Norwegian Cruise Line just announced that it is already offering a "once-in-a-lifetime" intimate gourmet dining experience aboard all of its ships. The new "Chef's Table" is an exclusive dinner that is only offered one time per cruise and limited to only twelve guests.
A similar chef's table is already offered on a number of cruise lines, mostly luxury cruise lines that specialize in gourmet cuisine, but this Norwegian version appears to have some of the most trendy presentations and is also very reasonably priced. I hope to be able to give you a first person account of the experience after my cruise on Norwegian Epic the week of March 17. For only $75 per person guests are seated in an exclusive, private dining room for a nine-course culinary adventure that features sophisticated, contemporary dishes made from the highest quality ingredients and recipes. All courses are accompanied by wines specially paired by the line's Master Sommelier, Andrea Robinson. The two-and-a-half hour dinner begins with an intimate champagne reception where guests mingle with the ship's Executive Chef, Food and Beverage Director, Restaurant Manager, Assistant MaîÌtre d' and Head Wine Steward before sitting down in an intimate and exclusive setting. The Menu The Executive Chef leads the experience by first introducing the first two courses: an Amuse Bouche 'Molecular Gastronome' consisting of Spherical Mango, Vodka & Jalapeño Ravioli and an Orange-Wasabi Glazed Ahi Tuna Tartar with freshly-baked Sesame Crisp; accompanied by the Master Sommelier's wine selection. Asparagus Cream is course number three, followed by a Short Crust Tartlet for the fourth and a delightful Grapefruit and Moscato Granite as course number five – all accompanied by the second wine pairing. The Executive Chef will reveal the ingredients and techniques used to create these courses and invite questions. Course number six is a plantain-crusted, pan seared sea bass accompanied by mango, papaya & avocado salsa and lobster veloute. A milk-fed veal chop with Anna potatoes, sautéed spinach and truffle veal jus rounds out course number seven. Course eight is a specially-selected assortment of gourmet cheeses. Dessert as course number nine is the grand finale; a yogurt-mousse dome with lychee raspberry crème, hazel sablee and lime vanilla reduction. Optionally one can choose a chocolate log with 'spiced' dark rum, infused banana and cocoa mousse. This exclusive dining experience is already being offered for $75 per person, including gratuities, a behind-the-scenes galley tour, one group photo and an individual photo with the Executive Chef. Advance reservations are highly recommended. Reservations are not yet available on the NCL web site, so we recommend inquiring with the MaîÌtre d' as soon as you board. The Chef's Table is limited to 12 guests per dinner and is only offered once per cruise on board Norwegian ships fleet-wide. Norwegian Jade will begin the dinner offering March 22, 2012.