Prepare to dine elegantly on beautifully presented dishes prepared with primo ingredients. Menus offer an impressive variety of choices, with healthful and vegetarian selections. All-around menus (placed in suites) can be ordered from nearly every public venue and in-suite 24/7. Check the interactive television for restaurant descriptions and daily menus. Attentive service is de rigueur; the only speed bumps can come at lunchtime at The Grill if the venue is packed on a balmy sea day.
For lunch and dinner in all venues, bar staff offers a house red or white wine, and the quality is decent, comparable to other luxury lines. For instance, bottles poured might be 2016 Alexander Valley Vineyards Merlot, or 2015 Greystone Cellars Petite Sirah. If you don't like the selection, the sommelier asks what style you prefer and brings a different bottle. Sommeliers know their wine and recommend well. Most notably, prices on the premium list are reasonable, making a splurge feel less like a splurge than a find.
The Restaurant (Deck 4)
Meals: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D)
Silver Whisper's main dining venue is elegant and airy with graceful columns, light wood-like tile flooring, floor-to-ceiling windows and sparkly chandeliers.
Meals are open seating, no reservations needed -- though if invited to an officer- or crew-hosted table, it's polite to RSVP. Sit with your travel party or at an open table to meet fellow cruisers. The Restaurant is quiet at breakfast and lunchtime, unless it's a sea day. Dinner is prime time, but there's never a queue for seating and the room doesn't feel crowded.
The Restaurant serves up traditional breakfast menu, and lunch features appetizers, soup, pasta, hearty salad, wrap and carving du jour, entrees and an Asian specialty (perhaps Indian or Filipino). Dinner is comprehensive, with formal nights offering more delicacies: Expect a suggested four-course menu, perhaps showcasing a country such as China or France; evening recommendations; vegetarian selections; and many fresh fish and meats. The complimentary caviar proves a popular way to begin dinner, and house-made gelato ends the night sweetly.
A complimentary red and white wine of the day, often themed (e.g., California or Italian wines), are poured nightly. If not to your liking, request another complimentary bottle, or off the premium (extra-cost) menu. Waiters come around with both still and sparkling water.
Staff is gracious and always asking how you like your meal. Servers pace meals well -- not too quick, not too slow. They can also adapt; on embarkation night, our server, noticing our fatigue, brought courses out quickly so we could retire.
La Terrazza (Deck 7)
Meals: B, L, D
Silver Whisper's buffet venue for breakfast and lunch has a consistently serene and upscale vibe -- Passengers aren't generally flooding it all at once. The buffet is in a room adjacent to the seating area, so you don't walk into queues of people with trays. Hosts escort passengers to tables and servers assist with carrying dishes.
Two-, four- and six-top tables are available. Outdoor tables on the aft terrace are in high demand on sunny days and balmy nights.
La Terrazza dishes often mirror The Restaurant menu. Breakfast includes cereals, house-made breakfast breads and pastries, premade egg dishes and pancakes, breakfast meats, cereal, yogurt and fruit.
At lunch, expect an array of sushi, shellfish, delicate smoked fish and high-end deli meat, an expansive salad bar with numerous toppings and prepared salads, carving station du jour, hot dishes, pizzas and a terrific quiche du jour, bread, imported cheese and desserts. A gluten-free station is prominently featured.
At night, La Terrazza transforms into a reservations-only sit-down Italian restaurant, with an intimate and romantic ambience. The dress code is always informal and you can dine indoors or out.
The evening begins with a glass of Prosecco, an outstanding antipasto platter, focaccia and roasted garlic bulb to spread on homemade bread. Order house-made pasta as a starter or entree. Mains include king prawns with cognac and grilled duck breast. Desserts showcase gelatos, Italian cheese plate and a luscious chocolate molten cake.
The Grill (Deck 8)
Meals: L, D
The Grill is a casual alfresco sit-down restaurant by the pool. Tables line the port and starboard sides and are clustered by the grill itself.
At lunch, choose from sandwiches, salads, burgers (including a veggie version) and hot dogs, and grilled specials (the fish of the day always excels). Starters feature Mediterranean flavors, and desserts are always popular. On certain sea days, fun poolside lunch buffets are showcased, with some cooking a la minute, and live music.
At dinner, the venue offers its wildly popular hot rock dining, where passengers cook meat, fish or vegetables over a hot lava stone. Begin with a choice of salad and then entrees to grill. Choose from intensely flavored sauces like hollandaise and veal jus, and sides. Entrees come with a baked potato with appropriate accoutrements and grilled vegetable skewer. Desserts feature exotic fruits.
When it's time to grill, the server places the raw entree on a hot rock and provides some cooking guidance. He also drapes an apron over you to protect clothing. If you're cooking a thick piece of meat or fish, it can sear outside but remain undercooked inside. To cook it through, cut it into smaller pieces. You can request new hot sides if the grilled vegetable skewer and baked potato grow cold, or that the chef cook the meat for you, which he will. That said, it's lovely and relaxing to dine under the stars in casual attire (also perfect for families with young children).
Promenade Lounge (Deck 8)
An elegant afternoon tea is served from 4 to 5 p.m. daily in the Promenade Lounge. Choose from a menu of Ronnefeldt teas, including caffeinated and decaf options, and green, white and herbal teas. Waiters deliver elegant three-tiered trays of cookies or cupcakes, petits fours and finger sandwiches (such as roast beef and smoked salmon), and offer fresh-baked scones with jam and cream. A pianist plays delightful background music. Everything tastes delicious, and one tray is generous enough to serve at least three passengers at this time of day.
Meals: B, L, D
On Silversea's All Around Dining menu, you'll find multiple courses for fine dining in your suite, casual fare for a light lunch (including sandwiches, burgers and pizza) and desserts, including assorted cheeses and gelato. (The menu even sports the most tempting sentence, "Ask your butler for our ice cream menu.") In addition, during breakfast, lunch and dinner open hours in The Restaurant, you can order items off that venue's menu to be served in your suite. For breakfast, you can also request room service the night before by filling out a card and placing it in your cabin's mail slot. Count on a wide range of hot and cold items.
Service is generally prompt and within the time marked, even if late at night or delivered to The Bar during trivia. Butlers fuss over your suite table, spreading a white tablecloth and setting tableware properly -- none leaves you with a stacked tray, unless that's your choice. Requests for dinner to be served course by course is worth experiencing; it's a leisurely, indulgent affair, replete with candlelight.
La Dame (Deck 7); $60 for dinner
La Dame serves exquisite French cuisine in a most intimate setting (from 7 to 9:30 p.m.) The restaurant has only seven tables (each seating up to four diners), with a maximum capacity of 24 and there's but one seating. The table is yours for the night. The $60 per passenger surcharge (waived once for priciest suites) -- a rarity among inclusive luxury lines -- does little to squelch passenger demand. Reservations are difficult to score once onboard; best to book online before sailing. Here, the ship successfully creates an exclusive venue, where garnering a table is considered both a triumph and cruise highlight.
The menu showcases the most lavish ingredients -- the stuff of foodies' dreams. Starters include caviar, foie gras (two ways) and lobster salad, and silken intensely flavored soups excel. Mains feature a variety of meat and seafood (duck, lamb, Maine lobster).
Special French cuisine offerings are a highlight at La Dame. Limousin beef from France, ranked one of the world's best, is only served here onboard, with truffles. Breads are unique to La Dame, and taste delicious spread with Normandy (France) butter (arguably the world's best), only used in La Dame. Finish with French cheeses and/or the star dessert, a Grand Marnier souffle cooked to order and rushed towering and quivering to tables.
Every dish, all artfully presented, is Instagram-worthy. The wines match what's offered in The Restaurant, though we wish they'd be a notch above. Service may be the best here than any other dining venue - a high bar, indeed.
La Dame's sole flaw is its design. The tables are set in a loose circle. Often, it's all couples, and chairs are arranged so that everyone's back is to a wall and they face into the restaurant, which means you're often staring at other diners or servers throughout the meal, rather than each other. We'd love to see another, more intimate, arrangement, perhaps screens between tables to enhance the intimacy and evoke romance, and some flowers and candlelight (battery-operated, of course).