Monday, April 7, 2014

Dinner At Lumiere's On The Disney Magic

   As you can tell, I'm trying to evenly space out the reportage of our first Disney Cruise.  We have already looked at a horrible meal at Carrioca's, a much better (but flawed…) meal at Palo, and also a really fun drink from the Promenade Lounge!  Today we're going middle of the road.  Let's take a look at Lumiere's.


   Lumiere's is exclusive to the Disney Magic, and new to the ship itself as of the 2013 extensive dry dock refurbishment.  The restaurant is located on deck three midship, as part of the grandiose atrium lobby that acts as the "hub" of ship activity.  In fact, Lumiere's is one of the first things you see upon boarding the Magic. 


   Atmosphere wise, Lumiere's is nothing special.  I'm sure a lot of people would argue that this space is the more "fancy" of the three rotational dining restaurants…and it certainly isn't bad.  However, the gold and beige tones are pretty boring compared the lively atmosphere of Carioca's, and the immense fun of Animator's Palate.  Plus, the kind of themed to Beauty and The Beast thing just isn't working for me. Moving on…
   Like our other rotational dining meals Adam and I ordered every vegetarian option. Yes, this seems gluttonous…and it is…but the great thing about sit down meals on Disney Cruise ships is that the portions aren't too big, so we were never too stuffed. 

 
Fried brie with orange cranberry chutney...

potato leek soup... 

farmhouse salad…

   Though the appetizers were a step above those found at Carioca's, they still weren't great.  The breaded deep fried brie was exactly what it should be. Decadent, creamy, and very rich.  The orange cranberry chutney which accompanied the brie was super boring, and needed a little more of an astringent punch, especially considering the heavy nature of the dish.  
   The potato leek soup was exceptionally blah.  It must not have been either good or bad, because for the life of me, I don't even remember eating it.  Disney traditionally has a pretty good reputation for potato leek soup, so maybe this one is in the lower echelon.  Meh.
   Of course no Disney Cruise Line meal would be complete without a bewildering salad of some kind. At Lumiere's the farmhouse salad is described as: Mache lettuce, asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and fingerling potatoes, served with goat cheese crostini and olive vinaigrette.  First and foremost, this salad did not come dressed.  (nor did any of our salads onboard…) If a salad is well composed, with tasty ingredients, I can usually overlook the lack of dressing.  However, this salad was totally bland, and had a complete lack of salt.  On a salad, fingerling potatoes are usually served whole and warm, lending a nice wilt to the lettuce, and an added textural component.  These potatoes were sliced, cold, and bland as anything.  Not even the goat cheese crostini could save this abomination. 

porcini mushroom ravioli... 

grilled tofu…

   Not to be discouraged by our general distaste for Lumiere's appetizer selection, the entrées were actually quite good.  
   The porcini mushroom ravioli were legitimately tasty, which is rare on a cruise ship.  The vegetable broth was very flavorful, and was actually salted accordingly.  The watercress, parmesan cheese, and paprika oil all worked really well in the context of the dish and added lots of complexity to what could have been really boring.  I'm sure the ravioli are frozen, and I can overlook that as long as the taste is there and presentation is pretty.  Really yummy. 
   The tofu entrée was also very good! Served with grilled eggplant, zucchini,  and red bell peppers on a bed of Israeli couscous, this dish was simple in the best possible way.  Here is an instance where the chef really lets the ingredients speak for themselves.  The veggies and tofu were cooked perfectly, and all had a slight char on them. The couscous merely fleshed out the dish, but was a good choice of starch, over quinoa, rice, or potatoes.   The tofu was dressed very lightly with a lime cilantro dressing, of which there wasn't very much of. 

dessert trio…

   The dessert trio was totally forgettable…literally. I don't remember eating this. According to the menu they are: peanut butter mousse, Tahitian vanilla creme brûlée, and mango cheesecake.  Serious Disney Cruise Line, step up your sweets game a little. Huh? 

   Even though Lumiere's faltered with the appetizers, the entrees were seriously delicious. I have to give credit for properly preparing a tofu dish, which is generally hard to do on such a large scale.  Even though the theming is kind of blah, the atmosphere is pretty and relaxing, and I did enjoy my experience here overall.  

  Have you ever had a meal at Lumiere's?  How was it?  How would you rate it compared to the other restaurants on the Disney Magic?  Let us know on Twitter!  Not on Twitter? Try us on Facebook...
   



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