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Chop Shop

47 E. Main St. Smithtown, NY 631-360-3383

Chop Shop, Smithtown

(Credit: Photo by Danielle Finkelstein)

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Type: New American Price range: $$$ (Expensive) Description:

Chop Shop makes the cut. It's a sharp New American restaurant from the owners of Hudson's Mill in Massapequa. And the streamlined spot speeds by its forerunner, both in style and on the table. Be prepared for noise on weekends, sports on the bar-side TVs, plus some very good food, most familiar, some surprising. The eatery comes across confident and assured, as if it has been on Main Street for a long time. It should be.

Hours: Dinner every day, starting at 4:30 p.m. Weekend reservations recommended Ambience: Good Service: Very Good Reservations: Recommended Credit cards: Accepted
Chop Shop, Smithtown

Chop Shop, Smithtown (Credit: Photo by Danielle Finkelstein)

 Chop Shop makes the cut. It's a sharp New American restaurant from the owners of Hudson's Mill in Massapequa. And the streamlined spot speeds by its forerunner, both in style and on the table. Be prepared for noise on weekends, sports on the bar-side TVs, plus some very good food, most familiar, some surprising. The eatery comes across confident and assured, as if it has been on Main Street for a long time. It should be.

THE BEST

The "Buffalo chicken spring roll" cleverly updates a routine appetizer, with added crunch, no bone and Maytag blue cheese. A trio of crab cakes arrives moist and flavorful, Old Bay-spiked mayo on the side. Goat cheese and roasted peppers boost the breaded, "crispy portobello" mushroom cap. Chop Shop does have at least one namesake ref: a thick, lean, pan-roasted pork chop with grilled onions and a heavy-duty "bacon mac & cheese gratin." Gorgonzola cheese crowns the lush, grilled and sliced filet mignon, which rests comfortably on garlicky mashed potatoes. The juicy shell steak rivals it; the bone-in rib-eye, slightly behind. The hot pastrami sandwich on toasted rye could use better bread, but the meat is tasty, as is the house's cole slaw. Satisfying grilled chicken, flanked by sauteed spinach and cipollini onions, heads Chop Shop's lighter stuff unless you're lured to the inevitable sesame-seared tuna, here with ginger vegetables and scallion-accented basmati rice. On the side: logs of polenta fries, good skillet potatoes, better asparagus. For dessert, try the fried banana-on-chocolate cake - joyful overkill. Or crack the creme brulee; maybe, the peanut butter-chocolate ganache epic.

THE REST

Rigatoni tossed with chicken sausage, goat cheese, white beans and plum tomatoes never harmonizes. The mozzarella-and-tomato combo coolly underscores it's still April. Baked clams oreganata, dry and underseasoned; cheeseburger, overdone; onion soup, ultra-mild. Those Nutella-filled crepes need work.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Fully assembled.--Reviewed by Peter M. Gianotti, 4/24/09.