ABOARD THE EURODAM - Robert DeNiro watches over my shoulder. Sophia Loren, Rod Stewart and Jackie Onassis smile from across the room.
Of course, these are just historic photographs. But they do help set the atmosphere for “An Evening at Le Cirque” ($39 each) on our Eurodam cruise. Served in the Pinnacle Grill for only one evening on the cruise, the dinner presents a wonderful taste of Sirio Maccioni’s celebrated New York restaurant.
As a bit of history, Sirio developed his first taste for the New York restaurant business when he began working at the famed Colony Club as a maître d’hôtel in the late 1960s. In 1974, Sirio opened what soon became a New York landmark – Le Cirque, which literally translates as “the circus” in French, at the Mayfair Hotel.
Multiple locations and sister restaurants followed over the years as the Maccioni family – wife Egidiana and sons Mario, Marco and Mauro – could be found in the famed dining spots. Monkeys, circus balls and tent shades have become popular symbols of the New York restaurant.
So it was no surprise to see the red-bordered white dinner plates on our linen-covered table for Le Cirque on the Eurodam. Two whimsical cartoon monkeys eating plump cherries cavort around the rim of the plate. The name “Le Cirque” is arched over one of the monkey’s long tails.
But it wasn’t the ambiance alone that made our Eurodam evening special. The food was fantastic and the presentation was a feast for the eyes.
First we were first served an amuse of pate foi gras (goose liver mousse with rhubarb chutney). Delicious way to start a meal.
Next was the appetizer of Lobster Salad Le Cirque, poached lobster with haricot and citrus. Then came the Sweet Corn Soup. I’ve had corn soup many times but never as elegantly as this. On the bottom of the soup bowl were mushrooms, small kernels of sweet corn and ground corn fritters. Thick corn soup was poured over top for a meal in itself.
For our entrée, we chose chateaubriand, very tender and flavorful steak prepared tableside. Dessert was the well-known Le Cirque crème brulee. To tell you how good it was, I forgot to take a photo of the crème brulee until my dish was empty. At the bottom of the dish is a recipe for the treat. Alas, however, no photo of the lovely dessert itself.
After the crème brulee, we had even more desserts. Delightful little candy confections were brought to our table on a silver platter. Other diners were lingering over their coffee or after dinner drinks while we savored the sweets.
But that wasn’t the end.
Back in our stateroom that night, we found a special golden souvenir box from Le Cirque and a letter thanking us for dining there. Inside the box were two truffles. Those we have saved to enjoy at the airport when we wait for our flight home. A very nice reminder of a fantastic Holland America Eurodam dining experience.
For more information: Contact Holland America at www.hollandamerica.com