Chop Steakhouse – New Year’s Eve Menu

Just a note before we start: one of Wendy’s coworkers made a comment along the lines of, “Wow, you guys really like surprises…!”, after hearing about our latest dinner out, so at the risk of sounding too overly cute here’s just one more.  Last one, we promise!!  …Well at least for a good long while anyway 😛

This time it was Wendy’s turn.  I feel pretty dumb that I didn’t clue in, but we had just planned a quiet New Year’s at home with a cheese platter since I haven’t done that for many, many years so I wasn’t expecting anything.  We had a bit of groceries to pick up but Wendy said she wanted to stop by and see a friend first, and suggested we get dressed up for “New Year’s pics” that night.  Okay, I’m game.  Her friend lives in Richmond so we hopped in Wendy’s car and off we went.  I made some comments about being all dressed up with nowhere to go and looking back Wendy said she was worried I had figured out her game plan, but I didn’t realize anything was amiss until we pulled into the parking lot of the Sandman Hotel (wrong lot by mistake).  As we circled the lot I briefly wondered why her friend was here at the hotel instead of at home, then my Spidey-senses finally started to tingle and I knew she had something fun planned 🙂  Once we found the right lot it turned out to be the very swanky looking Chop.

Chop Steakhouse

The photos above give some idea of the opulence; on the left is the corridor between restaurant and lounge and on the right is the chandelier-thing that hung above our table.  One of the best restrooms in the city I’d say as well, you could get lost in them they are so spacious!

Wendy had made reservations and we were seated at a table set for four; our hostess apologized and began removing the extra menus.  Wendy then attempted to give her the other two, which resulted in an awkward tug of war between the three of us, with the hostess assuring Wendy that “they are the same menus.”  The hostess didn’t take them back so Wendy asked to speak with the assistant manager whom she had booked the reservations through.  I realized Wendy’s plans were going awry and excused myself to the restroom so she could sort it out without spoiling anything further.

After an awkward moment the hostess came back and retrieved the menus from her and said, “Oh right, you’re not supposed to have these are you.”  I came back to find her obviously stewing with anger, but I hadn’t even glanced at the menu so for me nothing seemed ruined.  She wanted to do the same thing I had done for her at Chambar, and order in advance.  There was indeed a long list of notes next to our reservation but the hostess and waitress had neglected to read and follow them.  However the assistant manager was apologetic and waited on us personally for the rest of the night to ensure we had a memorable experience, which both of us appreciated immensely.

Chop Steakhouse: Seafood Trio - Smoked Salmon, Crab and Shrimp Cakes, Jumbo Prawn Cocktail

Seafood Trio – Smoked Salmon, Crab & Shrimp Cakes, Jumbo Prawn Cocktail

We started with a bread basket of their in-house fresh baked multigrain which was served up warm with a side of whipped butter.  Good stuff!  To start the rest of the night he came around and offered Wendy a glass of bubbly and I a ginger ale in a champagne glass.  Then came a couple of appetizers, one surf one turf.  On the surf side the Crab and Shrimp Cake stole the show.  It’s not something I normally order, but out of the admittedly smallish number of crab cakes I’ve had this one took the erm…cake.  The crust was done just right and was what appealed to me the most I think, contrasted nicely with the soft texture within.  It came with the same wasabi aioli and citrus salsa that the phyllo pastries below came with as far as I could tell.  The aioli was quite garlicky, as were several of the other selections, which I thought was a bit of an odd choice since it’s New Year’s Eve and couples will be looking forward to midnight kisses and all.  The prawns in the Jumbo Prawn Cocktail were juicy and again I’m not a huge fan of cocktail sauce, but as far as they go this is one of the better ones I’ve had.  It added a slight kick at the end, and the dill garnish gave it a nice bite as well.  The plate was rounded off with a roll of Smoked Salmon.

Chop Steakhouse: Steakhouse Trio - Steak Bites, Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio, Spicy Cashew Snap Peas

Steakhouse Trio – Steak Bites, Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio, Spicy Cashew Snap Peas

As for the Steakhouse Trio the Steak Bites were nothing to write home about and were served cold.  However the other two parts of the trio were the highlight of the night for me.  The Spicy Cashew Snap Peas were very fresh and sweet and the sauce was a Thai-style mix of red chili and cashew nuts.  The bread that came with the Beef Tenderloin Carpaccio was also flecked with chilis so Wendy made a good choice there since I love spicy!

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Montana’s Cookhouse

Hitman won a pretty fab prize pack from work (some Safety thing lol) and one of the prizes was a $50 gift card for any restaurant in the Cara network, namely Swiss Chalet, Milestone’s, Montana’s, Kelsey’s, Harvey’s, etc.

He originally wanted to go to Milestones, but the closest one is not close at all…there’s downtown, White Rock, Richmond….now we figured we could go to the Richmond one, but it turns out it’s at the airport AFTER security…so a no go on that either.

So, we ended up deciding on Montana’s.  We wanted ribs!!!

Montana's Cookhouse

The closest one to us would be at Coquitlam Centre.  Still a pretty far drive, but it’s not the usual common fare a la Milestone’s, I was ok with it.

We decided to forgo appies since it was a Reward/Cheat day for us we were going to indulge in dessert anyways…Hitman adorably had a craving for something very, VERY indulgent-chocolatey-fudgey =)

Montana's Cookhouse: Beef Ribs with Southern Baked Beans and Garlic Mash & Gravy, cornbread

We both decided on ribs since that’s what Montana’s seems to be known for.  Since I’ve already called dibs on the pork ribs, Hitman had to settle for the beef ones =P

You get to pick 2 sides and they always come with cornbread.  Hitman picked the Southern Baked Beans and Garlic Mash & Gravy…he says the beans are good with the cornbread.  However to him the cornbread was too sweet and cake-like.  He much prefers the savory version.  You also get a choice of one of their four bbq sauces…he picked Texas Bold.

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The American Grille

Taking my parents out for dinner one night, we wanted good steakhouse food without travelling all the way to Downtown.  I remembered having been to The American Grille before and had a good meal there, so I decided to take my parents there.

They are also in the Entertainment Book so there was all the more incentive to go!  Besides that, they are currently doing a “2 Courses for $28” promotion right now which we also took advantage of.

The American Grille: bread basket

The restaurant has a very understated decor.  Nothing fancy.  They’re also not particularly busy but there seems to be a steady stream of people coming in.  I love the bread here.  Soft, fluffy and warm.  They give you a type of poppyseed cracker thing, also white and multigrain baguette.

The American Grille: Steamed Mussels

The American Grille: 10oz Rib-eye Steak

For Mom, we took advantage of the promotion and ordered the combination of their Steamed Mussels (originally $10.50) and their fabulous 10oz Rib-eye Steak ($28).  Because of the mussels, it was $3 extra which was fine.

Now the mussels weren’t the best I’ve had.  They were pretty tiny and the broth (white wine reduction, garlic, diced tomato, warm filone bread) could be better, but it wasn’t bad.  It is still a pretty big bowl of mussels, very fresh and sweet.

The steak was done to a perfect medium-rare.  It was served with field mushrooms, Brew city onion rings, with rosemary jus.  It was a nice cut and hit the right spot that night.  Those onion rings were massive and Dad was very impressed.

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The King’s Head Pub

The King’s Head Pub really isn’t a place I would’ve chosen to go to, based on how it looks.  It looks really dingy and dark and dirty.  However the reviews mostly seem to be good, citing good food, good drinks, good atmosphere.  Plus, the new friend that I made  suggested we go there as it’s one of his favorite haunts, so there I was as an adventure~

It’s your basic pub restaurant with the usual types of food- steak, burgers, fish & chips, pizza, beer, etc.

The King's Head Pub: Steak & Mushroom pizza

It was actually $6.99 pizza night, so we both ordered one.  My choice was the Steak & Mushroom.  It was decent.  It had a thin crust, but the middle part seemed to be soggy.  There was an abundance of topping though, with lots of mushrooms and steak pieces.  It was very tasty despite the soggy parts.

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Pinky’s Steakhouse & Cocktail Lounge – CLOSED

The night we had dinner at Pinky’s was during the Olympics.  As expected, anywhere else from the Downtown core has very little business during those two weeks, doesn’t matter what day of the week.

Pinky’s, being in Kitsilano, was no exception.  We were probably the 3rd table there that whole night.

Which was fine with us.

Pinky's Steakhouse

It’s actually a very nicely decorated restaurant.  Very modern, albeit a bit dark.  I imagine it can get quite noisy here since it is still kind of small, and the bar is right in the middle of it all.

Pinky's Steakhouse: yazuka

I started off with the Yazuka ($9), which is a Sake blended drink with lychee and peach schnapps.

It came smaller than I already expected.  The glass doesn’t even look full.  Oh well.  It was refreshing and of course, peachy.  I did have to savor every drop though.

Pinky's Steakhouse: House Salad

We ordered two appetizers to start.  We figured that since we’re at a steakhouse (this was one of those steakhouses where when you order a steak, it ONLY comes with that steak, plus an onion ring), we need to get some fiber intake somewhere.  So one of our appies was a salad.

Mom and PS originally wanted the Caesar salad, but I voted against it since it’s actually not very healthy for you.  I asked that we had the House Salad instead which was served with blue cheese, pecans and cranberries.  I love any salad with cranberries.  And blue cheese.  This was very good.

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