An evening at Archipelago on Costa Smeralda!

Costa Cruises‘ Archipelago Restaurant is not just a gourmet restaurant, it is design, taste, sustainability, a true sensational experience.

On the Costa Smeralda we had the pleasure and the honor to dine at the Archipelago restaurant. Crossed the threshold of the door you are immediately welcomed by the staff that with kindness and composure directs you to your table.

I was immediately struck by the design of this restaurant, the meaning of which was explained to us. The tables are arranged in such a way as to give the idea of many islands and in many corners and walls of the restaurant you cannot help but notice the wood collected from the sea by the “Guardians of the Costa” during the cleaning of the beaches, a sustainable program promoted by the Costa Cruises Foundation to which Costa Cruises donates €5 per menu.

Once seated we were shown the menu with a brief introduction. At Archipelago, 3 menus are offered, one for each of the 3 Star Chefs who took part in this project: Bruno Barbieri, Hélène Darroze and Ángel León.

The menus consist of 5 courses and you can choose one of 3 menus, and these are the interpretation of the route you are traveling. So at each route they will tell us a different story with their dishes.

All menus appeal, but for personal taste I decided to go with the one from Ángel León, a starred chef who has earned the recognition of “Chef of the Sea.”

Its menu includes:

– Plancton Roll e prosciutto di mare (plankton puffed bread and our sea ham)

– Reale di Ricci di mare (cooked cream of sea urchins, cruditè of sea urchins, plankton hollandaise sauce and citrus sour cream)

– Patate & Calamari (Squid ravioli stuffed with sea food, potato and squid cream, confit potatoes with squid ink hollandaise sauce)

– Risotto al Plancton (Creamy cuttlefish rice, hydrated plankton)

– Quenelle di gelato al latte e biscotti (whipped cream cookie, milk and cocoa ice cream quenelle)

The ingredient to be discovered in its menu in fact is Plankton which gives the dishes an intense and ancient taste of the sea. Everything was accompanied by prosecco and wine.

As you may have guessed, the Archipelago Restaurant is a journey within a journey, a unique exploration and I have traveled 4316 nautical miles with this culinary exploration, as Ángel León states, on my Mediterranean cruise.

“Points in the middle of the sea: this is the itinerary we have traveled together in the Western Mediterranean. We started from Cadiz with the taste of plankton to approach the rocky Italian coasts in search of sea urchins. Marseille inspires the land-sea link between potatoes and squid. We took a deep sea dive off the coast of Portugal to finish with a condensed milk that tastes like home,” Ángel León.

An experience you definitely have to try for yourself to test the excellence of these dishes, discover new flavors and get excited as I did!

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Giorgia Lombardo