Its hard to believe but it is thirty five years since the Queen Mary completed its final voyage and made its moorings in Long Beach. Since that fateful day, December 9, 1967, the Ship and Long Beach have been indelibly linked together.
Through the years the Ship has provided a wonderful array of activities from just sight-seeing--wandering through the Ship to special events and dining. The Ship is really a part of 20th Century history. It made 1001 trips across the Atlantic Ocean and had a huge role in World War II carrying three quarters of a million American troops to Europe for the military operations against Germany.
An added attraction is the Soviet submarine, Scorpion, now berthed next to the Queen Mary after a two decade tour of duty during the Cold War. Of the Foxtrot class one marvels how it could be home to 78 crew members for up to three month voyages.
Through most of those years the Queen Mary's Sir Winston's has remained one of the premiere dining places in Long Beach. It has received a Golden Sceptre Award from the Southern California Restaurant Writers, one of only 22 dining establishments to receive the highest award.
And with good reason since it is a destination restaurant for that very special occasion with a classic Continental menu to match the elegant paneled decor of the dining rooms.
The menu shows a classic array of entrees with seafood like a swordfish filet or Sir Winston's signature Beef Phyllo beef tenderloin Foie Gras.
Other choices include a Venison Chop, Chateaubriand and Veal Scaloppine.
Naturally there is a full array of appetizers like Porcini mushroom ravioli or soups like lobster bisque.
Executive Chef Tom Tassone, besides Sir Winston's, oversees the culinary efforts of Chelsea seafood restaurant, once the second class lounge on the Ship, as well as the Promenade Cafe and the weekly Cmampagne Sunday Brunch.
We recently spent an evening aboard with the Academy of Culinary Professionals. We met in the Observation Bar, still as it was during its trips across the Atlantic, for cocktails and some wonderful appetizers.
Then it was a tour of the ship and finally settling in for a six course dinner at Sir Winston's. But first a traditional Queen Mary champagne toast. Our menu included roasted red Partridge with bamboo fragrance rice; a salad of grilled asparagus with orange cluster tomato; a lemon lime sorbet with a touch of blanc de noir sparkling wine; a broiled swordfish with lamb loin in a phyllo with loganberry sauce, truffles and at last a dessert of thin layers of chocolate and butter cream with a Grand Marnier Sauce. Our wines Robert Mondavi chardonnay and merlot with the entree.
The Queen Mary is at 1126 Queens Highway and pretty hard to miss. For reservations call 562 435-3511. Sir Winston's is open for dinner seven nights a week from 5:30 to 10 p.m. There is valet parking for dinner guests.
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