Monday, July 15, 2013

A New Chop on the Block, Seared 1200 Chop House

Talk about big taste in a tiny restaurant, 1200 Chop House delivers some seriously good food to hungry carnivores with panache and class.

We have been to 1200 twice and each time was pleasant and unhurried despite the long line of diners waiting their turn at a table.  Both visits were mid-week and close to 6 p.m. and later than that and I'm sure you will have a bit of wait.  The staff does a remarkably good job in juggling the demands of many diners in a tiny space.

Notyourmomma's Kitchen Tampa Bay restaurants

The wine pours by the glass are generous and not too pricey.  Nice enough to sip on while pondering the menu.  A bottle will be ordered later, I'm sure.

Seared 1200 Chophouse on Urbanspoon

See, he does smile?  
We chose a shrimp in garlic sauce to share as our appetizer.  We thought they were plump and tasty.  The garlic sauce was not palate killing and the soft warm rolls made  The Mister very happy.    Do not get between this man and his bread.

We both had the house salad.  It was definitely a cut above the average salad.  There were dried cranberries, mixed fresh greens, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and a wonderfully made balsamic vinaigrette.  Speaking as the salad prep girl from years ago, I loved the discerning and judicious use of sweet/tart/crunchy/creamy in a lovely balance to the chilled greens.  I'd eat two helpings if I didn't already know what is coming next.

Our next course was the Porterhouse for two.  It is huge.  It is the best of both worlds in my steak nirvana, the filet on one side and the strip on the other.  A perfect marriage of tender and flavor.  We ordered it medium rare and it came just a tad under but that was swiftly corrected to our satisfaction.
It is a bit too pink for The Mister, but perfect for me.
The flavor of the steak was rich, meaty goodness.  We opted for the baked potatoes dressed with butter.  There were tomato halves topped with a finely chopped parsley and bread crumb topping.  A nice accompaniment to the hearty steak on the plate.  We also split a side of the sauteed spinach.  Something healthy of course.  It was sublime, tender, flavored with a deft hand with lemon and garlic.  

Sadly you can see we didn't like our steak.  My dilemma which furry one will get the bone??
We were joined by our lovely daughter after appetizers and the staff magically expanded our table to seat three!  Daughter ordered the steak au poivre and she claimed it very tasty, but she would like it rarer next time.  

It took a lot of arm twisting and promises to share, which we gladly did on dessert.
Served in mason jars with the freshest whipped cream I've tasted in a long time, we shared the dulce de leche dessert.  It was sublime with the perfect hint of caramel goodness in a delightful creamy bite.  

We have been back for a second visit and it was just as, forgive the pun, searingly good. Service was above par, steaks are sublime, salads and sides delicious.  Definitely worth many a visit. With pre-dinner glasses of wine (4), a fine bottle of wine, one appetizer, three dinners and one dessert plus tip was $220.00  A bit pricey, yes, but worth every hard earned cent.

P!nk - Beam Me Up (Official Lyric Video) dedicated to our son, Tyler

F Tyler Schweinle
10/20/87 - 7/12/03
I can't believe it has been ten years since you have been gone.  Time is not the healer of all wounds as projected.  The hurt is still intense and the longing never ends.  I love you Tyler, with all my heart.  I know you have been present.  I see the winks from God, in the quiet moments.  I know Olivia was meant to see LaQuina at the college last week, you were there. You knew.  Wee-wee will get that job that is perfect for her, working with her special needs peers.  She needs to recognize the strength you have gifted her as her brother. Your therapy times coincided with LaQuina's many times and your precious little sister was always there to play with LaQuina, never suspecting that her innocent play made therapy more bearable for her friend.  One of those awesome moments when children are simply children, free to play regardless of ability or lack thereof.  Innocent hearts free of judgement.  You knew.   Your life was an education in love and sacrifice, giving of the heart to those who believed.  You taught us so much, even though many ignorant others considered you incapable of being taught.  You knew.  Your eyes were a window into an old soul, a very wise loving soul.  I knew it was you who had Mrs. Hering call last week and speak with daddy.  Her boy Justin is almost 25 and his sister is doing well.  It was nice to hear from yet another family we shared many therapy times together.  Daddy had to break the news that you had died and Mrs. Hering sent us a lovely card in remembrance.  It was touching.  You knew.  We were blessed a short 15 years of your presence and I will always be grateful for those moments.  We try to remember the laughter and the feeling of completeness we had as family.  It is hard, dear Tyler. I stare at the wall of pictures and hold fast to that moment in time when you were with us.   There continues to be a huge rip in the family tapestry. there are loose threads and broken ties that bring us back to missing you.  I know you were with me in the doctor's office waiting room.  Did you feel me crying out for you?  How much I wished to be that mother and son?  A young man with the dark hair in a copper power wheelchair, arms akimbo like yours, his speech intelligible only to his mom, telling the nurse, "if it isn't one thing it's another"  Yes, another exceptional son with a sense of humor about his life, clearly loved.   You knew.  I understand your pointed reminder that I needed to remember all of our life together, the good ones with the bad back-breaking ones.  I imagine that young man was close to 25 which would be your age and it made me wonder how different life would be if you were still with us.  I imagine many of the changes and challenges would be far different than they are now.  But it isn't our will or wants that govern this life.  We are only humble vessels of a Higher Being.   Some learn and prosper from the hard knocks, others may flounder and fail when beaten down too often.  It is the faith and strength we carry within ourselves which molds our character. Our lives were forever changed by loving you.  I am forever grateful for the chance to be your mom.  You opened my heart to a love like no other and I'll never stop longing to see your smile.  You always knew your part in this life and accepted life's challenges bravely, with courage and that ever-present smile.   You knew.