If you happen to find yourself so lucky as to have happened upon some World Series tickets, it's safe to say that you deserve to treat yourself to a great meal beforehand. Or perhaps you don't need such an occasion – you're well worth it, I'm sure. Lucky for you, there happens to be a spot in Detroit that can suit both of those circumstances quite nicely.
The London Chop House relocated and renamed itself within the city's financial district in 1938 and quickly became one of Detroit's crown jewels. Fast forward nearly 75 years and the LCH has undergone a renovation and change of ownership – and reopened its doors just a few months back as the London Chop House and the LCH Cigar Lounge, ushering in a new era for the establishment – reintroducing itself to modern day Detroit without having lost the luster of what made it special and unique in the first place.
The first thing that smacks you in the face when you walk into the LCH is that it is simply gorgeous. Über-swanky with an interior that boasts supple leather booths, black tablecloths, brass adornments and mirrors everywhere – something that you've seen dozens of times on Mad Men – the restaurant and bar are shockingly very comfortable, approachable and accessible for everyone. There isn't the air of pretentiousness that you've come to expect from fine dining. And the best-kept secret, until now, is that their price-points are completely and utterly reasonable. (For the record, I've spent twice as much on a meal that wasn't even a fraction as delicious, or that offered up quite the experience, as at the Chop House.)
The service and food are totally and entirely impeccable. Their lunch menu is fantastic – high-end and delicious classic American cuisine – and altogether affordable for anyone. You will pay as much for a crappy deli sandwich or rubbery lettuce salad at any establishment as you will for LCH's baby arugula and roasted beet salad (with pistachio-crusted goat cheese and salt-baked pear), Pancho Burger or pan-seared salmon (with the most exquisite Brussels sprouts you've ever tried, I swear).
One of the most enticing lunch menu items, however, has to be the smoked beef tenderloin sandwich, complete with oven-roasted tomato, gruyere, balsamic braised Portobello and garlic aioli. But maybe you're not as much into incredible culinary deliciousness as the next guy. Well, LCH also happens to have some fantastic basics that will equally knock your socks off – everything from a legendary chop salad to a Greek or Caesar variety, a scrumptious corned beef sandwich (with house-made kraut, gruyere, parmesan and garlic aioli all on marble rye) and tons of other options. Just be aware, we're talking pure quality – this isn't a menu that will confuse you with far too many choices.
The dinner menu is an equally fantastic extension of the lunch offerings. With further entrée selections and more supper-oriented plates, there's no chance you'll escape the meal without ordering at least one of their amazing appetizers to go with your dinner. Offering steak tartare, a seasonal Hudson Valley foie gras preparation, caviar service and more, you can most certainly get your fill of the high-end, but for those who stick with the more simple, you'd be silly not to try the buttermilk-marinated calamari or seared Maine sea scallops. With a crispy, salty and slightly peppery exterior, you'll be pleasantly surprised at the tender and delicious interior of these enormous scallops.
For dinner entrees, I would like to highly recommend one of their aged steaks. An enormous cut of meat, I was treated to the 24-oz bone-in ribeye. And for someone as carnivorous as myself, I can be brutally honest in saying that this was the best cut of meat that I have ever had the privilege to eat. Buttery, smooth, tender and herb-y all at the same time, this is exactly what meat is supposed to taste like.
No matter the occasion (although I will again recommend treating yourself to an amazing meal before or after attending your favorite event downtown), there is so much to love and appreciate about the London Chop House, there is absolutely no reason that you aren't already planning it for your next meal out. | RDW