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News & Events at Chops Lobster Bar – BR

We love Stone Crabs!

Stone Crab Season!

Stone Crabs

Stone Crabs at Buckhead Life Restaurants

At Buckhead Life Restaurants, we pride ourselves in providing the finest and freshest seafood and Stone Crabs are no different!

To be sure that we will have them, please call first. Our supply can vary and very much depends on the harvesting schedule!

Why are Stone Crabs so special?

Perhaps the most anticipated seasonal seafood, Stone Crabs have officially arrived in our kitchens! Praised for their sweet taste and delicate texture, these delicacies are open for harvest beginning October 15th. Our stone crabs are responsibly fished and only sourced from the Florida Keys where the warm waters result in exceptionally sweat claws. Our stone crabs are delivered daily and served over ice with our famous secret sauce. You can enjoy stone crabs in our Atlanta restaurants at Atlanta Fish Market & Chops, and our South Florida restaurants at City Fish Market, Chops Lobster Bar, and Lobster Bar Sea Grille. Also, Pano’s Food Shop will carry them from time to time!

Aside from their delectable flavor, here are some of our favorite things about stone crabs:

Stone crabs can regenerate their claws.

While blue and Dungeness crab are valued for the meat from their legs, claws, and abdomen, stone crabs are sought after for their claws alone. The two front claws are not only delicately sweet, and powerful enough to crack an oyster shell (stone crabs feed on oysters, mussels, and fish)—they’re also “renewable.” Stone crabs can regenerate their claws if they’re removed correctly. To properly remove the claw from a live stone crab, first make sure it’s large enough to harvest legally (the claw must be 2.75 inches long). Then snap downward with a quick pop. This will help ensure the muscles and tissue the crab needs to rebuild the claw remain healthy and intact. In about three years, the claw should return to an adequate size for another harvest.

Look for the “fingerprint” to know if the claw is original.

You can tell if a stone crab claw is the original—or if it’s regenerated—by looking for a faint fingerprint-like marking on the propodus (the last segment of the pincer). If the fingerprint-like lines are unbroken, it’s the original claw. If the lines are broken, it’s a regenerated claw.

The stone crab’s weight is in its claws.

As a stone crab ages, the percentage of body weight may increase in the claws. An older male crab may have as much as half their body weight in their large claws.

Stone crabs are resourceful.

Seashells that wash up on the shore are often taken home as a beautiful memento. But for stone crabs, seashells are useful tools.  Stone crabs use shells to burrow and dig to create a home among the seagrass in shallow waters near docks, rocks, and bridges. Piles of underwater shell pieces near holes in reefs and rocks may be a good indication you’ve stumbled upon a stone crab’s home.

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Chef Sean Thompson

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We sat down with the Chef behind the gorgeous dishes at Chops Boca to talk about how his first night on the job, what he loves most about being a chef, and his biggest accomplishment yet.

How long have you been the Executive Chef of Chops Boca?

It’ll be 2 years in July.

What do you remember about your first night there?

I remember Pano introducing me as the new chef. I’m lucky that the staff embraced me as I embraced them.  I had a speech that probably came out completely different than what I had envisioned, but I do remember telling everybody that it was time to get to work, which is exactly what we’ve been doing ever since!

What’s your favorite Chops Boca memory?

That’s hard to say! We have a lot of fun here and we’ve had so many great memories that seem to just keep coming.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Every part of it. The fact that I get to wake up everyday and do what I love more than anything as a career is indescribable. I have the opportunity to make other people’s lives better w/ my passion for cooking. Words can’t describe.

What’s your proudest accomplishment at Chops Boca?

I think when you stop and take too much time to recognize accomplishments it puts an emphasis on a stopping point. Yes; we have accomplished a lot and I’m very proud of the work we have done, but I feel like Buckhead Life and Chops Lobster Bar is just getting started. Through our hard work and attention to detail, sky’s the limit.

Any notable celebrity sightings?

It’s a tie between Adam Sandler and Anthony Rizzo.

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How General Manager Mimi Cogan is Celebrating 10 Years of Chops Boca

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Chops’ General Manager Mimi Cogan has been with Chops since its opening in 2007, and here at Buckhead Life she’s something of a legend. Since the days of Pano’s & Paul’s she’s been charming guests and making sure everything in the restaurants runs smoothly.  She sat down with us to talk about the past ten years at Chops.


How long have you been with Buckhead Life?
I’ve been with Buckhead Life for  24 years! January ’81-May ’83 & March ’95-present.

What do you remember from the night Chops Boca opened?
It was such a long time ago but the main thing I can still remember is how nervous I was!

What’s one piece of advice about running a restaurant?
Details, details, details! It doesn’t take much for something to go wrong, so you have to be flexible and ready to problem solve at a moment’s notice!

Your favorite dish on the menu?
Every dish is great, but the Dover Sole prepared table side is my favorite.

How do you plan on celebrating 10 Years?
By recognizing the people who have been with me since the beginning. Marcell, Konstantin, Maria, Lona and Moe!!

What’s your favorite thing about living and working in Boca?
The opportunity to open a beautiful restaurant in an absolutely beautiful place.

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Meet Beverage Manager Marcell Keys

Meet Beverage Manager Marcell Keys

Marcell Keys talks Florida’s Most Iconic Cocktails, His Approach to Mixology, and How to Get the Bartender’s Attention Every Time.

Marcell Keys isn’t your average beverage manager. In fact, nothing about Marcell Keys’ rise to become Chops’ Beverage Manager is normal. While Marcell has been at Chops since the day it opened, he first worked as a server before being promoted to Manager, then Beverage Manager, and eventually found his passion studying wine and becoming the newest member of the Guild of Sommeliers.

Walk into Chops on any given day between the hours of 5:00 and 7:00 and you’ll find one of the busiest happy hours in town. Sure, there are $8 martinis and a tempting array of appetizers, but perhaps the real key to a buzzing bar is the creativity of the people who work behind it.

Being a bar manager isn’t just about mixing fantastic cocktails. For Chops, a restaurant concept already thriving in Atlanta, the challenge was to curate a menu that fit with Boca Raton’s culture.

“It was important to realize Boca Raton is a “martini-centric” type of city”, Marcell explains. He began to work within this idea and take a strong mixology approach to curating the menu. Chops takes advantage of the fresh fruits that are abundant in South Florida and he says it has made all the difference. Marcell’s style of mixology starts with the fresh fruit and juice and then the alcohol is added.

When asked what the “magic” behind Chops’ successful bar, Marcell explains that “Chops’ bar separates itself by bolstering an environment that is both expressively traditional and uniquely hip.”. Beyond the actual atmosphere of the restaurant, we see this on the specialty cocktail menu itself. With options like the “Perfect Negroni Martini” and  the “Platinum Mule”, it’s clear that Chops favors traditional American steakhouse libations, but is determined to deliver something fresh and unique.

And the drinks you’ve sipped on at Chops? Marcell probably named them. The more outrageous the name, the better according to Marcell. “ The fun starts with the name”, Marcell says, and he’s onto something as “The Gold Digger Martini” is easily their most ordered martini.

In the case of most great bars, Chops is constantly busy. While Chops has a longstanding reputation for being a haunt for Boca’s most glamourous, Marcell points out that the long bar and lounge seating in the restaurant are 100% first-come-first-served. Macell’s tips for getting the bartender’s attention every time? “ The two best ways takes us all back to when times were much more simple. Either politely, without yelling, raise your hand (as if ready to answer a teacher’s question in class) or wait to catch the bartender’s eye and smile (as if you had a secret to tell…lean in and give your order).”

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