Cuisine is an important part of every vacation, and no more so than on a Holland America Line cruise. From casual dining in the Lido to culinary creations by celebrity chefs, each dining experience is a gastronomic event. Do you like to dine on regional specialties and exotic flavors or do you tend to stick with tried-and-true favorites? The beauty of a cruise is that it’s the ideal time to think out of the box and sample dishes that aren’t easily available at home, or something that’s not on your daily, weekly or even yearly menu. If you’re not sure where to dine on your next Holland America Line cruise, here’s all of the information you need to know about the expansive options onboard.
The menus in the main dining room feature hundreds of dishes. Including appetizers, soups, salads, mains and dessert, there is an exciting array of options. Guests can order a dish from each course, or make it simple and stick to a main and dessert. Whatever combo, it’s sure to be palate pleasing.
Holland America Line even has an extensive menu for vegetarians. Available upon request, the menu features vegetarian and vegan dishes. The main menu also features vegetarian dishes including Corn and Zucchini Pancakes served with Southwest-style cous cous salad, Asparagus and Zucchini Torte with wild rice and sun-dried tomato coulees, and Carrot and Parmesan Risotto topped with a lemony arugula salad and crispy carrot ribbons.
The Master Chefs International Dinner served on the last night of the cruise in the main dining room features dishes from around that world that show off regional specialties. The Asparagus and Fontina Cheese Risotto with Sauteed Cod from the Europe and Africa menu shines, while the Argentine Guiso soup brings the flavors of South America to life.
For guests who want to go beyond the main dining room, alternative dining is at its finest on Holland America Line. Guests can choose to dine in the Pinnacle Grill, Canaletto and — on Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam — Tamarind.
On a recent cruise, guest Elise dined in Canaletto, and this is what she had to say about her experience:
Canaletto is an alternative restaurant in a section of the Lido. We dined on fabulous Italian cuisine, which began with a presentation of anti-pasta. My main course was the seafood pasta, and it was fabulous. It had clams, shrimp and scallops, and it was flavorful.
They capped off the meal with a plate of cotton candy. I asked why they do this, if it’s an Italian tradition? The chef told us he’s seen this around the world, and they like to do it because it slows you down to relax before dessert, and it takes you to a good place in your childhood. Simply put, it makes you feel happy. And for us, it certainly did.
Following the cotton candy I had the triple tiramisu, and they were fabulous. Flavored in coffee, lemon and amaretto, they were light and delicious. This is a dining experience not to be missed.
The award-winning Pinnacle Grill features choice sustainability-raised beef and premium seafood. Two other unique dining experiences take place in the Pinnacle Grill on select nights: And Evening at Le Cirque in the Pinnacle Grill and Taste of De Librije. Le Cirque is a result of a collaboration with the famed Sirio Maccioni.
Guest Elise also went to Le Cirque:
Growing up in New Jersey, I knew about the Le Cirque restaurant and how special it was, but I never dined there. Tonight that would change. We learned how to make the famous lobster salad and crème brulee in a cooking demonstration, so now it was time to taste the dishes. The lobster salad was fabulous, as was butternut squash soup. For the main, I had the lamb and I highly recommend it. My daughter, who is a vegetarian, has the three-cheese ravioli and said was among the best she’s every tasted. For dessert I had the crème brulee again and she had the sorbet. The presentation is beautiful.
In addition to the An Evening at Le Cirque, Eurodam and Rotterdam also feature Culinary Council member Jonnie Boer’s A Taste of De Librije, named after his namesake restaurant in the Netherland. Guest Roland recently sailed and he wrote about his meals in all three Pinnacle Grill experiences.
On Eurodam and Nieuw Amsterdam, guests can enjoy Tamarind, the pan-Asian alternative restaurant. Journalist Chris Chris Dikman enjoyed his Tamarind experience and it was featured on the blog when he first wrote about it. See what he had to say in his post titled Chris Dickman’s Cruise Diary: Tamarind Restaurant Review.
For guests who want a quick bite to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the casual Lido has a variety of dining options and international fare, not to mention a spread of desserts to satisfy even the sweetest tooth. And if a full day ashore has left you spent, there’s always room service where you can enjoy a delicious meal in the comfort of your stateroom.
All of the culinary efforts onboard have the touch of Holland America Line’s Master Chef Rudi Sodamin. Sodamin also is the chairman of the line’s esteemed Culinary Council comprised of Boer, David Burke, Elizabeth Falkner and Jacques Torres. Together these chefs guide the menus and culinary experience, and they also feature a few of their own signature dishes on the dining room menu.
No matter where guests choose to dine, an exciting culinary experience awaits.