By Katie Roberts and Autumn Gates
Those who enter Chops City Grill are greeted by exquisite décor, the cheerful laughter of guests, and the aroma of the steakhouse’s specialty Wagyu prime beef. Since its opening in Bonita Springs in 2001, this grand establishment has been a seventh heaven for lovers of luxury dining. And…it just got even better!
After two decades of excellence, the restaurant recently underwent a massive, million-dollar renovation, closing its doors from May to October 2021 to revamp everything from its décor to its menu. At the grand reopening, staff watched jaws drop as regulars gazed at the new and improved Chops City Grill. While the layout and welcoming culture of the restaurant has been preserved, its tables, chairs, dining areas, lighting fixtures, ceiling, flooring and artwork have all been replaced with additions including beautiful hardwood paneling, acoustic ceiling tiles and regal curtains.
Today, guests can be found unwinding in plush, black velvet booths, feasting at one of the formal tables inside the eatery’s bustling dining room, or enjoying a peaceful evening on the patio. The local steakhouse is a go-to for diners seeking affordable, premium quality meals within a relaxed yet upscale environment. Featured cuts include New York Strip steaks, T-bones, and filets that will get your tastebuds dancing. The restaurant also specializes in Asian cuisine including fresh, local seafood, hand-rolled sushi and a variety of tasty stir-fry dishes.
And no visit to Chops is complete without enjoying a drink at its lavish, 20-foot bar featuring a spectacular wine wall and brand new, Italian crystal chandeliers. The extensive bar menu offers a big–city feel with an impressive assortment of delicious craft cocktails, beers and liquors, as well as over 300 labels of wine.
“Our restaurant has become an upscale neighborhood bar and is like a secondary clubhouse for our regulars,” says Bar Manager Timo Ortyl. When in doubt, Ortyl recommends that guests try his favorite martini, “In A Land…Far…Far Away.” The unique creation contains Whitley Neill rhubarb and ginger gin, lemon, agave and grapefruit lavender bitters.
In addition to the dazzling décor and outstanding cuisine, the knowledge and passion shown by the staff at Chops City Grill helps enhance the restaurant’s guest experience and refine its brand.
“I have been in management for 26 years and have spent the majority of my career in food service,” says General Manager Todd Rowland. “In the six months I have been with Chops, this is hands-down one of the best teams I have ever worked with.”
When the restaurant closed down for the remodel, the team was still working behind the scenes—spending a month trying out new dishes and revamping the menu.
Servers are thoroughly prepped to answer any questions about menu items and are eager to offer suggestions when asked. They’re also trained to gracefully add finishing touches—like drizzling sauces or dressings—to complete certain dishes when served at the table. All sauces, desserts and gelatos are made fresh daily.
“My favorite part about Chops is that this is a restaurant I would actually have dinner at,” says longtime server Matt Maurizi. If you know anything about what goes on in most restaurant kitchens, this is a high compliment. Maurizi assures that behind the scenes, it’s still a quality operation.
“The food is excellent, the atmosphere is sophisticated, and this is the perfect place for date nights,” he says.
It is clear that Chef-Owner Skip Quillen has a knack for developing successful restaurant concepts (he has four in Southwest Florida), and he ensures his workers are fully equipped to offer outstanding service.
“Skip is a down-to-earth guy from New Jersey and has an incredible vision when it comes to fine dining,” says Maurizi. “I truly enjoy what I do and working for a fantastic owner.”
The Chops team is eager to show off the newly renovated restaurant and updated menu. Stop in and unwind with friends while enjoying some of the best steaks around—along with creative appetizers, craft cocktails, Asian cuisine and more!
The Short Stack – Two crab cakes made with fresh Maine lobster, jumbo lump blue crab, stone crab (when in season) and Alaskan king crab are baked and stacked high with homemade sweet potato chips and served in a sauce of roasted sun-dried tomatoes, garlic and champagne. Crab cakes are garnished with jumbo lump crab pieces, a dollop of yuzu mustard and fresh petite greens.
Oysters Chopafella – Three large oysters are stuffed with a king crab mixture of roasted bacon, spinach and parmesan cheese accented with miso (slight maple flavor) and yuzu (citrus) then baked until bubbly, topped with a drop of yuzu mustard to add moisture and flavor, then plated with fresh pea tendrils, rock salt and a one-ounce king crab leg.
Stacked Heirloom Tomatoes – Strong flavors with a cool twist combine in a salad of roasted red onions with fresh arugula, Point Reyes blue cheese crumbles and house-made chocolate balsamic dressing with thick-cut diced pork belly. The cheese mixture is stacked with thick tomato slices atop Friseé lettuce served on a chocolate cocoa and smoked paprika dusted plate—all held together with a bread stick flavored with two “secret ingredients.”
Tomahawk with Oscar Twist – Chops’ 32-ounce Tomahawk or “axe handle” steak is an impressive ribeye with the bone left on, meant to be shared by two or more people. All dry-aged steaks are prime-beef aged for over 21 days in Chops’ dry-aging cooler. Oscar Twist is one of Chops’ eight spectacular accompaniments – a fun twist on the classic “Oscar” sauce (hollandaise, asparagus and crab) with top-shelf au poivre sauce, three asparagus spears and a crab cake topped with white truffle béarnaise and an additional three-ounce, “in the shell” Alaskan king crab leg.
Chris’ Braised Short Rib – “Bone-in” beef short rib cooked slowly (until it’s just about to fall off the bone), glazed with port-wine barbecue sauce and served with roasted rainbow-colored mini peppers, chipotle apple sauce, sautéed spinach and whipped parsnip potatoes.
Organic Apples – Chops’ most popular dessert! Hand-cut organic Granny Smith apples are tossed with a sugar syrup of apple sauce, cinnamon and nutmeg then baked in an individual pie crust until golden brown, then drizzled with a bourbon-walnut caramel sauce. Apples are topped with house-made cinnamon gelato, whipped cream, a chocolate stick, dehydrated apple slice and fresh mint sprig.
Chops City Grill Bonita
8200 Health Center Blvd