While the lawyers debate what, exactly, Craig LaBan ate, we sent two visiting food critics to see how the steaks in question rate. Our outside experts ate dinner at Chops, ordering the 16-ounce strip steak from the dinner menu and asking for the steak frites from the lunch menu. Esquire critic John Mariani’s steak frites was a rib eye; the rib eye wasn’t available when Corby Kummer — food critic for Atlantic Monthly and Boston magazine — visited.
John Mariani, Esquire
The food was pretty darn good across the board, especially the pea soup and the crabcake. The strip steak was superb. Very beefy — a paragon of USDA prime beef. It certainly had some age on it, and was well-cooked, with some char. Certainly as good a steak as I’ve had in New York or anywhere.
The steak frites was harder to judge as a piece of meat because of a tangy marinade. It was a rib eye, which can be fatty and amorphous in shape. Frankly, I didn’t enjoy it. We polished off the strip steak and took the other one home for the cat.
Corby Kummer, Atlantic Monthly and Boston
Overall, the restaurant was corporate, and a very run-of-the-mill steakhouse. The 16-ounce dinner New York strip had some gristle running through on one end, but was nicely pink and had some filet mignon flavors in the first bite. But midway through the chew, the flavors died.