Silver Endeavour’s Restaurants Offer Fresh Surprises, New Concepts
When Silversea acquired Silver Endeavour, the polar expedition vessel that debuts in November 2022, its executives knew that a big challenge and an equally large opportunity revolved around the development of the onboard restaurants.
“The big difference is in the ship itself,” Birgit Vadlau, the company’s vice president of hotel operations, tells us. “Think of it like this: When you move into a house where the kitchens were set up without your input, [that] requires some adjustments.” After all, the line’s hotel and culinary team typically has years to design restaurant concepts, as it has done for Silver Moon, Silver Muse and Silver Dawn. For Silver Endeavour, there were mere months to plan out the culinary program.
Still, in a free-ranging conversation with Vadlau and her colleagues Patrick Fourtanet, Silversea’s food and beverage director, and Richard Weichbold, the fleet’s corporate chef, it’s clear they are jazzed. Guests will find new restaurants, familiar favorites, expedition-accommodating twists and a unique community sourcing effort with Chile’s Puerto Williams, Silver Endeavour’s Antarctica home port.
First things, first: Where will Silver Endeavour passengers dine on a polar cruise?
The ship has four signature restaurants. La Dame, Silversea’s classic French boîte, will set the standard for elegance. The Restaurant, the main venue, will serve a’la carte menus for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Italian-themed Il Terrazzino, “little terrace,” an offshoot of Silversea’s popular La Terrazza, is open for dinner only. And have you seen the fabulous glassed-in solarium on Silver Endeavour? That will be home to The Grill and offers 270-degree views of Antarctica while guests dine in warmth and comfort alongside the ship’s beautiful swimming pool. Breakfast and lunch at the Grill offer a combination of buffet and a’la carte dishes; dinner is a la carte only.
Butlers will serve in-suite meals around the clock, as is a Silversea tradition.
Silver Endeavour’s Arts Cafe is a spin on Silversea’s popular upmarket coffee shop concept found on other new ships. What’s new here?
“On an expedition ship, a lot happens at the same time,” Fourtanet says. “We were inspired by the great cafes you find at winter ski resorts, where in addition to established favorites — pastries, grab ‘n’ go sandwiches, coffee and tea, and smoothies – you’ll also find warm comfort food.” Expect “more meat on the bone,” he adds. Such as? Pots of hot soup, and dishes prepared a’la minute that are new to the menu. And: the floor-to-ceiling windows welcome the landscape of Antarctica indoors.
Which restaurant has been the biggest challenge?
“The biggest transformation is that Silver Endeavour’s existing Japanese restaurant will become our La Dame,” Vadlau says, “which means the room had to change completely. As it exists now, it has an open kitchen. So La Dame will be the first restaurant in the fleet with an open kitchen, while still maintaining the classic French ambience.”
How would you describe the variety of cuisines onboard?
Silversea Endeavour maintains its balance of global and regional cuisines, Weichbold tells us. There are the French La Dame and the Italian Il Terrazzino, of course.
What the culinary experts also are excited about, he explains, is the menu he has created for The Restaurant: It combines international favorites with dishes using regional ingredients. In this case, he says, he’s excited by some new Chilean-influenced menu items such as Conchas a la Parrilla, Grilled Scallops with white wine and chorizo cream sauce; Camarones al Pil Pil, sauteed garlic shrimp with chili and cilantro lemon rice; and Costillar de Cerdo, glazed pork ribs served with salsa verde and charred baby corn.
“The biggest transformation is that Endeavour’s existing Japanese restaurant will become our LaDame,” Vadlau says, “which means the room had to change completely. As it exists now, it has an open kitchen. So LaDame will be the first restaurant in the fleet with an open kitchen, while still maintaining the classic French ambience.”
Tell us about Silver Endeavour’s beverage program
Wine, beer and spirits, as on all of Silversea’s ships, will represent international favorites with a sprinkle of destination-specific and locally inspired cocktails, Fourtanet tells us. For instance, a blueberry pisco sour is a southern Chile twist on the classic South American drink. Instead of the usual sour citrus juice, he’s using wild local blueberries. While travelers are exploring Antarctica, expect surprise hot beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) on the Zodiacs. The connoisseur wine list will continue to showcase the world’s best bottles.
Silversea also expands its beverage menu on Silver Endeavour to include a range of boutique, spirit-free cocktails.
When it comes to sourcing fresh ingredients, tell us about your local partnership with Puerto Williams and beyond
Let’s start with Chile, says Weichbold, who has made numerous procurement trips there to taste products – local cheese, fish, meats, wine, chocolates.
Even more exciting: In Puerto Williams, Silversea is partnering with the community to sustainably grow fresh food to serve onboard. “The local community is working on a greenhouse,” Weichbold tells us, “and will plant salad ingredients, herbs, tomatoes and hopefully berries that we’ll buy from them.
Even the bottled water served onboard Silver Endeavour comes from Puerto Williams’ own supply.
These efforts are radically different from anything we’ve ever done around enhancing sustainability for Antarctic cruises, “ Vadlau says. “It’s still baby steps, but we’re starting. We look forward to growing this effort, this special partnership here.”
Editor’s Note: Silversea’s Silver Endeavour debuts in November 2022 and will spend its first season in Antarctica before transitioning to the Arctic and Northern Europe in spring 2023.