New restaurants often need time after opening to smooth out the wrinkles. I usually try and wait a few weeks before trying a recently opened establishment, but I was excited for 815 Chop House.
815 Chop House opened less than a week before we dined there on Tuesday. It's in the old M Supper Club location, on West Virginia Street between Pomeroy and McHenry Avenue. We arrived around 6:15 p.m. and parked in the ample parking lot in back.
Walking in we were greeted at the door and immediately taken to our table. The main dining room and bar are separated by a cascading waterfall wall. We were taken past the bar area to our left, into the main dining room, and through to another room to the right.
This room looked like it could be separated off into a private party room, but didn't feel cut off from the rest of the dining area. The wall between the two rooms had a large window filled with vertically stacked wine bottles. Another wall contained a collage of photos of various animals and a potato that showed different cuts of meat (or fries) on each. There was a fireplace in the corner, and the room had options of standalone tables, as well as tables with booths on two walls.
Our server came and took our drink orders while our waters were filled. I ordered a lager that was on tap while my fellow diner ordered a bourbon old fashioned off their specialty drink menu.
For entrees, we selected the lobster tacos ($19) and the 8-ounce filet ($30) with a horseradish crust ($3), cooked medium. The steak came with soup (cheddar asparagus was the soup of the day) and two sides. I picked out the roasted vegetables and the garlic mashed potatoes, which I ordered loaded for $2 extra.
The drinks came out first, as well as bread and butter. I cut up the bread to share and spread the honey butter onto it. The soup followed quickly after, and my fellow diner, who selected it for me knowing she would be taking it, enjoyed the piping hot soup served in a small crock. She was quite happy it wasn't overly salted, and finished every last bit.
The filet was so tender it seemed you didn't even need a steak knife to cut it. I used my butter knife to test that theory, and never had problem cutting through. The horseradish crust was a nice topping to the steak, giving a little kick while still allowing the flavor of the meat to come through. The roasted vegetables that evening were yellow squash and zucchini, cut length wise. They went well with the mashed potatoes, and I cleaned every last bit of my plate.
My fellow diner's lobster tacos came with a side of rice and black beans. She was unable to finish their meal, and took home half of their plate. She commented that the chipotle ranch dressing was spicy without taking over the entire taco, and you could still taste both the lobster and avocado relish.
By the end of the meal, we were both too full to enjoy even the idea of dessert, but perhaps next time.
• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a story.