Chop SteakhousePosted: 05/18/2012
Birthdays in our group tend to be pretty big affairs– it’s one of the few occasions in a month where a large part of the group can get together to eat out– and Angie’s 20th was no exception. So, on a rare, hot and sunny day in late March, twelve of us made the trek to Chop Steakhouse in Richmond to celebrate.
The restaurant put us in one of their private rooms, complete with a huge round table, cushy sofa-like individual chairs, a tv, fireplace and two dog sculptures (these were kind of weird). While it was nice that we got our own room (our group can be loud at times, so this way we didn’t bother other patrons… plus it was kinda fancy to have our own ROOM), the downside to this was that the table was too big for us to really have conversations. We ended up clustering into little groups around the table as we waited for our food. Which is nice in it’s own way, but when you’re given a round table it would be nice to actually have conversations with the group at large. And also the room was very dark, so we had to get creative with the lighting (as you can see in my not-so-stellar pictures below). Anywho.
Our visit to Chop ended up being at the beginning of their Steak and Crab Affair (which ran until May 16), so naturally a few of us ordered their specials. David got the Louisiana Crab Boil, which included snow crab, prawns, mussels, chorizo, baby corn, and fingerling potatoes in a tomato-fennel broth. David really enjoyed his meal– the seafood tasted very fresh, and the snow crab and prawns were quite meaty. He liked that he could really taste the fennel in the soup, and that the tomato base didn’t overpower the natural sweetness of the seafood.
Choosing something else from the Steak&Crab menu, Jess, Angela, Hui and Su all ended up getting the same thing in the Baseball Sirloin topped with Crab in Lobster Butter. This dish came with season vegetables (in our case it was garlic broccolini and baby carrots), and a choice of infused mashed potatoes, seven grain wild rice pilaf, baked potato, or fries. I too had the Baseball Sirloin (below), which was basically the same thing, without the crab topping. In terms of the steak, we all thought that while the middle was a little rarer than the medium-rare we asked for, the rest of the steak was a little on the tough side– however, this was understandable as the cut of meat was really thick. I liked the salt and pepper crust of my steak, but apparently with the special, there wasn’t as much rub, which meant that the others’ steaks were on the bland side. For Jess, the crab topping was a tad too salty, which in theory probably complements their blander steaks; however, since the steak was so thick, it was hard for them to get both on their forks. I really liked the veggies and my side of mashed potatoes: the broccolini and carrots were cooked all the way without being limp and soggy, whereas the mash was peppery and buttery and had some skins left in it for texture.
Still going with the seafood trend, Dolph went with the Little Lobster Dinner— a lobster tail served with clarified butter, and a side of the seven grain wild rice pilaf. She thought that this was nothing spectacular: the lobster was prepared fine (while the rice was on the dry side), but she felt that for the price she was paying, she should have gotten a larger tail or a fuller meal.
Jason and Aldora each decided to get the Chop Burger topped with aged white cheddar, double-smoked bacon, and honey Dijon sauce, again with their choice of sides (Jason had the fries, and Aldora had the Mac n’Cheese). From the appearance, their burgers looked really juicy; however, this was not the case, as both were quite dry and overdone, and not too pleasant to eat. I would have thought (since this is a steakhouse) that they would have been able to choose a level of doneness for their burgers, however they weren’t given the option at all. Perhaps that would be something Chop could change for the future? As for their sides, Jason’s fries were super potato-y and nicely seasoned; he said that these were arguably the best part of his dish. I felt that Aldora’s al dente Mac could be a little cheesier, as it didn’t have too much flavour, and there wasn’t that much sauce to coat the noodles with.
Darek, Pickles and In Hye ordered, in varying sizes, the Aged Canadian Prime Rib au jus with Fresh Horseradish and their choice of sides. They were all pleasantly surprised with the size of their prime rib, as the petit (8oz) was quite a bit larger than what Yvonne and In Hye were expecting; Darek’s large steak (pictured), compared to the Baseball Sirloin, was monstrous, filling up nearly half his plate. They all thought that it was prepared very well– Darek praised the nice cut of thoroughly marbled meat, which yielded a lot of flavour. One thing they did have against their meal, though, was that the prime rib had no crust whatsoever, so cutting a piece off to eat was difficult at times. In Hye also ordered a Starter Salad, a white radish, romaine lettuce and edamame starter with honey garlic lime vinaigrette. The vinaigrette tasted quite good, with a nice mixture of sweet and sour; however, the veggies didn’t exactly hold up, as they weren’t very fresh (some of the lettuce leaves underneath actually looked a bit wilted).
Like another comment on one of my posts a while back, we had an alright time at Chop, but I felt that it was more due to the company than the location we were at. In Hye and I weren’t all too impressed with the waitresses, who not only didn’t seem to know what they were doing, but also didn’t have a very good attitude– something that’s a little annoying to deal with, especially at an event like a birthday party. In Hye (and myself too, in retrospect) also didn’t like that the waitresses had nail polish on, as this didn’t seem very sanitary. All in all, I felt that the food was a little above average, and the decor was way above average, but with all the hype I heard about the place, I definitely expected a little more.
10251 St. Edwards Drive