If You Go...
IF YOU GO
What: The Chophouse
Where: 9519 E. Market St. Warren, OH 44484
Hours: Mondays-Thursdays: 3 p.m. – 9 p.m.; Friday: 3 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Saturday: Noon – 10 p.m.; Sundays: Noon - 8 p.m.
EDITOR'S NOTE: This story has been corrected to reflect that that the Chophouse’s signature Bone in Ribeye ($38.99) is an 18-ounce cut.
By REBECCA S. NIEMINEN
Right next to the Avalon Inn, nestled beside the manicured knolls of the resort’s golf course, sits The Chophouse restaurant.
Because of the restaurant’s proximity to Avalon, you might have assumed The Chophouse is part of the inn’s East Market Street complex.
You might also have assumed it’s too upscale for jeans and a T-shirt, or that it’s a private club that requires a membership.
If that’s the case, your assumptions are incorrect, and you’ve been missing out on some of the finest dining in Trumbull County.
“We are not associated with the Avalon Inn. We are just located next to it,” clarified Dimitris Fournaris, Chophouse general manager. “I think that is the biggest misconception about us. We are open to the public, we’re not too expensive, we’re not just for special occasions, there’s no dress code.”
Although there’s no dress code, The Chophouse’s atmosphere is definitely elegant. Light jazz plays on the sound system, a sprawling patio overlooks the rolling greens and frothy fountains of the Avalon Inn’s golf course, and the menu features such opulent delights as lobster and filet mignon.
“We define ourselves as an Italian steakhouse, but we offer much more than just Italian cuisine and steaks,” Fournaris said.
Indeed! During my Chophouse visit, I was fortunate to sample everything from salmon, to chicken, to cheesecake.
“Our chef, Anthony Kraml, has been working with Chophouse owner John Kouvas, for many years,” Fournaris said. “Our food is fresh and it’s high quality. We serve fully certified Angus beef and get our produce from local vendors.”
As my taste buds prepared for culinary bliss, I was wowed by the first item to grace my table –the summer berry salad ($18.99).
This large salad, which can be served with or without Hawaiian seared tuna, features a bed of spring mix tossed with blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, cranberries, mandarin oranges, pecans and crumbled goat cheese. The blood orange vinaigrette tastes mildly tangy and blends amazingly with the creamy goat cheese, crunchy pecans and sweet berries.
After sampling this beautiful salad, I was eager to taste the next item delivered to my table – the angry lobster rolls appetizer (8.99).
Because I’m a seafood lover perhaps I’m biased, but after a couple of bites, the angry lobster rolls earned their spot as my favorite appetizer of all time.
These little beauties look similar to egg rolls and offer a perfect blend of cold water lobster and crunchy fresh vegetables. The house-made sriracha aioli adds a pleasing zing to the delicate lobster and raw vegetables. If you enjoy seafood, I’d say this one is a must!
My incredible seafood experience didn’t end with the lobster rolls, however. Imagine my delight when the server brought a blue crab crusted salmon to my table ($23.99).
Served with a fresh vegetable quinoa and drizzled with lemon buerre blanc, this dish made my day. The sublime blue crab stuffing, deliciously tender salmon and perfectly prepared quinoa deserve five stars. As I write this, I wish I had another helping!
You can’t classify yourself as an Italian steakhouse without serving some unforgettable steaks. I tried the Chophouse’s signature Bone in Ribeye ($38.99). This 18-ounce cut, well-marbled and char-dusted delicacy is one of the restaurant’s bestsellers, and one bite of its juicy, charred sumptuousness will tell you why.
The Chophouse burger is another bestselling entr e ($9.99). Topped with bleu cheese, arugula, Applewood smoked bacon, and two hefty onion rings, this mighty burger will please your palate in all the right places. This burger is a part of the Chophouse’s celebrated happy hour, which includes $5.99 burgers, free desserts and $4.25 drink specials Mondays through Saturdays 3 to 6 p.m. and Sundays noon to 8 p.m.
If you prefer a meatless entr e, order the tortellini primavera ($16.99), which consists of tortellini and fresh garden vegetables slathered in an unforgettable basil cream sauce. The refreshing sauce pairs superbly with the medley of veggies to create a meal that is both filling yet light.
If chicken is your favorite, ask for the almond crusted chicken ($16.99). Two white-meat breasts are encrusted with almonds and then smothered with a cranberry glaze.
Perhaps one of the most popular side dishes at The Chophouse are the original cherry fries ($5.99). These paper-thin, skillet-fried potatoes are served with scallions and a generous dollop of sour cream.
After tasting all of these Chophouse delicacies, there was only one thing left to revel in: dessert!
The Chophouse’s scrumptious dessert menu includes everything from double chocolate butter cream cake, to peanut butter pie, to cr ®me brulee. I sampled the beloved Baklava cheesecake ($6.95). This unbelievably creamy cheesecake is topped with crumbled Greek baklava and drizzled with caramel.
I also indulged in the funnel cake battered cinnamon roll ($6.95), which is a deep fried cinnamon roll crowned with Grand Marnier icing and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Oh my – such richness!
The Chophouse seats 250 and 80 on the patio and has a full bar. Patrons can rent a private dining room for special occasions.
“We are also a catering service and will cater your wedding, graduation party, shower, birthday party, reunion, corporate event or other special event,” Fournaris said.