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Tasty and colorful Almond Crusted Chicken Breast stuffed with goat cheese and finished with cranberry sauce.
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All deserts are made on the premises; this is the apple/cranberry pie.
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Big City Chophouse Bar
The modern full service bar in the Chophouse
When Jacob Good Downtown suddenly packed up and left 45 East Market, it left a hole in the Akron dining scene, not to mention the rapidly growing “Historic District”. Fortunately, that hole was filled, and not by just another restaurant, but by a type and style of eatery we actually needed downtown.
The Big City Chophouse turns out to be a restaurant in the right place, at the right time. First, a little background. The BCC is owned by John Kouvas, who also took over the Cite Grille in Canton. He added both to an existing Warren location for a small chain of three upscale traditional types. They feature what the name implies: Steaks, pork chops, lamb racks and seafood. But like many such restaurants, they also have a huge menu of Italian and European influenced dishes, and it turns out, this is where the BCC really shines.
That’s “the rest of the story”. Kouvas started the Warren location when 78-year-old Jimmy Chieffo had to close down his Mahoning Valley establishment after decades of operation. Kouvas was fortunate enough to rescue Chieffo from a less than prestigious position, and install him in the kitchen in Warren. There, Chieffo hired and trained a string of sous chefs and line chefs, finally satisfying himself and Kouvas that they had at least six people who could run a kitchen and produce pretty much the same results from the old Chieffo family recipes.
I have been able to sample a wide variety of dishes at both lunch and dinner. The main conclusion was that Big City Chophouse shines the brightest on the old world classics…dishes such as Veal Cannelloni, Chicken Francaise, Penne alla Vodka, Shrimp Diavolo or Clam Linguine.
There is a huge selection of appetizers, and frankly, they are sized and priced perfectly for the kind of small plate grazing I like to do these days. There are some things you find lots of places these days, like stuffed mushers and breaded mozzarella. On the other hand, there are several pepper starters, mussels Italiano, smoked lox, shrimp scampi, crab cakes, smelts (!), and even a plate of marinated lamb chops that turned out to be one of the highlights of a recent lunch. Presentation was pretty much toss the food on the plate, but you can’t beat good cooking. There is also a wide range of salads with homemade dressings such as creamy horseradish, Paris, creamy balsamic and a Caesar.
One recent entree was a chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese, then coated with a crisp almond coating and finished with a tart cranberry sauce. Wonderful! You could probably do soup, salad, two really nice appetizers and desert for about $25 a head. Chops and seafood run from around $17 to $29, and the old world entrees are pretty reasonable at around $14-19 each. There is also a sandwich menu, and Big City Chophouse is open for lunch and dinner.
Kouvas pretty much kept the same nicely upscale décor from the prior tenant’s thorough remodeling of the space. In my opinion, the best thing about having a truly traditional restaurant right across the alley from Crave is that the combination gives the north end of downtown a true dining enclave. Kouvas even mentioned he wouldn’t mind seeing another restaurant go into the building across the street at Main & Market. You can call 330-535-6410 for reservations, and there is valet parking available at the curb.