Chops-Lobster Bar | This is Atlanta Cooking | PBA30

Chops/Lobster Bar

Known for its exceptional food and service, Chops consistently ranks as one of the top ten steakhouses in the country using the very best USDA prime aged beef they can obtain. Exquisite seafood is flown in fresh daily for the Lobster Bar, a seafood lover’s paradise located on the lower level of the restaurant.

70 West Paces Ferry Rd.
Atlanta, GA 30305

Executive Chef: Sean McLendon

Born in Fort Myers, Florida and raised in Atlanta, Chef Sean McLendon knew from a young age that he wanted a career in the kitchen. As a child, he was fascinated with cooking programs on television and greatly admired the ladies at his church who cooked huge, amazing meals.

While going to school at Atlanta’s prestigious Westminster Academy, McLendon enrolled in the American Culinary Federation for an apprenticeship to sharpen his skills. During that time, he worked in various positions with the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta and gained a fuller understanding of what he might want to pursue. After graduating both the program and high school, he came to work at Buckhead Life Restaurant Group, spending four years working in the kitchens of Buckhead Diner, Atlanta Fish Market, Capriccio (now Pricci) and Chops.

Following his initial tenure at Buckhead Life, Chef Sean made the move to Polaris, the Hyatt Regency’s restaurant in downtown Atlanta. Next, he became the executive chef at Van Gogh’s in Roswell, where he gained recognition as the “Top Rising Young Chef” in 1994 by Creative Loafing. Later, Chef Sean moved to Boca Raton, Florida, where he served as Executive Chef at Maxwell’s Chophouse for nearly five years. During his time at the helm of the Maxwell’s kitchen, the restaurant became known as one of the top steakhouses in the country. He was named “Best Chef of Boca Raton” 1996-1997 while he was there. When Chef Sean decided to come home to Atlanta, he took a position as Executive Chef at Murphy’s in Virginia Highlands, where his kitchen wizardry received accolades from many Atlanta media outlets.

Chef Sean is now very excited to come back to his roots as Executive Chef of Chops and Lobster Bar. Since re-joining the Buckhead Life team in fall of 2003, he has been instrumental in updating the Chops and Lobster Bar menu, with items like Steak Foie Gras with Raspberry Jus and Pointe Reyes Blue Cheese Strip Steak with Blackberry Port Wine Butter—just to name a couple. He says that he loves the environment, clientele and high energy that mark every day on the job and looks forward to continuing the Chops standard of excellence.

Chef Sean lives in Alpharetta with his wife, Alaina and two sons Ryan and Ian. In his spare time, he enjoys mountain biking and outdoor sports with his son, Ryan.

Chef Sean prepared:

  • Steak Tartar
  • Lyonnaise Potatoes
  • Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Beurre Blanc
  • Sautéed Mushrooms
  • Basil Oil and Tomato Salad
  • Creamed Spinach with Béchamel Sauce

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Steak Tartar


Steak tartar should only be made using the highest quality ingredients. Do not buy already purchased ground beef for this recipe as you have no way of knowing how it has been handled or which part of the cow it came from or how clean the grinding equipment was.

The best cuts of meat to get for tartar are tenderloin, sirloin and top round.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. tenderloin, ground

Combine with:

  • 1/2c minced onions
  • 1/2c minced cornichons
  • 1/2c minced parsley
  • 1/4c drained capers
  • 8-12 anchovies minced
  • Dash Tabasco
  • Dash Worcestershire sauce


  • Toss the beef with the raw ingredients and seasonings.
  • Divide onto 6 plates.

Lyonnaise Potatoes

  • 2 - 3 tablespoons clarified butter *
  • 1 large white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds Idaho potatoes, cooked, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh thyme

Heat clarified butter in a large, heavy iron or non-stick skillet. Add the sliced potatoes and continue to sauté until potatoes are golden brown and have developed a light crust. Add more butter as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Add onions and sprinkle with fresh thyme. Sauté until all is heated through.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

  • Clarified butter (also called drawn butter) has a higher “smoke point” for frying because it does not contain milk solids that cause whole butter to burn easily, therefore it may be used at higher cooking temperatures. To make clarified butter, melt whole butter slowly and allow standing a room temperature in a glass measure. Three layers will develop as it cools. Skim the top layer of foam off and discard. Then carefully remove the middle layer (clarified butter) and reserve. Discard the bottom layer (milk solids).

Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes with Beurre Blanc

  • 1 lb. crabmeat
  • 2 to 3 heaping tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 egg
  • Few dashes Tabasco
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • Just enough bread or cracker crumbs to hold mixture together
  • 1 tbsp. sliced green onions
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • Old Bay Seasoning, optional
  • Oil for cooking crab cakes

Beat together mayonnaise, eggs, and seasonings. Add crabmeat and breadcrumbs and mix well. Form into cakes and pan fry in oil.

Turn once and cook until golden brown. Makes 5-6 cakes.

Beurre Blanc

  • 1 to 2 shallots, chopped fine
  • 8 ounces white wine
  • 2 ounces lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste

Combine the shallots, white wine, and lemon juice in a non-reactive saucepan over high heat and reduce to 2 tablespoons. Add the cream to the reduction. Once the liquid bubbles, reduce the heat to low. Add the butter, one cube at a time, whisking first on the heat and then off the heat. Continue whisking butter into the reduction until the mixture is fully emulsified and has reached a rich sauce consistency. Season with salt and white pepper. Store Beurre Blanc in a thermos until ready to serve with crab cakes.

Sauteed Mushrooms

(Sauteed in Pernod Butter)

Pernod Butter

  • 1 pound salted butter
  • 1 bunch chopped parsley leaves only
  • 3 each garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2-tablespoon Pernod
  • 1-tablespoon onion powder

Mix all ingredients together in a kitchen mixer on medium

Blanch the mushrooms in boiling salted water with the juice of one lemon for 2 minutes. Do not blanch in ice water. Dry at room temp. Sautee mushrooms in the Pernod Butter.

Basil Oil and Tomato Salad

Chops and Lobster Bar serve their Tomato and Basil Salad with a dressing of Basil Oil

  • 1 large bunch of fresh Basil, both leaves and stems
  • 1 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Wash and thoroughly dry the basil. (This very important since oil and water don’t mix well). Chop roughly by hand and place in the bowl of a food processor or blender (If using a blender, you may have to do this in 2 batches.) Add the oil all at once and process until the basil is almost completely liquefied and the oil turns a bright green. Immediately strain oil into a clean measuring cup, discarding the solids. Pour into a clean squeeze bottle and store in the fridge.

Basil oil keeps 3 days to 1 week under refrigeration.

Creamed Spinach

Bechamel sauce for creamed spinach:

In a stainless steel saucepan, add:

  • One small chopped onion.
  • 1 Qt. Whole milk
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • Tsp or so salt
  • Dash of peppercorns

Slowly bring mixture to a simmer for 30 minutes. Do not let it boil.

In a larger saucepan, melt:

  • 6 Oz butter

Whisk in:

1 Cup, and a bit more, flour; Add the milk, whisking in, and heat until simmering. Simmer 2-3 minutes more, whisking often. Whisk occasionally while cooling, and use immediately or refrigerate. A bit of butter melted over the top will stop a skin from forming.

Add chopped blanched spinach to the base. Sprinkle with freshly ground nutmeg and Parmesan cheese. Combine until heated through and serve.