150 Central Park

Restaurant Review: 150 Central Park on Harmony of the Seas

In:
02Aug2017

Of all the specialty restaurants on Harmony of the Seas, perhaps none are as synonymous with the ship as 150 Central Park.  The creation of Miami chef Michael Schwartz, 150 Central Park is an iconic specialty restaurant among the Oasis Class cruise ships, and yet a restaurant I had never visited much in the past.  In fact, I had only been once, so on my recent Harmony of the Seas cruise I wanted to give it another visit.

150 Central Park may look hoity toity, but in reality it is no more formal than nearby Chops Grille.  In fact, the sophisticated charm of 150 Central Park is what makes the restaurant stand out.  With a varied menu and the rise of specialty dining packages, it seems more and more guests are giving 150 Central Park a try, and I wanted to join in.

Atmosphere

As the restaurant's name implies, 150 Central Park is located in the Central Park neighborhood of Harmony of the Seas. In fact, it is smack dab in the middle of the park.

Walking into the restaurant, you will enter a large dining room comprised mostly of tables (no booth seating here). 


 

The restaurant's decorations evoke a modern feel, with a refined look to it.  To me, it can best be described with the oxymoron of being casually elegant.

Eats

What drew me to trying 150 Central Park on Harmony of the Seas was a recent experience by fellow blogger, Michael Poole. Michael had raved about his dining experience and the food he wrote about looked quite compelling, so I wanted to give it a try.

150 Central Park has a cover charge, which means all the food on the menu is included in your fare (minus select beverages).

Every meal at 150 Central Park begins with an assortment of breads, butter and six (yes, six!) varieties of salt.  


 

Your waiter explains what each salt is, and they all have various flavors.  Some are tame, while others have some kick to it.  While I doubt anyone ever goes to a restaurant and wishes they had more salt varieties, having this choice was a nice touch and it makes the usual bread appetizer a bit more interesting.

Looking over the 150 Central Park menu, it is among the simplest menus of any Royal Caribbean specialty restaurant.  I was expecting to find more haute cuisine, but there were so many great choices to consider.

My wife and I started off the meal with slow roasted butternut squash soup.  

I have not found a butternut soup that I did not enjoy, and this was no disappointment either.  Great flavor.

I also decided to try the veal Bolognese agnolotti.  I wanted to branch out a bit, and I generally always enjoy a good Bolognese sauce.

I had never had agnolotti pasta, which consists of small pieces of flattened pasta dough, folded over and stuffed with veal.  All in all, I really liked this too.

I am a self-described tuna fiend, and when I saw tuna tartare on the menu, I jumped right for it.

The tuna tartare is prepared table side by your waiter.  Our waiter brought the card to our table and explained what he was doing as he prepared it, and then served it to me.

I liked it (and ate the whole thing) although the consistency of it was closer to tuna fish than chunks of tuna.  Still, a very smooth taste and I enjoyed the various ingredients they combined with the tuna to make it all work.

For our entree, my wife and I ordered the 18oz. roast tenderloin of beef.  We had seen photos of it from Michael's blog post, and really wanted to try it out.

Like the tuna, the beef tenderloin is prepared and carved at your table.  The menu says it is for two guests, and I definitely found there to be enough for both of us.  

Having previously eaten at Chops Grille the night before, and would later eat at other specialty restaurants onboard, I can safely say the beef tenderloin at 150 Central Park was the best steak I ate on Harmony of the Seas.  Moreover, I think this might have been the best steak I have had in recent memory.  It had incredible flavor and was cooked to perfection.  I later tried to convince my wife to book 150 Central Park again in the sailing purely as an excuse to eat the steak again.

The desserts were up next, and I selected the lychee tres leches.

Flavor was great, although not sure it was my favorite thing ever.

My wife opted for the warm doughnuts.

We both sampled them and thought the doughnuts tasted more like type of doughnuts you might find at a Chinese restaurant, rather than Dunkin Donuts.  Still, a good choice, especially when dipped in the chocolate sauce.

Conclusion

After eating at 150 Central Park, I regretted not eating there sooner on prior Oasis Class cruises.  The steak for two alone is worth the price of admission, and I will be making a point of dining there again on my upcoming Harmony of the Seas sailing.

Service sometimes gets overlooked in my restaurant reviews, but our waiter, Adel, was excellent.  Very attentive, good sense of humor and paced the meal perfectly. 

Overall, I enjoyed the meal quite a bit. I think 150 Central Park is a perfect choice for a night out to celebrate a special occasion, but the food holds up for any excuse to dine out.  Do not make the mistake I did of assuming it is some sort of fancy restaurant for those that are super-adventurous eaters and prefer to dine in formal wear. 

Cost: The cost for 150 Central Park on Harmony of the Seas is $45 per guest for dinner.

Video: 150 Central Park on Royal Caribbean Ships Introduces New Multi-Course Menu

In:
06Dec2016

Royal Caribbean International, in partnership with James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz, has introduced a new menu highlighting artisanal ingredients at 150 Central Park onboard Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas. Guests can enjoy Schwartz’s simple, elegant approach to American dining with a variety of appetizers, entrées and dessert including tableside service for guests.

Royal Caribbean introduces new multi-course menu at 150 Central Park restaurant

In:
17Nov2016

Royal Caribbean has introduced a new menu highlighting artisanal ingredients at 150 Central Park onboard Harmony of the Seas, Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas.

Highlights include:

  • A straightforward multi-course which allows the guest to explore the restaurant on multiple visits and try something new each time.  Selections include lobster gnocchi with carrot butter sauce, herb salad or Bittersweet Chocolate Bourbon Tart with salted caramel, spiced pecans, cranberry chutney and chantilly cream.
  • A world-class cheese cart, tuna tartare or an 18-ounce tenderloin prepared tableside.
  • Chef Schwartz along with Michael’s Genuine sommelier Eric Larkee has crafted a dynamic wine program that makes for an upscale and intimate gastronomic experience

Set in the Central Park neighborhood, 150 Central Park has a $45 cover charge, and includes from a variety of appetizers, entrées and dessert including a tableside cheese cart. 150 Central Park is the creation of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz.

150 Central Park menu on Harmony of the Seas

Last updated on July 1, 2017.

Menus provided by RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com are unofficial and subject to change.

Sat, 07/01/2017 (All day)

5 things you will love about 150 Central Park

In:
Category: 
07Apr2016

Royal Caribbean's Oasis class ships offer so many amazing dining opportunities, with the premier experience being 150 Central Park.

150 Central Park is the creation of James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Schwartz of Michael's Genuine Food & Drink in Miami.  Chef Schwartz created 150 Central Park with a commitment to sustainable and seasonal food sourcing that offers the freshest, most distinct ingredients.

Whether you dine on Oasis of the Seas, Allure of the Seas or Harmony of the Seas, here are five things that are sure to please at 150 Central Park.

5. The setting

Any good chef knows that presentation is as important to a meal as the food itself, and 150 Central Park follows that rule with its picture-perfect home in the Central Park neighborhood.

Set among the beautiful layout of Central Park, guests will walk past towering Cuban laurel and Black Olive to clusters of calla lilies and rabbit foot ferns to get to the restaurant.

With dinner in the evening, it is an undeniably beautiful backdrop for dinner.

4. Upscale dining experience

A meal at 150 Central Park is more than just great food.  It is about every aspect of the meal, from when you set foot in the restaurant to when you leave.

Royal Caribbean designed 150 Central Park to offer guests an intimate dining experience that is unlike anything else offered onboard. That means not only dressing up for the occasion, but a wait staff trained to make your meal as personal as possible.

Your waiter will explain each menu choice for you and customize the experience to meet what you want. 

For guests seeking a chic night out, 150 Central Park is the place to go.

3. Seasonal tasting menu

Chef Michael Schwartz offers guests at 150 Central Park an innovative dining concept with 150 Central Park.

The menu is seasonal, which means it is regularly changed to offer the freshest and most distinct ingredients.

The 150 Central Park menu features rotating six-course menus per voyage highlighting fresh produce from small Florida farms.

No matter when you dine at 150 Central Park, you are sure to find responsibly- and locally-sourced ingredients that are in season.

2. Wine pairing

When you talk about any kind of upscale dining experience, wine pairings with your meal are common place, including at 150 Central Park.

Royal Caribbean offers guests the choice of reserving a meal at 150 Central Park with or without a wine pairing, or simply choosing select wines to enjoy with their meals.

At $75 per guest, the wine pairing option includes a glass of wine to match each serving during the course of the meal.

The wine accompaniment is chosen to compliment the evening's menu and serves to enhance the flavor of the food.

Wine lovers will consider this option a must-do.

1. Cucumber martini

In addition to the great food served at 150 Central Park, the restaurant features a signature cocktail that is a must-try: the cucumber martini.

As the name implies, there is a hint of cucumber to a classic martini concoction that is light and very refreshing.

This drink is a mix of cucumber, basil,Monin lemon grass syrup, sweet and sour mix and Grey Goose Vodka.

Many Royal Caribbean fans claim this is among the very best cocktails Royal Caribbean offers, so give it a try!

150 Central Park menu on Allure of the Seas

Last updated on February 21, 2016

Menus provided by RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com are unofficial and subject to change.

WELCOME TO 150 CENTRAL PARK BY CHEF MICHAEL SCHWARTZ

Thu, 11/09/2017 (All day)

150 Central Park menu on Oasis of the Seas

Last updated on October 18, 2017.

Menus provided by RoyalCaribbeanBlog.com are unofficial and subject to change.

Central Park Martini $15

grey goose vodka, cucumber, basil, lemongrass

Appetizers

Baby Beet Salad

red quinoa, kalamata olives, mint, pistachio yogurt-poppy seed dressing

Slow Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

with toasted pumpkin seeds, watercress and pumpkil seed oil

Duck Confit

whipped cauliflower, sauteed greens, pear-raisin chutney, curry oil

Wed, 10/18/2017 (All day)

Royal Caribbean expands collaboration with Chef Michael Schwartz to include Allure of the Seas

In:
30Apr2013

Royal Caribbean announced that it is expanding its collaboration with award-winning chef Michael Schwartz that will feature seasonal tasting menus aboard Allure of the Seas’ fine dining restaurant, 150 Central Park.  Schwartz had previously been working on the food at 150 Central Park on Oasis of the Seas since 2011.

Schwartz has built his reputation as a chef on a commitment to cooking with sustainable foods at his flagship Miami restaurant.  Schwartz will continue to help the cruise line select and integrate fresh, high quality ingredients into 150 Central Park’s supply chain by leveraging his relationships with South Florida farmers and beyond.

Royal Caribbean executive vice president Operations, Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, commented on the news, "Royal Caribbean continually looks to deliver WOWs to our guests through innovative and diverse dining concepts featuring the freshest possible ingredients. We are thrilled to be able to grow our relationship with a respected hometown partner like chef Michael Schwartz and offer his locally-sourced menus at both our 150 Central Park locations.”

“I am thrilled about the opportunity this program has offered my favorite farmers to grow and improve their operations,” says chef Michael Schwartz. “Royal Caribbean has been a willing and enthusiastic partner in this program, and the collaboration has worked because of their commitment to the sustainable philosophies I care so much about. Adding Allure to the line-up offers economies of scale with benefits for everyone involved.”

Over the past year and a half since the unique farm-to-ship program began on Oasis of the Seas the cruise line has elicited an overwhelmingly positive response from guests to Schwartz’ fresh, simple, and pure approach to fine dining. What began with hydro naturally-grown baby beets, carrots and other produce from Swank Specialty Produce in Loxahatchee Groves Florida, grew to a portfolio of responsibly-raised produce, poultry and meats – from Poulet Rouge chicken from North Carolina’s Joyce Farms to grass-fed beef from White Oak Pastures in Georgia.

Guest Review: 150 Central Park on Oasis of the Seas

In:
30Oct2012

Please welcome Marc Schwartz as he shares his review of 150 Central Park restaurant on Oasis of the Seas.

Background

My wife, Dianna, and I have been cruising since our honeymoon in 1981 and to date we have been on 9 cruises total, 5 on Royal Caribbean.

We have also more recently come to enjoy specialty dining, which is at an extra cost over the main dining room on the ships, but provides for a superior experience, both in food and service. On Royal Caribbean’s Oasis class ships, there are multiple options to choose from and I offer my thoughts on one of them here.

150 Central Park

150 Central Park (150), located on the Central Park area of the ships on Deck 8, is arguably the premiere specialty restaurant on the Oasis and the Allure and perhaps all of Royal Caribbean’s ships. The service charge for dinner at 150, as of this writing, is $40 per person (includes gratuities). There is an optional, 6-course dinner with wine pairing, for an additional $75 per person ($115 total per person, including gratuities).

The atmosphere is upscale and dress is recommended to be semi-formal to formal. I would also strongly urge that you make pre-cruise reservations unless you are doing a specialty dining package, where you may have to wait until you are onboard the ship to make some of the reservations.

On our Oasis and Allure cruises, we did the wine pairing both times and are not sorry that we did. The entire meal, from beginning to end was a wonderful experience with a selection of food and wines that was phenomenal. I would recommend planning at least two and a half to three hours for dinner, especially if you do the wine pairing, to give yourself sufficient time. Consider this if you have other after dinner plans, such as one of the ship’s shows, as you do not want to be rushed. During our first experience at 150 on the Oasis, we had planned to see the main theater show after dinner and only gave ourselves about two hours for dinner. Our server, Mladen, who is from Serbia, indicated that he could “speed things up for us”, but gently urged us to take our time to relax and enjoy the evening. I am glad that we elected to take his advice and see the show another day. We did not make the same scheduling mistake on the Allure.

Dinner

The dining experience starts with an optional, extra cost, Cucumber Martini. This is the signature drink at 150 and is only available there. I was hesitant at first, but had heard of the drink from friends before we sailed. It is a wonderful and refreshing pre-dinner palate cleanser, as the alcohol (Grey Goose Vodka) is very light. It would be too easy to have several of them, but save yourself for the wine. We liked them so much that we got the recipe from Mladen and now make them at home frequently.

Dinner then proceeds with a selection of breads, fresh butter and a wonderful assortment of flavored salts. Your server will introduce you to each salt, its country of origin and of course the flavor. Butter your piece of bread and sprinkle one of the salts over the butter to experience the unique flavors and textures. You may find that you like some and not others.

As dinner proceeded, each pour of wine was served just prior to the course it was to be paired with, as our server described the wine to us. Each bottle of wine was served using the Il Decantino decanting flask. We ended up buying one of the Royal Caribbean logoed Il Decantino units to take home with us and use it all the time with newly opened bottles of wine.

From that point on, we slowly enjoyed each course and the paired wine. The presentations were very fresh and colorful, appealing to your visual senses, as much as they would ultimately take over your nose, tongue and taste buds, all of which are of course, biologically intertwined. The size of each course is very typical for today’s internationally influenced, fine dining experiences. Sufficient to provide you with a enjoyable experience of each, while not being so large that you would find yourself filled before reaching the end of the meal.

Pumpkin Bread Gnocchi

Cheese Selection

Citrus-Chipotle Crab Salad

While enough time has now passed that I cannot comment in detail on each course, I will say that each was wonderful and I have no recollection of any particular course that I did not care for. They were each quite unique and provide an opportunity to expand your culinary horizons.

Our servers were not overbearing in their presence during the evening, but were exceptionally attentive and engaging.

Berkshire Pork two ways

Broiled Sablefish with dijon mustard

When time came for dessert, we took our time, enjoyed some coffee, an after dinner drink and of course, the dessert.

150 Central Park Candy Bar

Conclusion

If you have not already guessed, we would go to 150 Central Park again, without hesitation, on future cruises. Is it expensive? Of course, but it is a fine dining experience at sea that would compete with any similar land based experience. We paid $230 (at current pricing) for the two of us and some extra for an additional tip, for superior service. However, consider that a similar, land based, fine dining experience, with a wine pairing, would easily be over $400 for two, before a tip.

If you are taking a future cruise on the Oasis or the Allure and are considering experiencing specialty dining, I would urge you to include 150 in your plans. It’s that good.

Video: Local Lychees sweeten the 150 Central Park Menu

In:
26Jun2012

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