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La Reserve on Oceania Cruises: The Perfect Pairing

Author: Olivia Sharpe

Published on:

On Oceania Cruises’ luxurious ships Marina and Riviera, a very special dining experience is available

La Reserve is the pinnacle in fine dining at sea.

Described by Oceania Cruises as a 'glorious celebration of the pleasures of the palate', this charming space has catapulted cruise cuisine into a new dimension.

Developed in partnership with Wine Spectator, La Reserve – available on ships Marina and Riviera – is more than just another cruise culinary innovation – wine seminars and vintage tastings are also on the menu, making your experience an altogether more meaningful one.

From the fine china on the table to the intimate setting, every detail has been meticulously crafted to take your dinner from the ordinary to the extraordinary.

This dining experience is far more than an upscale meal – it is unlike anything you will have previously tasted and one you will not want to miss.

Happiness on a plate

First up, in La Reserve you can sit down and sample the exquisite La Cuisine Bourgeoise menu.

Created by the cruise's line’s master chef and executive culinary director Jacques Pépin and aptly described as 'happiness on a plate', this decadent seven-course adventure transports you into a world of gastronomy heaven, one that is all about fresh, seasonal ingredients, and plenty of flair.

Each moment has been studied, analysed and refined, with every element of the menu exquisitely paired with a wine for a dinner you simply won’t find on any other ship or on land, for that matter.

Speaking about the concept, Pépin said: 'Cuisine bourgeoise originated in the middle of the 19th century in France. It’s a cuisine rooted in simplicity, fresh ingredients, and comfort – above all else, it is a cuisine to share.

'It is a cuisine epitomised by the Mères Lyonnaises – the celebrated female chefs of Lyon during the 19th and early 20th centuries, and one that shaped my childhood and family traditions.

'It is a cuisine that honours the ritual of the table in the tradition of mothers and grandmothers. It is a cuisine to savour rather than admire or evaluate. Cuisine bourgeoise is simply happiness on a plate.'

Oceania Cruises' president and CEO, Bob Binder, added: 'Pairing the wines took particular care and required extensive research to ensure that the wines featured with each course reflected the bright, approachable, and celebratory nature of this dining experience.

'This is an experience you can’t have anywhere else and one that will create memories for a lifetime. It is the epitome of special.'

Creating Champagne moments

Nothing shouts luxury more than Champagne. And Oceania Cruises is well aware of this. In another stroke of brilliance, the line has joined forces with Moët & Chandon to create the luxurious Dom Pérignon Experience at La Reserve.

This six-course feast pairs every course with a Dom Pérignon vintage. This is not some hastily arranged afterthought, however.

Each dish has been designed by Oceania Cruises' expert team – again led by Pépin – to elicit the nuances of the grapes, creating not just a memory, but a true moment of pleasure.

The mind-blowing banquet includes everything from Brittany blue lobster in yellow curry broth with coco foam, to sashimi-style seared Wagyu beef with sautéed arugula, to blood orange-soya jus. Now that should make your mouth water.

If the Dom Pérignon Experience isn’t quite for you (and it really should be), La Reserve also has the Odyssey menu, which is just as innovative in its use of ingredients to create one-of-a-kind courses.

There’s the Bay Scallop Teriyaki seared on riverstone, Maine lobster cassolette with tarragon and sea urchin bisque, or portobello mushroom risotto with smoked ricotta and black truffle.

Again, these courses are paired with wines to enhance the flavour and let each component of the dish sing to its fullest.

Reservations are required for La Reserve, and a wine or Champagne experience surcharge applies. However, it is worth every penny, as the memories you make in this intimate restaurant are genuinely priceless.

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