Quick Facts: Buffalo Chophouse is an upscale Steakhouse located in Downtown Buffalo. Restauranteur Mark Croce opened the fine dining restaurant in the heart of Buffalo’s Theatre District in 2002. The restaurant is known for it’s elaborate decor (they recently undertook an expensive and lengthy renovation) and for their attentive and well trained service staff. Their menu is a la carte, with appetizers priced from $12-19, sides $8-14 and entrees $34-56. The restaurant also offers a free valet service.
Our Meal: We visited Buffalo Chophouse earlier this month on a quiet, cold Wednesday night. Normally we’d recommend making reservations, but on this particular night the dining room was half empty. I started my meal with a Manhattan cocktail on the rocks that was unfortunately delivered to the table in a very watered down state as a lot of the ice had melted. A second Manhattan, served neat this time, was much more enjoyable. We then enjoyed an order of raw oysters that were perfectly shucked (no shards), meaty and impressively fresh. Other diners ordered french onion soup, parmesan truffle fries and a side of brussel sprouts, most of which were served when our entrees arrived. Everyone decided to order steak as their main course. Alli and I ordered the 32oz Bone-in Ribeye ($54), two guests ordered the large Porterhouse special and one ordered a 16oz New York Strip ($48). The Bone-in Ribeyes were very good. Both were cooked to the appropriate temperature (medium rare, all day), had a good amount of fat and had a very nice flavor. The New York Strip Steak was also enjoyable. Less fatty and juicy, but still very tender and cooked just right. The Porterhouse special was pre-sliced with a really nice presentation but the actual flavor of the steak was a little lacking and the sliced pieces lost their warmth quickly. All of the steaks were served very simply, on a warm white plate without any unneeded garnishes. The sides ranged from just OK to disappointing. The french fries were incredibly narrow and essentially fried empty shells with no potato inside. The subtleties of the Parmesan and truffle oil were lost to a general salty flavor. The brussels sprouts with tasso had no real flavor at all and the texture was soft and mushy. Desserts at the end of the night were also a little disappointing, particularly the chocolate lava cake which was missing most of it’s lava.
Summary: While there are other restaurants that are more exciting in Western New York, Buffalo Chophouse still tends to be a special event location for many who are looking for a nice steak dinner in an upscale setting. The service is attentive, quick and did a good job pacing our meal. This is not an every day restaurant, dinner for two could easy reach the $200 mark and personally I’d rather have a more well rounded experience for that kind of money. While the sides and desserts are over-priced and disappointing, the steaks (particularly the Ribeye) are thankfully much better. If you have a lot of money and want an excellent culinary experience that will wow you, we have some other suggestions. If you want a really big steak in a fancy setting where the servers will treat you like a king or queen? Buffalo Chophouse is probably the best place for that.
Can’t Miss Dish: Their 32oz Bone-in Ribeye.
Other Coverage: Andrew Galarneau’s Review (2014)