Review of American Countess Cruise: Regional Favorites, Interesting Info on Dinner Menus

Ask Chef Regina Charboneau which river, lake or ocean she likes the most and she will answer that is like trying to say who your favorite child is. She loves them all.

So says a tidbit of information at the top of our American Countess dinner menu one night. However, the chef doesn’t mind sharing some of her favorite dishes for our dining pleasure and the menu highlights her wonderful cuisine. Although her home is on the lower Mississippi, Regina has spent time on all the rivers where American Queen Voyages travels.

In fact, her Lobster Rockefeller on tonight’s menu was designed especially for American Queen Voyages. So, guess what I chose. Right and it was rightfully delicious.

The Grand Dining Room

Dining is always part of the pleasure of cruising and the American Countess offers some delicious menu choices. Passengers can choose to eat breakfast (7 a.m. to 9 a.m.), lunch (11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) and dinner (5:15 p.m. to 7:30) in The Grand Dining Room.

The River Grill

For more casual self-serve meals, passengers can dine in the River Grill for breakfast (6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m.), lunch (11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.) and dinner (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.).

We’ve eaten in both but I especially like being served in The Grand Dining Room. No reservations are required and seating is open so pick your favorite seat and server and enjoy.

Bruce makes a great mint julep in The Grand Lobby Bar.

On the special Charboneau menu, other choices include salt & pepper oysters, port wine poached pear, corn & shrimp fritters and artichoke crab chowder for starters.

Entrees are that lobster Rockefeller, southern fried quail, bacon wrapped pork loin and beef bourguignon. Specialty vegetarian options are offered as well.

Available every evening is Caesar salad, seasonal salad, sautéed chicken breast, grilled fish, vegetable of the season, baked potato and crisp fries. For desserts, our server tells us what is available each evening and it is always tasty.

Another dinner menu saluted Louisville, home of the Kentucky Derby, and some of the world’s greatest bourbon. The prestigious Zagat guidebook named Louisville as one of the top foodie destinations in the world.

A few dishes that are synonymous with Louisville are hot browns, Benedictine spread, burgoo, pulled pork, sweet sorghum and the popular grits locals choose -Weisenberger Grits.

Weisenberger Mills has been making stone ground grits in Scott County, Kentucky, since 1865, our menu notes. Six generations have worked in the mill.

For starters, the Louisville menu featured hot brown canapes, yellowfin tuna poke, roasted beets, split green pea and smoked tomato soup and green goddess wedge salad for starters. Entrees were Derby chicken, coffee crusted tenderloin, Louisville shrimp and gifts and lentil Bolognese.

Beer, wine, cocktails and soft drinks are complimentary on the cruise and our server always offers several wines each dinner. Bartenders in The Grand Lobby Bar are talented in cocktail making, especially bourbon drinks.

Perks snack bar

Rooms service also is available as are snacks in Perks, a serve-yourself nook where the tantalizing smell of popcorn often draws passengers for a tasty paper bag of popcorn. The nearby ice cream station always temps with multiple ice cream toppings.

As a reminder, a sign on Deck 3 notes that walking seven and a half times around the deck equals one mile. Good to know when such delicious food is presented multiple times a day.

Bottom Line: American Countess menus offer something for everyone. I especially liked the tidbits of information at the top of nightly dinner menus. Fun to see how what was being served had a bit of regional history behind it. Dine and learn.

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