Chop Steakhouse is the First Restaurant at the South Loop’s Roosevelt Collection
•Chop Steakhouse Opened July 15, 2015•
The Roosevelt Collection is a combination of newer high-end apartments in the South Loop, along with a large shopping area. Despite the gorgeous view of the Sears Tower and the rest of the Chicago skyline, walking around the Roosevelt Collection feels like you’ve been transported to a mix of Main Street America and a luxury outdoor mall; after Google Maps took me to a dead end at an industrial construction site and backtracking for 20 minutes, I really felt like I’d entered another dimension.
While packed with shops, greenery, housing, and a movie theater, the Roosevelt Collection has been missing something: restaurants. That’s about to change, however, with the opening of Chop from Porkchop owner Jovanis Bouargoub. I was invited to check out the restaurant just before its opening.
Chop is a restaurant where you can grab a fancy steak or a juicy burger. It’s a sleek yet casual restaurant appropriately designed for the Roosevelt Collection that will appeal to shoppers, moviegoers, and residents who want to savor a nice dinner, but don’t want to go far from home.
The interior is quite dark with a black marble bar, black paint, and dark leather booth upholstery, but in the afternoon got quite a bit of natural light. What also helps to liven the place are cool touches like the giant light bulb letter “Shot” sign behind the bar and variations of the Chop cow logo hidden throughout the restaurant.
The definite highlight for me was the black and white collages covering the walls of the dining room. Depicting cattle overlapping stockyards and train cars, they demonstrate the restaurant’s reverence for the grand steakhouse tradition whilst showing a modern edge.
Nearly half the restaurant is occupied by a pretty substantial bar. That makes sense as I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of residents returning home from work ready for a drink or want an accessible place to get the weekend night going. Coming downstairs from my apartment to a great bar and then heading up at the end of the night sounds pretty awesome to me.
There looked to be about 20 tap handles that were unoccupied while I was there, but there were plenty of cocktails to try. The first I tried was the Summer Harvest made with fresh blackberries; according to the bartender, he’s going to do yearlong variations of the drink with different seasonal fruit. It was very refreshing and almost tasted like pink lemonade. I noticed a little bit of ginger beer being poured into it, which definitely gave the drink a slight edge.
I also tried Chop’s version of an Old Fashioned created using mezcal, tequila, and agave chocolate bitters. Surprisingly it was a lot more subtle than I was expecting and did actually taste pretty close to an old fashioned with the hint of chocolate giving it a little bit of a smoky, sweet taste.
Small bites were constantly coming in and out of the kitchen and getting snatched up right away. Since Morrissey was in town and I needed to relive my high school love of the Smiths, I had a strict time limit putting me in the position of having to greedily get in front of packs of beautiful people to steal their oysters (sorry!). Here are the highlights of what I sampled:
Buffalo Slider: Not a buffalo chicken sandwich, but an actual buffalo burger. Buffalo meat is not as heavy as eating beef and from my experience tastes very tender. There’s a slight gamey taste as well as a bit of sweetness to buffalo. Their slider was also spicy, though not overly so. I enjoyed the slider I had and wished they had brought out more while I was there!
Crab Slider: A variation of the crab cake sandwich that actually seemed to be mostly crab. There were tomatoes on top and a little sauce, but Chop wisely let the crab meat speak for itself.
Oysters: Continuing with the surf and turf theme—oysters on the half shell were served with waiters preparing them with sauces. Mine slid down easily with the hot sauce providing a satisfying burn. This was the most outright fun dish of the evening.
Bone-In Rib-Eye: Though Chop offers a variety of burger options (clearly), their focus is on the steaks. I got to try a bite of their rib-eye, which was pink and quite tender.
With a blend of gourmet steakhouse cuisine and a casual atmosphere, Chop promises to have a broad appeal to shoppers and South Loop residents. By virtue of being the only restaurant at the Roosevelt Collection right now, Chop is likely going to succeed no matter what. The Roosevelt Collection’s first restaurant didn’t have to be as good, though, and credit goes to Roosevelt Collection for not just throwing their hands in the air and giving a lease to Applebee’s.
1017 S Delano Ct Chicago, Illinois
•Photo Credit : James Podrasky / The Chicago Traveler