The Manhattan Room on Norwegian Escape is one of three main dining rooms that you’ll find on the Escape and is included in the cruise price that you pay.
The Manhattan Room
(Complimentary) Dinner only
The other main dining rooms are Savor & Taste which are rather small to really be main dining rooms but more like extra restaurants themselves, even though the menus are the same in all three venues.
As for The Manhattan Room, this has the feel of a main dining room and the space with which one associates with it. Huge windows cover the back of the restaurant and a polished dance floor and stage can be found here also.
During the day this area is full of light but empty, there is no lunch served here.
Sometimes they have tables set up on the dance floor I guess to cope with the reservations for the evening. The Manhattan was only open for dinner on this Transatlantic cruise, I’m not sure how it will run in the Caribbean cruises. (update from February 2016; the dining room is still closed for lunch & breakfast)
The Manhattan menu
This was the menu from our night in the Manhattan, it is different every night of the cruise.
These are our meals that we chose for dinner.
To begin we chose the Smoked Ricotta Risotto with Sicilian tomato tartare. The risotto was quite flavoursome but not very hot. The waitress never offered any parmesan here.
And the Salmon Tartare with wasabi cream, avocado & sushi rice. This was not quite how I expected it to be presented, which was a surprise. It was rather like a coup or sundae ice cream than a tartare. Unfortunately all the ingredients end up being one big mush.
Our main meals followed.
For our main meals we chose Poached Pacific Salmon with Rice Pilaf and green beans with sauce Choron. This dish had a nice flavour but again not piping hot.
The other choice was the Rack of Lamb Provencal with herbs, ratatouille and gratin potato. This is a traditional combination and the flavours were good, just a shame that the lamb was a bit over cooked.
Our choice of desserts
Moni wanted to have the Banana Split and I couldn’t chose between the Tiramisu cake and the warm chocolate lava cake, so I had them both.
All up, they sounded better than they tasted. The Tiramisu was just like in the Italian restaurant on the Escape ‘La Cucina’. As you can see, the portions were quite large and yes, I did manage to eat it all, with a little help.
The Manhattan Room review
For our evening we shared a table with two other couples. We found the music rather loud at times which is not ideal for table conversation. The band played on and off the entire time we were having dinner. Some couples made use of the dance floor but not many.
The menu has a reasonable choice with a ‘classic favourites’ section that doesn’t change, the rest of the menu changes.
The quality of food and service were both in need of a lift, with the service being ok but not very personal or attentive, and the food lacked finesse, quality and was not really very hot. Service was not slow or rushed and we never felt like we had to vacate the table for a later sitting which was nice.
I have a feeling that if you were to request the same table for the entire cruise then the service and personal touches will return.
Our score was 7/10.
I was rather surprised to see how busy the Manhattan was at 7.30pm considering all the other dining options on the Escape, maybe the idea of dining in a different place each night didn’t appeal to the cruisers on this Transatlantic crossing. But saying that, the 4000 plus passengers need to eat somewhere and not everyone has a dinning package either.
Unfortunately with the introduction of the Freedom dining you tend to lose the main dining room atmosphere. let me put that another way, we had ten nights on board and only went once to the main dining room, why? Because we had a dining package which allowed us to try many different restaurants.
I do like the variety, but then again I do like the set main dining rooms where you can get to know your fellow table guests better and so on. I’m torn between the two.
Comment below, don’t be shy
How do you feel about the Freedom Dining? What are your thoughts on main dining rooms? Do you prefer to have a set time for dinner at your usual table? These are interesting questions and we’d love to hear your point of view.
If you’d like to read another dining review from the Norwegian Escape how about taking a look at O’Sheehan’s Bar & Grill