RENOVATING Downtown Dining

The Cowford Chophouse, a shining beacon of culinary hope for Downtown, is finally open! After three years, I’m happy to report that the historically preserved, beautiful building was worth the wait.

As the name indicates Cowford Chophouse is a place to get a great piece of meat. From a neat 4 oz. Wagyu to the brobdingnagian-sized Tomahawk, steak lovers will swoon. 

Valet is complementary, so from the outset you’re relieved of plebian tasks like parking. This is your night to enjoy; expect impeccable service from the moment you walk in the door. 

The cocktail menu is on point. The DCOOP D’etat ($13) is recommended if you’re in the mood for a lighter, tropical rum drink, perfect for summer. For fall, the Pre-Prohibition ($15) is exactly what the cooler weather ordered. This drink features Manifest Barrel Aged Gin—aging in whiskey barrels gives it notes of caramel and an amber color—and is finished with a little orange and thyme.

The starters present the most inventive options on the menu, like steak tartare served in bone marrow ($17), and moist, delicious duck fat cornbread with lobster and crab ($17).

After that, it’s all about the meat. Choose from fine cuts like Filet Mignon ($40) or the Rib Eye and, if you’re inclined, add a sauce or topping, like a Horseradish Cream or King Oscar (king crab, asparagus, béarnaise). I ordered the Wagyu 4 oz. ($50) topped with the Foie Gras with the bourbon bacon jam ($18). Wagyu, which translates to ‘cow’ in Japanese, is known for its fat marbling and melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. (Please, don’t order it over medium rare.) It was so tender that I almost didn’t need a knife. Sliding my fork through the topper of seared foie gras revealed the creamy center of fatty duck liver. Four ounces was definitely plenty for such a rich cut, particularly with the addition of velvety foie gras.

All steaks are served a la carte, so for sides choose from a wide selection like a one-pound baked potato, macaroni and cheese, wild mushrooms or asparagus.

Cowford is part of the Forking Amazing Restaurant group, which is famed for their desserts. Let me tell you, Pastry Chef Michael Bump is at it again. He created some new items, but we were impressed to see Baked Alaska ($11) on the menu. Their version is pistachio and everything about it is fresh, from the nutty rich pistachio ice cream, right down to the Bing cherry gel. They don’t necessarily light the Swiss Meringue on fire for you but the presentation is on point!

People keep asking me if it’s worth it, and yes, yes it is. The building itself is gorgeous; ogling the architecture is a reward in and of itself. If you’re looking to get the experience without dropping some coin on dinner, stop in for drinks and dessert, or lunch. You won’t be disappointed.