Just revealed: How Celebrity's dining will be on the Edge

Top: Alfresco dining on the Magic Carpet. Bottom, from left: Cyprus Restaurant, Fine Cut Steakhouse, Normandie Restaurant Top: Alfresco dining on the Magic Carpet. Bottom, from left: Cyprus Restaurant, Fine Cut Steakhouse, Normandie Restaurant

When it comes to culinary wows, Celebrity Edge will make the most of its unique spots like the Magic Carpet and the Rooftop Garden while also featuring a quartet of main restaurants, each inspired by a region of the world, seven new specialty venues and exclusive Suite Class and AquaClass eateries.

Culinary is Celebrity Cruises' No. 1 brand pillar and, like Celebrity Edge itself, the dining will be 'innovative and transformative for the Celebrity brand,' according to president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo.

All the concepts were developed by Celebrity's Cornelius Gallagher, a Michelin-star chef who's associate VP food and beverage operations, and were revealed tonight in Celebrity's characteristic style at an over-the-top event at Manhattan's Pier 36.

Gallagher said one word—finesse—sums up Celebrity's overall approach to dining. That means focusing on 'a thousand details.'

The four main restaurants—Cosmopolitan, Cyprus, Normandie and Tuscan—all give nods to Celebrity's legacy. A walk-through wine display at the entrance of the swanky Cosmopolitan Restaurant harkens to the wine towers in the Solstice-class main dining rooms.

Cyprus Restaurant pays homage to the line's Greek heritage and features Mediterranean fare with a focus on seafood. The space was created by world-renowned designer Patricia Urquiola.

The sophisticated and romantic Normandie Restaurant features contemporary French cuisine and has ties to the Murano specialty restaurant on many Celebrity ships as well as displaying the glamorous ocean liner Normandie's historic wooden panels, previously on Celebrity Summit.

Tuscan Restaurant, with a modern classical design inspired by Italian fashion and film, recalls the Tuscan Grille of other Celebrity ships and highlights southern Italian fare. All the homemade pastas will be prepared with a rustic flair.

Each of these four main restaurants will have menus serving the same signature dishes offered today across the Celebrity fleet, which change nightly. Plus, each will offer a special selection of dishes to showcase the venue's regional concept. And classic favorites like shrimp cocktail, grilled salmon and Caeser salad provide a third option.

As well, Celebrity Edge will continue to allow diners to book traditional early and late seating at the same table with the same waiter, or reserve a time of their choice, or take advantage of open seating in all four restaurants.

When it comes to specialty dining with a la carte pricing, Fine Cut Steakhouse promises 'the choicest cuts of meat to the freshest, premium seafood' in an upscale spot with a glamorous design palette of ruby, amber and gold. The signature dish will be USDA Prime dry-aged steak.

Inspired by classic French bistros, Le Grand Bistro is a bustling boulangerie-patisserie where the ambience changes from morning to evening. Diners can sit at the planter-edged sidewalk or in the inner café with stunning sea views.

As a special twist, using technology created by Skullmapping and presented by TableMation Studios, tabletops will spring to life with Le Petit Chef—an animated character who appears beside each diner's plate and prepares each course before the actual dish is served. 'It's new, fun and exciting,' Lutoff-Perlo said, and a very 'sharable' experience.

The entrance of Raw On 5 showcases an iced raw bar display overflowing with oysters, crab and lobsters, at a spot that mingles treats from Saint-Tropez and New England. Think casual fare like shrimp salad, crabcakes, lobster roll, but also caviar and Champagne, as well as sushi and sashimi prepared to order. Moreover, the venue brings in the Magic Carpet.

'There's no place like this on earth,' Lutoff-Perlo said of the Magic Carpet, a platform the size of a tennis court that's cantilevered from the side of the ship and can rise from sea level all the way up to Deck 16. When at Deck 5, the Magic Carpet becomes an open-air extension of Raw On 5, with selections from there plus its own menu.

When on Deck 16, a 'Dinner on the Edge' experience for up to 100 people will hinge on the destinations visited, with the night's menu built around the chef's local market purchase. Concepts could be a 'bubbles and barbecue' experience or a white party theme.

Another alfresco experience from an impressive perch, for lunch or dining under the stars, is the Rooftop Garden Grill, nestled in a corner of the Rooftop Garden. Incredible views accompany the Grill's gourmet backyard barbecue favorites.

These specialty spots join the previously announced Eden, a triple-deck, glass-enclosed lounge/restaurant (designed by Patricia Urquiola), with programming that changes throughout the day. Eden features an open kitchen and menus that deliver sensory and experiential dishes served, after dark, by performance artists called Edenists.

Celebrity Edge will also have Blu for AquaClass passengers and Luminae, for Suite Class, with Luminae designed by British superstar Kelly Hoppen.

In sum, the dining is a 'beautiful mix of what Celebrity's known for, overlaid with new inspiration,' Lutoff-Perlo told Seatrade Cruise News. 'The concepts are unique and familiar at the same time.'

Wednesday night's Celebrity Edge dining reveal for the media will be followed Thursday night by one for trade partners. Both are hosted by Lutoff-Perlo and Celebrity Edge travel ambassador Nate Berkus, along with Royal Caribbean chairman and CEO Richard Fain and Celebrity's VP hotel operations Brian Abel, chef Gallagher and the Celebrity culinary team.

Posted 28 February 2018

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Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review