Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Specialty Dinner at Normadie on Celebrity Summit

We bit the bullet and "splurged" the extra $45.00 per person on the Normadie "Exquisite fine dining" experience on the Celebrity summit.  The menu is described as French & Continental.

There was some confusion with the original reservations (on my part) but they were flexible to switch it around a few times for us.

Although the wine list was extensive, there was only ONE red wine that fit the budget for my premium beverage package (Up to $13.00 per a glass).  Anything else would have to be a la carte.

We were quickly brought a bread basket with a cool triangle shaped butter display.  They also presented us with an amuse bouche, bite size "palate cleanser" that was made from olive puree atop puffed pastry.

Bread Basket

Amuse Bouche
Once we were seated, I asked the server if we were allowed to order more than one item from each category. He responded that we were only able to get one appetizer, entree, dessert each.  I'm not sure if that was just a formality but we ended up with more starters than diners.

Menu Names and Descriptions via

Smoked Salmon & Peekytoe Crab Parfait
Layered with Avocado, Salmon Caviar, Crème Fraîche, Petite Greens

The first starter was presented beautifully. It was colorful with contrasting textures with the salmon, caviar and crispy topping garnish.

Wild Forest Mushroom Cappuccino
Glazed Shiitake-Spiced Flan, Mushroom Biscotti

Pan Seared Pork Belly
Parsnip Purée, Caramelized Apples, Calvados Jus

This was my favorite! I loved pork belly! I actually ordered (2) orders because it was so wonderful!

Creamy Maine Lobster Bisque
Leek and Shallot Flan, Cognac Cream, Crispy Sweet Yellow Corn Beignets

The impeccable and distinctive service was apparent when they served the creamy lobster bisque. The soup was poured table side from a white ceramic tea kettle.  I was impressed.

Diver Scallop Wellington Style
Baked in Puff Pastry; Black Truffle Emulsion, Spinach Fondue

Although tiny BUT tasty, the buttery seafood puff pastry was a winner.

For our main entree, the Mo and I split the "Chateaubriand for Two", a thick cut of the beef tenderloin filet.  This is where the disappointment kicked in.  We ordered it medium.  The first time it arrived, it was well done.  They cooked us a new batch and it arrived rare.  The brought back the rare to sear it again and it wasn't the same.  3rd times a charm? NOT REALLY.  By the time they tried to correct the steak, we were tired and stuffed with everything else.

Châteaubriand for Two*
Fricassée of Baby Vegetables, Béarnaise & Cabernet Sauce
1st attempt: well done steak
2nd attempt: Rare steak
2nd attempt: Rare steak
3rd attempt: blah,! I'm over it. You've just re-grilled  a cut up steak.
While we waited for our steak to be cooked 3 times, we enjoyed watching the table side live demonstration of the chef preparing the Murano Lobster.

Murano Lobster
Cognac Flambéed Warm Water Lobster Tail, Fresh Basil, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Dijon-Cream

Although the ingredients looked simple, the cognac flambeed cream sauce for the lobster was surprisingly delicious.  Fifi and Thai also shared the Maine lobster but they opted for duck and lamb in lieu of the tenderloin beef that the Mo and I shared.

Herb Crusted Lamb Rack
Pea Purée, Tomato Confit, Baby Carrots, Spice Meatball, Garlic Jus

I had a taste of the lamb and spice meatballs and both were well seasoned and tender.

Muscovy Duck Breast
Crispy Spiced Duck Leg Confit, Herbed French Toast, Raisin-Apple Compote

To our loss, we were too stuffed to sample the cheese course as well as any desserts post dinner.  *Insert sad face here*  Images below via

I think the Normadie specialty dining was worth the extra $45.00 pp for just the lobster presentation alone.  I've also read that they bring out the cart for dessert and also do live demonstrations for table side banana fosters.  If only we didn't get stuffed from all the food....

Just a side note, our dining experience ran close to 2.5 hours and we skipped dessert and the cheese course.  Just something you'd want to consider if you are trying to catch a show or another event on the vessel. Also, with all specialty dining, there is a mandatory service fee.  If you do not pay the night of your meal, they WILL charge it to your room. Just an FYI....