I was fortunate enough to go on a nice Southern Caribbean cruise this past spring break on Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas. After a couple of days, it was evident on the ship that the food in the main dining room was sub-par, especially in comparison to the main dining room food I have eaten on previous cruise lines (e.g. Celebrity, Norwegian). Royal Caribbean’s biggest downfall was main dining room food. Consequently, it was inevitable to eat at one of their two specialty steakhouse restaurants called Chops Grille.
Chops Grille is rather small, but this may just be relative in comparison to the enormity of the main dining room. The service and atmosphere is immediately elevated, with a dark steakhouse feel dimly lit by candles. The menu has a good number of options to please most diets, but, of course, their steaks are recommended.
I started off with a crab cake appetizer. My waiter actually messed up the order and brought me a goat cheese salad, but it comically looked just like a crab cake. I only realized it wasn’t a crab cake after digging my fork in to find nothing but cheese. My order was promptly switched, nonetheless.
The crab cake was high level quality. It was more meaty than bread crumb-y, and the aioli was just right. The presentation was pleasant and attractive. Already, the restaurant has provided a service more appealing and satisfactory than the mediocrity of the main dining room.
My mom ordered a shrimp cocktail with a rather interesting set-up.
I ordered a Caesar salad as well, which was very nicely presented. For some reason, the dressing was too salty for my liking, so I didn’t end up finishing the salad. I’m usually a huge fan of Caesar salad, so this was a bit of a first. The salad wasn’t bad by any means, though.
For my main dish, I ordered spicy jumbo shrimp with “red pepper flakes and creamy butter garlic.” It was a very well-crafted and attractive dish. The smooth mashed potatoes under the shrimp went well with the dish, although I think the dish could’ve used a more crunchy element (like fried onions). The shrimp themselves were very good, with a light kick.
Bronzini was also ordered. I’m not sure about taste, but it looked like a decent fillet. My dad’s Colorado rack of lamb looked like serious business. Some a la carte sides included cream of spinach, mushrooms, and truffle fries. I wasn’t impressed by any of the sides, unfortunately.
Last, the desserts were solid. The key lime pie was gigantic and well-presented, and I was a big fan of the richness of the NY style cheesecake. The cheesecake was pretty thick and heavy, but it was so good.
All in all, the restaurant was way better than any food we had in the main dining room, and the overall experience was very positive. I admittedly liked the Italian restaurant on the ship better than the steakhouse, but that’s simply personal preference and doesn’t necessarily reflect the restaurant itself. The quality and presentation was there, and reminded me of home sweet New York.
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Right on the money!