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Cruise Diary: Le Cirque Dining

Adventure traveler and Dutch TV personality Charlotte Van Hoorn was on board Zaandam for an Alaska cruise and will be sharing her adventure with us.

Dining at Le Cirque is a no brainer for $59 with wine pairings. When I dined on that menu in Manhattan, the champagne cocktail alone was $17. Not being a restaurant critic, I’ll just describe a sumptuous meal.

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Beginning with the Chef’s Amuse of foie gras and rhubarb mousse, it blended well with the house Prosecco. The signature Lobster salad Le Cirque was served at the perfect temperature, cool, but not so chilled as to hamper the flavors. The wine presentation was a 2008 Chardonnay with a hint of apple, good acidity and a long finish. No jug wine for sure…

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The entrée was paired with a Feudi del Picciotto Valentino Merlot with a medium body, juicy taste and a smoky finish. It paired nicely with the rack of lamb with goat cheese Panisse of artichoke and arugula pesto. Substituting artichoke for basil kept the basil from overwhelming the other flavors and the natural flavor of the meat was there to be savored.

If you choose this amenity aboard, definitely order the paired wines. Or, as a special occasion, consult Anton the Cellar master about a special bottle. It will be aerated and presented at the right temperature when you arrive if you plan ahead.

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Finished off the meal with a 72% cacao Belgian chocolate gelato as well as the crème Brule (just for the recipe!) and a photo of my travelling Dutch flag of Hoorn with Jorn, the maître ‘d, who is a hometown boy from my ancestral home in The Netherlands.

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