The food on Silver Wind was, almost without exception, very good -- tasty (although the curries were a little weak) and served hot, which is a big plus-point for me. They even managed to make the burgers and hot dogs, served on deck, a little bit tastier.
There is one dining room on Silver Wind, rather unimaginatively called The Restaurant, open for breakfast (8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.), lunch (12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.) and dinner (7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m).
Meals, including dinner, are all open-seating, meaning you can eat when you want and sit with whom you want. Ladies are escorted to their tables by waiters or the maitre d', which is a nice touch.
Other options for breakfast include an early-risers buffet from 6:30 a.m. in the Panorama Lounge and coffee from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the Observation Lounge. A continental breakfast is served at the pool grill from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
A breakfast buffet is available in La Terrazza between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., and you can help yourself to lunch there between noon and 2 p.m. There's indoor and outdoor seating -- an awning was fixed over the outdoor area in the refit, which made it pleasant to breakfast outside on sunny mornings.
On one sea day -- I'm told this happens on all Silversea ships, when possible -- we had the Galley Lunch, when the galley is dressed up like a self-service, and you go in and help yourself and dine in the Restaurant. On my cruise, the galley was in Italian colours, and there were salads, cold meats, stir fries, sushi, curry, fish and roast beef -- a real feast that was brilliantly done.
The pool grill lunch opens from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m for burgers and hot dogs, grilled chicken, fish dishes and more. You can also help yourself to salads there.
Afternoon tea -- with dainty sandwiches, cookies and cakes, plus an array of normal and spiced teas -- is served in the Panorama Lounge from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m.
In The Restaurant, my favourite dishes at dinner were the chicken breast with spinach and foie gras stuffing, spicy grilled chicken and bacon-wrapped pork medallions. But, my fellow diners reported favourably on the other dishes -- fish, beef and veal.
My favourite starters were the foie gras with leek terrine and assiette de canard -- a real duck fest, with smoked duck, duck pate and foie gras terrine.
Come evening, La Terrazza is transformed into a speciality Italian restaurant. You need to book a table -- numbers are limited to keep an intimate ambience -- but there is nothing extra to pay.
I ate there on two evenings and had a delicious penne pasta with artichokes, black olives and tomato; a fusilli pasta with spicy tomato sauce; and a hearty lamb stew and meatballs in tomato sauce, but there were plenty of fish dishes, veal, steak and lobster.
For something really special in the evening, book a table at Le Champagne (called La Saletta before the refit). At $200 per person, it's not cheap, but you do get some extra-special food and personal service for that price. There are usually no more than a couple of tables of diners (just my table of three when I ate there), and after the meal, your menu (with your name on it) will be waiting in your suite.
The $200 degustation menu includes the food and a different glass of wine with each course. The wine is selected by the sommelier to go with the food. There's an introduction about each bottle of wine before it is poured, and it's expensive stuff, so you really do get your money's worth.
There were five different degustation menus on my cruise -- Spanish, North American, Burgundy, Bordeaux and Italian.
I chose the Burgundy one and have to say the food and presentation was faultless. The meal started with some bite-size Burgundy tasters -- meat-filled pastries and foie gras -- and was followed by snails, served with herb butter and tomato fondue, roasted Bresse chicken, a Burgundy cheese brioche and chocolate Eiffel Tower.
If you don't want a degustation menu, you can still eat in Le Champagne -- for $30 per person. For that, you get the food, but you have to pay for any wine you drink -- and you have to pick from the expensive list.
Room service is free and available 24 hours. There's a room service menu with sandwiches, burgers and pasta, but you can chose a meal from the main menu during restaurant hours.
* May require additional fees