By: Rick Marschall
The Signature Chop House Of Flushing
An Oasis Of Elegant Dining, Fine Wines, And An Amazing Menu – For Romantic Couples… To Large Events
Not New York… Not Los Angeles… Not a secret European destination… the Signature is an astonishing oasis of dining, wine, elegance, entertainment, hospitality “right around the corner.” Intimate dining and options for lavish parties. Let us guide you there!
A visitor from San Francisco, one of America’s great food cities, looked up from his plate, and looked around him, and asked, “Gosh, am I in Los Angeles?” – another of America’s great restaurant centers.
Another time, a guest who was a Congressman visiting our region, sat back from the table, named some A-List restaurants in the nation’s capital, and asked admiringly, “Is this Washington DC, or is this Flushing, Michigan?”
Unsolicited testimonials. It is the type of comment one often hears at the Signature Chop House in… yes, Flushing. This oasis of elegant fine dining is conveniently located at the junction of East Pierson and Elms Roads, but set so far back that it seems like a quiet, verdant island.
It is idyllic enough, actually, that the Signature Chop House has extensive outdoor dining facilities, among attractive plants and fountains, and music by jazz or pop-ensemble players, seemingly a million miles from commuters and shoppers.
Some local people might remember “Speakeasy” at that address… but only its memory, because owner Jozef Gjonaj built the current restaurant from scratch on that property, opening in March 2014. If everything seems new, it is because everything is new. The Signature Chop House is like a group of buildings and dining rooms and lounge and banquet facilities, all on one level, but spacious – plus the seasonal outdoor areas – and seemingly every room has its own character.
However, there is a common theme. Its characteristic atmosphere is that of comfortable elegance. Dark wood; subdued lighting; a hundred classy touches that you notice in pictures, decorations, carpeting, ceilings, and proper table settings. Jozef had a hand in the design throughout, and the first thing diners will notice after the welcome station is the “wall of wine” – a long temperature-controlled room with floor-to-ceiling wine racks displaying the hundreds of wines from around the world, comprising what must be the finest selection in the region, never fewer than 800 bottles.
In fact the several rooms you notice, or walk past, at the Signature Chop House are four rooms with cleverly adjustable walls… in order to accommodate weddings, receptions, and corporate events or meetings; one large room if needed. A lot of companies from the Genesee County area hold informal meetings as well as important corporate events there. And rooms are discreetly equipped with projecting equipment and screens, for functionality.
All things to all people, the Signature Chop House is host to romantic couples, friends having a reunion, families enjoying the menu’s surprising variety, office parties, birthdays, weddings, and corporate events. Depending on the adaptations of the rooms, the Signature Chop House has hosted 340 for weddings, 400 for conferences and dances; and the outdoor seating can accommodate 400 additional diners. (Plus the musicians!)
I apologize to readers who are getting impatient and hungry; after all, we mentioned the menu’s variety and the compliments that flow in. The Signature Chop House has two chefs, generally one for the dining menu, and one for banquets and large events. And the dessert specialties inspire raves too. Having dined at the Signature Chop House, I have made the resolution at the end of many meals that next time I would order and eat the dessert first, to make sure my appetite would allow me to enjoy those treats. But… I have not actually done that; also… I have never neglected ordering from the amazing dessert menu after all. Not to be missed!
The menu does not pretend to be exotic – that is, no pandering to fleeting food fads; no odd concoctions from countries with unpronounceable names – but the basics are prepared superbly: Steaks; seafood; Italian fare. Yet there is not a dish, or a side dish, that is not prepared with some culinary twist that pleases the taste buds, or surprises the eye. There are daily specials for each day of the week that turn some casual diners into regulars seeking out their favorites – from the down-to-earth Burger and Beer Tuesdays to (guess my favorite) Scottish salmon Thursdays. Not to be bypassed is Wine Wednesdays, featuring half-priced select bottles.
The Sunday brunch, between 11 and 3, is unique in that it reprises all the daily specials… plus many salads… a variety of desserts… and Prime Rib of beef. To mention that the fixed-price brunch is only $14.99 provides an indication of the relative affordability of a dining experience at the Signature Chop House.
A wait staff of approximately 30 at any given time insures that diners are well accommodated; invariably they know their menu details, and their wines. For all the many details addressed and needs served, diners often have some question or request, and never feel like orphans… as diners sometimes can feel in large, modern restaurants. Not here!
However, the Signature Chop House has one request to make of diners, turning the tables, as it were. Naturally, people planning weddings or events know they have to think in advance; the Signature Chop House, an amazing venue, should be visited early in the planning stages of such discussions.
Moreover, as the past holiday seasons have proved, it would be wise make reservations for holidays, and New Years Eve, in advance. Words to the wise. And to the hungry.
Asked if there are greater visions for the Signature Chop House, given the tremendous response from diners and parties over its short life: “Yes… we might think of expanding,” not a surprising answer. The design and layout – as counter-intuitive as it sounds, given their large capacity – have not sacrificed an intimate feel for that special meal.
There is a joke in the restaurant business – at least among reviewers – that a restaurant with a sub-par menu is complimented with the left hand: “Well, it has nice ambiance.” Of course, you cannot eat the ambiance. Other times, if the décor is old and ratty, some kind soul might say, “well, at least the salad was OK…”
The admirable thing about the Signature Chop House – and it really is a rare thing with restaurants today – is that the atmosphere seems good enough to eat; and the dishes are things to behold. Many establishments claim to “have it all,” but this oasis of fine dining and elegant surroundings succeeds in that regard. Plus, like icing on the cake, their desserts alone would have people buzzing – whether visiting from San Francisco or Washington DC, or from right around the corner.
Signature Chop House
Monday: Closed, except for parties by arrangement
Tues – Thurs: 11am -10pm
Frid and Sat: 11am -11pm
Sun: 11am -9pm; brunch 11am – 3pm