Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant , Holland America LineOur favorite meal during our Canada and New England cruise on Holland America’s ms Veendam was Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant in the Pinnacle Grill.

While we’ve previously dined at the Sel de Mer restaurant on the Koningsdam, we found this “pop-up” event to be a better dining experience.

Food Faces plates for Rudi’s Sel de Mer, ms Veendam, Holland AmericaOur meal had a number of delightful touches starting with the playful “Food Faces” show plates made by Bernardaud, the leading French manufacturer of Limoges porcelain.

Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant , Holland America LineThere is unique “Rudi’s Sel de Mer” tableware used throughout the meal, which begins with a baguette of bread and special salted butter.  tapenades- Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, Holland America

A variety of tapenades are also served with the bread.

scallop amuse-bouche - Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, Holland America Before the appetizers, we were served an amuse-bouche of seared scallop  – it was delightful.

Rudi’s Seafood TowerFor an appetizer, we both chose Rudi’s Seafood Tower. Three kinds of seafood including lump crab, North Sea shrimp and octopus arrive in three separate glass containers.

Dover Sole Meunière - Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, Holland AmericaI ordered the Dover Sole Meunière — which was carefully and expertly separated from its bones by our waiter during an impressive table side serving.

fish of the day - Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, Holland America

Mr. Jones chose the fresh fish of the day, finding it perfectly cooked.

Sides are portioned large enough for sharing; we enjoyed the cauliflower puree and the ratatouille.wine list - Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, Holland AmericaThere is a special wine list for the Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, although other wines are also available.

Since we had purchased Holland America’s “Cellar Number 3” wine package, we choose the Laurenz V “Singing” Gruner Veltliner. This light and refreshing white wine from Austria paired well with our fish and seafood.Profiteroles - Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, Holland AmericaFor dessert, I selected the Profiteroles with Hot Chocolate Sauce.   Apple Tarte Tatin - Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, Holland AmericaMr. Jones enjoyed the popular Apple Tarte Tatin.

truffle "tree" - Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant, Holland AmericaIn addition to dessert, our waiter brought a metal “tree” blooming with chocolate-dipped strawberries and special white and dark chocolate truffles, to be enjoyed with our coffee.

Book Sel de Mer Before Your Cruise

While the stand-alone Sel de Mer restaurant on the Koningsdam is a la carte pricing, the Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant on other Holland America ships has a flat fee of $49 per guest.  Four and five star Mariners get a 50 percent discount.

If you want to experience the Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant during your next Holland America cruise, it is best to book before your cruise by calling Ship Services or via the cruise line’s website.

This special dining event is only offered once evening per cruise of 10 days or less.

More Food Faces from Chef Rudi Sodamin

If you enjoy the playful Food Faces plates, you might want to check out the Rudi’s  coffee-table book — Food Faces: 150 Feasts for the Eyes — that’s sold onboard and via Amazon.

Have you tried Rudi’s Sel de Mer pop-up restaurant on a Holland America ship? How did you enjoy the experience? 

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