We’ve been fortunate enough to fly business class on American Airlines points for our last two trips to Ireland and France. These trips changed my perspective about airline food so much that I had to write about them. Without a doubt, the extra leg room and Bose Noise Cancelling headphones were great; but for me, the food was the absolute highlight of the trip. You get a menu (a real menu with 4 double-sided pages) that describes the wine and suggests food pairings, then lists the meals/choices in order. American Airlines has enlisted three great chefs as consultants– Nancy Brussat Barocci, Dean Fearing and Stephan Pyles. God knows how much they are paying them, but the I think their food is fantastic considering it’s pre-packaged and reheated. For this blog post I’ll discuss our meals on our recent flight from DFW to Paris.
Depending on which direction you are flying (East from the US is normally overnight), you start with either dinner or lunch. Heading to Europe, our dinner (the 1st meal) was 5 courses – starter, appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert.
Here’s the breakdown:
Starter – Warm mixed nuts or Crudités and dip
Appetizer – Smoked salmon and herb-marinated shrimp – Paired this with Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve Particuliere (Champagne) and it was perfect.
Salad – assorted greens with vegetables (cherry tomatoes, cucumbers) with pepper cream dressing or Sapori d’Arte olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Paired this with Willm Pinot Blanc Reserve. Not a good pairing, but the wine itself was nice.
Bread Basket – great selection of bread but ice-cold (un-spreadable) butter
Entree – choice of Beef Fillet with vegetable risotto and spinach; Chicken with Ratatouille and smashed potatoes; Orange Chipotle Shrimp with roasted peppers/Basmati rice and Garden Lasagna
On this flight I decided to break tradition (I stuck with the pasta on the Ireland flight) and tried the beef. It wasn’t bad – just a little tough, the sauce was great. The risotto and spinach were much better though.
Paired my entrée with the Chateau Teyssier Saint-Emilion Grand Cru – fantastic wine! My husband had the Davis Bynum Pinot Noir. It was good, more in your face than the Saint-Emilion of course, but I thought it handled the Chicken Ratatouille (his entree) well.
*Note: In my opinion, you can’t ever go wrong with the pasta or rice!
Dessert – Ice Cream Sundae (they make it in front of you) or Fruit and Cheese (or both if they have extras). I was a pig and tried both with a glass of Graham’s Vintage Port.
What a great way to wake up, or if you’re me, have something else to do besides tossing and turning (I’ve never been able to sleep on an airplane).
Our Breakfast – Orange Juice, fresh fruit, Monterey Jack Omelet, yogurt, cereal or a selection of breakfast breads (croissants, muffins, bagels and pastries) paired with strong coffee.
Pre-Arrival Beverage – Sparkling Water with a Citrus Garnish
On the flight back to the U.S. (because it’s longer and you don’t really sleep), they feed you a 5-course lunch, an In-Flight snack of cheese, dried fruit and crackers, a “light” lunch of pizza or a chicken pita and the chilled pre-arrival beverage of sparkling water with citrus garnish. If you have or acquire the means to fly business class on an international flight, do so. It is well worth the extra $$$ or airline points and makes the journey so much better!