Daniel Serfer admits he's never been on a cruise, but that hasn't stopped the chef/owner of Mignonette Uptown from creating a special cruise ship menu. "A lot of what we're serving is what I imagine is on there."
Serfer says the inspiration for the idea was simple: "My business partner and I go out, and this is how we eat a lot of the time. We just really like a great caesar, some shrimp cocktail, and a piece of prime rib."
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For $39 per person, diners are privy to a four-course meal that begins with the classically straightforward shrimp cocktail, followed by the iconic caesar salad with white anchovies, Parmesan cheese, and grilled sourdough croutons.The main course is either prime rib or fish (depending upon what looks good that day, according to Serfer. For dessert, guests can choose between butterscotch Heath bar bread pudding or one of pastry chef Devin Braddock's daily milkshakes. The special is available from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and the price does not include tax and tip.
"We've really had a nice reaction so far. People can perceive the value. You're getting four courses for under $40, with the same portions you would normally get on the protein end and on the dessert end."
One of the bonuses are the side dishes guests can choose to pair with the main course. Mignonette Uptown, like Serfer's other eateries — Blue Collar and the original Mignonette — offers about 20 sides prepared with the creativity for which Serfer is known. Choices include beets with blue cheese and hazelnuts, roasted carrots with amaretto and honey, and grilled peaches with a peanut vinaigrette, all of which put traditional choices like mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli to shame.
"Getting a really good meal while having to participate a little bit, that's actually pretty awesome!" Serfer says.