Seabourn Pride Dining
Dinner is a nightly event, served with much pomp and circumstance in The Restaurant, the ship's main venue. The decor is simple, but you hardly notice when you get wrapped up in conversations and enjoy the sometimes-extraordinary cuisine. The style is open seating -- you can dine with whomever you choose or ask the maitre d' to choose your companions for the evening (a big bonus for single travelers; you'll always have someone to dine with). Each night, several tables are hosted by senior officers or other top crew members (if you sit with the Norwegian captain be prepared to do shots of aquavit and to shout "Skoal!"). Complimentary wine is poured freely (if you're not a big drinker, watch out as the waiters tend to fill your glass when you're not looking).
Multi-course menus feature both old favorites and the types of creative items you might see whipped up on "Iron Chef." You might start with a mousseline of chicken liver with sauterne jelly, grilled pear salad and toasted brioche; follow that with duck confit and frisee salad with sherry shallot dressing; enjoy an entree of cumin-and-coriander-crusted grouper with sweet carrot juice and Chinese parsley; then top that off with some lavish dessert (ice cream is homemade), and post-dessert Petit Fours. More care seemed to go into appetizers and desserts than entrees on sailing -- but if something is not to your liking feel free to send it back. The menu always includes a chef's selection, a lighter fare offering, and a vegetarian option. For those who prefer simpler fare, a "Classic Menu," available nightly, offers steaks, chops and an excellent Caesar salad.
Passengers tend to dress up a little for dinner (and lavishly on formal nights); Seabourn, aware that some people don't want to do that, now offers alternative dining nightly in the reservations-required Veranda Cafe. The meals here are either themed (such as French, Mediterranean, and Surf-and-Turf) or small-plates tasting menus and are less fussy than what's served in the dining room (although still very satisfying). For the ultimate in romance (or seclusion, depending on how you look at it), passengers can order in-cabin dinner from The Restaurant menu. A waiter will bring what you order, course by course.
Breakfast and lunch are available from room service, in The Restaurant and at the Veranda Cafe. Compared to dinner they are pretty standard affairs. While the Cafe used to operate like a buffet, Seabourn is moving away from that. There is a small fixed menu and a buffet-like display of items (such as a variety of meats and salads at lunch). The way it works now, you order off the menu or go to the display and point, and the waiters serve you. A true high point at lunch is the burgers, really the best at sea. We asked what kind of beef they use and were told ground filet. No wonder they're so yummy! And the fries are pretty good too.
For those who aren't napping, a scrumptious afternoon tea is served each day in the Constellation Lounge.