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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Falls Buffet @ Snoqualmie Casino

If you like crabs and prime rib, this is the buffet for you folks.  Pretty Sis and I went down for a visit to our lovely aunt and uncle down in the States.  Now when my parents went down a couple times ago aunt and uncle had taken them to the Snoqualmie Casino for their buffet.  And my parents had raved about it since.  Now it was our chance to give it a try.

Let me just show you a few pictures.

Falls Buffet: dungeness crab

Falls Buffet

Falls Buffet: Lobster tail and Prime rib

Really, I think I could just shown you the pictures and be it with this post.  Aren’t they drool-inducing?  An unlimited mountain of dungeness crab and prime rib, plus a lobster tail per person.  All for $28.95USD on Saturday evenings.  Such a deal!

And boy those were big crab legs.  I wish I could’ve stomached more but I was only able to down one whole crab.  I blame the deliciously moist and well-seasoned prime rib for that!  I had two slices (only….=()

As for the lobster tail, it was also prepared very well.  It was a pretty big portion but it was seasoned quite salty, so that was the only down-side to it.  Otherwise it was moist and succulent.

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Griffins (CLOSED) @ Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

If you didn’t hear by now, it is Griffins 18th birthday this year and to celebrate, they are offering their menu for 50% off till the end of September.  Naturally I took advantage of this incredible deal and had dinner there with F.  She’s the best friend ever!  She offered to buy me dinner!!!

Griffins

We’ve never been here before and we sort of had the expectation that since it’s at the Fairmont Hotel, in Downtown, that it would be a fancy place.  We were actually quite disappointed.  It looks like a dining hall.  But I digress, we’re here for the food.

Griffins: focaccia

The bread that they serve is a mix of focaccia and some bun-type thing, served with a balsamic tapenade of sorts, I think there was sun-dried tomatoes in it.

The focaccia was not bad, but not the best thing ever either.  It had a crunchy crust and a soft-ish center.  We decided that this was to fill us up so that we can’t go crazy at the dessert buffet.

Oh didn’t I mention the dessert buffet??  All their entrees come with the dessert buffet!

Griffins: Grilled Rack of Lamb

For my entree I picked the Grilled Rack of Lamb (originally $40) served with vegetable ratatouille in a merlot wine reduction sauce.  You get choice of baked potato, mashed potato, or fries.  For some reason I picked fries.  I really felt like fries that night.

Hmmm…honestly I didn’t enjoy the lamb that much.  It was pretty bland yet the top was a kind of sweetish seasoning, which I didn’t like.  I am used to a salt-type rub.  It wasn’t quite as medium-rare as I would’ve liked either.

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