As tradition goes, chefs prepare food for restaurant patrons. However, at the Lawn Club Grill Restaurant on the Celebrity Silhouette’s top deck, guests can be their own cooks.
Making pizza and grilling steaks while on a cruise initially sounded off-putting, but hubby and I later discovered the culinary hands-on activities made dinner more memorable and worth writing about. In a word, the experience was “ingenious,” for which Celebrity Cruises should be commended.
Our warm, July evening began with picturesque scenes of Split as the elegant Solstice-class ship created wakes on the Adriatic. The amiable, good-humored Captain Dimitrios Kafetsis together with his crew was piloting the vessel towards Dubrovnik.
Upon entering, we found that true to its name, the restaurant faced a well-manicured lawn set against entrancing sea views. Further, we were thrilled to learn earlier that a Celebrity Orchestra jazz group would be enlivening the place later that evening with a special “Summer Lawn Concert” as part of the “Celebrity Life Activities” program. Needless to say, the performance was an added treat to which we had looked forward.
What’s more, we observed a congenial, casual dynamism in the restaurant itself, echoing the warm red-orange and brown décor as well as the heat radiating from the sizzling grill and the joyful laughter from guests trying their luck at pizza-making. Rounding out the animated atmosphere were brief chats with international wait staff led by Maitre d’ Karol. If “first impression is lasting,” both site and personnel certainly added meaning to the adage.
Focusing on the restaurant’s hospitable environment, the maitre d’ escorted us to our table for the evening, but he first led us to the lawn’s focal point, two immense Adirondack chairs. Following a few snapshots, our escort took us to our table with unobstructed views of the alluring greenery.
Once we were seated, our waiter invited us to the flatbread pizza-making session with Chef Victor, which my hubby happily welcomed. The finished product was to be our starter. Subsequently, the patient, skillful teacher guided his student through the process of kneading, then throwing the dough above his head.
In the end, hubby felt proud to have kept the flattened dough away from his face, head and the floor. Once baked, the aromatic flatbread was served with a perfectly tanned crispness ready to quell our appetites.
Subsequent to our pizza was the “Surf and Turf” kabob, with lamb chops paired with shrimps, scallops and vegetables as our main entrées. Although the option of grilling our choice was offered, hubby elected not to do so. Then, before our main course, we helped ourselves to the salad bar, stocked with a wide assortment of colorful greens, gourmet cheeses, salads and house dressings.
Shortly thereafter, our waitress cheerfully served our piping hot chops, which were juicy, butter-knife tender and robust in flavor. Also to our delight, the seafood was characteristically fresh and firm.
Ultimately, the desserts — an exquisite blueberry cobbler for me and a maxi-, warm chocolate chip cookie topped with vanilla ice cream for my hubby — capped off our “finger-licking good” meal.
And, setting aside diet rules, we savored the sweets too decadent not to be experienced to the last bite. Once consumed, their serving dishes were relatively clean as a whistle.
All told, our fun, educational and delectable food affair that evening was to be a conversation piece with other guests during the cruise.
Dinners at the Lawn Club Grill Restaurant are served nightly at 5:00-10:00 p.m. Not only is the place on prime ship real estate, but it is also flanked and complemented by rentable private and stylishly covered alcoves that are also new to the Silhouette.
The wait staff commented that the dining venue was perfect both for meals and sailaways, and rightly so, given its location. During the special lawn concert, the officer on deck provided blankets as extra comfort to the portable foam seats with backrests in place. As well, a bar waiter came around to take beverage orders and provided light hors d’oeuvres.
Based on the restaurant’s success, an expanded version of the dining oasis will soon be unveiled, when come October, Celebrity Cruises launches Reflection, the fifth of the Solstice class. Learn more about Celebrity Cruises at www.celebritycruises.com