Canaletto – ABOARD THE EURODAM on Holland American Line

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Chef Mind Europdam HALA restaurant with a creative menu and enjoyable food, the Canaletto unfortunately suffers from a poor location. Simply sectioning off a corner of the Lido, without providing better separation and the least bit of atmosphere, does not do justice to Chef Naik Bhupesh’s inspired Italian menu.

That being said, savoring each finely crafted dish by Chef Bhupesh greatly diminished the discomfort. In keeping with the Eurodam’s emphasis on food freshly prepared with fresh ingredients the choices and those of the table adjoining ours were predominately winners.

Chef Ming of Tamarind and Chef Bhupesh of Cattalano specialty restaurants in a Culinary Arts Center demonstration.

Diners have a choice of ordering their three courses individually or Italian family style. “Spartire,” or sharing, in the latter works this way. Every two diners order two small plates, one pasta dish, and one large plate to share. Jialin and I couldn’t decide on the two small plates, so out waiter suggested we go for three, Zuppa di Pesce, a tomato saffron broth filled with a variety of tender seafood’s; a Canaletto Salad of lettuce with beets, candied walnuts, and Gorgonzola with a raspberry vinaigrette dressing; and Eggplant Caponata containing golden raisins, pine nuts, and mint. Our heartily satisfying (i.e., more than enough) pasta choice of Pappardelle consisted of large pappardelle noodles in a savory lemon-herb emulsion sauce, artichokes, and both prawns and large shrimp. One of the men at the table next to us raved about the braised short rib of beef in his Potato Gnocchi. He swore it was the best he had ever tasted. Finally, the large plate for us was the least satisfying. Our Grilled lemon-thyme White Sea Bass was only ordinary. The Sautéed Veal Picasa at the other table, however, looked amazing.

Our desserts of Tiramisu, heavily saturated with rum, and Limoncello Crème were terrific and Jialin and I both felt were superior to any we have seen in either the Lido or Rembrandt restaurants. Cocktails and a selection of 17 wines, available by the glass, carafe or bottle, complete the meal.

My verdict on the Canaletto? This new menu that was begun this year is superior to the very nice, but typical, Italian meal that we enjoyed four years ago. The quality of the food, however, is a mismatch with the space. The chef deserves a better venue.

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Story and Photos above © Dennis Cox / WorldViews

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