes out and introduces himself and then he disappears again and we continue to chat.

About ten minutes later he is back out and he leads us to the Symphony dining room to a beautiful table at the back of the room.  It looks like it is made of mahogany and the whole table is surrounded by glass display cases that show off the bottles of wine.  The high back white leather chairs surround the oval table and a beautiful center piece sits in the middle.  Not too big and not too small and every so often I get a scent of the flowers.

Franco explains how the Wine Maker’s table got started, what it represents, why they do it.  It is more of a relaxed atmosphere, more like I am sitting at a friend’s dining room table.  It is more casual and we chat with each out and laughs are heard. 

Franco is very funny and he is in the perfect position I think, he makes us all feel comfortable and of course the wine doesn’t hurt either.  He shows us each the menu and explains how the evening will progress.  Two people at the table have allergies and he accommodates their needs perfectly.

The first wine Donna Fugata Anthilia by Michael Mondavi a very fruity fresh white that I really enjoy.  This would be lovely on a balcony enjoying sail away. 

The Chef comes out and Franco introduces him.  There is some friendly banter between the two of them and again it sets a more casual friendly mood.

The Chef prepares a prelude appetizer of a puff pastry that is wrapped around a prawn and some Prosciutto which is cooked perfectly but I personally found it very salty. 

The next course is white bean soup that has some chorizo sausage in it and made velvety smooth.  It is delicious and considering I am not a huge bean fan I would attempt this at home for sure.  The soup did sit for a bit before serving and did have a slight skin formed over it, so it should have been poured and served right away.  Oh I should add it was served with a bit of apple on it and it worked perfectly with the Anthilia wine.

Next course Franco is preparing.  It is an Assiago Cheese Gnocchi served with a Portobello Mushroom Cream sauce.  As Franco is cooking it he explains the different types of pasta that is served in Italy (where he is from).  The course is served piping hot and it is SOOOO GOOD.  But I have to resist eating it all as it is a big serving and I know if I finish it I will not eat the rest of the meal.

The entrée is served next which is a large beef tenderloin served with root vegetables and asparagus.  It is cooked perfectly and I really enjoyed it, plus it is served with a great red wine Spellbound, also by Robert Mondavi.

For dessert a Napoleon of Mousses are served.  The Pastry Chef comes out again and I am blown over by how good this tastes.  Then some petite fours are served, but I pass.  I am full.

One thing is this meal is certainly worth the $40 cost.  The food is fabulous and the service top notch.  Then the wines just add to it.  Definitely sign up for it when you get on board.  Note it is only available on the Regal and Royal Princess Ships.

After the meal we head to Vines to chat with Ryan and have a quick drink.  On our way back to the cabin we stop in to the Vista Lounge to see what is happening and it is the Ole Pub Night.  We take a seat off to the right and we enjoy the show.  If you haven’t seen it I encourage you stop in and enjoy it.  Note it is only offered once per sailing normally.

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