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Meehan’s Chophouse Toasting The Town

Mansfield, Texas is Where Dreams Come True
Cover Photoby Danielle Van Beest  | by Lauren Marie
Photography

“Are you hungry?… Would you like some
crab cakes?” I was busy scrolling through Lauren’s photos when Chef smiled at
us. In the last hour, we pulled Executive Chef Derek Venutolo from his
kitchen, asked him to whip up his famous carpaccio, AND coaxed him to change
out of his well-earned, white jacket to take photos… mid-service. I have a
history with big restaurants in even bigger cities, and there’s a reason why
they make tv shows about executive chefs. They may be talented, but few are
able to exist – let alone converse – with the non-culinary population. Those
personalities work for the drama but are RARELY enjoyable in person. Warmth
to staff and diners alike quite often end up on the chopping block. At
Meehan’s Chophouse, the Chef’s brilliance is obvious, but it doesn’t take a
backseat to Texas hospitality. Chef Venutolo is the whole package. (There is
no photo of these crabcakes because I ate them. You’re going to have to order
them yourself. If there were extras, I would have put them in my purse.)

 

THE
OWNER

Tony Meehan is best known for his commercial/industrial
construction company, Nationwide Construction. Tony grew up in Ireland, but
Texas was always calling. Since arriving at age 19 to America, Tony believed
Texas is a place where dreams are only limited by your imagination. For the
past 30+ years, Meehan has called Mansfield his home, built and sold numerous
companies, and Nationwide Construction has contributed major changes to
Mansfield’s landscape: “Opening Meehan’s Chophouse seemed like a perfect way
to give back to the community and breathe life into Downtown, Mansfield. My
vision was to make Mansfield the DFW dining experience. You don’t have to
drive to Dallas or Fort Worth, the goal is to have Fort Worth and Dallas
drive here.” Now you can experience fine dining at Meehan’s and enjoy a drink
or cigar to end your night at the elegant Henry’s Cigar Lounge, next door. On
December 15th, Meehan’s Chophouse will celebrate its 1-year anniversary, and
it continues to draw crowds from all over DFW and beyond.

Meehan’s Chophouse is now a Mansfield staple
and the talk of DFW and beyond, with diners eagerly bypassing Dallas and Ft.
Worth to try Venutolo’s menu and experience the plush, leathered ambiance of
Tony Meehan’s Mansfield vision: a next level steakhouse that offers
top-tiered traditional fare with flare.

LivingMagazineChefDerek 21

THE
CHEF

Chef Venutolo’s resume speaks for itself. A
graduate of the Western Culinary Arts Institute, he trained and honed his
skills under some of the greats of the restaurant world including 7 years
under Executive Chef Matt Hewitt of The Bono’s Restaurant Group (owned by
Sonny Bono’s daughter), then Executive Chef Shelly Borjorquez at King’s
Seafood Company of Southern California and 555 East American Steakhouse. His
talent made Fort Worth’s Capital Grille a hearty, yet refined Friday night
mainstay for years and his talent garnered him the award for Overall Best
Food at Big Taste of Fort Worth in 2014. These are impressive and
well-deserved milestones – and if you ask Chef, it all comes down to his Mom.
Their shared love of food and cooking together inspired his culinary dreams
and her support has been an integral part of his career and success. (I thank
you, Mama Venutolo, for those crab cakes.)

THE
FOOD

The words Texas and steakhouse go
hand-in-hand. What puts Meehan’s ahead of the pack is not only choice cuts of
meat, but the myriad of options that cut like butter. Meehan’s offers 8 steak
options ranging from a 6 oz Petite Filet Mignon to a 24 oz Prime Porterhouse.
Roasted New Zealand Rack of Lamb and Grilled Double Cut Duroc Pork Chop with
garlic butter are delicious butcher block opportunities. But, as everyone
knows, if there’s turf there should be surf and the seafood options are as
excellent as the meat: Butter Poached Lobster, Scallops, Ahi Tuna, my
personal favorite, the Flame Grilled Salmon with an olive tapenade, and if
you’ve seen the Grande Seafood Tower, you know it’s something to
behold.

The entrées are exceptional. And, you know a
restaurant has that special something when diners are leaving reviews about
the sides –and not only for the Smoked Gouda Mac ‘n Cheese (which 100%
deserves an accolade in its own right) – but for the vegetables. Let me
repeat that. The vegetables. Meehan’s offers elevated favorites like mashed
and salt crusted baked potatoes, but even the greens have gained a cult
following. When diners go to social media to praise the Grilled Asparagus
(with dijonnaise and smoked paprika) and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (with
Parmesan Cream), you know a restaurant and its Chef have gone above and
beyond to make every dish memorable. I didn’t even get to the Baked Brie or
the fan favorite Bread Pudding. (Yum.) The light as air Prime Beef Carpaccio
with the magical sprinkling of sea salt and crisp, toasted garlic crostini? I
ate that, too. Before the crab cakes. It was heaven.

THE
RESTAURANT

Meehan’s Chophouse is filled with large,
leather-tufted chairs and even larger wine glasses. Tables lined with white
linens and an eye-catching, glassed wine wall that includes their own
Signature Napa Valley wine label. The dining room is grand, the bar a
beautiful prelude, and what makes Meehan’s magical is it feels warm and
inviting. The linens may by starched, but there is nothing stiff about
Meehan’s (unless you order a cocktail.) Every member of Meehan’s Chophouse
offers you a smile, including the Chef. Tony Meehan’s vision is clear – but,
oh does it sparkle.

101 S Main
St, Mansfield, TX 76063  | 
www.meehanschophouse.com  |  Sunday –
Thursday 11 am – 9 pm 
| 
Friday – Saturday 11 – 10 pm 

Reservations are available on
OpenTable or by phone at (817) 225-2341. To book private parties call or
email [email protected]


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