The Remy Experience

| Tuesday, 05 Mar. 2013

The décor of Remy Restaurant is inspired by the animated Disney film Ratatouille, wherein a talented Parisian rat - pronounced "rah" in French, makes a young, aspiring Parisian chef into a culinary master by hiding within his chef's hat and directing his every move. There are subtle bits of homage to the movie throughout the restaurant décor - with a rendering of the original kitchen from the animated movie the most noticeable work of art.

I was privileged to attend a tasting in Remy Restaurant during my Disney Dream preview. Both chefs du cuisine, Lallement and Hunnel, along with onboard executive chef Albert, were present to answer our questions. The "star," Arnaud Lallement, was born and resides in France, so Scott Hunnel did most of the talking. He described the process of creating the menu, including the challenges of being on a ship at sea with sometimes limited proximity to the all important provisioning, as well as working in an all-electric kitchen because open flames are not allowed.

The Remy kitchen is divided into two separate areas, one for the creative cuisine of each contributing chef. Both have 12 people to prepare the food nightly. Onboard, everyone is under the ultimate command of Chef Patrick Albert while Lallement and Hunnel plan to visit the ship every few months to review and revise as needed.

Guests who book dinner in Remy are invited to meet the Remy sommelier in advance to taste and pre-select their wines. There are two wine lists: one with 200 vintages from throughout France, and Remy's Vault with rare wines from all over the world.

Additionally, during the dinner service, sommeliers select 22 wines from Remy's Vault to create that evening's wine list, presented in an elegant velvet-lined book with the name of each wine engraved on a silver-plated plaque. A 1947 Château Cheval Blanc, considered one of the best vintages in the world, is available for $25,000. That wine is depicted in the movie "Ratatouille" as the vintage requested by the movie's food critic. There is also a 1964 Chateau Latour for $13,000. These are likely the two rarest and most expensive bottles of wine in any cruise ship collection. Select wines from the French list also are available by the glass.

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Private room in Remy   Champagne Cocktail   Picture of Ratatouille Kitchen

Our Remy tasting experience began the same as every dinner will begin, with the signature champagne cocktail prepared tableside. A martini glass is filled with Taittinger Champagne and a splash of vodka. Add a sprig of mint, a twist of fresh apricot and a lightly crushed raspberry.

Next, I was given a beautifully executed "langoustine" (a small Norwegian lobster tail) topped with lobster roe and accompanied by Caesar foam. The surprisingly tender flamingo-colored flesh was nicely juxtaposed with a tangy caramelized top. Next I relished a slice of freshly smoked bison with fennel salad and blood orange.

Regular dinner includes eight or nine small courses before a spectacular dessert. Other delights on the full menu include wild loup de mer (sea bass); Australian Wagyu (the breed of cattle for Kobe beef); a tomato tart with Parmesan espuma (foam); coastal turbot with vin jaune (a yellow sauvignon wine sauce) and gnocchi, and young pigeon pie with foie gras, spinach and tomato.

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Wine List for Remy   Remy Table in Wine Cellar   Window Tables in Remy

Desserts include vanilla-poached pear or a dark chocolate praline with cocoa sherbet. The recommended pairing is French press coffee and grand crème. After dinner all guests are treated to the appropriate but coincidentally named Rémy Martin Louis XIII Rare Cask Cognac served from an elegant Baccarat crystal decanter. Aged in centuries-old casks, this is said to be one of the most sought-after cognacs for connoisseurs.

The Remy Restaurant seats only 80 patrons per night at banquettes and window-side tables for two adorned with Frette linens and custom made Christofle silverware and china. There is a private room which seats eight people. The service fee is $75 per person, with the option of wine pairings with each course for an additional $99 per person.

The Remy Restaurant dress code for men includes a jacket and dress pants and shoes (ties are optional). Cocktail dresses, evening dresses, pant suits or dressy skirts and blouses are the options for ladies. Children aged 18 and under are not invited.

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