Le Petit Chef on Celebrity Cruises turns dining into a picturesque experience

Celebrity Cruises Beyond Dining, Le Petit Chef, second course, photo by Cristine Struble
Celebrity Cruises Beyond Dining, Le Petit Chef, second course, photo by Cristine Struble /

Stepping aboard Celebrity Cruises comes with an expectation. Even though the Magic Carpet can offer next level food and beverage experiences and the Martini Bar shakes up vivacious good time, other restaurants captivate with a storyline. While some guests escape into the lusciousness of Eden, Le Petit Chef is far from child’s play. The chef might be diminutive, but the French inspired flavors are immense.

The rise of “eatertainment” has influenced much of cruise ship dining. As specialty dining draws guests away from the main dining room, it is more than just the tempting flavors that keep people coming to the table. It is an overall experience that begins upon seating at the table. The ambiance sets the tone. As each course unfolds, the story blends the food on the plate and the journey that diner is encouraged to take.

At Le Petit Chef on Celebrity Cruises, the prix fix, multi-course menu is French focused. While the semi-traditional French dishes may be a little expected, it is the presentation that adds a touch of whimsy to the familiar dishes. Even though many people might have had a short rib prepared in various ways, the story of the how and why that dish comes to the plate, told by Le Petit Chef, makes it just taste better.

Celebrity Cruises Beyond dining Le Petit Chef
Le Petit Chef on Celebrity Cruises Beyond, photo provided by Cristine Struble /

Overall, the French dishes deliver what they promise. From a flakey pastry with juicy tomatoes and tangy goat cheese to the final course with a rich chocolate dessert, the food is delightful. In addition, the wine pairings with each course highlight the flavors in each dish. While it is a prix fixe menu, there are a few substitutions available. It might not have any unexpected surprises in flavor, but it is quite satisfying.

Although the name and some of the website imagery might make this restaurant appear to be more childlike, it is not that simplicist. This concept is not cartoons splashing color across a blank slate. It is a story behind the hows and whys a carefully curated meal comes together.

Since this experience relies on the whole restaurant being carefully choreographed, this Celebrity Cruises dining experience may not be the best choice for an intimate, romantic dinner. But, for people who want to have a little fun or truly appreciate the craft in perfecting the visual and flavor in the dish, this story-forward restaurant is worth the reservation.

The bigger take away from the Le Petit Chef experience is the knowledge gained through the storytelling. Although no one would expect that the cartoon chef could change how the guest would approach food in their own kitchen, it is one of the unlikely benefits of dining at this cruise ship restaurant. Even if one person chooses to add some colorful ingredients to a dish over a plate full of bland brown, the experience has done its job. That journey into “wonderFULL” should continue even once guest disembark from a cruise ship.

Le Petit Chef restaurant is available on Millennium Series and Solstice Series Celebrity Cruises ships. The four-course dinner is part of specialty dining and requires a reservation.