Even back when I was a vegetarian, I loved going to steakhouses. We spent my husband’s 30th birthday at Morton’s, and I’ve always been a fan of stopping at Smith & Wollensky, Ruth’s Chris, or the like for cocktails and sides. I love leather banquettes, dark wood, strong cocktails, and great service. So when I started working in the South End this past December, I also started counting down the days until Boston Chops’ opening. Every day on my way to the office, I would see workers coming in and out, and I would tweet at Chef/Owner Chris Coombs to check in on the opening. Maybe too often.
We’ve been fans of Coombs since before we moved to Dorchester seven years ago; really his dbar, a favorite to this day, was one of the signs that we should move to Dorchester. He never steered us wrong. dbar continues to be a date night and brunch favorite; it’s always just so good and such a happy, fun place. Then came Deuxave, another favorite for food and wine perfection. Clearly with such a track record, Coombs’ Boston Chops would be nothing short of amazing.
And it is; even on day two everything was perfect. Dangerously located less than a block from my office on Washington Street in the South End, Boston Chops has it all, from an old school chic yet relaxed vibe to strong cocktails to a real variety of food options all in the old steakhouse style but with some modern twists.
We kicked our visit to Boston Chops off at the bar where I ordered an Old Town, consisting of rye, fig, and black walnut. The nuttiness of the black walnut came through in this very strong yet balanced cocktail, the perfect way to end a work day.
After a short while, we decided to get a table and were each brought popovers in measuring cups. The popovers are divine – light yet rich, airy, warm and buttery.
The menu at Boston Chops offers a real variety of salads, starters, and sides, in addition to steaks and other entrees, and we were definitely in the mood for sampling. We shared a grand seafood platter which easily could have fed us for dinner with its oysters, clams, mussels, shrimp, and lobster.
One of the sides that caught my eye instantly was the mac and cheese with pork belly. Sorry, former vegetarian self. The pork belly was melt-in-your-mouth delicious, surrounded by an entrée-sized portion of cheesy macaroni. Leftovers will be enjoyed for lunch.
The one entrée we could agree on was the short rib with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The short rib was so tender it could be cut with a spoon, and it was full of flavor and richness. The mashed potatoes were buttery and perfect, and the vegetables on the side provided a nice, fresh element to the meal.
The Brussels Sprouts au Canard were our other must-have. I don’t think I can be in a restaurant with Brussels sprouts without ordering them. I think you can probably tell how good these Brussels were just from the photo. Bonus points for all of the Staub cookware.
True to form, we debated skipping dessert, but I wanted to at least see the menu, the restaurant being new and all. A hazelnut tart called out to our stuffed bellies, and we somehow finished off this chocolate-y treat but just barely. When you visit Boston Chops, be prepared to walk around for awhile after. It might be one of those stick-to-your-ribs sort of meals. Or you could order some fresh seafood and a salad and stay on the light side; that’s one of the best parts about a restaurant like this.
Two other steakhouse favorites are service and wine. Boston Chops’ service was impeccably attentive, professional yet warm. We loved the high-backed booth that closed us off from other diners as well as the space our server gave us to peruse the menu and wine list. The wines by the glass list offered a great selection of grape varieties, regions, and price points while a gorgeous walk-in wine cellar at the front of the restaurant made me dream of our someday wine setup at home.
From the beautiful, classic décor to the expertly crafted menu, to fantastic food and wine, down to every second of service, Boston Chops delighted us and quickly became a new favorite, just as I expected it would.