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Maine Lobster "alla Griglia" Recipe

Maine Lobster

Split the lobsters in half and crack the claws. Season well with salt, pepper and olive olive oil and place on a hot grill. Cook the lobsters for approximately 10-12 minutes, until the meat pulls away from the shell. Remove from the shell, cut into bite sized pieces and marinate while warm with the extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and parsley leaves. Chill and reserve.

Season and grill the spring onions, if they are small split them in half and if the are large cut them in quarters. Cook them until they are tender.

In a medium sized sauce pot add sunflower oil and sweat the onions over a low heat. Add the oranges after 5 minutes and then the honey and cook until the honey is light brown, about 5 minutes. Add the orange juice, zest of the lemons, calabria peppers and bay leaf. Cook the mixture down over a low heat until it is jam like consistency. Reserve.

Quarter the baby tomatoes and sprinkle with salt and olive oil. To serve, toss the lobster with a tablespoon of jam, tomatoes, and onions and dress with salt, balsmic and olive oil.

How-To: Grill the Perfect Lobster

Anyone can throw burgers on the grill and consider their day duly barbecued. Why not class up the backyard this summer and try your hand at lobster instead?

The king of crustaceans might seem intimidating to the home chef—those claws are nothing to joke about—but you can follow a few simple steps to make the perfect grilled lobster.

Step one: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. If it’s a charcoal grill, your coals should turn gray.

Step two: Chill live lobsters in the freezer for 20 minutes to sedate. Bring a pot of well salted water (2.5 quarts of water and 1/4 cup of salt per lobster) to a rolling boil. Remove rubber bands from claws and add lobsters to pot, parboiling for 5 minutes.

Step three: Remove lobsters from boil and place into an ice bath to stop cooking.

Step four: Halve the lobsters, lengthwise: Lay the lobster on your cutting board, and place the point of the knife in the middle of the carapace. Insert the knife with enough pressure to cut all the way through, then slice quickly down the middle of the body, through the head. Turn the lobster and cut down the same line through the tail. Now remove the black vein (the lobster’s intestinal tract) from the tail and rinse the tomalley and grain sac from the body and head.

Step five: It’s time for butter or olive oil and seasonings! Place your lobster halves on the grill with the shells facing down, then baste liberally with seasoned butter or olive oil. Flip those lobsters flesh side down and grill for 5-6 minutes.

Step six: Flip lobsters so the shell side is down and baste again with seasoned butter or olive oil. Grill 4-5 minutes. When your lobsters are ready, the meat will be an opaque white color.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you’re ready to branch out—try this delicious, Indian-spiced barbecued lobster recipe from Ben Pollinger’s School of Fish.

Now serve to your favorite people, and accept your crown as the reigning royalty of this season’s backyard barbecue.


Step 1

This first part might not be pleasant, but it’ll be over quickly: Working with 1 lobster at a time, place on a cutting board, belly side down, with head facing you (freezing them 8–10 minutes first will render them fairly immobile). Insert a chef’s knife where the tail meets the head, and swiftly bisect head lengthwise in one fell swoop (leave tail intact). Using the back of a cleaver or a lobster cracker, crack each claw on all sides. Twist off tails and cut in half through shells lengthwise. Remove any tomalley or eggs (reserve if you like). Twist off knuckles and claws, then separate knuckles from claws using cleaver.

Step 2

Heat ⅓ cup oil in a wide Dutch oven or heavy pot that’s large enough to hold pasta over medium-high. Season lobsters with salt and, working in separate batches and being careful not to overcrowd pot, sear lobster pieces, turning occasionally and adding more oil if pot looks dry, until shells are bright red, about 4 minutes for knuckles, claws, and tails about 6 minutes for heads. Transfer lobsters to a rimmed baking sheet let cool slightly. Remove pot from heat and add brandy. Return to heat and cook, scraping up browned bits, until smell of alcohol is almost gone, about 2 minutes. Transfer brandy mixture to a small bowl. Pick lobster meat from knuckles and claws discard shells. Place in an airtight container with tails cover and chill until ready to use. Set heads aside. Wipe out pot and reserve.

Step 3

Working in batches, pulse onions, carrots, and fennel separately in a food processor until finely chopped transfer vegetables to a large bowl after each is chopped. Heat remaining ⅓ cup oil in reserved pot over medium-high. Cook vegetables, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, chiles, and 1 tsp. red pepper flakes and cook, smashing garlic with a wooden spoon and stirring occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly darkened, about 3 minutes. Add wine and reserved lobster heads bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until reduced by one-third, about 2 minutes. Add tomato purée to pot and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce is slightly thickened, 10–15 minutes. Discard lobster heads.

Step 4

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until very al dente. Drain, reserving 3 cups pasta cooking liquid.

Step 5

Add butter, chilled lobster meat, lobster tails, pasta, reserved brandy mixture, and 2 cups pasta cooking liquid to sauce. Cook, tossing to combine and adding more pasta cooking liquid as needed, until sauce coats pasta. Because you’re working with a large amount of pasta and sauce, this will take effort—toss using a long sturdy spoon in each hand, and make sure to get to the bottom of pot as you go. Add parsley and lemon juice, then transfer pasta to a platter, arranging lobster tails on top. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.

Step 6

Do Ahead: Lobsters can be prepared 6 hours ahead. Cover and chill.

Lobster Alla Vodka Sauce over Pasta

I have made this recipe numerous times. It’s so easy even I can’t mess it up! It does have a bit of bite to it so I have cut down the quantity of the red pepper which easily made it tolerable for spicy sensitive palettes. You can also vary the size of the lobster chunks to your preference as well. Enjoy!

  • 1 1/2 pound lobster
  • 28 oz’s of Italian plum crushed tomato sauce
  • 4 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • 1/2 cup fine chopped white onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed Italian red pepper
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 oz’s of Kettle One Vodka
  • 3 oz’s of cream
  • 1 pound fresh Penne pasta

In A stock pot add 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil and fry the 1/2 cup fine chopped white onion , add the 4 tablespoons pesto sauce, and1/2 tablespoon crushed Italian red pepper cook for 5 min.

The next step is to add 20 oz’s of crushed tomato sauce and 1 1/2 oz’s of Kettle One Vodka to the onion mixture and cook on med. heat for 15 min.

Remove the meat from the 1 1/2 pound whole steamed Maine lobster and chop into bite size pieces. Add 3 oz’s of cream and the cut lobster into the tomato cream sauce and cook for 1 more min.

Cook the 1 pound of fresh Penne in 2 quarts of water salted until done. Serve the Penne pasta topped with the lobster alla vodka sauce. Enjoy!

Scampi alla Griglia

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I decided to put this in the Italian section, although schrimp scampi as we know it may very well belong in the "American Northeast" section. A little bit of research will demonstrate why:

Scampi has two meanings: the name of a shrimp (Italian word) and the name of the dish. Shrimp scampi, as we Americans know it today, became popular after World War II. This was when many Italian dishes went "mainstream." According to our sources, "scampi" is not one set recipe, but a generic name applied to several dishes variously composed of shrimp. Notes here:

"What is scampi?". is asked frequently of this department, and a quick check disclosed that it is also asked of fishmongers and Italian restauranteurs. Although the answers received will probably vary with every source consulted, they do fall into two basic categories: a type of shrimp or a preparation of shrimp. Howevever, the ramifications within these two categories are bewildering. In an effort to get an unromantic, unbiased definition of the word Italian dictionaries of all sizes were consulted. Unfortunately they were peculiarly silent on the subject. Italian cookbooks yielded more relevant, but scarcely more helpful information. Most offered recipes for "scampi" or "shrimp scampi style" and such recipes generally (but not always) called for jumbo shrimp, olive oil, garilc and parsley. "Preparation varies. The methods of cooking, however, varied from boiling to broiling and from frying to baking. Some called for shelling the shrimp in advance others recommended serving the dish only to "people who are willing to remove the shells at table." Some called for marinating the shellfish in advance others did not. One even introduced a bread crumb topping. All this would seem to point to the fact that scampi is not, after all, a particular method of preparing shrimp. Some cookbooks and most persons consulted agreed with this and generally (but, again, not always) deveined scampi as shellfish native to the Adriatic (notably the Bay of Venice) that are not available in this country. But the specifications of the shellfish varied from that of a small shrimp to that of a lobster tail and a flavor from similar to Mexican shrimp to unlike anything else. The most authoritative answer came from Mrs. Hedy Giusti-Lanham, who styled herself "practically a scampo--although not quite as pink as I should be--because the best ones come from Venice, where I am from." "Plump little beasts. "What are scampi?" she asked rhetorically. "The are like shrimps in this country, only smaller. The larger ones, like the jumbo here, are called scampi imperali but the normal scampi are quite small. The are plump little beasts and are quite round when they sit on the plate, because the tails curl in close." "No one where I come from would put a heavy sauce on top, like in shrimp cocktail." she commented. "They are usually thrown into heavy boiling water, then deveined and shelled and served lukewarm. Or they may be broiled by basting the shells with oil and putting them under the broiled or over charcoal and basting them while they cook. The shells get very dark and crack when the inside is done. They are served with their shells on. You put a little olive oil and a little lemon on them as you take them out of the shells, and a little pepper--but no salt. Garlic? Oh, no, no, no. They have such flavor that anything else would be an insult." Asked whether there was a great difference between scampi and American-style shrimp, Mrs. Guisti-Lanhan replied: "They are a similar type of person but the accent is very different."
---"Food News: Italian Ways With Scampi," Nan Ickeringill, New York Times, November 17, 1964 (p. 44)

"Scampi. A Venetian term, dating in English print to 1920, that in America refers to shrimp cooked in garlic, butter, lemon juice, and white wine, commonly listed on menus as "shrimp scampi." The true scampo (scampi is the plural) of Italy is a small lobster or prawn, of the family Nephropidae, which in America is called a "lobsterette.""
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 286)

"Scampi. We seem not to have discovered this simple Italian way of cooking shrimp until after World War II. Certainly scampi weren't familiar beyond big metropolitan areas."
---American Century Cookbook: The Most Popular Recipes of the 20th Century, Jean Anderson [Clarkson Potter:New York] 1997 (p. 139)
[NOTE: The earliest reference to shrimp scampi in the New York Times is a restaurant advertisement published May 9, 1956 for The Tenakill Restaurant in Englewood NJ]

"In the latter part of the 20th century the Norway lobster became a standard item on British menus, usually under the Italian name scampi. This reflects the fact that Italians in the Adriatic had for long appreciated it, and had many recipes for scampi cooked in this or that way, which became famouns to tourists."
---Oxford Companion to Food, Alan Davidson [Oxford University Press:Oxford] 1999 (p. 541)

In the USA, "scampi" is often the menu name for shrimp in Italian-American cuisine (the actual word for "shrimp" in Italian is gambero or gamberetto, plural gamberi or gamberetti[3]). The term "scampi", by itself, is also the name of a dish of shrimp served in garlic butter and dry white wine, served either with bread, or over pasta or rice. The word "scampi" is often construed as that style of preparation rather than an ingredient, with that preparation being called "shrimp scampi", and with variants such as "chicken scampi".

With this information in mind, my guess (and it is a pure guess) that "shrimp scampi" as we know it was never "officially" an Italian dish and that "scampi" in Italy were cooked in a variety of ways, probably including the method that became famous. The post-WW2 timing suggests that it most likely was something brought to the US and "Americanized" by returning GIs or perhaps by Italian POWs who may have worked in restaurants. Perhaps it was eventually served as we know it in a restaurant and the idea caught on. Since it would have been impractical to import true scampi from Italy, whatever shrimp were on hand were used and "scampi" became a designation used to differentiate it from other shrimp items on the menu (and perhaps to make it sound more Italian.) As the dish was introduced and became popular, it came to be a universally accepted "Italian" dish. As stated earlier, this is all a pure guess, and If anyone finds solid information to refute it, I'll be more than willing to stand corrected.

The Big List Of Places To Eat If You Don’t Feel Like Cooking This Christmas

The holidays are a joyful time indeed, but between all of the gift buying, gift wrapping, tree decorating, and holiday parties, it can become a stressful time of year!

This year, let go of one more worry and sit back, relax and let San Diego’s best chefs create your holiday cheer. Here’s our big list of restaurants that are opening their doors and inviting you to join them for a special holiday meal.

Jeune et Jolie

The modern French bistro will be open Christmas Eve and serving their regular menu in addition to a special seasonal ‘Carte Blanche’ tasting menu for $90/person. Toast through the festive night with absinthe selections from their new absinthe fountain, craft cocktails in ode to the Beautiful Era’s most prolific French madmen, or wine/bubbles with selections each carefully selected to honor the land and terroir of each grape varietal. Reservations are limited and seatings available until 8pm. Reservations can be made here or by calling (760) 637.5266.

International Smoke Del Mar

Start celebrating Christmas on December 24 with Christmas Eve dinner at International Smoke. The Del Mar restaurant is offering an expansive tasting menu for guests, featuring hearty holiday favorites like Roasted Butternut Squash Soup, Smoked Maple Leaf Duck Breast and Roasted Wild Seabass. Decadent dessert options include Pumpkin Pot De Crème and Candied Grapefruit-Apple Pie. The Holiday Tasting Menu will be available from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Price: $65 per person. Menu here.

Mille Fleurs

Paying ode to the French classics, Mille Fleurs will be serving a Christmas Eve prix fixe menu for $95.5/person and Christmas Day three-course prix menu for $79.5/person. The special holiday menus feature fresh seafood and turf selections like red grouper with prawn tortellini and lamb loin “Wellington” with Madeira truffle sauce. For dessert options include a croquet en bouche with house-made citrus profiteroles and gingerbread pudding with local apples and quince. Don’t forget to ask for Pastry Chef Samantha Bird’s house-made chocolates featuring seasonal holiday flavors to take home. Reservations can be made here or by calling (868) 756-3085.


For a cozy, chic spot to dine out on Christmas or Christmas Eve, Zinqué, the newly-opened French bistro in the heart of Little Italy, offers the best in French cuisine. Open for their normal hours from 7 a.m. – 12 a.m. both nights, this is the perfect spot to forget about all that extra kitchen work and really enjoy the holiday.

For this special occasion, treat yourself to something nice like the Steak Frites with chimichurri or peppercorn sauce ($29) or keep with the French theme and go for the Quiche Lorraine, made with pancetta and aged gruyere ($16). And if you find some time in between all of the holiday shopping, stop in for Happy Hour from 4 p.m. – 6: 30 p.m. for an assortment of deals – all for under $10.

Mister A’s

Treat your loved ones to the panoramic views of San Diego while enjoying a special Christmas Eve prix fixe menu for $95.5/person or Christmas Day prix fixe menu for $79.5/person! The special three-course prix fixe menus include seasonal selections like 72 hours braised Strauss Farm veal, oven-roasted Maine lobster, and house-made wagyu beef agnolotti. Reservations can be made here or by calling (619) 239.1377.


Take a trip to Campfire this Christmas Eve with menu selections for everyone in the family to enjoy. Opting for a large family Christmas Eve affair? Campfire has you covered with their family-style group menu making the ordering both equally easy and delicious. Don’t forget to check out their holiday craft cocktails or wines by the glass from their domestic US only wine purveyors. Reservations open until 8 pm can be made here or by calling (760) 637.5121.

Rare Society

For an upscale Christmas Eve dinner, slide into a booth at University Heights’ newest neighborhood hotspot, Rare Society. From the team who brought you TRUST and Fort Oak, comes a sleek, modern steak house whose concept pays tribute to old Las Vegas in a cozy
atmosphere with hints of mid-century glamour.

They’ve rolled out a new cocktail menu for the holiday season featuring a selection of festive takes on classic drinks including boozy eggnog, holiday old fashioned and Too Many Zooz (bison grass vodka, herbal liquor, sparkling wine, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar, bitters).

If you’re celebrating with your big family, there’s plenty to go around with the Holiday Punch Bowl, meant for parties of 3 or more. Cozy up on the outside patio, or pick a warm seat inside to enjoy the shared plates menu featuring Santa Maria-style wood-fired steaks, chops, and seafood with mouthwatering steakhouse sides to accompany.

For Christmas Eve reservations, please call (619) 501-6404 or visit here.

Bleu Bohème

Bleu Bohème will make San Diegans say “Joyeux Noël” with a specialty three-course dinner available from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 24. A sampling of festive French offerings includes bisque d’homard, lobster bisque with herb crust and chive crème frâiche paillard de Poulet, pan-seared Jidori chicken breast served with broccoli, butternut squash purée, fingerling potatoes and chicken jus and crème brulée, rich vanilla custard with a crunchy sugar crust.

Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant

Have a holly jolly Christmas Eve at Bankers Hill Bar + Restaurant <> with a featured dish: Cabernet-braised short ribs served with garlic mashed potatoes and roasted root vegetables. Don’t forget to top off your meal with the Up To Snow Good cocktail, a combination of Malahat Spiced rum, apple brandy, Amaro Montenegro, allspice dram, black walnut bitters, egg white and house-made apple cider reduction, garnished with grated nutmeg and fresh cranberries.

The Westgate Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Dining

Whether you’re a visitor looking for a holiday meal while on vacation or a local who dreads dirty dishes, there’s something for everyone (including those on the naughty list) at the iconic Westgate Hotel this holiday season. Executive Chef Fabrice Hardel will prepare a four-course prix fixe menu available in the elegant Westgate Room. Dinner will be served from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on December 24 and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day. The price is $79 per person plus tax and gratuity.

You may also want to indulge in the Westgate’s award-winning buffet in the beautiful Le Fontainebleau Room from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The price is $99 for adults, $40 for children ages 4-12, and complimentary for children 3 and under, tax and gratuity not included. Guests may purchase bottomless house wine and champagne for an additional $20. Guests may reserve their holiday dining experience by calling (619) 238-1818 or visiting here.


Santa’s elves are whipping up something special at the Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa this holiday season. Experience an exquisite three-course Christmas Eve dinner prepared by Executive Chef Julian Quiñones. The prix-fixe menu will include a Compressed Pear Salad, American Wagyu Eye of Ribeye Oscar served with king crab, chive hollandaise, truffle potato gratin, confit pearl onion, and wild mushroom, along with a Warm Almond Brown Butter Cake. Holiday-inspired cocktails by Beverage Director Stephen George, Cranberry Sauce’d pictured above, add to the merriment. Reservations for 20|Twenty’s Christmas Eve dinner are available from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, December 24, 2019. Pricing is $75 per person, not including tax and gratuity.

On Christmas Day, gather ‘round for a festive Christmas dinner featuring holiday favorites with a Southern California twist. Choices include Lobster Bisque or Persimmon Arugula Salad, followed by Pan Roasted Duck Breast and Duck Leg Confit, Cape Grim Beef Tenderloin,
or Whole Roasted Branzino and will finish with a traditional Yule Log to get you in the holiday spirit. The spectacular views of the Carlsbad coastline will be a happy reminder that you’re celebrating the season in beautiful Southern California. Reservations for 20|Twenty’s Christmas dinner are available from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, December 25, 2019. Pricing is $80 per person, not including tax and gratuity.

To make reservations for 20|Twenty’s Christmas Eve or Christmas Day dinners, please call (760) 827-2500 or visit here.

JRDN, located beachside in Pacific Beach’s Tower23, is getting into the holiday spirit with Christmas dinner served up with a view of Pacific Beach pier’s beautifully-lit Christmas tree and salty ocean breezes. On Wednesday, December 25, Executive Chef David Warner and the JRDN team invite you to delight in a three-course, locally-sourced dinner featuring all of the season’s favorites. JRDN serves Christmas dinner from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. To reserve a table, please visit here or call (858) 270-2323. Request outdoor seating for the best view!

The Abbey on Fifth Avenue

The Abbey is Hornblower’s on-land venue it offers a rare, refined uptown option for Christmas. Originally constructed as an Episcopal church, this elegant 1910 landmark is San Diego’s only remaining Classic Revival structure. Experience a spectacular holiday buffet complete with all the holiday trimmings at the Abbey.

Primavera Ristorante

Primavera Ristorante will make spirits bright on Christmas Eve with a ‘festivo’ three-course Italian feast available exclusively for the holiday. The menu includes a variety of specialty dishes, including Maine lobster and Dungeness crab bisque served with brioche croutons and crème fraiche basso mare bianco, pan-seared white sea bass with littleneck clams in a light tomato-fennel broth, served with a risotto croquette and more. A specialty cocktail, Chocolate Peppermint Stick, will also be available for the celebration.

Havana 1920

Put a little Cuban flare into Christmas Eve this year at Havana 1920, located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter. Celebrate with dishes including as pinchos del mar, seafood skewers served with white rice and avocado salad or lechon asado, Cuban-style roasted pork and the intimate restaurant’s specialty cocktail, The Little Rummer Boy, made with Havana Club Añejo rum, caramelized plantain purée, fresh lime juice, fresh-pressed sugarcane and R&D Aromatic #7 bitters.

Located in Orlando, Enzo's on the Lake is a purveyor of fine Italian dining.

Enzo’s on the Lake started as a home and has continued to be one. In 1980 Enzo Perlini wanted to create a restaurant in Orlando where a Roman would feel at home. He wanted his new home to reflect the flavors, colors, and vibrancy of his city-- and that is Enzo’s.

Everything we do at Enzo’s is in service to that mission: our family recipes passed down from Nonna Maria-- a blending of Roman and Neapolitan kitchens-- Enzo’s innovative creations, traditional Roman flavors, and family art decorating the walls. Elaine Ross, Jo Anne’s mother, painted almost all of the paintings that adorn the walls-- so from our family to yours, we give you Enzo’s.

Enzo and Jo Anne have always been committed to Enzo’s original vision: family owned and crafted with love. We are a family and what we make here is exactly that. We make pasta from scratch by hand in a pasta maker from Italy. We buy fresh fish. We are deliberate in preserving our flavors and tradition, but love to try new things as we grow. After almost 40 years we are still here because of our attention to detail. We are still here because we don’t take shortcuts.

Our building and property used to be a private residence and when Enzo and Jo Anne purchased the property in 1980 they converted it to a restaurant. They purchased the property from the original owners who built the Italian style villa on the lake in 1955. Room by room Enzo and Jo Anne transformed the house into a restaurant a garage became a kitchen, a bedroom became “Il Pensatoio,” or “The Thinking Room,” our old school bar.

The Perlini children grew up here and the staff, many of whom have worked here for decades, are our family-- their hard work, their attention to detail, and their care for our customers have made Enzo’s what it is, and has been for almost 40 years. We can’t wait for you to join us and become part of our family tradition.

One of Jo Anne’s favorite memories is of Josh, the youngest son, eating our homemade meatballs on the back counter at three years old, mouth full, and one meatball in each hand-- incidentally, Josh still holds the record for the number of ravioli eaten in one sitting at a whopping 22 ravioli.. Once you try them you might be tempted to challenge him!

Our longtime customer and friend, Robert Earl, host of The Cooking Channel's "Be My Guest" stopped by Enzo's on the Lake to film a segment for his show.

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THIS REVIEW IS FOR THE SAUCE ONLY I do not eat animals, but this is the best pasta sauce I've ever had. It's just, fresh, bright, tomatoey, spicy and divine.

Gave it four forks, but only with the changes suggested by the other reviewers. Agree with all - cooked the lobster (and shrimp) with the garlic and shallots, added the serrano peppers too and some crushed red pepper, then took the lobster and shrimp out to be added before serving. Used only meat from the lobster tails. May be okay as written if you cooked the complete lobster, but would be pretty messy to get the meat out of the lobster when it's been cooked in all the sauce.

As noted by the other reviewer, the recipe, as written, will vastly overcook lobster (or shrimp). To solve that, I cooked the shallot/garlic in oil until softened -- a couple of mintues. Then I added the wine/cognac and the shellfish. I sauted the shellfish briefly, and removed it before it was fully cooked. I returned the shellfish to the sauce at the end to finish cooking it. (Exact cooking time depends on whether you are using lobster or shrimp.) Other changes, based on personal taste: (1) reduced the flatleaf parsley from 6 tablespoons to 4, (2) increased tomato paste to 4 tablespoons and (3) increased the red pepper flakes to 3/4 teaspoon. Overall, a very tasty and relatively fast dish.

The sauce in this recipe is very good. However be careful to not over cook the lobster. We doubled this recipe for a larger family and it could have been better. Two steps contributed to the downfall of the poor yet expensive lobster, not exactly indigenous to Minnesota. Step 2 is too long. Next time I'll cook the lobster pieces in oil maybe 5 minutes. Step 3 requires a very large surface area to evaporate the liquid. Our standard pan required more time to reduce the wine, drying out the lobster. Also, use fresh oregano. The dry gets overpowered by the wonderful fresh herbs.

Spring has sprung, March Madness is underway, and Easter is just around the corner (stay tuned for our Easter brunch roundup). Here are 11 must-do March events in the meantime. 1. New Lunch Menu at Seaspice When: Tuesday-Friday, Noon-4pm Where:

Spring has sprung, March Madness is underway, and Easter is just around the corner (stay tuned for our Easter brunch roundup). Here are 11 must-do March events in the meantime.

1. New Lunch Menu at Seaspice
Tuesday-Friday, Noon-4pm
Where: Seaspice <422 Northwest North River Drive, Miami 305.440.4200>
What: Seaspice has launched an all-new lunch menu, a combination of old and new favorites, including the Shrimp Salad (pictured above), the Market Fish Sandwich with tarragon rémoulade, cucumber slaw, and butter lettuce on ciabatta loaf the Seaspice Lobster Roll with warm Maine lobster, mini challah buns, chive-lemon aïoli, and shaved celery the Steak Frites with 1855 Prime grilled bavette and green peppercorn sauce and the Vegetable Pizzeta, made fresh daily.

2. March Madness at Apeiro Kitchen
All month long Monday-Thursday, 4pm-close
Where: Apeiro Kitchen & Bar <3252 Northeast First Avenue, Suite 101, Midtown 786.800.5389>
What: Delray Beach’s popular Mediterranean restaurant Apeiro recently opened in Midtown. And for the entire month of March (Monday-Thursday, 4pm-close), diners will get 50-percent off their dinner check (cannot be combined with other offers). Come out to try Chef Anthony Sitek’s progressive Mediterranean cuisine, including a few new creations like the Chicken Firakh, Mahi Tacos, Naked Falafel, and more.

3. New Happy Hour and Sushi Tuesdays at Mandarin Oriental
Monday-Friday 5-8pm
Where: MO Bar at Mandarin Oriental, Miami <500 Brickell Key Drive, Brickell 305.913.8288>
What: Mandarin Oriental, Miami has expanding its weekly happy hour offerings, with 12 distinctive cocktails priced at only $8 each, a selection of wines at $8 per glass, and select beers for $6. The new “light bites” menu features five bites for just $5 each. Plus, in a nod to the hotel’s Asian roots, you can enjoy Sushi Night every Tuesday during happy hour with unlimited servings of Mandarin Oriental’s signature sushi for just $25 per person.

4. Quality Meats’ New Grill Menu
When: Nightly
Where: Quality Meats Miami Beach <1501 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach 305.340.3333>
What: Miami Beach’s acclaimed steakhouse has introduced an accessibly priced Grill Menu for just $39 per person. Appetizers include Yellowfina Tuna Carpaccio, Roasted Bone Marrow, Kale and Manchego Salad, and the dish that won SOBEWFF’s Meatopia People’s Choice Award: House-Cured Slab Bacon with peanut butter and jalapeño jelly (shown above). Main courses include a hearty plate of Baby Back Ribs, Petit Filet Mignon, Blackened Redfish, and Lemon-Charred Chicken.

5. Quattro Gastronomia Italiana’s New Lunch Special
Monday-Friday Noon-6pm
Where: Quattro Gastronomia Italiana <1014 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach 305.531.4833>
What: Lincoln Road’s authentic Italian restaurant has introduced a two-course weekday lunch menu for just $25 per person. Begin with a choice of antipasti: Caprese, Prosciutto e Melone (shown above), or Pasta e Fagioli con Maltagliati. For your entrée, choose the Cotoletta di Pollo, Penne alla Norma, or the Orata alla Griglia con Salsa Verde. Glasses of Prosecco Jeio, Pinot Grigio Gran Ducato, and Chianti Le Torri are just $7 per glass.

6. St. Patrick’s Day at Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails
Thursday, March 17
Where: Hyde Beach Kitchen + Cocktails <111 South Surf Road, Hallandale Beach 954.699.0901>
What: Taste the luck of the Irish at HBKC with exclusive specials all day from 9am-6pm at the first floor beach bar. Enjoy $5 Jameson shots, $10 Guinness/Jameson combos, and $3 Hollywood Pilsner green beer all while being surrounded by the silky sands, sparkling waters, and stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.

7. Burlesque Brunch at R House
Third Sunday of the Month starting March 20
Where: R House <2727 Northwest Second Avenue, Wynwood 305.576.0201>
What: Following the success of its Valentine’s Day brunch, R House will now host its Burlesque Brunch every third Sunday of the month featuring live burlesque performances throughout the day from noon-5pm. Enjoy unlimited brunch items for $35 per person or bottomless cocktails for $25 per person—or both, for a discounted price of $55 per person.

8. Pasta-Bilities with the Biltmore’s Chef Beppe
Sunday, March 20
Where: Fontana at the Biltmore <1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables 305.913.3200>
What: Think of all the “Pasta-Bilities” you can create with Fontana’s Chef Beppe as he takes the energy from his exhibition kitchen as handcrafts a unique variety of pastas including tortellini, ravioli, gnocchi, fettuccini, and black tagliolini while the hotel’s sommelier selectively pairs them with five succulent glasses of wine. Cost is $65 per person. Click here for reservations.

9. Taste of Tennis Miami
Monday, March 21, 7-10pm
Where: W South Beach <2201 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach 305.938.3000>
What: The second annual Taste of Tennis Miami brings together signature cuisine from top chefs, an array of cocktails, and appearances from the world’s best tennis players. This year’s chef lineup includes Mike Pirolo of Bazi and Macchialina, Diego Solano of Bulla Gastrobar, Chef Bee from Oishi Thai and NaiYaRa, Patrick Reholz from Quality Meats, Loris Navone from Tamarina, and many others. A portion of the proceeds from the event will benefit FIU College of Architecture + The Arts. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

10. Tamarina Wine Dinner
Wednesday, March 23, at 7:30pm
Where: Tamarina <600 Brickell Avenue, Brickell 305.579.1888>
What: This month, Tamarina’s monthly wine dinner will emphasize the the principles and practices of biodynamics based on spiritual philosophy, carefully paired with a chef’s special menu. Stay tuned for details! To reserve your seat, email [email protected]

11. Movie on the Sand
Saturday, March 26, at 7pm
Where: Miami Beach EDITION <2901 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach 786.257.4500>
What: Watch the classic 1959 comedy “Some Like It Hot” in the Sandbox while enjoying a picnic basket for two. For $150, a basket includes a bottle of wine, shrimp cocktail, local vegetable crudité with lemon yogurt dip, kale salad, gourmet popcorn, and house-baked cookies. Call 786.257.4600 for reservations.

Giovanni’s Table: The Home-Style Tuscan Trattoria

The Ambiance

The exciting factor that contrasts Giovanni’s Table against Chops Grille is that Giovanni’s Table serves family-style dishes, which, if not fresh, are made from scratch Tuscan cuisine. The elegance of tastes and calming mood will put you in the heart of Italy. Tuscan touches profoundly inspire the ambiance at Giovanni’s Table. Dimmed lights, stone walls, and several paintings of the countryside will mark your cruise an excellent trattoria experience.

Visit the Italian trattoria at the 4th level of Voyager of the Seas. Giovanni’s Table will welcome your cravings with a contemporary and classy vibe. Some ships even offer sea views through floor-to-ceiling windows.

The Menu

If you want a menu that will hit you home, Giovanni’s Table is the right venue for you. Although the lunch menu is slightly smaller than other restaurants in the Royal Caribbean, the list in the casual Italian trattoria offers stews, soups, braised meat dishes, and of course, fresh pasta.

Reservations are recommended in Giovanni’s Table due to the demand for their heart-warming dishes. Giovanni’s Table offers a five-course dinner menu in family-sized portions. The menu is subject to change by ship and itinerary.

Appetizers and Light Salads

  • FOCACCIA DELLA CASA is an Italian flatbread with potatoes, herbs, marinated artichokes, olives, and pesto.
  • FRITTURA MISTA PER DUE is a mash-up of fried shrimp, calamari, fish fillets, and zucchini with aioli.
  • ANTIPASTI PER DUE is two kinds of Italian salami, prosciutto, marinated anchovies, grilled artichokes, roasted peppers, zucchini, olives, and Gambonzola cheese.
  • INSALATA CAPRESE PER DUE is a salad of vine ripe tomatoes and bocconcini mozzarella for two.
  • FOCACCIE ALLA GIOVANNI is Italian flatbreads – Giovanni’s Table style for two with a choice of Margherita mushroom and prosciutto arugula and Parmesan shavings.
  • INSALATA DI RUGHETTA E BRESAOLA is an Italian cured beef, arugula, and Parmesan shavings.
  • MELANZANE ALLA PARMIGIANA is a baked eggplant parmigiana Italian style.
  • INSALATA ALLA CESARE is a Romaine lettuce tossed with Caesar dressing and herb croutons.
  • MOZZARELLA IN CARROZZA ALLA GIOVANNI is a warm mozzarella and prosciutto bake, crispy ciabatta, mixed greens, and Dijon mustard drizzle.
  • CAPESANTE AL FORNO is an oven-baked almond-crusted scallop with red bell pepper pesto.

Heart-warming Soups

  • ZUPPA DI LENTICCHIE ALLA CONTADINA is a vegetarian lentil and root vegetable soup finished with egg pasta.
  • CIOPPINO CON PESCE MISTO is a fennel scented seafood-tomato stew and a garlic-herb crostini.

Favorite Pasta

  • GNOCCHI DI PATATE CON CREMA AL GORGONZOLA O SUGO D’AGNELLO is potato gnocchi tossed in light blue cheese sauce or thyme-scented baby lamb and root vegetable sauce (also available for two).
  • PAPPARDELLE ALLA CREMA DI RADICCHIO E PANCETTA is a pappardelle pasta in a radicchio cream and pancetta.
  • RISOTTO AI FUNGI TRIFOLATI is a traditional risotto made of Arborio rice and forest mushrooms, finished with porcini and truffle mushroom tapenade.
  • LASAGNA TRADIZIONALE AL SUGO DI CARNE is a traditional meat lasagna.
  • TAGLIERINI AI POMODORINI, CALAMARI, CAPESANTE E PESTO is a taglierini pasta tossed with cherry tomatoes, calamari, bay scallops and pesto.
  • PENNE AL BRANDY, CREMA DI GAMBERETTI E SALMONE is penne pasta, baby shrimp, and smoked salmon in a brandy sauce.
  • CRESPELLE DI RICOTTA E SPINACI is baked ricotta and spinach crepes served with your choice of Pomodoro sauce or with Bolognese sauce.
  • RAVIOLI DI POLPA DI GRANCHIO is a Maryland crab ravioli with sweet corn and crab meat sauce.

Complete Entrees

  • BISTECCA DI MANZO ALLA GRIGLIA, PATATE FRITTE ALL’OLIO DI TARTUFO, SALSA AL BAROLO O BURRO DI GORGONZOLA are 8 ounces grilled strip loin steak, truffle oil fries, Barolo reduction or Gorgonzola butter.
  • FILETTO DI POLLO RIPIENO DI RICOTTA E FUNGHI, SALSA ALLA SALVIA E CHARDONNAY is a chicken breast filled with ricotta and mushroom, wrapped in prosciutto, and served with Chardonnay-sage sauce.
  • GAMBERONI AL FORNO, PATATE AGLIATE, ASPARAGI E ZUCCHINI are baked jumbo shrimp, garlic tossed potatoes, baby zucchini, and asparagus.
  • POLPETTE ALLA ROMANA is a milk-fed veal meatball in a creamy Roman tomato-herb sauce.
  • FILETTI DI SOGLIOLA ALLA MUGNAIA are sole fillets in a lemon butter sauce, sautéed garlic zucchini spaghetti and onion braised potatoes.
  • COSTOLETTE DI AGNELLO ALLE ERBE is grilled lamb chops, baby vegetable caponata, sautéed spinach, and Merlot reduction.
  • FILETTO DI MANZO ALLA GRIGLIA, PATATE FRITTE ALL’OLIO AGLIATO, SALSA AL BAROLO O BURRO DI GORGONZOLA are 8 ounces of grilled beef tenderloin, served with garlic fries, and your choice of Barolo reduction or Gorgonzola butter.
  • OSSOBUCO ALLA PIEMONTESE is veal ossobuco au jus with tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese polenta, and sautéed green beans.
  • FILETTI DI SOGLIOLA is a pan-seared sole fillet over parmesan roasted potatoes, with sautéed artichokes, green olive tapenade, and red bell pepper beurre blanc.
  • FAGOTITINI DI VITELLA RIPIENI AI FUNGHI PORCINI, PROVOLONE E PROSCIUTTO COTTO, SALSA AL TARTUFO NERO are veal tenderloin parcels filled with porcini mushrooms, provolone cheese and ham, with sautéed asparagus, black truffle sauce, and veal jus.

Whatever mood you are in, Chops Grille or Giovanni’s Table on Royal Carribean Cruises has you covered. Dine with an empty stomach to fully immerse yourself in the taste journey Chops is celebrated for.

Royal Carribean Cruises gives you a variety of options perfect for casual diners and food enthusiasts alike. I have been on two Royal Caribbean cruises in my life and have tried both restaurants. They are both amazing and will make the whole cruise experience one to remember.