Our first sea day was also the first formal night on our cruise. When cruising with my husband, we tend to only do one formal night so we chose a different dining option for this first formal night. The Emerald Princess has a specialty restaurant on deck 7 forward, in between the Piazza and the Theatre, called The Salty Dog Gastropub. It shares space with the Wheelhouse Bar. This specialty restaurant has a cover charge of $18 per person. Here is a look at the current menu.
On the 3rd image, you can see the cover charge and under that, as it states, anyone dining chooses TWO gourmet plates. It continues stating the appetizer of Ernesto’s Dip Sticks are complimentary – again this is for each person. And under the desserts section, it shows Select one. This is a great way to taste multiple items.
The appetizer arrived and each plate had a small glass. Each glass contained two tall bread sticks. The bread was not too crispy, it had some tenderness to it. And each plate had a second small jar, containing the beer-cheddar fondue for dipping. I’m not a huge fan of beer, but the fondue had a good flavor. The texture was not my favorite, but melted real cheese is seldom smooth from my experience. And the flaked smoked salt on the bread sticks was nice.
Now for the main dish. We decided we would each choose our two items, and we would share them. That gave us the chance to try four separate mains! I chose the lobster mac & cheese for my first, and the beef short rib poutine for my second main dish. My husband went for The “Ernesto” burger, and the spicy stout beef short ribs.
I’ll start with mine first. The lobster mac & cheese was delightful. Lovely cheesiness, with chunks of lobster throughout. As one who is not usually a fan of mac ‘n cheese, I could eat this everyday! The beef short rib poutine was ok for flavor, but the pieces of meat were very small and there wasn’t much to share. The potato frites, however, were SO good – crisp and flavorful!
My husband’s serving of spicy stout beef short ribs were tasty, and bigger chunks of beef, as if it had been nicely sliced off the bone. Now, the Ernesto …. funny story … I had never read thoroughly the entire description, and my husband skimmed through it before ordering. Now this ended up being the last thing I tried. He ate his half up with no issues, but on about my third bite — my mouth was lit on fire! As I sat there, mouth on fire, eyes just dripping with tears, our waitress arrived and was very concerned for me. I explained about the heat, of which my husband said he had none (although he does like spicy foods and spicy isn’t often spicy to him), which is when the waitress explained there is KIMCHI and JALAPENO on the burger. The only thing we can figure is that I got a giant chunk of both ….and I am a spicy food whimp! Now naturally this was our own error in not paying closer attention to all of the ingredients, but I did suffer in silence for about 10 minutes before the tears subsided lol. So now that I’ve admitted my embarrassing moment, let’s move on 😉 .
One of my favorite subjects when on holiday is …. Dessert! We rarely eat dessert at home, so when we travel, yes indeed, we enjoy our desserts! Of the four choices, husband chose the Strawberries & Cream, and I chose the Coffee & Doughnuts. Unlike our main dishes, we ended up not sharing so I cannot attest to what his tasted like, but it was pretty. The doughnuts were little balls of dough coated in cinnamon/sugar. The coffee was the mousse log, then there were dabs of what tasted like lemon, whipped cream, caramel which added to the goodness.
Overall it was a nice adventure in food and we were glad we paid the surcharge to try it!