Chops Lobster Bar
Name: Alex Rendon
Occupation: Music Editor
Lives In: Coconut Creek
Restaurant Pick: Chop's Lobster Bar
Reviewed Chop Lobster Bar January 9th, 2009
Much in the tradition of Morton’s and New York Prime, Chop’s proved to be another stuffy, steak and lobster house with all the right bells and whistles but with questionable value. Although the alluring Wine Cellar décor is awe inspiring, expect to spend wads of cash and leave feeling somewhat delighted and yet unfulfilled.
Pulling up to its posh Downtown Boca locale, with Bentleys, Mercedes and Jaguars lined up to valet, you already get the sense of the type of experience that awaits you. Although Chops Lobster Bar has only been open a few years, it has quickly become an upscale Boca Raton steak and lobster staple, competing with long time local standards of New York Prime and Ruth’s Chris. On the Friday evening that my wife and I visited the stylish eatery, the Maitre d’ immediately quipped upon our arrival that the wait for a dining room table would be over an hour and a half, or we could take a seat at the bar/lounge area immediately. It made us wonder if our dressy but somewhat casual appearance was not up to par to the establishment’s blue blazer standards. Nonetheless, Chops’ looked legitimately busy (the down economy apparently having no impact in Boca) with a few couples waiting outside, so we opted for a seat bar side.
The bar/lounge area had a duo playing easy listening renditions of contemporary hits by the likes of Gwen Stefani, Gloria Estefan and Pink. Although the duo was playing slower tempo covers, they did play loud enough to drawn out any small talk between my wife and I. After about ten minutes, the waiter arrived to take our drink order. He never asked us to if we wanted to see the wine menu-Chops has an extensive, encyclopedia sized wine list- we ordered directly from the bar menu. My wife opted for a red wine- a Pinot Noir Evil 2006 that turned out to be an inoffensive, rather wimpy French Pinot Noir, and I (already anticipating my Lobster appetizer) ordered a white- ‘06 Genesis Riesling that was sharp and fruity with a slightly orange tang.
Soaking in the ambiance of the bar, it was all too apparent that many gold diggers and sugar daddies were on the prowl. It was certainly amusing watching all these women strutting their St John evening wear while gyrating to Pink songs. My wife and I could not help but feel out of place. We also thought the pop art paintings of John Lennon and Frank Sinatra hanging bar side stood in sharp contrast the elegant, expansive wine cellar décor of the main dining hall.
When the waiter came back to inform us of the night’s specials, I could only make out one- Australian Kobe Beef strips. Although that sounded interesting, I had already made up my mind to go with a “Bone-In” streak, but hadn’t decided which one. We ordered a B.L.T. Blue Wedge-Iceberg Lettuce with bacon and blue cheese dressing as a salad. The wedge was certainly crispy, but smaller than we would have hoped. The blue cheese dressing really overtook this dish, strong and bitter on every bite. The bacon that was sprinkled on top tasted similar to the Bacon bits that one purchases at Publix. Not the most impressive start.
As an appetizer, we went with the Chops Half Jumbo “Signature” Lobster Tail. Like the name implies, this is one of Chops’ must- haves. What a succulent treat the Lobster tail ended up being. It arrived lightly breaded, but not greasy, resembling a gigantic chicken tender only with a fantastic lobster ending. And tender it was. Dipping it into the home made honey mustard and drawn butter and taking a bite was like chewing on a little slice of heaven in my mouth. This is a dish that lives up to its name. Do not skip this one if you go.
For the main course, we went with the Bone In K.C. Strip Sirloin. The strip was a modest portion considering its 16oz. claim. “Bone In” style was certainly full of flavor. The steak had a juicy and mouthwatering taste, but was served medium rare rather than medium well as we had requested. Although it was certainly appetizing, it was more fatty and veined than I would have hope for a steak at its price point. For that, I can save about thirty bucks and go to Outback.
As a desert, we chose the Valrhona Chocolate Molten Soufflé Cake. The portion of this tasty dish was rather disappointing. It looked like a tiny brownie with an ice cream side. The smooth pistachio ice cream served on the side balanced out the extreme richness of the bulging soufflé chocolate innard (like lava).The ice cold Pistachio and hot, melting chocolate, proved to be a divine combination. If only we could have had some more, the pastry chef at Chops is taste bud teaser!
Perhaps our experience would have been different if we had been seated in the chic main dining room? I would highly recommend avoiding the bar area altogether if you are looking for a quiet romantic dinner (on the contrary if you are a wealthy single man in your sixties, were the bar might just be full of romantic potential.) Chops did nothing to sway my preconceptions of uppity steak joints. While the pan fried lobster tail was undeniably exquisite, and the K.C. strip was flavorsome, when it’s all said and done, I couldn’t help but asking myself, “was it all worth it?” This is the kind of place that you want to go when it’s on somebody else’s dime.
Name: Terry Brown
Occupation: Town Commissioner
Lives In: Ocean Ridge
Restaurant Pick: John G’s
Reviewed Chop Lobster Bar : Jan. 4 2009, 7PM
Loved the food, very fresh and well prepared, and loved the dining room. The service was outstanding, very friendly and relaxed for this type of formal dining. The wait staff were numerous, formally dressed, courteous, efficient & friendly.
This setting is in the upscale “New Florida”, very modern urban commercial & residential mix use development. There something always a little cold and sterile about this type setting. However, one feels very safe and it has a certain charm. Overall a very good experience, but a bit pricy for two with a tap of $150.00, including the tip.
Name: Alice Saltzman
Occupation: Yoga Instructor
Lives In: Hypoluxo
Restaurant Pick: Little Moir’s Food Shack
Reviewed Chop Lobster Bar: 1/4/09 12:15pm
Chops Lobster Bar is a great steakhouse serving delicious lobsters in a cool art deco setting. Spend the paycheck or the 3 course menu, you can’t go wrong.
So we get a little dressed up and go to Boca to see what is up with Chops Lobster Bar. We are greeted by four, that’s right four, hosts and are given a very large booth in a room reminiscent of Grand Central Station…in a good way. Greeted by the waiter, specials recited, drinks brought, order a bone in rib eye and the Lobster 3 course special. Drink our drinks…small talk.. then…..FRIED LOBSTER TAIL.!! Why didn’t I think of that? Such a good dish. Juicy, succulent and crunchy. The honey mustard is delicious and things are going well. Wait staff is very professional, clientele is very good looking and we are happy. Our meal arrives and other than a woefully undercooked steak the meal is fabulous. My lobster is stuffed with crabmeat and again is so juicy and rich and succulent that I cannot stop talking about it. My husband rolls his eyes till he tastes it and he is immediately on board. Back to the steak. We ordered it medium rare and it came our black and blue. Now my husband likes it that way and we had ordered it med rare so I could have some. I am not eating black and blue so we cut a large piece off and ask the waiter if we can get more fire on this piece. No problem, and not just “no problem” and you can tell it’s a problem, it really appeared to be no problem…Good stuff. The steak dipped in the side of creamed spinach is a little bit of heaven. Dessert rocks with a molten lava cake and pistachio ice cream and a pistachio tuille. Overall, Chops is a great place for a special evening out or just a Tuesday night dinner if that’s what your bank account can handle. The service is steakhouse professional and the prices are, well, the prices are what you expect. Not for the timid. Go with it and enjoy.
Location: 101 Plaza Real South, Boca Raton, FL 33432
Phone: (561) 395-2675
Parking: complimentary valet
Restaurant Owners: Pano Karatassos
Executive Chef: Holger Struett
Pastry Chef: N/A
Type of Cuisine: Steakhouse, Seafood
Signature Dishes: : USDA Prime aged beef, jumbo batter fried lobster tail
Vegetarian Options: salad and a large choice of vegetables
Alcohol Served: Full bar, wine and beer
Corkage Fee: N/A
Bottle Limit: None
Monday – 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Tuesday – 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Wednesday – 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Thursday – 5:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Friday – 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Saturday – 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Sunday – 5:00 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.
Meals Served: Dinner
Prix Fix Menu: $69 Chef Holgers Lobster fest on sun &mon
Average Dinner Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, %15 gratuity, w/o alcohol):$50 and over
Average Lunch Price Range (per person, full meal, tax, %15 gratuity, w/o alcohol): N/A
Payment Options: do you accept credit cards and if so, which ones? All major credit cards
Accept Reservations: yes on line and by phone
Need Reservations: No, walk-ins welcomed
How far in advance do you require reservations be made: 1 day
Accommodations for Children: Yes
Dining Style: Casual elegant, business casual dress
Disabled Access: Yes
Restaurant Size: 260
Accommodate Groups: dinner for up to 20 guests, and lunch for 100
Private Dining Room: Yes
Tables with Scenic Views: No
Outdoor Dining: Yes
Entertainment: Live musical entertainment offered nightly Monday through Saturday with popular local performers