Cruise Tip: Rudi’s Sel De Mer on Holland America Noordam

Cruise Tip: Rudi's Sel De Mer

Cruise Tip: Rudi’s Sel De Mer on Holland America Noordam

Cruise Tip: Rudi’s Sel De Mer on Holland America Noordam

By WAVEJourney

Master Chef Rudi Sodermin’s Pop-Up French Brasserie in Pinnacle Grill is a Foodie Sensation Not to Miss on the High Seas!

 

Holland America Line’s Master Chef and Culinary Council Chairman, Rudi Sodamin, was born in Austria and trained in France. His latest culinary showpiece at sea is his French brasserie​,​​ Sel de Mer,​ on ms Koningsdam – a dedicated restaurant serving classic French cuisine.

During our Noordam cruise from Seward, Alaska to Vancouver, BC, we had the opportunity to experience Rudi’s Sel ​de Mer pop-up restaurant ​in the Pinnacle Grill on ​one evening. ​There are six HAL ships that feature this dining extravaganza during cruises – ms Nieuw Amsterdam, ms Eurodam, ms Oosterdam, ms Westerdam, ms Zuiderdam, and lucky for us… ms Noordam.

THE MENU CHOICES:

Rudi's Sel de Mer - warm baquette and accompaniments.

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – warm baquette and accompaniments.

A warm baquette was placed on the table for us to share – typical French bistro fare. Accompanied with a selection of tapenade, olives, pesto, and butter, we were tempted to devour everything, but paced ourselves for the menu to come.

Rudi's Sel de Mer - Seared scallop amuse bouche

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – Seared scallop amuse bouche

The amuse bouche was a perfectly seared scallop on a bed of seaweed salad, and topped with a light saffron foam.

Rudi's Sel de Mer - Foie Gras Torchon appetizer

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – Foie Gras Torchon appetizer

APPETIZERS:

Appetizers of steak tartare, Rudi’s seafood tower, escargot Bourguignonne, bouillabaisse Marseillaise, tuna salad Nicoise, and foie gras torchon all sounded delicious.

Rudi's Sel de Mer - Bouillabaisse Marseillaise

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – Bouillabaisse Marseillaise

We decided on the escargot, bouillabaisse and foie gras to share family-style. The bouillabaisse was a large serving with lots of fish and seafood. For our liking, it was somewhat heavier on tomato than we prefer.

Rudi's Sel de Mer - Escargot Bourguignonne

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – Escargot Bourguignonne

The classic garlicky escargot definitely transported us back to Burgundy, France. The smooth and creamy foie gras was delicate yet flavorful. Overall, each of our selections were delicious.

ENTREES:

A variety of entrees from the sea and from the earth included: broiled fresh catch of the day; broiled Maine lobster; whole Dover sole Meuniere; rack of lamb persillade; salt crust baked branzino; steak frites; duck cassoulet; soufflé au fromage.

Rudi's Sel de Mer - Broiled fresh catch of the day.

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – Broiled fresh catch of the day.

Jill had a difficult decision to make choosing her entrée… her favorite dish of all-time – cassoulet – or the broiled fresh catch of Pacific Lingcod. The lingcod won the coin toss, and was cooked to absolute perfection.

Rudi's Sel de Mer - Salt crusted Branzino

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – Salt crusted Branzino with a tarragon beurre-fondue

Viv also decided on a fish entrée, and thoroughly enjoyed her branzino (European sea bass) with a tarragon beurre-fondue. It was light, flavorful and beautifully prepared.

Our side dish choices of ratatouille, pureed cauliflower and wild rice were perfect accompaniments to our entrees.

DESSERT:

Rudi's Sel de Mer - Rudi's Souffle

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – Rudi’s Souffle

​Choosing dessert was challenging as everything sounded wonderful. As our appetizers and entrees hadn’t left us with much room we opted for Rudi’s Souffle and the apple tarte tatin.

Rudi's Sel de Mer - Apple tarte tatin

Rudi’s Sel de Mer – Apple tarte tatin

The profiteroles, crepes Suzette, and French cheese plate will just have to wait for our next HAL cruise.

ADDITIONAL CHARGE:

Rudi’s Sel de Mer at Pinnacle Grill is available for an extra charge. The additional cost at the time of our sailing was $49 per person for three-course menu. We found the selection, presentation, quality and fine dining experience well worth the additional fee.

BOTTOM LINE:

​If you have the opportunity to dine at Rudi’s Sel de Mer on a HAL ship – the actual venue on ms Koningsdam, or a pop-up on one of the other “dam” ships, we suggest you give it a try. While seafood was the main selection for our dinner, there are ample menu options to suit meat lovers and vegetarians. This is definitely one of our most favorite dining events we’ve had the pleasure of partaking in – anywhere!

Bon Appetit! Viv and Jill

Rudi's Sel de Mer pop-up French Brasserie

Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up French Brasserie on Holland America Noordam

 

Note: WAVEJourney cruised on Holland America Line Noordam in June 2018, and collaborated on coverage. All opinions and recommendations about this subject are completely our own. Read our full disclosure statement to see our review policy.

 

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