MARCO ISLAND — Perhaps the best thing about this Titanic dinner is that you won’t end up in icy water at the end of it.
Marco Polo, Marco Lake Drive, is hosting a special dinner party on Sunday, April 15, commemorating another dinner served mid-Atlantic exactly 100 years earlier — on board the RMS Titanic, which sank on its maiden voyage. The tragedy claimed 1,517 lives, buried forever claims that a ship can be built to be unsinkable and stirred up lore that has created museums and movies.
The Marco Polo dinner will be in keeping with first-class cuisine aboard the ship: oysters a la Russe, chilled raw oysters with a vodka relish, canapes a l’amiral (shrimp on cream on crostini) and eight courses later, a dessert of poached peaches with French vanilla ice cream.
If you go
What: Dinner commemorating a typical dinner aboard the RMS Titanic on the 100th anniversary of the ship’s demise
Where: Marco Polo restaurant, 30 Marco Lake Drive, Marco Island
When: 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 15
Price: $65, plus tax, beverages and gratuity
Reservations: 239-394- 5777
“We cut it down from 13 courses to eight, because nobody on Marco is going to sit still for 13 courses,” said Marco Polo owner Tom Naifeh. By the same token, guests are requested, but not required, to dress for dinner. “We’re encouraging more formal attire, but on Marco Island, that means long pants,” said Naifeh. The crowd will be entertained with live music of the era, and Naifeh promised other period touches, presumably not including a wall of frigid water surging through the windows.
Working with executive chef Brian O’Brien, he “did a little research,” and assembled the meal, including the filet mignons Lili (with a butter-wine sauce, and Anna potatoes), and organic salmon with Mousseline sauce.
Naifeh and O’Brien pointed out there is nothing on the menu that seems out of place in their restaurant.
“All the things on this menu are things we serve,” said Naifeh.
One of their specialties, Dover sole direct from the English Channel, may well have been in the Titanic’s freezers when she set out from Southampton for her fateful maiden voyage.
Like the Caesar salad, the sole is prepared tableside, which is where the chateaubriand is carved and flaming desserts including bananas Foster are also created or finished. Marco Polo’s staff says it strives to provide an excellent dining experience every night, which begins with complimentary transportation by limousine to and from the restaurant from anywhere on Marco Island.
It is a complete dining experience, as well.
“All our entrees include a house salad, vegetable, starch and a sorbet course,” said Naifeh, as well as an “amuse-bouche,” a little something, different every night, that Chef Brian dreams up.
“It’s a four-course meal for one price.”
The sole seating for the dinner is at 7:30 p.m., with a price of $65, plus tax, beverages and gratuity. There is a 100-seat limit, and reservations are required.