January 21, 2008

mesclun salad

with sliced pears, sweet walnuts & crumbled blue cheese

I would say this was one of the best green salads I've had. The idea and inspiration came from our memorable dinner experience at Portofino's, one of the two specialty restaurants on board the Mariner of the Seas. We tried it on the last night of our 7-day Eastern Caribbean cruise last Christmas. I ordered five courses out of the 6-course dinner menu. As recommended by our server, I tried the appetizer tiger shrimps served with risotto, followed by a delicious pureed bean soup ladled on a serving of barley, then this rustic mesclun salad greens came next, served with sliced Bartlett pears, candied walnuts and crumbled gorgonzola cheese (I substituted a creamy blue cheese for the gorgonzola when I recreated it at home) with a simple olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette, after which came the grilled seafood with lobster tail, shrimps and scallops I ordered for my entree ( they arrived at the table hanging from metal skewers and the assistant waiter carefully slid them out to our plates ). There was only one dish I missed, some creamy pasta, which my husband tried and enjoyed. After all the food, I didn't think twice about the dessert I wanted.
It was a sample plate (photo shown above) of all the desserts they had that night, melt in your mouth tiramisu served in a shot glass, white chocolate mousse, decadent flourless chocolate cake and a raspberry panna cotta. The mini dessert version was just to die for! I didn't think I would have a problem getting up after the meal and walking out of the restaurant until I made the attempt : ) All of us were stuffed and we (esp the ladies) were covering our tummies in an attempt to hide the bulges! It was one of the highlights of our cruise and we will definitely look forward to the excellent food and service at Portofino's the next time we get back on Royal Caribbean.

candied walnuts (above) coated with sugar syrup then allowed to dry

dessert platter of fresh pineapple slices & sweet strawberries (above)

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