New downtown Toledo restaurants fare well in Valentine's Day dinner rush

Published: Feb. 14, 2018 at 10:30 PM EST
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New restaurants like The Chop House and The Brim House were swamped with customers on Valentine's Day.

"[There's] lots of couples, plenty of people celebrating Valentine's Day and visiting us for the first time," said Chop House General Manager Xander Gudejko.

It was the first Valentine's Day for both of the downtown newcomers.

At The Chop House, reservations for 250 people were in the books before the doors even opened.

"I think it's wonderful," said customer Shilas Gharib. "I think it's very elegant and very nice. [My boyfriend] surprised me. So we're going to have a good time tonight."

Along with its original menu, the upscale steakhouse offered a special three-course meal for Valentine's diners.

"The first course is a king crab and then we offer either a 22 ounce lobster tail, which you can imagine is quite large, or a 34 ounce tomahawk ribeye and then we do chocolate dipped strawberries for dessert," said Gudejko.

Just a few steps away, The Brim House in the newly renovated Renaissance Hotel was also serving up special fare.

"We're doing really unique food offerings—trying to be creative—trying to do things that sort of entices to everybody's idea of what valentine's day should be," said executive chef Aaron Lawson.

The chef says his crew dished out at least 130 meals Wednesday for hungry couples.

"You get in the flow, start to have fun with it, and I think my team looks for a challenge," said Lawson.

While it was a busy night for workers, couples were impressed and fell in love with the re-energized downtown.

"I think it's fantastic," said Gharib. "I think it's going to bring a lot of people down to the downtown area and all of the revitalization has been wonderful."