On our first night on board we passed on the Main Dining Room in order to try one of their specialty restaurants, Chops Grille. Located on Deck 8 in the Central Park area of the ship it’s an impressive venue much like you would expect at a land-based steak house. Our party of six were one of the first to be seated and presented menus and the wine list. Wine selections are slightly limited but there is enough to choose from and prices are about equal to what you would expect to pay in any decent restaurant offering wine (slightly more than 2x retail).
Kathy and I shared a bottle of the 2008 Craggy Range, Te Kahu, Hawkes Bay, New Zealand. This was a tasty blend of Merlot, Cab Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec and would stand up well with the filets that most of us were eyeing on the menu.
Joe had the Beefsteak tomatoes with Purple Onions sprinkled with blue cheese crumbles. His was a nice presentation of fresh looking tomatoes and mine was a good choice as the sauce for the crab cake was perfect.
A few of us also ordered the Cheese and Onion Soup. One nice thing about these specialty restaurants is that they will bring you virtually anything and everything from the menu if you so request, It’s not like restaurants where you are limited to one appetizer or else you pay for additional items. The soup was very good. Some in our group raved about it but I felt I had tasted better onion soups in the past.
Some of our group went with the Chops Grille House Salad and others sampled the Shrimp Cocktail. All of us were pleased with our choices and looking forward to the star of the evening, the 10 ounce filet mignon. The steaks came with your choice of four sauces, Classic Bernaise, Chimichurri, Green Peppercorn and Cabernet reduction. Most of us tried two of the four. All of them were good. We had ordered sides for the table which included sauteed broccollini, roasted potatoes with prosciutta and parmesan (yummy) and fried onion rings. The steak was wonderful. Tender and prepared just as each had ordered. Barb was the lone holdout.
Our server, Richard, was from South Africa and he preformed admirably all evening. He even explained why he would not be telling the guys at the next table that shorts and flip-flops were not permitted in the restaurant. The best thing Richard did all night was telling us how good the Chocolate Mud Pie on the dessert menu was.
I wish I had been hungrier because I didn’t eat nearly enough of this delicious treat. I found myself several times during the course of our week on the Allure wishing that I had this dessert back. Everyone agreed it may have been the single best dish we ate all week.
Dinner at Chops was a great way to begin our week of fun and food and I would highly recommend making reservations here prior to your cruise.