Once Mariner takes Bumler on board with her plan to fight for her mother’s innocence, they need to find Cerritos, who is in the safe space dock. To help find it, they would need Ensign Rutherford, one of the few engineers that may have been left on board, to dock the ship and know where it is. When they find him, he’s having dinner at a famous Star Trek location, at a legendary Earth restaurant called Creole Cuisine.
This is not just an homage to Deep Space Nine’s Captain Benjamin Sisko, the restaurant is an earthly diner in a universe we’ve seen before. In fact, Sisko first appeared onscreen in a couple of episodes of Season 4 of DS9. It is owned by Ben Sisko’s father, Joseph Sisko, and has been around for decades, and Captain Sisko himself practically grew up in the restaurant. The Lower Decks premiere of Grounded is the first time we’ve seen him since 1999, when he appeared on the final season of DS9.
In this release, the restaurant is identical to its previous appearance, as the animation team clearly did a great job of recreating its façade and interior. We even see an alligator hanging from the ceiling, mentioned in the DS9 episode “Homefront”.