When you hear the words "fine dining", the first thing to come to mind is probably not your RV. And yet, with a fully functional kitchen and dining room along for your next vacation on the road, why wouldn't you? After all, fine dining at home can be just as much a luxury experience as eating out at a restaurant. With a little bit of planning and preparation, you may find the leap to fine dining with an RV can also be part of your repertoire.
Prepare Your Presentation
The thing most frequently overlooked when planning for a fine dining experience from the comfort of your RV is the presentation. It is amazing what transformation can take place if you bring along a crisp linen tablecloth and napkins, candles for the table, a vase to arrange a quick bouquet in, music to match the mood, and attractive settings for two in matching china, flatware, and stemware. On a budget? Try looking ahead for these items at garage sales or surplus stores like Ross and TJ Max. A beautiful setting does not have to be complicated and can bring your dining experience to a new level.
Research Sensible Recipes
With limited space and utensils, a little preparation with meal plans can go a long way. Keep in mind the limits imposed by your RV kitchen, like number of burners on your range top, whether you have an oven or grill available, and storage space in pantry and fridge. Look ahead for delicious recipes that use simple preparation techniques and few tools. Some exquisite examples can be found in the cookbook One Pan, Two Plates, by Carla Snyder. Keep your number of meal courses and sides small as space for preparation is limited. As much as possible, prepare ingredients ahead of time for storage until you are ready to prepare your meal. Don't forget the wine!
Be Flexible and Shop Locally
Some of the best dining experiences in an RV come with using local flare for inspiration. Don't be afraid to visit local Farmers Markets where you are staying and pick up fresh fruits and vegetables to serve with your meals. Use what is in season and what you have available to expand your meal plan, whether that be fresh caught fish, a soup mix, or a special rub for barbecue found at a gift shop during your travels. Most importantly, don't be afraid to experiment or even take a local cooking class for practice, like learning how to make Seafood Gumbo in New Orleans.
When in Doubt, Dine Out
If none of these work, you will be sure to find no shortage of restaurants to try while out on the road. Ask your camp host about local dining establishments that are not to be missed and have a night out on the town. In many RV parks and resorts, these restaurants may even be on site at your campground.