For the most part, meals on Silver are eaten in the Panorama Restaurant, located on the Strauss Deck. The Panorama Restaurant's modern design, with strong lines and funky pink, purple and gray color palette, is stylish without sacrificing comfort, in large part because of the space's many windows and natural lighting. No two-person tables are available, with most tables set for six or more. As such, conversation tends to take place in two languages, and tables represent the international nature of Amadeus. Most sailings have assigned seating for all meals.
Breakfast runs from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and is served buffet style, though items like fried eggs and omelets can be ordered off the menu. Selections include scrambled eggs, sausage, bacon, a variety of smoked or pickled fish, cold cuts, fruit, pancakes and waffles, as well as tea, coffee and a juice selection. Early risers can head to the Panorama Bar, on the Mozart Deck, for coffee, tea and pastries between 6:30 a.m. and 7 a.m.
A light lunch of snacks is offered, starting at noon, in the Panorama Bar. Passengers seeking something more substantial head to the Panorama Restaurant, where lunch is a combination of buffet and plated food. The buffet provides a salad option, which changes daily. We loved the cold shrimp and crab salad and a delicious creamy cucumber salad. The buffet also includes a cold sandwich option, which changes each day (think Monte Cristo and club sandwiches). From the menu, passengers can order soup and main courses, which always include one meat, one fish and one vegetarian selection. Soup was consistently excellent onboard our cruise. We adored the chicken consomme (really, more like an amazing chicken noodle soup) and the ginger carrot and trout soup. Dessert at lunch also came from the buffet, where the pastry chef stood and offered suggestions, such as "you should just try them all" or "try this with the fresh-made vanilla cream." The sweets selection was so large that it took up half the buffet area. Popular items were various mousses, tortes and cakes. A sizeable fruit selection is available, too, for those looking for something a little lighter, and it includes standards in addition to more unique options like fresh figs and raw red currants.
Dinner, which starts at 7 p.m., is a five-course gourmet affair, complete with complimentary (and plentiful) regional red and white wines. Menus also draw on the region Silver is sailing, so you'll eat German favorites, for example, while sailing the Rhine. Expect to spend at least two hours dining and talking with tablemates. Courses come at a leisurely pace. Each dinner includes a salad course, a soup, hot appetizer, main course and dessert; some include more courses, such as a palate cleanser. Diners can choose a meat, fish or vegetarian main course, and we consistently found the best option to be the meat option. (The focaccia-wrapped veal was a highlight.) Generally, the fish courses weren't up to the standard set by the rest of the menu; we found the blue marlin with fruit chutney to be bland and tough. Grilled chicken and salad are available as a healthier option at every meal.
Because Amadeus Cruises by Lueftner is an Austrian company, Silver features an Austrian cuisine night that's out of this world. This is served buffet-style and includes standards like bratwurst, pork belly and an incredible (and rich) marinated brie salad. Large, soft pretzels with mustard are a fun option, while it's worth loosening your belt for desserts like Linzer torte, decadent sacher torte and fried apricot dumplings with fresh vanilla sauce. Tea and coffee are served after each meal.
While the menu is mostly set, some alterations are permissible. For example, we overheard a table asking for a cheese plate for dessert. While not on the menu, the chef was happy to comply.
Afternoon tea, coffee and pastries are served from 4:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. each day in the Panorama Bar. A late-night snack also is available from 11 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. each night.
Diners with specific dietary restrictions -- such as vegan, gluten-free or sodium-free -- can be accommodated, providing they notify Amadeus when they book.
Room service is not "officially" an option, though we were told if someone really wanted it, the staff would happily accommodate.