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Dining on Norwegian Epic is a combination of the familiar and unfamiliar for Norwegian Cruise Line veterans. The ship’s 22 restaurants are an eclectic mix from a French bistro and a teppanyaki restaurant to a very genuine Irish pub. What follows are brief descriptions and menu highlights from the Epic’s varied dining venues.
• The indoor Garden Buffet drew tremendous praise for gourmet smoked salmon, fresh olives, pasta with plenty of garlic, wraps and premium ice cream as well as soft serve, all without a fee.
• O’Sheehan’s pub is a big improvement over the line’s earlier Blue Lagoon restaurant. Located centrally and above both sides of the atrium, O’Sheehan’s was packed both with breakfasters in mornings and with drinkers and late-night diners in the wee hours. The hamburgers are certified Angus beef, and the corned beef sandwiches thick and juicy. Hot breakfast is served around the clock, as are desserts such as strawberry shortcake. Pub goers can also watch sports, bowl, shoot pool, compete at darts and play air hockey and video games.
• For $18 a head, the Argentinean-inspired Churrascaria restaurant was voted a bargain by guests who enjoyed salads and skewered meats served tableside.
• Agents should warn their clients to book very early for a 45-minute session in the very popular Ice Bar, where a $20 surcharge covers two potent drinks and a chance to see their breath in the Caribbean.
• Tastes restaurant doesn’t feel much like a ship’s dining room but more like an elegant restaurant on land. Tables on the ground floor of the three-story atrium place guests firmly in the spotlight, and those who like to watch can ask for atrium tables on decks 6 and 7, from which they can look over the rail and people-watch.
• Likewise, the Manhattan Room is akin to a fine-dining restaurant with very generous space between the tables and comfortable seating.
• The greatly expanded Teppanyaki Room (which runs $25 for dinner and an accompanying show) has so many tables that it may be able to accommodate all interested guests, which has sometimes been a problem on other ships. The adjoining Wasabi sushi bar and sake bar also proved to be popular among guests.
In addition to dedicated complimentary dining for various ship-within-a-ship accommodations, complimentary dining choices include Spice H20, serving Latin and Asian-influenced cuisine in the adults-only complex; the poolside Great Outdoors restaurant, an extension of the Garden Cafe; the Atrium Cafe and Wine Bar; and 24-hour in-room dining.
Other choices among restaurants with fees include Shanghai’s, a new Chinese restaurant ($15 per person); La Cucina, an extremely comfortable Italian restaurant with a Tuscan accent ($10 per person); Le Bistro, French-American bistro ($20 per person); and Cagney’s Steak House, the line’s signature American steakhouse ($25 per person).