Last night I had the most deeeee-licious birthday dinner at Chops Lobster Bar in Boca Raton, Florida. http://www.chopslobsterbar.com/ I knew nothing of this place, so dinner was a surprise... A decadent and indulgent, phenomenal, surprise. I wanted to share my experience and encourage everyone to go, if they have a chance.
The restaurant is close to the Mizner park area, in a kind-of upscale shopping area (kinda like a mini Las Olas). There is valet parking, but we easily found parking on the street. The decor is contemporary steakhouse-rich... with dark woods, dark carpeting and creme walls. Very chic and very rich. The bar was well-stocked and there was a pianist and singer in the lounge area- on a Wednesday night. The service staff were clean-cut and well-dressed- most wore tuxes or nice suits. The clientele varied- some in suits and nice dresses, others in fine casual wear. Altogether, the environment was warm and attentive.
The service was impeccable. Truly, other than a previous experience at The Forge, we have never had better service. Our drinks were never empty, the staff was accomodating and if we even looked up from our food or each other, a service person was there. The manager came over halfway through the meal just to check and make sure that our needs were being attended. That kind of service is hard to find.
We had drinks to start... he had a hard-to-find scotch and I had a mojito. My mojito was brilliantly made- not too sweet and not too sour. However, I wonder if I missed out by not ordering the Prickly Pear Margarita, the Blueberry Martini, the Pomegranate Martini or any other number of delicious-sounding cocktails. Bread was served before the meal- an array of fresh white bread, fresh raisin bread, some homemade wafers and some brilliant mini-loaves stuffed with carmelized onions. Yummy!
For apps, the waiter claimed that the jumbo king crab leg ($15) was the best that he had ever tasted. We ordered it... the meat was separated from the shell and it was served with drawn butter and (I think) a remoulade. It was, as promised, phenomenal. We both agreed that it is the best king crab we have had in our lives (and we are not spring chickens!). We also ordered a jumbo shrimp cocktail ($17) that was, again, phenomenal.
For dinner, we both got the surf and turf ($50) because we didn't want to miss either the lobster or the steak. We joked about getting the 44-ounce porterhouse on the menu and we agreed that the fish selection was amazing. They also offered a three-course menu (apps, main, dessert) for $49- which seemed well-worth the price- but it didn't include their "signature" lobster or steak.
Before bringing out the plates, they brought out a drawn-butter set-up... a votive candle in the bottom of a metal frame, with a small metal (tin) pan (shaped like a frying pan) that contained clarified butter. We thought the contraption was brilliant, as it was small (only 2 inches in diameter) and it kept the butter warm throughout the meal.
The meal, itself, was decadent. The steak was good, although I have had more tender cuts at Capital Grill or other steakhouses. The 1/2 pound lobster was to die for. They shell the lobster and then lightly batter it- in a sort-of tempura batter- before flash frying it. It was decadent- no grease, just clean and delicious. They served it with a honey mustard sauce, but it was incredible with the butter. We cleaned our plates. :)
For dessert, we had planned on the James Beard award winning White Chocolate Banana Cream Pie, but I recieved a complimentary Chocolate Molten Souffle Cake with the Pistachio Ice Cream. The souffle was decadent and we had no room, at all, anywhere for the pie. We will have to go back.
In retrospect, I think about the meal and wonder whether or not my arteries will be exploding later today... and I cringe at the thought of what I ingested. Yet... as it was going down and directly after we left the table, I would have been content to never have another meal for as long as I lived...
Some folks, who are more interested in novelty with respect to flavor and food, might find this place a bit boring or stuffy. But, if you are looking for a memorable evening of decadence, this is definitely the place to go... I would put it in league with all of my Miami favorites... a true gem. :)