Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Escargot Experience

My wife and I just returned from a much needed cruise to the Bahamas.  We had a great time just kicking back on the beach enjoying the weather and a cool island drink.  On the ship they had several restaurants as well as the main dining room, and overall I thought the food was pretty good.  This was my first cruise and I really wasn't prepared for the amount of food you could sample on the ship.  In the main dining room you could order as many appetizers, entrees, and desserts as you liked.  At our final dinner I ordered two of everything, I was on vacation, why count calories!  They also had a Johnny Rockets that was all you can eat, as well as a pizza shop and deli that were all you can eat as well.  It was food overload. 

I thought the dishes served in the main dining room really stood out. One of my favorite dishes was the escargot in a parmesan garlic butter sauce.  I have eaten a lot of different types of foods, from frogs legs to snapping turtle, but this was my first time eating escargot and I thought the snails were delicious.  The parmesan garlic butter sauce really complimented them, and when I ate it on a piece of warm sourdough bread, it was really good.  The next dish that really stood out was the pan roasted duck with cherry jus.  The duck skin was crispy and the meat was tender. The cherry jus had a nice balance of savory and sweet.  It was served with braised red cabbage and fried potato cakes. I really enjoyed all the different elements of this dish.  The best appetizer I had was an oxtail broth with diced vegetables and small pieces of oxtail.  The broth had great depth of flavor. 

I have sweet tooth and I had two desserts that really were outstanding. The first was a bittersweet chocolate souffle served with an espresso cream.  The souffle was light and airy with a nice chocolate flavor.  The waiter served the souffle and then created an opening in the center and poured in the cream. The espresso cream added a nice coffee flavor that always tastes good with chocolate. I could have eaten two of them.  The second dessert was probably one of my favorites dishes I had the entire trip. It was a banana praline caramel parfait, but it was molded into the shape of a piece of cake. It had a creamy consistency with a nice banana flavor with the pieces of praline mixed in.  The slice of parfait was placed on top of the caramel sauce.  I enjoyed it so much, I may try to re-create this dish in my own variation. 

I definitely will be taking a cruise again not only for the sun and sand, but more importantly the food!

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