We had the opportunity and pleasure to attend An Evening Aboard the Titanic at Refectory Restaurant in Columbus on Monday, April 10th. Chef Richard prepared a four-course dinner recreated from the menu of the RMS Titanic’s First Class cabin the night the ship sank. Guests also enjoyed a private performance by Lyrata, a local string quartet, directly following dessert. The Refectory billed the evening as “A timeless celebration of hubris-infused extravagance!” They were spot on.
Guests were greeted and allowed to mingle with each other in the entryway with artifacts retrieved from the wreckage of the ship. A local historian was present on-site to answer questions and talk to guests about the artifacts and events of the night the ship was lost.
Once seated, guests were served a complimentary flute of Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut champagne – vibrant, with intense notes of green apple and citrus fruit. The significance of this selection is that this particular blend was previously known as White Star – similar in name to White Star Line, the British shipping company which lost the famous passenger liner, Titanic, in 1912.
White Asparagus and Smoked Salmon
champagne vinaigrette, herruga caviar
leek fondue, lobster sauce
beef tenderloin medallion, foie gras, truffle bordelaise
Chocolate Charlotte Dome
candied orange, warm caramel sauce
Dinner began with a first course that was nothing short of spectacular. This course comprised of white asparagus decoratively plated above a swirl of salmon, which was deliciously creamy with smoky, salty complements afforded by the small amount of cream cheese nestled into the delicately rolled fish – topped by caviar. This course was expertly paired with a Te MATA Estate Cape Crest Sauvignon Blanc of 2021 vintage from Hawkes Bay, New Zealand that exploded with fruit and saltiness.
The second course Scallop Timbales were soft, custard-like, sweet-savory, and packed with flavor! They were served over a leek fondue and topped with a deliciously rich lobster sauce. I’m a huge fan of scallops and this was my first time ever having the pleasure of eating them served in this fashion – hopefully it’s not my last! This course was paired with a crisp, creamy 2021 Maçanita Branco white wine from Douro Valley, Portugal.
The third course, my favorite, consisted of a foie gras topped tenderloin medallion with truffle bordelaise, accompanied by roasted mashed potato and broccoli. The foie gras gave the expertly prepared beef medallion an opulent depth of flavor with its delicate fatty texture and mouth-filling silkiness. I had to ask for extra bread to sop the remaining sauce from my plate! This course was paired with a 2018 vintage Giacomo Fennochio Barolo Bussia from Piedmont, Italy that was dry, warm, and fantastically full bodied. I tend to favor red wines, and this was my absolute favorite of the night!
The final dessert course was a delicious concoction of chocolate, caramel, and orange. My fiancé was in heaven – we often stopped to express disbelief at the exquisite tastes dancing on our tongues. This course was paired with Sandeman Porto Founder’s Reserve, a ruby port filled with fruit and fire from Douro Valley, Portugal.
The Lyrata String Quartet took the stage as we finished the last mouth-watering tidbits of our dessert. “They’ve been known to move audiences with their captivating musicality since 2016.” The members of Lyrata are musicians of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra and New Albany Symphony Orchestra, and have performed with ensembles such as The Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, Toronto Symphony, The Minnesota Orchestra, Knoxville Symphony and Columbus Symphony. They are the quartet-in-residence at The Refectory Restaurant and have performed in numerous other venues around Columbus.
The Quartet divided the evening performance into two parts: Above and Below deck. Above deck we were treated to classical, refined pieces that might have been enjoyed during the stately First Class celebrations aboard the ship, including a lesser-known piece by Joplin, Bethena. Once we transitioned below deck, things became more raucous – as if we were at an energetic party in steerage. The numbers seemed to accelerate in both tempo and passion as the show came to a close! I can’t choose between either portions of the performance, as both were exceptional and enthralling!
Overall, we couldn’t be more thrilled to have been in attendance for this show. Bravo to the musicians, and to Chef Richard – your cooking is absolutely exceptional, I can’t wait for an excuse to return for more!