Thomas Keller on Odyssey

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#1
England
1,080 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Should we reserve (request) reservations before we board, not knowing when formal night etc is, or do we wait until we board? And the big question - is TK worth doing? There are so many mixed reviews!


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#2
Dallas, TX
211 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
Our travel agent advised us to reserve before we boarded. And yes, it is worth doing---as it is a pleasant change of venue.
#5
Dallas, TX
211 Posts
Joined Oct 2017
I didn't have ribs in the TK Grill. There are a number of things on the menu (steak, fish, eggplant parmigiana, various specials) . I also don't remember wine being served in tumblers. Our wine was served in regular wine glasses in the Grill.

The side dishes were served family style, but the plates were not large.

I really don't think that your fears are well founded here.
#6
Scandinavian living in UK
646 Posts
Joined Mar 2011
Originally posted by margbem
Don't like ribs, big plates of food in the middle of the table, wine in tumblers etc.


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What you’re describing here is the TK style as presented in The Colonnade. The Grill is located in the former Restaurant 2 and it is much different. Give it a try!
#7
Lincolnshire England
2,758 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
We had a dismal time in the TK grill on Odyssey recently - however, do try it. Recommendations are:- try not to have one of the crushed up tables for 2 on the left hand side of the room. The Dover sole is apparently very good. The 'tableside preparation' of a Caesar salad did not work for me - possibly an inexperienced server, but it was mainly leaves and vinegary dressing. The vegetable dishes were good; the icecream dessert a very large standard dish you could have anywhere, others might be more interesting. We did not opt to try the grill again. I feel sure that at least the seating arrangements on the Encore are more spacious and comfortable.
#8
Austin, TX
248 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
On our recent Odyssey cruise we dined at the TK Grill twice and enjoyed it very much. Both times we were supposed to be at a table for four, sharing, but the other couple failed to show up. As a result we had a very pleasant, large booth for two.

We found the New York Strip and the Dover Sole to be excellent. We also had the Caesar salad to be great, I suspect that could vary by server since it is prepared table side.

The chicken and rib dinners are served in the Collenade not the TK Grill.

As others have said, give it a try!
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Steve & Maria
#9
Saint Emilion France
34 Posts
Joined Jul 2017
Originally posted by TRIPACIAN
On our recent Odyssey cruise we dined at the TK Grill twice and enjoyed it very much. Both times we were supposed to be at a table for four, sharing, but the other couple failed to show up. As a result we had a very pleasant, large booth for two.

We found the New York Strip and the Dover Sole to be excellent. We also had the Caesar salad to be great, I suspect that could vary by server since it is prepared table side.

The chicken and rib dinners are served in the Collenade not the TK Grill.

As others have said, give it a try!

Hello Steve and Maria

We are joining the Odyssey on the 11th November and I have reserved the TK Grill. I would like your advice please
"what is New York Strip"? I was hoping they were also preparing Lobster Thermidor but perhaps I am being too hopeful;

Thank you for your really helpful reviews on your voyage on Odyssey, it will be our first time with Seabourn and our first cruise.

Maureen and Jon
#10
UK
731 Posts
Joined Oct 2008
We went to TK and had the worst meal of the cruise. The room was freezing, too. Lobster Thermidor is a classic dish for a reason but the superior Keller has to reimagine it as a lake of melted butter with the odd bit of frozen lobster. Consommé tasted like a stock cube.

Anyone who thinks a ship can replicate food in a New York restaurant or a French Laundry in California is mistaken. However, it might fool people unaccustomed to eating in 'fine dining' restaurants with two or more Michelin stars.

We thought TK on Seabourn was all about snobbery and branding. And pushing fancy wines.

We are on the Quest later this year and won't be dining there.
#11
Tucson,Arizona
4,442 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Margbem,
Obviously when it comes to dining there is no one size fits all and you may or may not enjoy the TK Grill but it might be worth checking out.

I would like to clarify some of the misconceptions about the Grill and TK dining on Seabourn as people still have it all muddled up.

At present on Quest and Odyssey the former R2 Restaurant has been converted to IMHO opinion a lovely clubby elegant space that bears little resemblance to the dark and cramped restaurant that formerly occupied this space. The R2 on Sojourn is going to be converted to the Grill in December. And on Encore, while I have not been on it, from my understanding it is a slightly larger but similarly outfitted restaurant with the addition of a popular bar. See my pic of the Quest TK Grill

The Grill menu is not the ribs, tumblers etc. menu /environment- it is a formal venue with tablecloths and a menu that recalls a classic New York steakhouse. We actually PREFER it on formal nights as it is a quiet and lovely environment with good classic food and wonderful personal service.

The Colonnade is the venue that once or twice a week transforms into the casual restaurant serving American country favorites or as Keller puts it childhood classics that are served at his land based restaurant Ad Hoc. And it is not just ribs. I think the salads are outstanding as is the potted creamy cheesecake. And don’t get me started on the cheese course. People on this board may recall how I feel about the very special Humboldt Fog served at one of these dinners. I find these dinners, as they are served family style, are most fun to do with another couple or two. And as to the tumblers, I always nicely ask for, and receive, a proper wine glass.

The other TK dishes on Seabourn are found in the Restaurant and the Patio Grill. In the Restaurant there is periodically an insert in the regular menu with a handful of supplemental dishes based on Kellers flagship restaurant , the French Laundry. These dishes are more innovative in ingredient selection and preparation. Ironically these have been my least favorite Keller dishes on Seabourn even though I am a big fan of the French Laundry. I will say the dessert of the molten chocolate cake with passion fruit purée in the Center is delicious.

And finally now and then at the Patio Grill at lunch the TK hot dog (my suggestion is order it with out all of the relish etc. topping it) and the Napa burger (specially sourced beef) are offered. The meat of the hot dog is very good as is the burger.

And as a note, I have never (not on Seabourn nor at any other restaurant) seen a Caesar salad made with vinegar and find it hard to believe they use it in the table side prep. Classic Caesar uses lemon. As to it being all leaves, a Caesar salad is just romaine lettuce leaves — with a few anchovies and croutons added when served. As to an ice cream dessert , I highly recommend instead ordering the lovely light coconut cake.

The portions at the Grill are large so we usually have them skip the crudités with dip brought at the beginning of the meal. Also I’m afraid while we usually try to go easy on bread the classic Parker House rolls are irresistible. And we often share an entree- especially if we order a steak or the lovely roasted chicken. Ironically the Dover sole was my least favorite entree. We actually liked the Grill so much we would have dined there every other night had that been possible and the only disappointment of out July Alaska cruises on Sojourn was that the space has not yet been converted from the R2 to the Grill.

.


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#12
England
1,080 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
Thanks everyone for all the comments and advice, especially Chairsin who has clarified the situation and choices! I will request the TK grill for one evening and we'll give it a try!


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#13
Lincolnshire England
2,758 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Dare I add that my Caesar salad contained no anchovies, no croutons, and no discernible parmesan, which I always thought was part of the dish. The waitress serving it had, I feel sure, not done it before- she was a sweetie, but obviously nervous and should have been supervised. I did not have the Dover sole; someone at the very near next table said it was good. My lamb was correctly pink, but seemed to be covered with a completely uncooked breadcrumb/herb topping, which ruined it.

It does seem that TK is hit and miss- some dishes work apparently but some do not. We had his lobster dish in the dining room, quite some time ago, and it was served deliberately tepid, and was essentially soup with bits of unlovely lobster floating in it. Most people thought it was awful, and for this or some other reason it does not seem to be being served currently.
#14
NY, USA
541 Posts
Joined Aug 2003
Sailing on the Odyssey on 11/11.
Two questions:
1-does anyone have a copy of the TK menu?
2- Right now, it looks like we can make reservations any night of a the cruise. Are we limited to one night only? Its a 12 day itinerary. I’m assuming that TK isn’t as popular as SB had hoped. Deciding which night[s] to choose depends (for us) more on what’s offered in the MDR. Is there any way to know in advance the menus for the MDR?
Thanks
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#15
Tucson,Arizona
4,442 Posts
Joined Jul 2003
Steve,
Go to the Luxury Cruising thread and fine one from 7/24 started by Laura titled “the Grill by Thomas Keller on Seabourn Cruiseline (including menu)”. I don’t seem to be able to post the link. Anyway, you can find the fully menu there.

As to popularity all I can tell you is that on our Antarctica cruise there was always a waitlist to get into the Grill. As to how often you can go it varies by cruise length. I would make one reservation before you get on the ship and when you embark ask the F&B Manager how many visits you are allowed. And if you enjoy it and exceed your allotment you can always ask to be put on the wait list. Sometimes people cancel at the last minute and more than once the hostess came and found us in the Obs Bar to tell us there was an opening if we were interested.




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#17
28 Posts
Joined Jan 2009
We were on the Quest and booked one TK dinner whilst we were having our embarkation lunch.


We enjoyed it for the experience and the food... theatre , presentation....the Dover Sole was especially good.


We were invited to go on a waitlist for another night, however we enjoyed the Restaurant particularly, and were spoilt for menu choice on each evening.

In my opinion each and every meal at all locations proved to be a great dining experienceon the Quest.

Greta.
#18
Atlanta, GA
70 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
We just got off the Quest a few weeks ago and agree the food/service was exceptional. I like the bone in Veal, my wife the Lobster Thermidor. We actually enjoy the TK menus in the MDR and the family style in The Colonnade as well. We have not been to the French Laundry, but have been to Per Se in NY, so yes we are fans of TK.
When you cruise on the Encore be sure to eat at the TK Grill and get there early, the lounge is very nice. The have live piano music and nice whiskies/wine selection.
One thing I would like to see is a menu change at least once during a longer, 10+ days cruise. I know they only want you to go once, but almost every time we have eaten there it is not full. Just a thought. Cheers
#20
108 Posts
Joined Jun 2003
This was the exact same menu 2 weeks ago on Odyssey, however the mashed potatoes said "crème fraiche"
The NY Strip was very very good. Macaroni and Cheese was good, but salty. Tableside Caesar was ok.
Chocolate cake and lemon tarte were very good.
Note they do want you to buy expensive wines as the menu does not show included wines, but you may opt for the many choices of complimentary wines which are available.
The staff were extremely friendly, service excellent. It's just a steakhouse, like eating at the Palm.