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Paul Motter August 20th, 2012 05:31 PM

Holland America Fine Dining
Holland America Fine Dining
by Paul Motter

Certain special dining events offered on every Holland America cruise are "not to be missed" attractions.
The sea bass with caviar from
the Chef's Tasting Menu is delectable The dining room on Holland America ships is a lovely room with attentive service. It is spacious and accommodating with many tables for two. But I recommend it most for breakfast where you can get a variety of eggs Benedict, with traditional ham, or salmon, or just spinach for example. It comes with crispy hash browns and hot toast. But for dinner I recommend staying with the simple options such as steak or pasta.

But the one place where Holland America has really honed its act is in the premium dining category. Each ship in the fleet now has a "Pinnacle Grill Restaurant" and a visit there for any meal is more than worthwhile, it is not to be missed. Indeed, I met more than one person who said they dined in the Pinnacle grill at every opportunity.

Trip August 20th, 2012 06:45 PM

I so enjoyed the Pinnacle Grill, on my cruises,and would have preferred to dine there nightly if reservations had been available. Alas it was not to be,

I do wish sea bass was seen more, on menus at sea.

Pstreet1 August 23rd, 2012 09:26 PM

Misuse of a word
I enjoyed reading your review, but in it you referred to "
the infamous Le Cirque Restaurant in New York City" The word "infamous" means famous for bad reasons; that is to say, Bonnie and Clyde were infamous. I'm sure it was a typo, but you might want to change it.

Read more: Holland America Fine Dining

ssheldo August 23rd, 2012 11:27 PM

dining room seating very uncomfortable!
On our last HAL cruise we were seated at a table for four that was so close to the tables next to us that my son could not get in or out of his chair.

The evening selections in the Lido are a little strange, and one line for all passengers to pass thru in the time it was open was not sufficient.

The breakfasts are lovely and the Pinnacle is definitely worth the price and not to be missed. The best specialty restaurant we've encountered.

Paul Motter August 23rd, 2012 11:27 PM

I cannot tell a lie, I did not know that, and I am usually pretty darn good at grammar. Thanks for the fix.

Paul Motter August 23rd, 2012 11:32 PM

In all honesty, I had a dinner in the main dining room I was not impressed with - although our table was usually nice. I did not feel crowded.

My meal was a limp Caesar salad where they forgot the anchovies. Now this sounds petty but when I mentioned it the waiter said "they are by request" - well, I know for a fact the menu says it comes with them, they are not "by request." I really dislike things like that - if it is by request tell me in the menu or when I order, but don't bring me something different from what the menu says and then act as if it was my responsibility after the fact to get it right in the first place.

The main course was an overly salted fish - far too spicy for a regular palate, clearly a mistake.

I don't like to nitpick, I'm just saying what I encountered. But the Pinnacle grill made up for it. I also had a good meal in the dining room a couple of times - lamb chops. I suggest sticking to the basics.

MercedMike August 24th, 2012 12:23 PM

HAL dining
Paul, my very favorite meal in the MDR is the Bami Goreng! It is watered down to suit American tastes so I have to ask for hot sauce for it, but it is really good. It should be since the chef who makes it cooks for the entire Indonesian crew!

I am a seafood eater and I have rarely had a poor selection in the MDR. HAL's cooking is IMAO right up to the best that is found at sea on any mainstream line.

The Pinnacle Grill is indeed very nice. It is well worth doing once per cruise. On another thread it was suggested that it is equal to the best dining in San Francisco. Sorry -- it is not that!

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