Man, Man­fredi’s Is Good

Porthole Cruise Magazine - - Trending Now -

I wish I could eat at Man­fredi’s Ital­ian Restau­rant ev­ery evening. Alas, each guest is promised but one reser­va­tion per cruise. To en­sure a slot, book as far in ad­vance as al­lowed be­fore set­ting sail. And, al­ways add your name to the wait­list once on board to snag a re­peat repast.

Un­like the large, brightly lit main restau­rant, Man­fredi’s cel­e­brates cozy, more styl­ized din­ing, with softer light­ing, stun­ning blackand-white mar­ble floors, and walls dis­play­ing pho­tos of famed Ital­ian ac­tors. You can even check out the cook­ing in ac­tion, watch­ing chefs bake bread and cut chunks of Parme­san from a gi­ant wheel.

Just don’t do what I do: de­vour the bread­bas­ket the minute I sit down. My al­lot­ment dwin­dles to crumbs as I gob­ble the fo­cac­cia, rolls, and lavash, dip­ping them into a pool of olive oil and bal­samic vine­gar that I swirl on my bread plate. I also con­sume all of the Parme­san chunks of­fered, sa­vor­ing their sharp pun­gency.

The im­pres­sively com­posed Man­fredi’s menu en­com­passes a wide ar­ray of Ital­ian spe­cial­ties, many with in­no­va­tive spins. Most dishes are well pro­por­tioned, so you can try sev­eral. Be­gin with steamed black mus­sels, its broth en­riched with ver­mouth, saf­fron cream, crab­meat, and fen­nel. Or try the fried cala­mari — ten­der and grease-free — de­li­ciously wal­loped with the umami of salty cured fish roe and an aioli ( gar­licky may­on­naise) sharp­ened with bal­samic. The creamy risotto rages with the rich­ness of porcini mush­rooms. Or, go light with tiger shrimp wrapped in pa­perthin zuc­chini, nes­tled in handmade an­gel hair pasta and a cit­rusy but­ter sauce.

Even if you eat beef but once a year, hang on un­til Man­fredi’s night. The bis­tecca Fiorentina (steak Floren­tine) ranks as one of the best steaks I’ve ever eaten — not a com­ment I make lightly. The chef coats a thick rib­eye with gar­lic oil and then rubs in porcini mush­room pow­der, kosher salt, brown sugar, and red chili flakes be­fore it’s grilled. ( This is a great tech­nique to try at home.) Each juicy bite re­veals a hint of heat and sweet, with such mush­room-y earth­i­ness that it com­pels fur­ther bites. Sides, or­dered sep­a­rately, should in­clude blis­tered cherry to­ma­toes and truf­fle-roasted fin­ger­ling pota­toes that are fra­grant with fresh rosemary.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from International

© PressReader. All rights reserved.