Nick and Noras, review from an Executive Chef

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#1
poughkeepsie, ny
16 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
First let me begin by saying that if you are going to cruise on carnival, want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the MDR I recommend the steakhouse. I recently cruised on the Carnival Miracle and couldn't resist going to the steakhouse and for only $35 more per person for a 5 course meal, you can't beat it. I went with my boyfriend who is also in the restaurant business. The intimate setting of Nick and Noras combined with the food and drink was an amazing experience. so amazing we went twice on our voyage Our first night dining at NaN we had brought our own bottle of Bonterra Pinot Noir. Now, if you haven't been to the restaurants on the Carnival ships you technically are not allowed to bring your own bottle of wine, but they let us. for a bottle fee and service fee of about $15 it was still cheaper than us buying wine by the glass or buying a bottle.
When we made our first reservation we informed them that I required a gluten free meal and when we arrived they already had my bread waiting for me. The chef sends out a tapa for each guest at the table. Mine was a potato, cheddar and bacon soup and my boyfriends was a beef carpaccio. To start I got jumbo shrimp cocktail. nothing special but they do toss the shrimp in garlic and herbs I love garlic. He had the french onion soup which he described to me as better than most because it wasn't overly salty like it is normally prepared. Next I ordered the balsamic portobello salad which was very neatly presented and flavorful. they even do balsamic and olive oil spheres and carrot leather! which i was not expecting to see. My boyfriend had the crab cake which he thoroughly enjoyed. He said it was exactly what he was craving. lol.
Moving on to the salad course (yea, we both ordered two apps.) I had the green salad with cherry tomatoes. It was good, a salad. He had the caesar which he said the dressing was 10x better than the caesar dressing in the MDR, not as anchovy. For our main course i had the Filet Mignon, medium. The steak was cooked to perfection and the pieces of roasted garlic along with the roasted tomatoes and grilled onions was great. it really was the little touches, plating and the ambiance of the restaurant that gives it the wow factor. If it didnt have that then my steak would have been a good meal. My boyfriend got the ribeye. he loved the roasted garlic and plating as much as I did! Both of our plates also had the carrot leather. an finally for dessert, like we could have stuffed ourselves anymore, we opted to share honey ice cream.
All and all not a bad night for $35 per person...
Our second trip to NaN was a little more restricted, a little. lol. we opted to buy a bottle of La Crema, Pinot Noir, Sonoma County. We liked this one much more than the Murphey Goode one we bought in the MDR. To start the Chef sent out me a seafood bisque and my boyfriend got a deconstructed zucchini in puff pastry. This is one of those times when I really wish I wasn't a celiac Moving on to the appetizer I ordered the tuna tartar which I was eyeing up the first night. it was great, it had acid, a little bite, a crunch factor, plated neatly and seasoned well. He had the beef carpaccio, which was sliced so thin it was melting on the plate - perfect.
Not opting for two appetizers this time we got to the salad course. I had the spinach, mushroom, bacon and blue cheese salad. IMO if you put bacon mushrooms and blue cheese on a salad I need a sweet factor to round out the savory and salty. Other than that a really good salad but the presentation with the mushrooms in the mold is not to sound snooty, but overdone. He went safe with the caesar... again...
Coming to the main course I ordered the lamb chops medium. Holy huge amount of lamb!! It was a substantial portion but the lamb was tender and melted in my mouth about as much as the filet did! I could have done with out the sprig of rosemary sticking up from the lamb, I have this thing about non edible garnishes. He got the cowboy steak, medium rare. His steak was huge too!! One thing I can say about NaN is that they don't skimp out on the portions of meat! Both of our plates had the carrot leather, roasted garlic pieces, grilled onions and a potato accompaniment. Now as the dinner starts to get a little hazy from the wine and the open bar we attended earlier that day... We move on to dessert. I had ice cream, chocolate and honey. He had the Washington apple in puff pastry. Again, the times when I really wish I wasn't a celiac.
All in all we had two fabulous nights a NaN. Some of the items are safe like the spinach salad, shrimp cocktail, french onion soup. But some items this steakhouse really shines on like the portobello salad, crab cake and tuna tartar. As all steakhouses should be you can tell they take a great pride in their preparation of their meats. If you cruise on a carnival ship I highly recommend going to the steakhouse. There is no place out there you can go and pay $35 per person for a 5 course meal, period.
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#2
poughkeepsie, ny
16 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
more pics
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#3
Raleigh NC
24,461 Posts
Joined Oct 2007
Thanks for the report!
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Kirk


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#4
Massachusetts
1,024 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
Thanks for the review, the timing couldn't have been better. We board the miracle this Sunday and already have our reservation for nick and Nora's for Sunday night. Do you remember if they offered a free bottle of wine on the first night?
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PAST CRUISES: The Big Red Boat, RCCL Jewel of the Seas, NCL - Sea, Jewel (x2), Spirit (x2), Sky (x2), Star.
#5
Massachusetts
1,024 Posts
Joined Jul 2006
We'll be on the miracle this Sunday and already have our reservation for nick and Nora's for Sunday night. Do you remember if they offered a free bottle of wine on the first night?
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PAST CRUISES: The Big Red Boat, RCCL Jewel of the Seas, NCL - Sea, Jewel (x2), Spirit (x2), Sky (x2), Star.
#6
poughkeepsie, ny
16 Posts
Joined Oct 2012
Originally posted by asand5554
We'll be on the miracle this Sunday and already have our reservation for nick and Nora's for Sunday night. Do you remember if they offered a free bottle of wine on the first night?
They do! Not sure if you have to book it when you get on the ship for the bottle or not tho.

Enjoy your cruise and have a blast!!!
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#8
Cypress, Texas
795 Posts
Joined Apr 2007
Great review! We will be enjoying the steakhouse on our upcoming cruise on the Freedom can't wait!
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#9
Norristown
316 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
I could not agree with this review any more. We were on Miracle last May and dined at Nick & Nora's toward the end of our trip. My fiance and I still talk about how incredible the food and service was, and quite honestly at $35 per person - what a deal we got. I had the french onion soup - exquisite!! The tomato and mozz salad was so crisp, and there were little beads of mozz and balsamic caviar scattered all around the dish. I couldn't believe it - had seen this on the Food Network before and was amazed that it was right in front of me. Truly lovely experience and would gladly pay the price again. One of the top 3 meals I've ever had in my life.