CHOP, CHOP

Food critic gives us the inside scoop on where the nation’s best veal chops can be found


When it comes to veal chops, nobody does it better than the U.S. When you find veal chops in Europe at all, they’re likely to be fairly thin, puny specimens. But even though Americans don’t eat much veal — less than a pound per person each year — American restaurants serve massive, beautiful veal chops with enormous succulence, good fat content, and velvety texture, right down to the crusty bone. Once the specialty of big-city Italian- American restaurants, veal chops are now a staple at great steakhouses, bistros, and deluxe dining rooms.

In its purest, unadorned form is the excellent veal chop served with baby onions at New York’s Raffaele (1055 First Ave.; 212-750-3232).

In Las Vegas, Aureole (Mandalay Bay Hotel; 877-632-7401) serves pan-seared T-bone of veal with a caramelized onion-and-potato tart, and braised sunchokes.

At the hot “global cuisine” Mercury in Dallas (11909 Pres-ton Rd.; 972-960-7774), the chop is grilled over mesquite, then served with thyme-scented gnocchi in an olive jus with olive-oil poached tomatoes.

Other sure bets for great veal chops include Harris’ (2100 Van Ness Ave.; 415-673-1888) in San Francisco and Caliterra (633 N. St. Clair; 312-274-4444) in Chicago.