Join us in welcoming back Victoria Kabakian! She’s treating us to a review of the ultra-posh Remy — a Disney Cruise Line fine-dining restaurant.
The crème de la crème of Disney Cruise Line dining is without a doubt Remy, the Ratatouille inspired restaurant on the Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy. On a recent cruise on the Disney Fantasy, I finally got to check out the “other” adults-only dining option from Disney Cruise Line.
The classic ships (Disney Magic and Disney Wonder) only feature Palo, a wonderful Italian restaurant inspired by Venice, but the two newer ships have also added this French culinary experience deriving half its menu from Chef Scott Hunnel from Walt Disney World’s Victoria & Albert’s and half from Chef Arnaud Lallement from L’Assiette Champenoise, a Michelin three-star restaurant in Tinqueux, France, to create a gastronomic collaboration that is worth every penny (and calorie).
Located on deck 12 aft (that’s the ship’s rear end for you land-lubbers), Remy is the ultimate tribute to the most perfect “little chef” there ever was. Even before entering the main dining room, two of the wines that are featured in the film Ratatouille are displayed in the wine case: a 1961 Château Latour (featured in the scene where Chef Skinner and Linguini are drinking in the office) and a 1947 Cheval Blanc (featured in the restaurant review scene with Anton Ego). And by the way, you can actually purchase these wines at Remy from their wine vault if you’d like. They cost $13,000 and $25,000 respectively.
Past the wine display is the intimate and elegant dining room, with windows stretching from end to end. This is truly the perfect setting for enjoying a view of the sunset during your meal. In fact we did, and trust me, it was stunning.
Details featuring Remy and his brother Emile can be found throughout the main dining room. Remy is found hidden in glass atop one of the vibrant chandeliers. He is carved in wood on the backs of chairs. Remy and Emile are stitched into the fabric of the booths and their figures frame every mirror in the space.
Upon further exploration, there are two additional dining rooms: a small wine room and of course the beloved Gusteau room, which is a replica of Gusteau’s restaurant in Ratatouille and even features a painting depicting the kitchen at Gusteau’s. A hand-woven carpet (one of three on the ship — the others are found in the atrium and the bridge where the ship is navigated). We’re told it took several months to create.
Although Remy also offers a Champagne brunch (at a $50 surcharge) on sea days, on this recent cruise we decided to splurge on dinner (a $75 surcharge plus $99 more if you add the wine experience, which we did not). First and foremost, the meal begins with a very special Champagne cocktail inspired by a very special character in the film, Colette.
The Colette is prepared tableside and includes a bit of strawberry, a mint leaf, some Absolut Pears, and Taittinger Champagne. By mixing the Champagne with a spirit, the bubbles dissipate, but by adding a small bit of dried apricot at the end, it creates an effervescent effect that mimics the natural bubbles in Champagne. It’s like a fun magic trick that you get to drink. Cheers.
Even before menus are presented, another taste of apparent magic hits your plates. The amuse bouche is a small sphere of deep-fried tomato soup. How is it made, you ask? Well after guessing that it’s prepared similarly to the way Chinese soup dumplings are made (using gelatinized broth in the filling, which then essentially melts when its heated), our amazing server Guiseppe confirmed that my suspicions were on the right track. How does it taste? Like deep-fried tomato soup, and oh so good.
A selection of fresh breads including tiny baguettes, multi-grain, and caramelized onion brioche are offered up next along with creamy butter from Vermont and sea salt from Bordeaux in France. The baguettes feature the perfect sound that Colette describes in the film as being a sign of great French bread. It has that crackle and that perfect taste and texture. The brioche is delicate and rich, another classic French creation. The multi-grain is the only bread I didn’t try.
The menu is divided in half with two tasting menus (with a la carte options as well so you can easily mix and match). The Saveur menu (meaning “flavor” in French) is created by Lallement, while the Goût menu (meaning “taste”) is created by Hunnel. Both are exquisite options, and while my sister opted to stick to the Goût side of the menu, I tried a little bit of each.
Our next treat from the chef before starting our official first course is langoustine with lobster bisque and lettuce reduction. The bite of langoustine is perfectly tender and succulent atop the super flavorful mound of bisque. The flavor of the sea really shines through here, creating a lovely start to this very special meal.
For our first course, we both selected the Wagyu carpaccio with ratatouille, basil coulis, 8 year aged Modena balsamic, and Parmesan crisps. The cold ratatouille is actually hidden underneath paper-thin layers of one of the world’s most famous beefs. The soft textures of the beef and ratatouille are offset by the Parmesan crisps, while the basil coulis and aged balsamic each provide contrasting nuances of herbaceous freshness and sweetness.
For our second course we tried the scallop crusted with masago (Japanese pearl rice) and served with a curried coconut broth, shiitake mushrooms, and bok choy. The scallop itself is the largest scallop I’ve ever seen in my life. It is perfectly cooked, still soft and slightly under in the center, with a lovely crisp texture on the exterior from the masago. The curried broth is so full of flavor, I wanted to tip the edge of the bowl directly into my mouth and slurp. Don’t worry, I didn’t. Anton Ego wouldn’t approve of that behavior!
Our third course is a polenta and chicken egg yolk stuffed ravioli served over a mixture of corn, black barley and poulet rouge topped with a sweet corn emulsion. This course truly encompasses the chicken AND the egg. I love the sweetness in this dish from the three different uses of corn (polenta in the filling, and corn in the base and in the emulsion). The chewiness from the black barley adds a great textural element, and of course the oozing yolk is the highlight of the dish.
My sister’s entrée from the Goût side of the menu is onion ash and black Hawaiian salt dusted lamb medallions, asparagus, marble potatoes, and pickled onions. The meat is succulent with a very unique flavor from that onion ash dusting. My sister only spared me one bite (but it was a wonderful bite) and she couldn’t stop swooning about her choice. It really is a lovely dish.
My entrée from the Saveur side of the menu is cold smoked and pan-roasted Wagyu beef with carrot puree, baby carrots, an orb (thanks, molecular gastronomy) filled with more carrot puree and braised short rib, spinach coulis, and served with a tableside drizzle of Bourguignon sauce. The beef is cooked perfectly and is so utterly tender. The bit of carrot puree and braised short rib that is encapsulated on the dish (not too visible in the picture, unfortunately) is a really neat surprise. It almost bursts in your mouth with sweet carrot puree and then that delicious meatiness that is short ribs. Oh yes. No regrets.
At this point because we were here for my birthday (belated, but still worth celebrating!) the chef actually came out and took a photo with us and then signed personalized menus for us. What a great treat!
Next it’s time for the famous Remy cheese
cart. A variety of cheese from hard to triple cream, goat to blue are offered up along with some dried figs, dried apricots, honey comb, and crispy cherry bread. We tried a nice sampling before getting ready for dessert. And that’s when the red napkins come out…
My sister had the Peruvian baked chocolate mousse with caramel sauce, dusted with sugar, and served with an orange tuile. It was rich and delicious.
I absolutely loved my dessert, which featured a palet of chocolate sponge, apricot jam, milk chocolate mousse, and dark chocolate ganache served with a mixture of fresh and honey-roasted apricots, and tart apricot jelly. The combination of rich chocolate and tart apricot is a lovely marriage that isn’t explored often enough in the pastry kitchen. I’d love to see more of this on other menus and in my belly. Definitely two thumbs up.
Oh, but wait there’s more! After dessert they serve a variety of mignardises including lemon diamonds, homemade lollipops (lemon and mint flavors), nougat, chocolates, homemade orange marshmallows, and cannelles (a small, tender French pastry). Anything you can’t finish (except the lemon diamonds and those crispy oval things, which are too delicate) is wrapped up in a doggy bag to take home.
The ladies are presented with roses and then later the staff at Remy sends a box of chocolates to your stateroom. It’s like the fun (and calories) never really stop.
Our box of chocolates actually didn’t arrive in our stateroom as they typically do. A couple days later I actually asked guest services if they still send the chocolates just to be sure, and then the staff at Remy apologized and sent them down. I guess it was one very small slipup in an otherwise perfect meal.
In addition to the outstanding food and atmosphere at Remy, I can’t say enough about the exceptional staff. Our server and all the other staff we encountered were very friendly and down-to-Earth without sacrificing professionalism. Especially when I wandered around to take pictures, they were so accommodating and even pointing out features I should highlight that I hadn’t even noticed myself, like some of the hidden Remy details.
I truly believe that a meal at Remy is the best you can get at sea and if you’re over 18 and willing to throw a few extra bucks Disney’s way. It’s great for special occasions or for anyone who simply loves food. Pixar’s Ratatouille is so brilliantly woven into the theme here that even with my experience and knowledge with Disney Imagineering it still manages to blow me away. Disney has done Remy proud with this exquisite restaurant in his honor.
Victoria is a Minnie Mouse-obsessed Disney enthusiast and food blogger at Mission: Food. She’s a classically trained cook with a soft-spot for cooking up Disney favorites in her kitchen when she isn’t park-hopping or sailing away on Disney Cruises.
I’m ready to book a Disney Cruise. How about you? Share your Remy experiences with us!