Chops Grille

Review: Chops Grille on Brilliance of the Seas

In:
08Mar2018

On a recent Brilliance of the Seas cruise, we decided to revisit a popular Royal Caribbean specialty restaurant, Chops Grille, to see what's new in this classic restaurant.

Royal Caribbean's signature specialty restaurant, Chops Grille, remains a favorite for many who cruise Royal Caribbean often.  It's inviting atmosphere, great cuts of meat, and service have earned Chops Grille quite a reputation among repeat cruisers. While Royal Caribbean continues to add new specialty dining options periodically, Chops Grille remains a popular choice.

Many blog readers have shared with us their positive experiences at Chops Grille, so I wanted to re-visit Chops Grille on Brilliance of the Seas to ensure it continues to be somewhere I can recommend to others.  And so, in the name of research, my wife and I have returned to Chops Grille once again.

Atmosphere

Chops Grille on Brilliance of the Seas is located conveniently on deck 6 near the Schooner Bar.  Its location adjacent to Giovanni's Table and across from the Schooner Bar makes it an easy-to-find restaurant, since there is a lot of foot traffic in the area and odds are you will walk past it multiple times on your cruise.

Walking into Chops Grille, you will find a large, open room that has tables filling the interior, with some booths along one side.  A few tables are near the windows to provide a view outside.

Chops Grille on Radiance Class ships has a large open kitchen, which provides a nice view for guests into the work being done to prepare food.

Food

The Chops Grille menu on Brilliance of the Seas has changed recently, to bring with it the "new" Chops Grille menu.  Other ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet have this updated menu, and Brilliance now joins them with it.  You can always tell the new menu from the old menu based on the fact the new menu offers seafood towers, as well as does not have the French onion soup.

While I lament the loss of the French onion soup, I decided to try the Wild Mushroom soup.  After all, it has truffle oil, so how bad could it be?

I really enjoyed this mushroom soup because the consistency of the broth was just right.  It was not too thick or watery.  Of course, the white truffle oil helped distinguish this from a mushroom soup you might heat up at home.

From the Signature Appetizers, I went with the tuna tartare.  Admittedly, I can never resist tuna, and this version was outstanding.

As a self-described ahi tuna habitué, I found this to be worthy of a Brazilian steakhouse style operation, where my waiter would bring me as many as I want until I turned over a card to indicate I was satisfied replete.

For our entrees, I was not sure what to order.  My wife always picks the filet mignon (no one ever regrets filet mignon), but I was not sure what to do.  I opted to ask our waiter for his recommendation on what he really enjoys.  He pointed me to the New Zealand rack of lamb.

I know what you are thinking, "There are entrees on the menu that do not have beef?" but it does indeed exist.  My hesitation about lamb is that it can be tough, and I spend more time trying to extract the meat from the bone than actually enjoying the food.

Nonetheless, how could I object to a recommendation made by a crew member I had met just 15 minutes earlier?  I rolled the dice on the lamb.

To my pleasant surprise, the lamb was extremely soft, and essentially fell of the bone.  Instead of wrestling with the knife or wondering aloud to my wife what time the Windjammer is open to, I spent a few glorious minutes enjoying a terrific serving of lamb. 

No visit to Chops Grille is complete without a few sides.  The sides can feel like a meal, but they offer a great accompaniment to your entrees.  I prefer to load up my fork with as many mushrooms as I can fit, alongside a cut of the meat and a dip in the mashed potatoes.  Perfection!

The new Chops Grille menu has resulted in the removal of the Red Velvet cake.  Alas, no restaurant is perfect.

Overall

I enjoyed our meal at Chops Grille on Brilliance of the Seas.  It is easy to see why Chops remains such a popular choice with so many cruisers, based on the wonderful menu.

It is important to note that for this visit, we took advantage of a Royal Caribbean dining package, which brough the cost down considerably.  The price for Chops Grille continues to push up, so consider a dining package as a way to really save money.

For a night out of great dining, Chops Grille is a solid choice for celebrations, date nights, or "the main dining room menu isn't my favorite".

What are your thoughts on Chops Grille? Leave us a comment and tell us about it below!

Restaurant Review: Chops Grille on Harmony of the Seas

In:
05Sep2017

On a recent Harmony of the Seas cruise, we took the opportunity to try Chops Grille.  With dining packages becoming so popular, we decided to visit the Royal Caribbean specialty restaurant of all time (historically speaking).

Chops Grille is located on deck 8 in Central Park.  Having dined at Chops Grille on a number of other ships, it has always been a reliable and delectable restaurant.  The ambiance alone is worth the reservation.

Guests have the option to dine inside or outside, although the weather may dictate how viable the outdoor seating is for your enjoyment.  

The Chops Grille menu on Harmony of the Seas features the "classic menu", as opposed to the new Chops Grille menu that is starting to make its way around the fleet. The differences are mostly minor, but it is worth noting that the dinner menu may change soon too on Harmony of the Seas (if it has not already).

Every Chops Grille meal begins with a serving of breads and butter. I enjoyed the different choices, with the hard roll being a favorite.

My favorite appetizer is the French Onion Soup, which is served with a generous amount of onions underneath a cheese and bread topping.  You can find French Onion Soup in the main dining room, among other places, and I really think the French Onion Soup from Chops Grille is the best.

We also tried the mesculun salad, which has a very good balsamic dressing.  Not too rich or overpowering, and the greens were fresh and crunchy.  

Of course, the star attraction at Chops Grille are the steaks.  Guests have the choice of a number of cuts of meat, including dry age steaks that cost extra.  Having tried the dry aged steaks on Anthem of the Seas, I felt confident in sticking with a tried and true Chops Grille favorite: the filet mignon.

While I might sometimes prefer the NY Strip steak for the flavor, the tenderness and lean cut of the filet mignon always makes it a great choice.  Like so many other times at Chops Grille, the steak was cooked exactly the way I wanted it.  Your waiter will also provide a choice of steak sauces to add, such as a bearnaise sauce.

Of course, the sides you can order at Chops Grille really enhance the main course.  We tried the roasted mushrooms and Gruyère Cheese Tater Tots. I could probably be satisfied with a meal consisting just of the mushrooms, so combining the mushrooms with the steak is a recipe for one happy blogger.

For dessert, I traditionally order the red velvet cake, but decided to try something different this time.  The Huckleberry Cheesecake is a relatively new dessert option that many really enjoy.  I opted to have my Huckleberry sauce on the side just so I could manage the cake to sauce ratio (I prefer a hint of sauce, rather than a dousing).

Conclusion

Having dined at Chops Grille for many years, on many ships in Royal Caribbean's fleet, I can safely say that the Chops Grille experience remains a quality dining experience. The consistency of the food and service is excellent, and dining at Chops Grille in Central Park adds another level to the overall experience.

While I may have preferred the beef tenderloin from 150 Central Park, I certainly did not regret my Chops Grille meal in the least bit.

There is one consideration about dining at Chops Grille on Harmony of the Seas, and that is the price.  These days, dinner at Chops Grille will run $49 per person, which is a lot for any specialty restaurant. If you have sticker shock about it, the best strategy is to consider a dining package to help bring the cost down.  Dining packages will cost you more in total out of pocket, but the per dinner experience is typically slashed considerably and that makes the value of Chops Grille far better.

If you have dined at Chops Grille many times as well, you will find Chops Grille to be a familiar choice and very similar to other Chops Grille restaurants across the fleet. If you are new to Royal Caribbean, Chops Grille is a solid choice for anyone that wants a really good specialty restaurant experience. 

Chops Grille lunch menu on Explorer of the Seas

Last updated on August 9, 2017.

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

Appetizers

Wild Mushroom Soup

Scented with white truffle oil, chives

Colossal Shrimp Cocktail

Horseradish cocktail sauce, lemon

Charred Beef Carpaccio

Rare charred beef, parmesan cheese, shaved asparagus, truffle mustard dressing

The Wedge

Iceberg lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, smoked bacon

Wed, 08/09/2017 (All day)

Chops Grille lunch menu on Oasis of the Seas

Last updated on April 21, 2017.

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

Appetizers

Wild Mushroom Soup

Scented with white truffle oil, chives

Colossal Shrimp Cocktail

Horseradish cocktail sauce, lemon

Charred Beef Carpaccio

Rare charred beef, parmesan cheese, shaved asparagus, truffle mustard dressing

The Wedge

Iceberg lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, smoked bacon

Fri, 04/21/2017 (All day)

Chops Grille lunch menu on Empress of the Seas

Last updated on April 20, 2017.

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

Appetizers

Wild Mushroom Soup

Scented with white truffle oil, chives

Colossal Shrimp Cocktail

Horseradish cocktail sauce, lemon

Charred Beef Carpaccio

Rare charred beef, parmesan cheese, shaved asparagus, truffle mustard dressing

The Wedge

Iceberg lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, smoked bacon

Thu, 04/20/2017 (All day)

Chops Grille dinner menu on Empress of the Seas

Last updated on August 2, 2017.

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

Soups & Salads

Caesar

Romaine, Reggiano cheese, creamy Caesar dressing, herb croutons

Crispy Goat Cheese Salad

Green apples, candied walnuts, cranberries, balsamic dressing

The wedge

Iceberg lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, smoked bacon

Wild Mushroom Soup

Scented with white truffle oil, chives

Lobster bisque

Brandy, tarragon cream

Wed, 08/02/2017 (All day)

Chops Grille lunch menu on Harmony of the Seas

Last updated on April 17, 2017.

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

Appetizers

Wild Mushroom Soup

Scented with white truffle oil, chives

Colossal Shrimp Cocktail

Horseradish cocktail sauce, lemon

Charred Beef Carpaccio

Rare charred beef, parmesan cheese, shaved asparagus, truffle mustard dressing

The Wedge

Iceberg lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, smoked bacon

Mon, 04/17/2017 (All day)

Spotted: Chops Grille lunch on Harmony of the Seas

In:
17Apr2017

Chops Grille has been a popular stalwart of Royal Caribbean's specialty dining choices, and Royal Caribbean has recently begun offering a lunch option too.

For years, Royal Caribbean only had Chops Grille open for dinner.  Recently, Royal Caribbean has begun offering a lunch option for guests to book.

RoyalCaribbeanBlog reader Angie La Malfa Muma shared photos from her Chops Grille lunch on Harmony of the Seas. 

The Chops Grille lunch menu is smaller than the Chops Grille dinner menu, yet retains much of the Chops Grille "experience."

There are also two dessert options, boysenberry cheesecake and chocolate mudpie.

There is a $19 cover charge for adults and $10 cover charge for kids for lunch. 

Do you want to try Chops Grille for lunch? Let us know in the comments!

Photo tour of Chops Grille on Adventure of the Seas

In:
16Mar2017

Last week we posted about Royal Caribbean opening Chops Grille on Adventure of the Seas, and today we have photos from the new restaurant.

On Adventure of the Seas, Royal Caribbean opted to add Chops Grille on on Deck 4, across from the Schooner Bar. It is the same location Sabor Modern Mexican has been added on other ships.

In addition to the new restaurant, Royal Caribbean also opted to offer a new menu update to this Chops Grille location.  This is the first Chops Grille menu update since January 2014, when the Chops GrilleNavigator of the Seas received a menu revamp.

Among the menu changes, Chops Grille on Adventure of the Seas offers an angus filet mignon and grilled scottish salmon. Moreover, the French onion soup and dry-aged steak option (which carried an additional charge) has been removed from the menu. There is, however, a Chops Dry Aged Steak Burger option. The broiled Maine lobster remains the only up-charge entrée on the menu.

Chops Grille menu on Adventure of the Seas

Last updated on July 23, 2017.

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

Soups & Salads

Caesar

Romaine, Reggiano cheese, creamy Caesar dressing, herb croutons

Crispy Goat Cheese Salad

Green apples, candied walnuts, cranberries, balsamic dressing

The wedge

Iceberg lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, smoked bacon

Wild Mushroom Soup

Scented with white truffle oil, chives

Lobster bisque

Brandy, tarragon cream

Sun, 07/23/2017 (All day)

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