Having received a complimentary speciality restaurant dinner for two with our cruise package, the folks, wife and I decided on Chops Grille. Upon arrival, we were seated next to a window with a solid view of the ocean and figured this would be the first of many impressive components to a wonderful experience. Little did we know it would be one of the few.
The first miscue was our waiter talking us out of ordering the filet mignon due to the complexity in the kitchen’s preparation process. Apparently they could only cook the meat to medium-rare and would butterfly the steak to cook it any more. Taking his advice, we all ordered the New York Strip and each one of us asked for it to be medium.
We also ran into difficulty ordering sides. As my wife and mother can’t eat mushrooms, while we shared this information, our waiter told us that the sides were shared so it left us with the choice of ordering three different types of potatoes or items that the two couldn’t eat. We ended up ordering mashed potatoes, scalloped potatoes, sautéed mushrooms and truffled corn.
After the order was placed, we did receive some fresh & warm pretzel bread with a mustard butter on the side. Talk about tasty! If I had known how the rest of the meal was going to go, I’d have ordered another couple of plates of them!
When our appetizers arrived, my wife and mother both had the King Caesar salad, my father had the calamari (I think?), and I had both the onion soup and the peppered bacon. Again, all of these items were phenomenal and the bacon was to die for. Simply to die for.
So what’s the problem you ask?
When our main course eventually arrived, all three of us began to cut into our steaks to discover they were well done. When pointed out to our waiter, he told us that they were actually medium and the light in the restaurant simply wasn’t bright enough for us to see that. Say what? Yet that’s not the worst of it, the meat was tougher than a grizzled vet. Tough, dry and full of gristle to be exact.
And those shared sides? Each was barely enough to share between two people, let alone four. Thankfully, our waiter did acknowledge they were on the small side and brought a plate of grilled asparagus to supplement the order halfway through our meal. Regardless, the main plate, which I would imagine is the showcase of the restaurant, fell flat. Flatter than a snail on the autobahn.
Dessert was good, yet really no different from the fantastic options we’ve received in the main dining room.
So, would I recommend Chops Grille as an option? Heck no. I wouldn’t even recommend it even if it were free. Use your freebie elsewhere! Why someone would pay extra for the experience we had, I have no clue. I’d much rather receive the familiar service from the Cascades dining room staff, not to mention the scrumptious meal options each and every night.