September 22, 2018
Arts & Entertainment
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  • The surf and turf featured a hanger steak, shrimp and scallops served on top of asparagus and garlic potatoes.
    Photo by Mary Cobbler
    The surf and turf featured a hanger steak, shrimp and scallops served on top of asparagus and garlic potatoes.
  • The au gratin spinach was cheesy and rich.
    Photo by Mary Cobbler
    The au gratin spinach was cheesy and rich.
  • The roasted Brussels sprouts were a hands-down favorite.
    Photo by Mary Cobbler
    The roasted Brussels sprouts were a hands-down favorite.
  • The crème brulee was a sweet ending to a great meal.
    Photo by Mary Cobbler
    The crème brulee was a sweet ending to a great meal.

Pascal’s Chophouse Will Be Your New Favorite Spot

Mary Cobbler
Mary Cobbler's picture
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August 21, 2018

The Magothy Gateway shopping center has brought an array of new businesses to Severna Park, and among them is Pascal’s Chophouse, the classy, chic and comfortable restaurant at 139A Ritchie Highway.

I’ve visited similar restaurants, but this is now one of my top spots in the area. The mix of eclectic furnishings — exposed beams, hanging lights of different sizes, and a combination of natural wood and soft aqua colors — provides a cool sense of style. Lining the walls are wine bottles that serve as three-dimensional art.

We visited early on a Saturday evening and, because I had requested on our reservation a more private area if possible, we were immediately led to a corner booth with leather-like seats, cow-themed pillows, and a windowsill holding books.

Pascal’s Chophouse has a covered outdoor patio that, though empty when we arrived (it was hot), will be a big hit come the fall.

Our server, Josh, was superb! Knowledgeable, personable and professional, he quickly took our drink orders and returned to rattle off the day’s appetizer and entree specials.

My dining companion went for oysters, while I skeptically chose Josh’s suggestion of the day’s special appetizer: shrimp and grits. I tried grits once while in Texas and decided it was a one-and-done. But since our sincere and friendly waiter spoke so highly of them, I went for it.

Our bread basket had three small rolls and came with a bowl of whipped honey butter. I planned to take one bite, and my companion wasn’t going to eat any, but, well, we gobbled them all.

Josh returned with the appetizers. The grits were soft but not mushy, with cheese and jalapenos for added spice. The shrimp were plump, tender and tasty. I couldn’t have asked for a better appetizer, though many looked appealing. Josh said the lamb meatballs are popular, as are the calamari “steak fries.” The porcini mushroom ravioli also looked good.

The oysters, my companion said, were fresh, with good flavor. (Sorry folks, I don’t do raw oysters).

The entrée menu includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, ostrich and seafood with an assortment of sauces, and ravioli.

I chose the evening’s special of surf and turf, a hanger steak with shrimp and scallops. It came with asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. My companion chose a 6-ounce filet mignon. We also ordered two sides: au gratin spinach and roasted Brussels sprouts.

Both the filet and the skirt steak were grilled to perfection. The filet was beautifully seared on the outside and juicy, tender and flavorful on the inside. Mine was slightly marbled, and just a bit less tender than the filet, but that would be expected. The shrimp was like the appetizer, plump and tender, but the scallops were chewy.

My asparagus, not always a favorite food for me, was surprisingly good, flavored with lime. The potatoes were warm and garlicky. I just would have preferred more.

I never thought I’d be raving over Brussels sprouts, but these were the best I’ve ever tasted. They were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside and bathed in a sweet vinaigrette dressing. I honestly would go back just for those Brussels sprouts if nothing else.

The spinach au gratin was rich and creamy, warm and filling. They were a little too rich for me, but if you’re going to eat cooked spinach, that’s the way to go!

I was looking forward to the Smith Island cake on the menu, but the restaurant was out, so we again took Josh’s suggestion and shared a crème brulee. Slightly sweet with a toasty top, the dessert was a nice ending but nothing too special.

The ambiance and food would definitely provide a great but expensive date night. Without drinks, our bill came to $150, but we did order two appetizers, a dessert and two sides to go along with our meals.

Pascal’s Chophouse has brunch on Saturday and Sunday. There’s also a tavern menu featuring wings, sandwiches, salads and other offerings.

Overall, the visit was outstanding, and we fully intend to return soon.

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