Disney Cruise Line and France are two of my favorite things in the world so when I learned that Disney had added a French-themed dining option to its two newest ships, I knew sans doute I wanted to eat at Remy during my cruise aboard Fantasy. I had previously dined at Disney’s other adult-only at-sea restaurant, Palo, which serves upscale Northern Italian cuisine. While I highly recommend both, Remy takes the fine-dining experience to an even more decadent extreme with scrumptious food, exemplary service and surprises galore.
A meal at Remy is full of wonderful surprises, like this champagne cocktail apéritif
Remy is named after the lovable petite chef from the Disney*Pixar film, Ratatouille. The restaurant, decorated with a warm palate of soft greens, deep reds and rich gold, has the feel of old money with a French accent. Place your handbag on the seat beside you and, poof! — a member of the waitstaff will arrive with an elegant purse stool for your Prada (or Target knock-off, as the case may be).
A crystal figurine of Ratatouille’s cartoon chef, Remy, overlooks the dining room from this perch atop a chandelier
My dinner mates (Kristie Marcelle from CiaoBambino.com, Andrea Zimmerman from Babble.com and her mom, Debbie Byers) and I were seated at the “princess table” for the evening, an elevated booth with a view of the elegant dining room. About our meal, Kristi said, “What I most enjoyed and will always remember about Remy is the dining experience itself and the anticipation of each course.”
Dining princess-style, from left to right: me, Kristi Marcelle with Ciao Bambino, Debbie Byers and her daughter, Andrea Zimmerman with Babble.com
We were given the choice of two prix fixe five-course menus, one designed by Chef Arnaud Lallement from l’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin two-star restaurant located just outside Reims, France; and another created by Chef Scott Hunnel from the acclaimed Victoria & Albert’s, Walt Disney World’s most upscale restaurant. Since we were informed that Chef Hunnel was on board the ship and cooking in the Remy kitchen that evening, I, of course, chose his menu. You can also order menu items à la carte if that suits your mood.
Our meal commenced with a surprise champagne cocktail (named “The Collette” for the movie’s romantic lead) made table-side by our waiter, Yannick. He and most of the other Disney cast members at Remy hail from La France, bien sûr!
Our waiter, Yannick, preparing a special Taittinger champagne cocktail tableside
Next we were presented with a basket of breads from which to select a carbohydrate-laden treat or two. Then came our second surprise of the evening, a Willy Wonka-esque amuse bouche — a crouton filled with piping hot tomato soup. Then before the official courses had even started, we were served a dollop of olive oil ice cream atop a bed of tapenade.
Smoked buffalo, my first “official” course of the evening
My first course was smoked buffalo, which I had for some reason envisioned as buffalo mozzarella, but which was in actuality medallions of buffalo meat served with a frisée of salad and drizzled with a rich, unctuous sauce. As someone who loves fresh fish, my second course of wild turbot served with a delicate lemon-caper cream was my favorite of the evening. Still, I knew there were three courses yet to come so I paced myself and left some of the delicious flatfish on my plate. The third course of roasted Vermont quail was too meaty for my liking but I think that was more my palate’s fault than the chef’s. The Korubuta pork tenderloin and belly and corn ragout, served fourth, was touted by our waiter as the best dish on my menu. While indeed delicious, I found myself longing for more of my wild turbot.
My favorite Remy dish, wild turbot with a light lemon-caper cream sauce
Yannick surprised us by rolling out a cart of 12 French cheeses from which to choose. We were stuffed, but somehow we found room for a sampling of cheese served with honey, dried apricots, figs and more pieces of bread from that tempting basket.
Choose as many varieties as you like from the cheese cart at Remy
The savory courses completed, it was time to move on to dessert. (Yes, there was even more food yet to come!) My rich Peruvian chocolate mousse was outshone by yet another surprise, a sweet array of hand-crafted chocolate truffles, caramels, marshmallows and other candies and cookies. Yannick even brought me additional gourmet lollipops to bring home to my kiddos. Our choice of gourmet teas and coffees topped off the langourous meal.
The Peruvian chocolate mousse is served in a dark chocolate shell along with a chocolate ravioli and fruit “caviar”
Since it was Andrea’s birthday that evening, she was presented with a plate that read, “Joyeux anniversaire” (happy birthday, in French) in chocolate script. After our lengthy meal had finally concluded (over three hours after we first sat down!), each of us was presented with a final gift of a long-stem red rose.
Save room for a bonus dessert – an array of sweet treats!
In celebration, the birthday girl was presented with an extra fleur. Andrea was clearly touched by these gestures and the overall experience. She said, “I felt like I was in Beauty & the Beast, where the courses keep coming and coming. All we were missing was the singing tableware. Truly, my birthday could not have been more special.”
Where better to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special event than at Remy?
What you need to know before you go
Although most meals and snacks on board Disney’s ships are included in your stateroom price, there is an additional $75 fee per person to dine at Remy.
For the utmost dining experience, I recommend you splurge and pay the $99 for wine pairings to accompany your multicourse meal. If you’d rather, you can purchase wine, beer and cocktails separately. The wine list features 200 vintages from nearly every region in France. For wine lovers with deep pockets, you can choose from 22 rare wines from around the world from Remy’s Vault.
Make reservations before leaving home or the minute you board the ship. This 80-seat venue is likely to book-up quickly.
Guests must be 18 or older to dine at Remy. If traveling with kids, there is no need to feel guilty for not bringing them along — they will be having such a ball in the at-sea nursery, kids’ camp or teen club — they will likely not miss you one bit.
This is a fancy-schmancy affaire, folks. As such, men are required to sport a dress jacket, dress pants and shoes (ties are optional). Women should come dolled up in their spiffiest cruisewear — a cocktail dress, nicer sundress, or elegant pants ensemble will do.
Choose your cruise partners and dinner mates wisely. As with all travel experiences, part of the joy of Remy’s multi-course extravaganza is who you are with. The food, ambiance and service were incredible, but what made the meal even more special for me was sharing it all with the right company.
Where have you enjoyed a decadent dining experience? Let us know in the comments!