Cunard’s specialty restaurant, Todd English, is top-notch, except for the view

Chef Todd English

Aboard the Queen Mary 2 – I don’t think there are many cruise ships sailing today that do not have specialty restaurants.

The Queen Mary 2 is no exception. However, in keeping with Cunard’s desire to partner with the best companies and “big names,” the restaurant here is by one of today’s most well-known chefs, Todd English. And he is an American chef, despite the last name.

Last night we dined in the Todd English restaurant and were not disappointed. When the restaurant first opened, the upcharge was standard: $20 for lunch and $35 for dinner. However, many passengers objected, saying they did not want an entire meal.  So now both meals are priced a la carte, with each item priced individually. Of course, this makes it easy to rack up an even higher bill.

In general, salads are $5, appetizers $5-$7, entrees $16-$18 and desserts $5-$7. Then, of course, you add on coffee, wine, etc.

However, the setting is intimate, everything is freshly made to order and the service is excellent. Just what you would expect in a high-end restaurant.

We did order a couple of English’s signature dishes, including Tom”s Truffled Potato Love Letters (potato ravioli in a butter sauce) appetizer and the Chocolate Fallen Cake (lava cake anywhere else) for dessert. Both were excellent.

Most of the entrees were standard items with Todd English touches, thus the choices were sea bass, diver scallops, paella, beef tenderloin, sirloin steak, rack of lamb, pork chop and chicken. We tried the beef tenderloin and the lamb and were very satisfied. We also had the two salads and they were perfect.

There is only one caution: Be careful where you are seated. Most specialty restaurants are tucked in corners of the ship that offer great sea views. Not the case here. If you are fortunate to be seated on the starboard side you will have a sea view. However, the rest of the restaurant overlooks the Terrace pool deck.

We were seated at what appeared to be a lovely table by the window, but it turned out that was the location of a few outdoor tables where smoking is permitted. So our “view” was of people swimming and smoking, just a few feet from our window. I think I would have preferred being in one of the alcoves that had no outdoor view.

Otherwise, the Todd English experience aboard the Queen Mary 2 is a good one and a nice break from the regular dining routine.

June 20, 2012

 

 

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