Sherman's Food Adventures: Manhattan Room (NCL Bliss)

Manhattan Room (NCL Bliss)

Here we are, back to the regular I guess.  Yep, another main dining room aboard the NCL Bliss.  However, this was the largest and most well-situated dining space on the ship.  Located at the back of the ship on deck 7, it still served the same menu as Taste and Savor.  It just did it with a bit more flair.  We ended up here after a decent meal at Taste the night before.  We were seated near the window had the view of the water as well as natural light.  I found it a bit louder and more energetic as the dining room was full.

For our appies, I decided to go fairly simple in the Avocado Hummus served with crispy pita thins and a cup of vegetable sticks. I may have missed something here, but there wasn't a whole lot of avocado in the hummus.  It ate like a regular hummus.  Not bad really as it was creamy with some texture, garlickiness and acidity.  The pita was actually more fluffy than crispy, which was fine by me.  Veggies were fresh and went well with the hummus.  My son had the Italian Beef Meatballs with spicy marinara sauce and parmesan cheese.  Pretty standard stuff where it was still decent.  The meatballs were juicy and moist with a good amount of char on the outside.  This added smokiness while the sauce did live up to the promise of being spicy (it just wasn't very spicy, that's all).

The 2 soups on the menu for the night were Chicken and Matzo Ball as well as Cream of Asparagus. Surprisingly, the matzo ball itself was pretty good.  We weren't expecting much as even some Jewish delis cannot even nail a good matzo ball.  However, the one here was fluffy while not being too much so.  I'm not sure if they used any egg, but it sure seemed like it.  The broth itself was a touch salty and in need of more natural chicken essence, but it was fine and we liked the veggies.  As for the cream of asparagus, it was indeed rich but not heavy.  It was in a beautiful shade of green which made it appetizing . The topping of toasted hazelnuts were a nice textural contrast as well as adding an aromatic nuttiness.  There was plenty of asparagus flavor which was elevated by just the right amount of seasoning.

Onto our mains, the best of the bunch had to be the Braised Lamb Shank with roasted carrots, shallots and rosemary potatoes.  Large and cooked perfectly, the meat fell off the bone easily and was uniformly tender throughout.  Normally, the shank can be dry in spots, but not this one. The gelatinous meat was very moist and well-seasoned.  Even the sides were on point with all three veggies being fully cooked while still retaining a firm exterior texture.  Large and robust, the Herb Crusted Rotisserie Chicken was serviceable.  Naturally, the dark meat was much more juicy and tender than the breast meat.  With that being said, the breast meat wasn't exactly dry either.  We liked how the skin was fairly well-rendered and seasoned.   The mashed potatoes were creamy and the broccoli wasn't horribly overcooked either. 

We also had 2 fish entrees including the Broiled Lemon Pepper Coalfish with Cajun roasted potatoes and creamed leek.  This dish was mostly average as the fish was a touch overdone.  It was nicely seasoned though where the lemon pepper was noticeable.  The best part of the dish was the creamed leek as it was aromatic and indeed creamy.  Not particularly Cajun-tasting, the potatoes at the very least were tender and browned.  Similarly to the one at Taste, the Breaded Flounder Fillet was essentially the same except a bit thicker.  As such, it was more moist.  The breading was nicely browned and crispy while not being overly greasy.  Nothing amazing, but well-executed nonetheless.

Another classic "available everyday" entree was the 3-Cheese Baked Ziti with parmesan, mozzarella and ricotta cheese.  This was similar to the one found at The Local, but done much better.  First of all, there was actually enough sauce which wasn't watery.  Second, the pasta was al dente, but not hard.  Hence, it ate more like a uniform dish rather than feeling like it was thrown altogether (which this dish still was, but better).  Something that sounded rather tasty was the Sauteed Beef Strips with chimichurri sauce.  I wouldn't say it was as flavorful as the description, yet at the same time, it wasn't bland either.  The beef was sufficiently tender and the roasted veggies were still vibrant.  It sat atop a fluffy cilantro rice that was mild (which was a good thing).

Moving onto the sweets, the that caught my attention was the Snicker's Pound Cake consisting of Snicker's pieces, vanilla ice cream, white chocolate curls and fresh strawberries.  So one would assume this was super sweet and yep, they wouldn't be wrong either.  I still enjoyed it since the pound cake was moist and I do like Snickers.  I can see how some people would find it too sugary though.  Something less sweet and also not as sweet was the Chocolate Eclairs with vanilla custard and chocolate glaze. I found the choux pastry to be on the drier side but light.  Vanilla custard was semi-sweet while the chocolate glaze was fairly sweet.  Yet as mentioned, it was nowhere as sugary as the pound cake.

The last 2 sweets included the Warm Banana Souffle and Mexican Chocolate Cake.  As evidenced in the picture, the souffle was pretty sad-looking.  It was still light and fluffy despite not rising much.  I'm not a huge fan of banana desserts, so the flavor was meh for me.  I did enjoy the Mexican chocolate cake though as it was moist and rich without being too heavy.  It was on the sweeter side due to the dulce de leche.  Overall, this meal was okay, but more on the "meh" side.  Considering it was no extra charge, it did the job.  We loved the dining space though as it was classy and spacious.  Definitely better atmosphere than Taste and Savor.

The Good:
- Classy dining room
- Nicest view of the 3 main dining rooms
- It's included

The Bad:
- Food was okay, but not memorable

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