Show of hands, please: Who remembers Steak & Ale, the legendary restaurant chain that taught so many of us what fine dining was all about? Eating there was more than an occasion. There was a sense that upon arriving, the doors to your own adulthood were being flung open, and dining there was a much-welcomed rite of passage.
Brooklyn Chop House has picked up that idea and added a whole new level of sophistication to ensure that if this is your introduction to a night on the town in New York City, you get the most top-notch treatment the house can provide.
For starters, the restaurant is located a mere stone's throw from Broadway, which also makes it an ideal stop for tourists looking for a nice spot to enjoy a pre-show dinner. It's a completely renovated, welcoming and expansive dining space with a gorgeous scenic rooftop bar set to open any minute.
And while the menu certainly lives up to its name as a meat purveyor, there are also assorted Chinese staples on the menu — including dumplings, soups, and plenty of skewered proteins and dipping sauces. (It turns out that the "chop" in their name not only refers to meat on the hoof, but "chop" sticks as well.)
Cocktails have a whimsical and youthful bent to them, and are served iced to perfection. But the real stars of the night are the staff. Here, you get the kind of hometown greeting that makes you feel like you're in small town America, not the heart of what can be at times a too-cool and impersonal city.
We attended on Oscar night and were able to watch the early proceedings on an enormous TV screen as we ate. No, we weren't there for the slap-heard-around-the-world. But chances are that even if we were, we'd have been so distracted by our plush and pleasant surroundings that we'd have missed it anyway.