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“Very Good Steak”
Review of 801 Chophouse

801 Chophouse
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Ranked #19 of 581 Restaurants in Des Moines
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$50
Cuisines: American, Steakhouse
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Cross street: 8th
Description: A late 1920"s New York City steak house interior with signature leather booths, cherry wood furnishings, wooden floors, marble counter tops and high ceilings. 801 Chophouse offers only the very finest and freshest meats, seafood, and vegetables available. Executive Chef, Brian Dennis creates a fresh sheet that highlights the unique weekly offerings. Seasonal fresh soups and salads, oysters on the half shell,four species of fresh fish, live Maine lobsters and king crab legs. Make sure to save room for the Grand Marnier Souffle made from scratch! Aged USDA Grade Prime Beef ONLY, Iowa Farm Families pork chops and Colorado lamb. Customize your party from 6 to 65, the walls reconfigure for the perfect amount of space, the tables change for seating and conversation, and custom menus range from cocktails and hors d'oeuvres to full course dining.
Reviewed 21 September 2013

I was in Des Moines for business. I stayed at the Marriott Downtown. This restaurant was a block away.

I had no reservation and it was a Tuesday night. The resturant was packed. I sat at the bar.

The service was pretty good. I could have used a little more attention from the bar tender and refill of my drink without me asking.

The food was excellent. I ate the night before at Splash and was disappointed. This meal lived up to the hype.

If you are not on an expense account, I am sure you can find another steak restaurant in Des Moines.

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Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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167 - 171 of 245 reviews

Reviewed 5 September 2013

I had the 12 oz filet and I'm satisfied that it was worth the money spent. The shrimp cocktail app was also excellent: firm and large shrimp with tasty cocktail sauce. I was a bit less impressed with the brussel sprouts. They weren't particularly tasty and a bit underdone to my taste.

Another reviewer made a huge issue of the cost and ended up by saying the steak at Rube's was as good or better for half the price. Hardly. I've had dinner at both these restaurants more than once and to compare the prime beef at 801 to the large, but not particularly impressive beef at Rube's is just silly. I like Rube's, but the food is not in the same class. I will leave the atmosphere differences to the eye of the beholder.

My dinner partner had the seafood alfredo and was well-pleased with it. She asked for light sauce and that's exactly how it arrived.

Wait staff was appropriately attentive and well-informed.

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Thank drdeputy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 August 2013

I recently made my first and, in all likelihood, last visit to 801. As what is generally considered to be one of Des Moines' nicest (and perhaps inarguably, priciest) restaurants, when my meal was all said and done, I was very happy that I was using a Groupon. Unfortunately, even that hardly made this meal worth the price.

First and foremost, I feel compelled to say that my rating is low not because any part of my meal was bad, because it was not. It was however, simply not at all worth the price. Perhaps if 801 weren't located in the middle of Iowa where very high quality beef is readily available, their steak would be somewhat more impressive, but the fact of the matter is that both I and the other three diners in my party have had steak that is at least as good, if not better, for half the price on many occasions. The same can be said for the apps and sides. Escargot was average at best, calamari was good as far as the meat was concerned but uninspiring as far as breading and seasoning was concerned, and Au Gratin potatoes (which really couldn't be much easier to make) were equal in quality to something that might be found at church basement pot-luck (which is to say that they're not bad, just not worth paying $12 for).

Likewise, the ambiance while certainly in keeping with the high-end steakhouse feel, is really nothing particularly special. Here again, if the restaurant were located 40 stories up in the same building, then perhaps would it merit accolades, but it is not. The same can be said for service. Our waiter was good, but again, this is merely par for the course when it comes to high-end restaurants.

One area that I did consider to be tacky was the use of plastic Perrier bottles. Maybe I'm just picky, but I guess I feel like the beverage sitting next to my $40 steak (without sides) came from QuickTrip. Oh, and I should have mentioned that it was also just on the verge of being uncomfortably warm in the restaurant.

Ultimately, while I really wanted my experience at this restaurant to be on par with experiences that I've had at high-end steak restaurants like Morton's, it was not. Unfortunately, I feel like many of the other reviews here have fallen victim to believing that just because they paid top dollar a steak, it must have been great. If you're going on a date or have a business meeting where you're trying to impress someone with how much money you can spend on a meal, then I don't doubt that 801 will get the job done. On the other hand, if you want a truly great piece of meat, drive 15 minutes out of Des Moines and go to Rube's. The steak is AT LEAST as good and for half the price you get a salad and sides.

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1  Thank George Q
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 August 2013

is a little pricy but it is worth every cent i had beef and can easily say its the best steak i have had in iowa prompt in every category sitting,service and quality of the entire atmosphere

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Thank 770danielt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 August 2013

Billed as one of the top restaurants in the city, I was expecting better food. The ambience and the service is 5*, but both times I've been there I've been disappointed in the food. Ordered a steak this last time and it was unevenly done, chewy even and I had to search for its flavor. The potatoes were oh hum and the asparagus was old although steamed thoroughly so could be cut and eaten. The mousse was what I expected; it was delightful. I would try it again but significantly lower my expectations. Also very expensive.

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Thank Patricia M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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