I love venturing to Burlington to go to shopping. There's a freestanding Crate & Barrel, a West Elm, a Barnes & Noble, and tons of other favorite stores of mine in the Burlington Mall. With all that shopping, I usually end up wanting to grab a bite to eat too. For something a bit nicer and more substantial than a slice of pizza at the food court, down the road from the mall, now there's Chopps American Bar and Grill.
Chopps American Bar and Grill is located inside the Marriott and features a menu devised by chef David Verdo and consulting chef Daniel Bruce. Verdo has cooked at various restaurants in the Boston area and I've experienced Bruce's cooking before at Meritage. The background of these two chefs gave me high hopes for a meal at Chopps, and I was not disappointed.
Jeff and I ventured to the restaurant on a Saturday evening and were sat in the dining room with lots of windows on one side and a view of the open kitchen on the other. We selected some appetizers to share to kick off the meal. We started with the yellowfin tuna tartare with white soy, ginger, and crispy wontons. The tuna was cool and fresh and the soy and ginger gave it a nice pungency and heat. The crispy wontons added a contrasting crunch, and I wished there were more of them.
We also split the pork shu mai. The little pork dumplings come steamed and served atop cabbage and sweet teriyaki. Anything with a dumpling wrapper is always a risk, but these were just perfect -- not at all gummy and nice and thin. The pork filling was also very flavorful.
On the small plates menu, the burrata caught my eye, and I had to try it. The cheese came with crisp toasts, pesto, and tomato jam, plus olive oil and sea salt. The savory pesto and sweet tomato jam nicely balanced each other and played well with the soft, mild cheese.
Verdo also sent us out the pork belly to try. It's flavored with a hoisin BBQ sauce and was so tender. A crunchy cabbage and horseradish slaw provided extra flavor and texture and cut some of the meaty richness.
Being at a steak house, we both went with meat dishes for our main courses. Jeff chose the Cabernet-and-fennel braised short ribs with a side of whipped potatoes. The short ribs are braised for hours and it's evident in their fall-apart texture.
I went with the pork chop, which was cooked to medium-rare and simply seasoned, and I opted for tots on the side.
The tots were hot, crunchy, and nicely seasoned. And I ate the pork with slathers of bone marrow butter. It was flavorful enough on its own, but the butter took it up a notch with its richness.
For dessert, the kitchen sent out a lemon meringue pie and a New York-style cheesecake. We were pretty full and ended up taking most of the dessert home but not without sampling bites of the tart pie and creamy cheesecake.
If you're in Burlington and looking for a nice night out with a casual vibe, Chopps has some great food and service to fit the bill.
Do you ever venture to Burlington?
This dinner was complimentary. All opinions are my own.