Cuisine aboard Silver Spirit is uniformly excellent. Provisions are of the highest quality and each dish is executed with precision,whether you order lobster at Le Champagne or a hamburger by the pool. All restaurants feature open seating with tables for two available at all venues.
The Restaurant (Deck 4): Open daily for a la carte breakfast, lunch (including embarkation day) and dinner, The Restaurant is Silver Spirit's main dining room. It's a lovely, wide-open space with sunlight pouring in during the day from windows on both sides of the room. The muted color palette of wheat, brown and gold is quite pleasant and is accented by some tall columns with Art Deco glass flourishes at the top. Dinners here can be long if you dine in a large group with everyone ordering multiple courses, but the wait staff will take cues from you and pace the meal according to your wishes -- especially if you're dining as a duo. While some cruisers shy away from venues like this, we feel this is one of the best main dining rooms at sea. Don't miss it. Reservations aren't necessary.
The breakfast menu includes all types of breads (including gluten-free options), pastries, pancakes, waffles, fruit, yogurt, cereal and all types of eggs, including scrambled, fried, poached, boiled, Benedict and omelets. Side dishes ranged from English or Canadian bacon and link sausage to corned beef hash, grilled tomatoes, baked beans and hash browns.
When you want a table service lunch, The Restaurant is your destination. Each day the menu features a different "Stuzzichini," which consists of a platter of munchies to share with the table. Trios included things like focaccia, risotto balls and seafood salad. Additional courses range from antipasti and pasta (gnocchi, pesto pasta, spaghetti); soup (minestrone is popular); salad and sandwiches; "Mozzarella E Salumi," which offers a variety of mozzarella, burrata and cold-cut platters; and entrees that include fresh fish of the day with lemons and capers, deep-fried seafood, veal scaloppini, lasagna Bolognese, beef short ribs (best we've ever had) and even hamburgers. Three dessert specials are offered, as is a large selection of ice cream and sorbet.
The dinner menu features Mediterranean cuisine with multiple course options including the "crudo" (raw) bar (think blue swimmer crab and veal tartar), appetizers like a "study of artichokes" or foie gras and black truffle terrine; soups (we loved the porcini veloute while our dining companions preferred the papa al pomodor); and salads such as fire-roasted vegetable salad or mesclun with 26-month-aged Parmesan. Pasta courses were "must order" and included everything from penne with lobster to risotto with truffles or farfalle with zucchini, garlic and Parmesan. Favorite entrees included grilled venison medallions, Maine lobster paired with saffron potato pearls, and char-grilled swordfish with a lemon and caper sauce. If you love frozen desserts, The Restaurant is your nirvana. On our cruise, they offered eight flavors of gelato each evening as well as amazingly delicious Italian frozen yogurts with whole fruit compotes. The sour cherry and apricot flavors were especially delicious. Sorbet was also offered, along with three desserts of the night, and cookies and pralines. Gluten-free and sugar-free dessert options are also offered each night.
Seishin (Deck 4); $20/$40: One of Silver Spirit's two specialty restaurants that levies a per-person fee, Seishin is an intimate sushi restaurant where you can watch talented Asian chefs sculpt sushi and sashimi delicacies right in front of you. A lavish multicourse dinner is served here nightly from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. You can select either a four-dish degustation menu for a $20 per person surcharge, or go for the full eight courses for $40. Courses may include caviar sorbet (one of Seishin's signature dishes), a sashimi platter, Japanese spider crab, tiger prawn tempura and green tea sorbet for dessert. The venue, outfitted in dark woods and backlit panels, is also open for lunch, but it only serves a limited menu of complimentary sushi and sashimi and not the full tasting menu that's available at dinnertime. Reservations required.
Le Champagne (Deck 4); $40: With just a handful of tables, you absolutely need to reserve your seat at Le Champagne's private dining room in advance (preferably by logging in to the My Silversea area of the Silversea website before embarkation). The restaurant and five-course menu were designed in concert with Relais & Chateaux, and the venue features farm-fresh ingredients and a decidedly French menu that's heavy on ingredients such as froi gras, caviar, scallops, duck and lobster. The meal begins with an amuse bouche platter that features a little bit of everything that's on the menu (so if you're unsure of what to order, enjoy these small bites first and then decide on your next courses). You'll select a soup and appetizer before moving on to entrees like Dover sole, lobster Thermidor and rack of New Zealand lamb. Wine pairings here are charged by the glass, though your waiter can bring you a complimentary beverage from The Restaurant next door. If you love dining in an exclusive atmosphere with excellent one-on-one service, you'll enjoy this specialty restaurant. If you don't enjoy rich food and a drawn-out dining experience, you may want to skip the extra expense of Le Champagne.
La Terrazza (Deck 7): This popular venue offers both indoor and alfresco dining options and is home to buffets at both breakfast and lunch (even on embarkation day). Tables are set with Stolzle crystal and Schonwald china.
You won't go hungry at breakfast, where you can select any number of breads and pastries (including gluten-free); cheese, fruit, yogurt and sliced meats; oatmeal and cereals; omelets, eggs, bacon and sausage; and made-to-order specialties such as Belgian waffles and pancakes. Reservations are not necessary.
The lunch buffet gets rave reviews with standby favorites including an extensive salad bar, cold cuts, sushi, cheese (think Appenzeller, blue, Jarlsburg and Camembert), breads and rolls and fruit. Hot entrees generally include a fish of the day (we tried the perch), carving station (the beef short ribs and Asian chili pork ribs were both succulent, and tablemates raved about the roast chicken), pasta like cannelloni Bolognese, vegetables and even pizza. The dessert bar -- spanning the length of the entire room -- offers more than 20 mini desserts, including gluten-free and sugar-free options. Cookies also came in both gluten-free and sugar-free versions. We enjoyed the New York-style cheesecake, apple pie and dark chocolate mousse. One frozen yogurt and three types of ice cream -- one of which was sugar free -- were available each day.
Wait staff are plentiful and will carry your plate from the buffet to your table. They can also take orders for a la carte specials such as thin-crust pizza. It's generally no problem getting a table for two, though you may have to share with another party during rush periods when the outdoor seating isn't being used due to weather conditions. Reservations are not necessary.
If you love the refined things in life, don't miss afternoon tea at La Terrazza, served tableside each afternoon between 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily. You will enjoy finger sandwiches and miniature pastries served with Ronnefeldt tea. Reservations are not necessary.
In the evening, La Terrazza transforms into a slow-food restaurant featuring Italian cuisine. Have no fear: "Slow food" doesn't mean it will take a long time for your meal to arrive. Instead, slow food is a movement that promotes using high-quality local ingredients and preparing them in the traditions of the region. La Terrrazza takes this idea to heart. Expect buffalo mozzarella from Naples, air-dried Parma ham and organic balsamic vinegar and olive oil from Umbria. The restaurant's Parmesan Reggiano is aged 24 months and is the perfect accent to your pasta course. La Terrazza offers a family-style, pre-set, three-course meal for tables that wish to enjoy the experience together; everyone must take part in that particular menu. Otherwise, order a la carte. Start with antipasti that may include an insalata caprese (tomato, mozzarella and basil with extra-virgin olive oil) or swordfish Carpaccio. Next up is the pasta menu that offers seven or eight homemade options. We liked the pappardelle with duck ragout. "Secondi" entrees included dishes like wild boar in a white wine/veal stock reduction over mashed potatoes or grilled tuna steak atop a peppery arugula and tomato salad. Like the other restaurants aboard Silversea, La Terrazza's dessert menu is extensive with 11 tempting options plus an assortment of gelati and frozen yogurt. Tiramisu, panna cotta and cannoli were all popular ways to end the meal. Reservations are a must.
Stars Supper Club (Deck 7): One of the highlights aboard the ship is Stars, a supper club that allows you to dine on small-plate dishes while listening to jazz standards. The inventive menu includes unique ingredients such as beef tartare, Thai prawns and frog's legs; grilled fish like mahi mahi, corvina and swordfish; and noisettes of veal mignon, pork or lamb. Those less adventurous could order from the "always available" menu of penne pasta with your choice of three sauces: carbonara, genovese (onion based) and salsa di noci (a cream sauce with walnuts and Pecorino Romano cheese). Desserts included lip-smackers like peach compote and chocolate tart.
The cocktail menu skews toward martinis and signature cocktails like the Silver Spirit (sauvignon blanc, St-Germain elderflower cordial and Plymouth Gin with a "kiss" of lime juice) or Fruit of the Glen, which is Dewar's, creme de cassis and a dash of cranberry juice). The complimentary wines served at this venue were quite good during our sailing: Percheron Chenin-Viognier 2015 and Percheron Western Cape Old Vine Cinsault 2014, both from South Africa.
The singers aboard our sailing were particularly talented, and many passengers come specifically to hear them. If you just want to enjoy a drink or two while listening to the music, stop by after the dinner rush and inquire with the maitre d'. As long as space is available -- often at the small bar -- you are welcome to drop in at the end of the night, no reservations required. (Do book ahead for dinner.)
Pool Grill (Deck 9): Sometimes you want to enjoy a casual lunch alfresco instead of opting for the buffet or main dining room. The Pool Grill -- generally open from noon to late afternoon, even on embarkation day -- definitely fits that bill. Cocktails are available as are several delicious homemade ice teas made with Ronnefeldt brand tea. Try the Black Lemon (Earl Grey tea and lemon syrup) or the Morgentau Passion, which is Morgentau tea with mango syrup. Delicious!
Then you can move on to snacks like a platter of Kalamata olives, Greek dolmades, spinach and goat cheese spanakopita with tzatziki and grilled pita bread, or an Italian option with focaccia, risotto balls and a Mediterranean seafood salad. For lunch, there are several Mediterranean-style sandwiches featuring ingredients like buffalo mozzarella, basil, breaded chicken and arugula. Salads are also interesting here, from tomato and pomegranate to one with caramelized figs and goat cheese over arugula. The real culinary standouts here were the sliders of dry aged beef in mild jalapeno, smoked applewood and truffle-infused flavors. Scrumptious! Hot dogs were also available as well as a fish of the day and USDA prime Kansas sirloin steak. End your leisurely lunch with dessert (an ice cream sundae, fruit salad or raspberry white chocolate mousse) and a specialty coffee.
The Panorama Lounge (Deck 9): Early risers can find coffee and pastries here from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Bouillon is served from 11 a.m. to noon and an a la carte sandwich lunch appears between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Waiters deliver an assortment of delectable canapes to each table before dinner as well.
The Grill (Deck 10): Once the sun goes down, the Pool Grill transforms itself into The Grill and takes over the lovely outdoor space on Deck 10. It's here that you can enjoy an experience called "Hot Rocks." The meal starts with a salad but save room, because it's the entrees that are really special. A super-heated volcanic rock is placed in front of you at the dinner table and -- once you don a bib to spare your clothing from any splatters or spills -- you'll cook your own meal. If you're not a natural-born grill master, simply ask your waiter for help and he will man your volcanic rock and make sure your meat and/or seafood is cooked to your specifications.
Main dishes range from beef and veal to pork, fish and seafood. Standouts at our table included the New York strip steak, Colorado Prime rib-eye steak and absolutely amazing Madagascar prawns. We were served a tasty Pioneer merlot at this venue. The dessert menu is small here, with just three options: apple pie with vanilla ice cream, fruit salad and a white and chocolate mousse with raspberry sauce.
Room Service: You may order room service 24 hours a day. Arrange breakfast by filling out the card that's left in your room at evening turndown and leave it in your suite's mailbox for your butler's attention. Options include mainstays like cereal, oatmeal and yogurt; breads and pastries; eggs and omelets; and a variety of breakfast meats and potatoes.
When The Restaurant is open, you may also order any items from its menu at lunch or dinner. (Menus can be found in the daily program.) The room service menu itself offers a variety of appetizers such as shrimp cocktail and spring rolls; soups, sandwiches and pastas; pizza and burgers; salads including chicken Caesar; and grilled specialties like salmon, filet mignon and chicken breast. The dessert menu includes creme brulee, cheesecake, chocolate mouse, fruit, a cheese platter and ice cream. Your butler will serve meals ensuite course by course, or if you'd prefer that everything arrive together, just let him know. We found service to be quite fast, with a dinner order arriving within 25 minutes.
One nice thing about room service aboard Silver Spirit: With "All Around Dining," you can have it delivered to any public area of the ship -- such as The Bar, Panorama Lounge or Observation Lounge -- when dining venues aren't open so you aren't limited to eating in your suite.