American Airlines Business-Class Dining: Paris-New York – Review
American Airlines operates its later flights between Paris and New York with a well-worn Boeing 757 with its Next Generation Business angled lie-flat seats. It’s an intimate cabin with only 14 seats in a 2-2 configuration and some redeeming features not typically found on newer seats, such as a split tray table that allows retracting the main part of the table and leaving small items such as beverages on the part that extends from the seatback.
American was the first airline, in 1988, in the United States to recruit prominent chefs to help introduce new menu items on flights and this continues today with chefs such as Mark Sargeant on board (not literally, of course). Passengers in first- and business-class cabins can select entrées in advance of their flights to ensure they are served their choice, something the airline introduced four years ago and other airlines are first catching on to.
I’m a sucker for duck, so I preordered the canard rôti option a few days before my trip. I knew there were risks as not everyone gets it right but I never turn down duck when it’s on the menu.
Prior to takeoff, the purser handed out menus and took meal preferences for those who hadn’t preordered. Once at cruising altitude, the lunch service began.
The wine list included two white wines, a Cono Sur Quebrada Alta chardonnay and a Zalze Bush Vine chenin blanc, the latter from the coastal region of South Africa. I opted for the chenin blanc and it is fortunately not quite as fruity as the airline’s wine expert’s review indicated. It was perfectly balanced and rather crisp with a hint of Mandarin orange and the finish was slightly more on the guava side.
To start, I was served a lovely salad with a crisp wedge of iceberg lettuce accompanied by roasted squash, dried cranberries, black sesame, and tahini dressing. While I might not have thought of putting this combination together, the chef did and it worked really well. Indeed, it was possibly one of the best salads I’ve had on a flight.
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