7 Square, which bills itself as "a modern chophouse," may just breathe some new life (or at least some good food) into Times Square. Alvaro Perez, the president of Metromet, a restaurant production company based in Tokyo, is taking his first stab at the New York market. Gothamist got a sneak peek the night before it opened to the public, and we liked what we saw -- a sleek and modern yet warm and comfortable atmosphere, designed with care by Glen Coben, the man behind Del Posto and Sacha. Even more importantly, we liked what we tasted for the most part.


Chef Shane McBride puts a modern twist on chophouse classics, serving a steak tartare with house-made potato chips and tangy pickled vegetables, a succulent, Niman Ranch pork chop alongside mustardy braised apples (above), and a Wolfe's Neck Farm rib eye, topped with crispy buttermilk onion rings (below). Other menu items that caught our attention were the root beer braised short rib and the gingersnap crusted salmon -- perhaps on our next visit.


We weren't wowed by the sides we tried. The caramelized brussels sprouts were way too salty for our taste and the olive oil mashed potatoes were creamed to the point of soupiness, but the mains were satisfying enough on their own. The desserts also left a bit to be desired, although they were quite pretty. A delicious cinnamon donut was not enhanced much by the spiced hot chocolate, designed for dunking, or the spoonful of custard, which was too firm to adhere to the donut. But then again, as with most chophouses, the mains are, rightfully, the stars of the show.


7Square, 224 West 49th Street, between Broadway and 8th Avenue, 212-262-6236, Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. Appetizers, $8 - $14; entrees, $19 - 34.