Specialty Restaurant Review: 7Aft by Atlas Ocean Voyages
If you’ve been out of the cruise-loop lately, one of the most significant changes to cruise ship dining in recent years is the rise of specialty restaurants separate from the main dining rooms. Whether you’re craving the theatrics of a hibachi grill or the juicy-goodness of a premium cut New York strip steak, chances are the cruise ship you’re on has that available, most often for a small up charge.
On board Atlas Ocean Voyages’ expedition ship World Navigator, guests get the opportunity a few times a cruise to enjoy a specialty steakhouse called 7Aft. Located on the Lido Deck (the seventh deck and toward the aft, hence the name), the venue is converted in the evenings from pool chairs to dining tables for an intimate dining experience any steak-lover will enjoy. We had the chance to dine at 7Aft and came away impressed with the atmosphere, the presentation and most importantly, the quality of the cuisine we were served by the attentive staff. Check out the menu and our thoughts below!
Do note however, that the venue is much smaller than the main dining room, only a handful of tables, so a reservation is required. A quick trip to the front dest in the morning located on deck 4 was all I needed to do to lock down our table for that evening.
7Aft: The Menu
Upon sitting down, the staff quickly places a crudités platter with carrots, celery, broccoli and a delicious green dipping sauce which had some tang to it, though I didn’t have a chance to inquire about the exact recipe.
Perusing the menu was a quick process as there are only a few options, but really they’re the staples of any steakhouse worth their salt. Given the heat of Greece in the summer, I opted to skip the soups and head right to a classic Caesar salad.
After our first course dishes were cleared from the table, it was only a moment or so before our main dishes arrived at the table. Coincidentally, all my dining fellows ordered the same main course as I, the Thick-Cut Prime New York Strip Steak, so I regret not having images of more options, but from what I saw glancing at the nearby tables, the other dishes coming from the kitchen looked equally tasty.
I ordered my steak medium-rare and received just that. A warm pink center with juices clearly dripping from the center with each cut. The outer crust was flavorful with visible grill marks from the specialty Jasper Grills used on board. I ordered the peppercorn sauce on the side which added an extra bit of flavor to each bite.
Along with the steak, I enjoyed a side bowl of the buttermilk mashed potatoes which also paired nicely with the peppercorn sauce.
I do have a confession, I was so excited to tuck into my chocolate cake for desert, I only remembered I needed to take a photo of it after two or three bites. Oh well. The cake was round in shape with caramel frosting on the top and in the center a dollop of whipped cream and raspberries and blackberries alongside. I assure you it was as delicious as it was beautiful.
Night Two at 7Aft
In an unexpected turn of fortune, I got the opportunity to enjoy another meal at 7Aft so I decided to try a few more dishes. I ordered two entrees and the chocolate cake and it was clear the second time around that the staff on board this brand new cruise ship was learning and improving in terms of presentation and service. The lobster thermidor was fantastic and my filet mignon was quality as well.
One thing to note, I ordered both cuts of meat I enjoyed at 7Aft medium-rare and they were a bit closer to medium. Another night in the main dining room, I ordered a steak rare and received a perfect medium-rare just as I had hoped would happen.
I again selected the chocolate cake for dessert and was pleased to find a much more appealing looking dish placed in front of me. The slice was not only bigger than the previous, but also garnished in a more appealing way. It was a lovely end to one of the better meals I had on board World Navigator.