Cruise ship specialty restaurant review - Allure of the Seas - Royal Caribbean - Giovanni's Table
Giovanni's Table is Allure of the Seas' Italian restaurant. It is not
meant to be a fine dining Italian cuisine venue like Sabatini's on the
Princess ships or Portofino's on earlier Royal Caribbean ships. Rather,
it is meant to be a family-style Italian restaurant along the same lines as
La Cucina on the Norwegian Cruise Line 's Jewel and Epic class ships.
The idea is to present a convivial relaxed atmosphere with an Italian
The room itself is decorated to look like a Northern Italian country
house. There are copper kettles and utensils hanging from the walls.
The tables are dark wood and covered by strips of tan cloth instead of a
full table cloth.
There are also tables outside in Allure’s Central Park. Music from a
guitarist or a string quartet serenade the guests.
This is a popular venue. Dinner reservations are not easy to come by
and the venue stays active long into the evening. The room is full of
the sound of people having a good time.
And the style of good time is very much up to the guest. On a formal
night, the guests clothing ranged from casual to formal attire
Although the staff is busy and seemingly in constant motion, the service
was very good. The server appeared promptly at the table and
explained the concept of this restaurant. She went on to discuss the
menu and offer her recommendations. Throughout the meal, she was
attentive and the various courses appeared in a timely fashion.
Since the concept of the restaurant is family-style, the usual practice is
to order several appetizers and main courses and share them among all
the people at the table. However, individuals and small groups can
order their own plates of appetizers and/or main courses.
There are two carpaccios on the appetizer menu. The carpaccio di
mayo is thinly sliced beef tenderloin with black truffle sabayon and a
contrasting salad topping of lettuce and grape tomatoes. The carpaccio
di salmon is thinly sliced dry cured salmon that has been marinated in
olive oil. The subtle flavor of the salmon forms a bed for the capers
that embellish the dish.
The pasta dish goes beyond spaghetti. Ravioli di Polpa di Graicho is
ravioli made with Maryland crab. Accompanying it are nicely sautéed
shrimp. Again, the flavors are subtle.
This is not to say Giovanni's ignores comfort food. The pasta offerings
on the lunch menu include meat lasagna. On request, it can also be
ordered for dinner. Made with a variety of meats including veal and
chicken, this dish is well worth making a special request.
I selected Filetta di Manzo alla Griglia from the main course offerings
on the dinner menu. This is an eight ounce beef tenderloin that is
indeed tender and which is bursting with flavor. One can order it either
with Barolo reduction or gorgonzola butter. The butter is served
separately so that the guest can determine how much to apply. The
blue cheese enhances the beef with its contrasting harshness.
To finish the dinner, I had Bombolini alla Toscana. This dessert
consisted of Tuscan-style cream-filled donuts bathed in a dark
chocolate sauce. A serving of chocolate gelato on the same plate
advances this dessert from good to great.
ALLURE OF THE SEAS
Richard H. Wagner
Two carpaccio appetizers: beef (above)
and salmon (below).
Above: Ravioli di Polpa di Graicho
Below: Meat Lasagna.
Filetta di Manzo alla Griglia
Located in the Central Park
neighborhood, Giovanni's has both
indoor and outdoor tables.