I was totally squished with my knee caps jammed against the taxi drivers seat. I tried to “get comfortable,” but gave up after squirming around like a worm for five minutes. I had invited three of my friends to join me for dinner at a new restaurant that just opened out by the airport. I had barely eaten all day and was elated when the passenger door burst open so I could stretch my legs and pet my tummy.
Ontario’s first Chop Steakhouse Bar has arrived a stones throw from YYZ airport. The restaurant concept is an Alberta import which offers up a “fine casual” dining experience with a steak and seafood centric menu. It looks as though a swath of West Coast Canada concepts are launching throughout the GTA. Most notably Earls and Joey which offer a similar casual fine dining experience for diners. We enjoyed a quick tour of the interior as we were whisked to our booth at the back of the restaurant. Our glasses were filled with sparkling water as we scoped out the space. A chandelier dangling in a bird cage twinkled above. The space has a masculine Brit feel to it: a large portrait of a stallion hangs in the main dining room and what appears to be floating top hats create a playful take on the lamp shade.
We started off our meal with a few cocktails before plates started to arrive from the kitchen. During our meal the chef came out to visit the table. With much enthusiasm he explained that their daily bread offering and dessert menu are all prepared from scratch in his kitchen. He seemed genuinely thrilled to be opening Ontario’s first Chop, a steak and seafood concept that can be found across British Colombia, Alberta and Manitoba.
The four of us enjoyed sampling through the menu over the course of the next few hours whilst sipping on a Pinot Gris from New Zealand and Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa. We finished off the meal with our own personal little tea pots and two slices of cake. Chop offers a refined atmosphere, fun cocktail and wine list and playful surf and turf centric menu worth checking out. Just remember to bring your passport and a sense of spontaneity.
We enjoyed (* notes my favorites)
Steak Bites *
marinated bites of steak served with sweet dijon bbq dip and horseradish aioli
Prime Rib and Yorkie Sliders *
slow roasted shaved prime rib, red wine demi-glace, grated horseradish
Jumbo Prawn Cocktail
fresh tomato horseradish dip and lemon
Roasted Mushroom Ravioli *
portobello and cremini, sage and butter sauce, asiago
grilled chicken breast, double smoked bacon, boil egg, goat cheese, avocado, basil, tomatoes, romaine, red wine vinagrette
Chicken Apple Salad with Toasted Pecans *
grilled chicken, dried cranberries, aged white cheddar, celery, romaine, strawberries, minted yogurt dressing
Ginger Peach Double Cut Pork Chop *
apple bourbon salsa, red wine demi-glace, wild rice pilaf and vegetables
Stuffed Gorgonzola Beef Filet *
wrapped in double smoked bacon, red wine reduction, wasabi mashed potatoes
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Fudge Butter Cream
Caribbean Rum Cake *
drenched in Appleton’s rum, vanilla bean gelato, cinnamon anglaise and toasted coconut