Is Eden (Restaurant) worth the upcharge?
Before each cruise, my husband and I do our research and, we decide what we want to do on board, and in port. Many cruisers on Facebook groups were in agreement that Eden is a fantastic dining experience, especially for foodies. We decided to start the cruise off on the ‘right foot’ so we booked Eden for night one; we are glad we did. Not only did Eden meet our expectations, but it actually exceeded our expectations; which is not an easy feat since we are foodies, and craft cocktail connoisseurs. We live in New York City and have access to world-class dining and bars when our budget allows. In the article, I will guide you through our experience and I will answer the question if we felt the $ 60-a-person cover charge was worth it.
The Eden Restaurant is located on the lowest level of Eden there is a marble staircase on the port side of Eden that leads you down to the host’s podium. This restaurant is all the way aft (the back of the ship) so there are large windows with a view of the wake. If you dine right before sunset you will get the added benefit of watching the sunset. Our experience on our first night was so spectacular we decided to eat at Eden two additional times on our sailing, I will walk you through our experience. I am combining all three times we had dinner into the description of each course. This is a small venue; I would estimate there are about 20-25 tables. If you consider this a must-do then I would recommend booking online before you sail, however, we only booked one night prior to our sailing and Eden was able to accommodate us two more times but we usually dine early (6 pm).
The first course you don’t actually order and is called Amuse-bouche or a small bite-sized appetizer is the first course served to each guest. From our experience on this sailing in December 2022, each night offered a different amuse-bouche; overall they were very good. I wish I recorded the descriptions of the courses, but I have learned my lesson for our next cruise.
Next, we had our appetizers. My husband ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and I ordered the Tandoori-Style Beef. The waiter encouraged us to try another appetizer; we decided on the Pan-Roasted Carabinero Shrimp. My husband who orders shellfish nearly every time we cruise or go out to eat said that these are the best crabcakes he ever had in his life. I am not a fan of seafood but I often will take a taste of his seafood dishes and I actually enjoyed it which says a lot. The Pan-Roasted Carabinero Shrimp was perfectly cooked and was tender and flavorful, I even enjoyed it! The Tandoori-Style Beef was amazing! This was my first time having polenta and I was concerned that part of the dish would be bland, however, it was flavourful and creamy. On our second time dining at Eden, I decided to try the Bouquet of Garden Greens which was beautifully presented, but the flavors were not mind-blowing. The other appetizer I tried was the Truffled Huitlacoche Risotto which was super flavorful with just enough taste of truffles balanced with other flavors and a smooth delicate creamy texture. This dish tied for first place for my favorite appetizer on the entire ship; the other dish is Tandoori-Style Beef, and both were excellent.
The mains were the culinary stars of our dinner. I love steak and as I previously mentioned my husband loves shellfish so when we go on a cruise or eat out we usually order these when they are available. The filet mignon and mini short rib wellington were served with mashed potatoes, vegetables, mushrooms, and bordelaise sauce. It was tender, juicy, and flavorful. My steak was cooked to the temperature I requested, the mashed potatoes were smooth and tasty, and the bordelaise sauce was flavorful so I ordered it all three times we ate there. The short ribs were juicy, flavorful, and tender. My husband had the lobster and he said it was the best lobster he ever had; even the claw meat was full of flavor. The corn base really highlighted the flavor of the lobster. The lobster must have been a popular dish on our sailing because when we went on the last night of our sailing they ran out; so on the last night my husband ordered the Atlantic salmon with apple, asparagus, croissant, pistachio, and jura wine jus which he thought was very good.
Each time we ate here we had a dessert, and for the most part, we really enjoyed them. Each night I had the Aztec Chocolate tart with maple granola, praline croustillant, chocolate cremeux, and cardamom ice cream. I thought this dessert was really good; chocolatey, smooth, and rich, with great use of different textures in this dish. I was originally concerned when I first ordered it that the maple granola would be too intense of a taste but that concern was unfounded, and I also had the same concern with the cardamom ice cream that the cardamom would be too intense for my liking, however, this concern was unfounded too. The petit fours or small bite-sized desserts were nicely presented, and like every other course, each dish was described by our server. Overall the petit fours were good, but there were a few we thought were very good. Our favorite was the chocolate ones, and the macaroon. One night we decided to try the strawberry delight with vanilla chiffon sponge, strawberry, vanilla ice cream, and souffle blanket. We thought it was ok, however, this isn’t our favorite kind of dessert so it could just be our palette. My husband usually ordered the butterscotch creme brulee which was very good; it was tasty and had the proper crunchy layer on top.
The mains were the star of our dinner at Eden and we love the atmosphere at Eden including the view of the wake at sunset. On our December sailing, not many diners were eating around sunset which really added romance to eating at Eden. In addition, the live music being played at Eden on the deck above really elevated the atmosphere. We would recommend coming to Eden hungry as there is a lot of food served. Our food tasted very consistent during each visit and service was very consistent as well. One area that could be improved is drink consistency; it was nice being able to order drinks off the Eden bar menu (same menu as the bar upstairs) but the drinks seemed to taste different some of the times we ordered them. One surprise is that the specialty cocktails were not on the Eden Restaurant menu, we just decided to order cocktails from our server off of the Eden Bar menu and they made them; I feel more people would order them if they knew they were available. We really enjoyed the atmosphere and dinner and we plan on eating at Eden on each sailing on any Edge Class Ship as we feel the food and experience are worth the upcharge.