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Back on a Wednesday night in late February I went with TC to the Chop Steakhouse & Bar located at the southeast corner of the Chinook Centre.  We had tried a sample of the food from the Calgary stop of the Gold Medal Plates, 2011, so figured it would be worth a shot for a full meal.

Without reservations there was no room in the main restaurant so we went by elevator to the lounge on the second floor.  All the booths were taken so we sat at a long curved, communal table set at a bar height where we were separated from other groups by a few chairs.  The chairs themselves were odd as the upper part rotated, presumably to allow easier entry and exit.  TC was not that happy with the chairs.

Our waitress was pleasant enough, although she wasn’t going to win any awards with the service. In anticipation of ordering steak we had a bottle of the Wolf Blass Premium Selection Shiraz, a tipple that I’ve enjoyed many times and this was no exception.  We split an appetizer of the Fresh Ahi Tuna Pillars, reasonable but not great.

TC had the 12 oz New York striploin medium and I had the Filet Mignon medium rare.  For sides TC decided upon the sautéed mushrooms and I went with the aged white cheddar mac and cheese.  At a steakhouse I expect quite a lot from my steak, unfortunately neither TC nor I felt that our meals met the challenge.  The mushrooms were good, the steaks passable and I didn’t finish the mac and cheese (this is not a good sign for those that know how much I love a good mac and cheese).  For steak I believe Ruth’s Chris Steak House, whilst more expensive and a little more pretentious, offers a much better choice.

Wanting to have the whole experience, and looking to find some redeeming features we decided to try dessert as well.  TC had the fallen chocolate soufflé and I had the Caribbean rum cake.  It turns out the soufflé cake was more of a cheese cake, which we couldn’t quite figure out and the rum cake was just bland.  The vanilla bean gelato with mine being tasty, but not enough to salvage a disappointing dessert.

The overall ambiance was a little strange as it felt split between a bar and a restaurant.  Most of the groups were eating with a few only there for drinks and appetizers, however the relatively loud electronic music didn’t really fit with the goings on of the room.  Perhaps this would be better and make sense on a Friday or Saturday night.

Total including tip was just over $180, and I can’t say that I would look at returning to this restaurant.

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