Vital Info posted a query regarding Christ Cella's on a thread regarding NY steakhouses and it seemed to me to be a subject requiring a separate heading. Cella's was, at one time THE best chop house in New York and it was often a sea of corporate businessmen such as S&W now sometimes seems to be. But even in the 1960's and 1970's it still had its share of old bootleggers (who helped keep the family in spirits in the 20's ) hanging around the place. Cella's could put an even, black crust on a steak and have the inside fiery red rare. From them I learned the trick of using a drop of lemon to bring out flavor. they would also do a mutton chop, something that is rarely available today.
The question is raised: what has become of chop houses? One prominent place (which serves mutton chops) dropped the title and calls itself a steak house today. I lament the loss of this fine, old term and the direct "oomph" that I associate with it. this is why I love Peter Luger's so much. It doesn't give a damn what anyone says about anything as long as it is proferring the best steak in the world, which it does every night and day. Keep your "restaurant concepts" and "designs--give me a chop house or an ordinary joint with great food.