Thursday, August 4, 2011

Odyssey Cruisin'

I spent a fare share of time this past weekend aboard the Odyssey Boston, a luxury cruise vessel stationed at 60 Rowes Wharf behind the Boston Harbor Hotel, departing regularly for various mealtime harbor cruises and special occasion events.Friday evening was spent cruising the harbor for dinner and Sunday morning for brunch with the Boston Food Bloggers and the Boston Brunchers, respectively.
Friday was a gray drizzly evening as we boarded the ship and took our seats on the lower level among a crowd of diners surrounding elegantly set tables and a dance floor backed by a band set-up. Dinner aboard the Odyssey is priced at $90 which includes three courses and one alcoholic beverage. The ticket was comped on our behalf, but additional alcohol, tax and tip we covered ourselves. It was an evening of bubbly all the way, I began with a glass of Westport Rivers RJR Brut and moved on to sharing a bottle of Wycliff Sparking Wine ($28). We were instructed to order all three courses at once, understanding somewhat that the intentions of the waitstaff is to pace the meal to your parties liking. We ate our appetizer and dinner right away and then decided to hold off on the dessert course to head outdoors.
It was windy, can you tell? Not to mention foggy! The Boston Harbor skyline was still in view from a distance, glowing in the mist.
For my first course, the Carmelized Duck en Croute boasted an extensive menu listing of duck confit, forest mushrooms, sage and monterray jack cheese baked in a puff pastry, served over spaghetti squash with dried cherries, candied pecans and a drizzle of marsala wine demi glaze. This was certainly a lot of elements for one plate, not all of them working harmony. I felt the texture of the puff pastry could have been a little more crisp to balance with the soft confit. The dish was definitely on the sweet side, I wanted more flavor from the savory elements to balance the sweetness of the squash, dried cherries and candied pecans. For the main course, my Bourbon and Peach-Glazed Pork Tenderloin was cooked perfectly. A seriously huge cut of pork, I was impressed at how juicy and tender it remained. The side elements of harvest green beans and sweet potato hash browns were delicious.My dessert was less impressive, the Raspberry Mousse Cup suffered from the lack of house-made whipped cream (as advertised.) If served as intended based on the menu description, I think the whipped cream would have balanced out the super sweet mouse. Service at dinner could have benefited from a little more focus - throughout the courses and on multiple occasions certain members of our party (myself included) were served the wrong dish. I was perplexed thinking we had a salad course and in actuality almost dug into someone else's food!
At brunch on Sunday we boarded the boat in similar fashion - (this time with a much bigger group!) and were seated on the opposite side of the same dining room which now included a buffet spread; breakfast on one side, lunch on the other and dessert (complete with a chocolate fountain!) in the middle. We started the cruise with mimosas - similar to dinner, this complimentary brunch included one drink and any additional cocktails I paid for.I wasn't feeling any of the lunch options (but heard they were great) and instead piled my plate with Wisconson Cheddar Scrambled Eggs, Hash brown potatoes with pepper and onion, Applewood smoked bacon and Turkey sausage. Additionally, the House-Griddled Belgian Waffles served with whipped cream and a berry sauce compote and the Strawberries and Cream French Toast saw their way onto my plates. The eggs, potatoes and waffles were delicious while the bacon and french toast let me down. It was mainly a textural thing - fluffy eggs and tender potatoes for the win; overcooked bacon and soggy french toast, not so much. In a nutshell - I was satisfied but not overly impressed with the food. Thankfully, service at brunch was attentive and friendly, prompting another cocktail or two starting with a Perfect Orange Martini ($14) a blend of Gin, OJ, Grand Mariner and sweet and dry vermouth. It was a pretty perfect breakfast cocktail indeed!Above with my brunch date, Megan taking advantage of the warm weather and gorgeous harbor views, an overpriced ice cold Corona ($7) in hand.
The dinner cruise ran three hours while the brunch cruise was two. I preferred the shorter time frame - three hours felt a little too long to be confined to the ship, but maybe that was a result of the rainy weather keeping us (mostly) limited to the indoor deck and the fact that we weren't feeling the dance floor scene. The weather on Sunday and the boat parade scene on the other hand could not be beat. The top deck of the boat was an ideal spot to relax.
There are no shortage of event opportunities presented to bloggers in this city - whether you're new to the scene or have been writing a blog for years! It is easy to become a part of either group, run by some fantastic local bloggers; Rachel (follow on Twitter @bostonfoodblogs) and Renee (follow on Twitter @bostonbrunchers.) I was happy to attend both events this weekend and discover what cruising aboard the Odyssey is all about!
Odyssey Dining Cruise on Urbanspoon

15 comments:

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I love reading about your weekend of boating! :-)

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

The brunch looks great!

We Are Not Martha said...

I love that you went boating all weekend :) The pork you had for dinner looks awesome!

Sues

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

This weekend looked like so much fun! Too bad the food was meh but at least the drinks looked spot on!

In and Around Town said...

Love that photo of the skyline at night!

Jaime @ La vie...J'aime said...

how fun! looks like it was a gorgeous morning for burnch on a boat. My step bro had their reception on the Odyssey for their wedding..it was fun!

Megan said...

Thanks for bringing me as your date! Had fun sunning on the deck with you!

enchanteboston said...

Haha I remember the salad almost-incident! Your pictures are always so phenomenal!

foodiesloveoatmeal said...

Hope you had a good time the food looks great

melissanibbles said...

The brunch sounds like it was a better time. Maybe the weather affected the kitchen on Friday night?

Ameena said...

I am pretty partial to brunch and even if the food didn't knock your socks off it looks delicious to me! But then again I am in the middle of Ramadan so a whole lot looks pretty delicious to me. :)

Cute sunglasses!

Elizabeth said...

These cruises looked so fun! I'm so sad they happened while I was away. Great views and great company!

Bad Joan said...

Looks like such a fun cruise!

GTBB,
http://badjoan.com
http://badjoan.blogspot.com

jos xx said...

looks like you had so much fun!! and all that food - yummy!!!!!

jos xx
http://mypretty-pinkjournal.blogspot.com/

Lizzy said...

Wow, looks like a blast even if the food didn't measure up. You have so much fun with the boston bloggers- I need to get involved more : )