Chops Lobster Bar or Abe and Louie's Boca Raton
abe & louie's, boca raton
on glades road, just west of i95
march 27, 2008
large, well appointed steakhouse with a fairly loud dining room as well as separate bar area. valet is available as well as ample self parking. without reservations it's not difficult to secure a table in the bar with minimal wait, depending upon the day + time. our reservation was honored as our table was waiting upon arrival. mostly 45+ during the early evening with the age coming down a bit later. you certainly know you're in boca, but not to the extent of chops or new york prime. it was a birthday + a flower arrangement we had brought was placed on the table in advance by the restaurant without hesitation. tables are very tight with servers having difficulty navigating between chairs + reaching for service across the table. knowledgeable servers on each on my visits. the choice of black or white napkins is appreciated. oddly, the server questioned an order of the standard menu item 'sliced sirloin', saying it's a shame to allow the juices to flow out etc. this caused a needless semi-confrontation with one of my guests who asked 'why is it on the menu?' servers should not question standard menu selections at a restaurant at this level, just take the order. my wine selections were brought to the table quickly. half the table was drinking white, the remainder red. i think it's a bad idea to wrap a napkin around wine or champagne bottles to absorb excess water from the ice bucket during serving as it makes for an unappealing presentation. as the server reached across my red glass to fill a white glass the soaked napkin dripped water into my glass . . . unacceptable. no napkin wrapping + allow room for servers to move freely + serve correctly without reaching across, over etc. we did have an inexplicable server switch mid meal . . . which was seamless. all food was very well prepared. ahi tuna, chilled oysters, + salads were all fresh with great flavor. the bone in filet mignon, sliced sirloin, sea bass + scallops were all well liked + cooked to the requested temperatures. all sides satisfied; grilled asparagus, sweet potato fries + sauteed spinach. desserts were hearty + simple, key lime pie, apple pie + chocolate dipped strawberries. a good steak, far above ruth's chris, above mortons + truluck's, similar to new york prime and chops in the area.
• professional staff for the most part
• all menu items well prepared + presented
• extensive wine list, $25 corkage fee
• attractive interior space
• tables are too close together
• servers are simply unable to serve correctly
• server questioning the selection of a standard menu item
• water dripping into my wine
My husband and I were really impressed by Abe and Louie's in Boca. I haven't been to Chops, but we felt the food at Abe & Louie's compared well with Ruth's Chris--although my husband enjoyed the chocolate souffle for dessert, he lusts after the banana dessert at Ruth's so we must return soon. I think Abe and Louie's steaks are better than NY Prime and Morton's. And NY Prime was just way too noisy and frantic for our tastes.
I have not been to Chops but can comment on Abe's. The service is top notch. As an example, we were too full to have desert but had some wonderul zin left in the bottle which cried out for a piece of chocolate.I made my strange request/comment to the waiter and he came back with a bowl of bakers's chocolate. Perfect. Charged $1.50.
Steak was fabulous and sides are huge. Loved the dark, steakhouse feel. Very different than say a Morton's.
Yes, thank you for asking. We ended up at Abe & Louies. My bad for not reporting back. What I remember most about it was the service. We had a terrific waiter who might be enough of a draw back again if we were in the market for a steakhouse; although to be honest, I'm not much of a beef eater; so one or two trips to a steakhouse a year covers my hankering for a good steak and thus, as far as I'm concerned, there isn't any one great reason to return to this particular steak house as opposed to others around the tri-county area when in the mood. I do recall that two of us shared a porterhouse for two (on the bone) and my mom had some sort of lobster concoction. Everyone enjoyed their meals; but here it is, six months later, and I can't even remember what else we ate that night, so that in itself, should tell you something. For the prices they charge, it should be more memorable than that IMHO.
Chops...Quantity not Quality...?
I haven't been to Abe and Louie's yet, but I would like to comment on Chop's anyway! My experience there was sub-par. A 7:45 weekday reservation got us seated at 8:30. The bar was completely insane, wall-to-wall bodies, horrid live band (playing what can only be described as Barnum-and-Bailey/Lido deck music) and it was hot in there! Nothing like sitting under bad down-lighting while dripping sweat...how romantic! Getting a drink was no easy task, and we also carried(!) our dregs to the table. Service was decent once we were seated, and--what seemed to be--the the cast of The Sopranos (all around us) made for good people-watching. But the food was...ya know, whatever. I got the 4-lb. lobster, but it was just pretty 'bland.' I've definitely had better. And the server just sort of dropped it off with some tools. The manager actually came over when he saw the puzzled look on my face and proceeded to make the lobster eatable (he was quite talented actually!). Tried some of my friend's monstrous steak (prime rib, I think) and again I thought...eh. The sides (spinach and asparagus) were huge (again) but mostly tasty. The wine was decent, and the dessert (creme brulee) was good. Overall, for the price, and for the wait, and for the ambience (I mean, you have to hang out in the bathroom to cool off and hear some Sinatra!), I'd prefer Ruth's Chris. I'm not a big Morton's fan. And I look forward to trying out Abe and Louie's.
I actually go to Steak Restaurants all the time and I can tell you the food at Chops is on another level. I have nothing bad to say abot Abe and louies but Chops is in another catagory. Everything is homemade at Chops which I really appreciate...incl the lobster bisc and desserts. Being spoiled with the steaks i usually get in Chicago, Chops actuallt age their steaks longer than most restaurant in the area. I would agree the service is not where it should be, but being open only a couple weeks should continue to improve....check it out!!
Interesting you should ask. We went to Chops for the 1st time last night. We had a 6 p.m. res and showed at 5:30 or so to have a drink at the bar. Atmosphere at the bar okay but not as nice as A&L. We carried dregs of our drinks to the table and were never asked if we wanted a refill or any other kind of beverage (they did serve water). My one friend and I would have had another drink but when we were never approached decided not to bother. I had a small filet which was very good. The only side I was interested in was the home fries with onions (onions must have been scarce 'cause friend asked me where they were lol!). I prefer A & L's as they steak was equally good in both places but their sides have more choice and are better - at least the home fries! A& L has onion strings to die for but nothing to offer at Chops. I know these things are nit-picky but if I'm going to spend that money I want to really enjoy the whole experience. JMHO, Linda