Monday, June 10, 2013

Cucina Del Capitano... Carnival Breeze Cruise Ship

We just returned from our first cruise!
We sailed on the Carnival Breeze out of Miami, Florida, from Sunday, June 2, 2013, until Saturday, June 8, 2013.  We stopped at the island of Grand Turk of Turks & Caicos, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, and Nassau, Bahamas.  I could go on and on about the cruise but that would be a really long post, so I will share with you a post about the last dinner we had on the cruise ship which was probably one of the best meals I've had... EVER. 
We struggled a bit on the cruise.  My son had a terrible head cold before the cruise even started and it never entirely went away.  My husband was very sick from the motion of the boat. By the end of the cruise, I could tell I was getting my son's cold.  Despite all that, I think we did a pretty good job of making the best of it.  On the final night of the cruise, after spending the day exploring the resort called "Atlantis" in Nassau, my husband called one of the ship's "fancy" restaurants to see if they could squeeze us in.  I thought it was a lost cause but we got an early seating at 6:00 pm.  So glad we went.
The boat has a few restaurants where you have to pay a bit more for a meal. Of course, most of the food on the ship was free. For our meal at this restaurant, we had to pay $12.00 per person.  For the fancy steakhouse on ship, it was $35.00 per person.  The Italian restaurant is called "Cucina Del Capitano", which I believe translates to Captain's Kitchen. The ship's captain is from Italy.  The restaurant serves Italian dishes family style and there were symbols on the menu to denote "The Captain's Favorite" dishes.  Of course, the three of us were all interested in different menu items so we all ordered what we liked which was great because I loved seeing so many different dishes.  

I neglected to take a photo of the first course which was bruschetta (grilled bread). It came out on a wooden cutting board with ricotta cream, some roasted garlic, and some cherry tomatoes.  I would like to try to replicate the ricotta cream; it had both lime and lemon zest in it and was super creamy. 

Above is my appetizer which was "Antipasto".  A little grilled bread, a little prosciutto, some eggplant, zucchini, roasted peppers, and olives (all of which were marinated), and shavings of Parmesan cheese.  In the very front on the left of the plate, is a dollop of what I am calling mashed figs.  Behind that, there is an olive tapenade.  It was filled with whole pine nuts.  I have to say the olive tapenade with whole pine nuts seriously looked like wild animal scat.  Not trying to be gross, but I'm just saying...   It was a treat to try so many special and delicious items.

For my main course, I ordered "Piatta della Nonna" which was a pasta dish made with penne pasta smothered in a vodka cream sauce made with San Marzano tomatoes. I enjoyed reading the menu so much that, by the time my ordered arrived, I forgot that I had ordered a dish with shrimp.  I had a bite of the shrimp and wondered, "What the heck? Is that corn in the sauce?!"  It was shrimp. The dish was delicious and I LOVED the arugula on top.  I will have to try that at home to add some freshness to pasta.

For a side dish, I ordered Broccoli Capponata. It was basically steamed broccoli smothered in a sauce. I think the menu said it was a pepper sauce but it seemed to also have a lot of tomato in it. 

I love seeing Zach being adventurous when we travel. He's kind of a picky eater and does not like tomato based sauces. That can make ordering at an Italian Restaurant tricky and Fettuccine Alfredo is usually his "go to" dish.  This time, he saw "Spaghetti Carbonara" on the menu and he said, "That dish has a LOT of ingredients, but I like them all!"  Pasta, cream, cheese, bacon, and fried oregano... how can you go wrong!  Zach loved it.  He tried to finish it but eventually surrendered.

Zach ordered a side of Rosemary Potatoes and he said they were awesome.  Zach will chew on fresh rosemary leaves which I find amazing.  He loves strong flavors. 

Ron ordered "Nonna's Linguine and Meatballs".  His dish was garnish with fried basil leaves.  He said it was delicious and he could not finish it.  I think the portions were ridiculously huge since it's a family style restaurant.  Looks like we were "carb loading" at our table.

What a nice way to end the last day of our cruise... oh, we had a little carafe of Chianti wine.

But wait, there's more...

I ordered the Magic Tiramisu... a Captain's Favorite.
Zach ordered the Lemon Sherbert.

I have always wanted to try tiramisu.

Do you see the little "coffee bean" garnish on there? It was actually shaped coffee flavored chocolate. I think it was sitting on a sugar cube so it did not sink into the cream.  Zach ate the chocolate fans.  So pretty!

I snapped this photo when the serving staff were singing a song to the guests.

All of the light fixtures in the restaurant looked as if they were filled with or lined with these decorative glass "beads".  I know they don't have holes in them like beads do but I don't know what else to call these pretty glass things. 

Next, I'll have to tell you about the Steakhouse "Cooking Demonstration" I attended on board. It was a blast and delicious!

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