If I had to choose one dish that I enjoy the most, it would be a good medium-rare steak. The side dishes that go with that great steak are very important to complete the ultimate meal.
We have some great restaurants here in New Jersey that serve great steak. The problem is that you have to take out a second mortgage on your house to enjoy the meal. I realize the cost is exorbitant, but I occasionally treat myself to the best of steak dinners to celebrate a special event that justifies the expense.
I realize many might disagree with me, some may have other favorite places to go for steaks or maybe there’s a place or two I’ve overlooked, but that’s That’s the beauty of sharing your favorites with others.
In no particular order, here are my top 7 restaurants in New Jersey that serve great steak with side dishes that make these places a Big Joe destination.
Roots Steakhouse – Summit, New Jersey
Roots is a bit old school and reminds me of Peter Lugers in Brooklyn. I enjoyed sharing their 42 oz porterhouse steak with a few guys. The steak came out cooked a perfect medium-rare, sizzling and juicy. It was a great steak. We also added scallops to the meal which was a nice addition. I like their creamed spinach and potatoes au gratin. A friend of mine ordered the onion rings and they were also very good. As I said earlier, dining at these fine restaurants is not cheap. Our 42 ounce steak was over $110 and the wine cocktails and sides made this dinner pricey but well worth it.
Butcher’s Block – Long Branch, New Jersey
I have been to the Butcher Block several times. They remodeled the restaurant to accommodate the large number of customers who were crowding into the previous layout. They recently obtained a liquor license which will be a welcome addition to the Monmouth County Steakhouse.
I’ll be honest with you, the old layout was way too crowded and people were on top of each other, but the steaks were worth the discomfort. They have a butcher shop where you walk in to indicate the cut of meat you want and they will cook it to your liking. They make steaks from the farm to their butcher shop. They also have a delivery service that will send steaks and other cuts of meat to your home or cousin in Minneapolis. The sides are a bit off the traditional fare but they were nice.
Piccola Italia – Ocean Township, New Jersey
Piccola Italia is a place of destination. It’s tucked away in the back of a mall in Ocean Township. Trust me, find this restaurant. They get their steaks from Allen Brother Meats in Chicago. Some of the best steakhouses in the country use Allen Brothers and I have ordered steaks directly from them for my house. When the chef cooks the bone-in rib eye or the porterhouse or tomahawk steak, which is usually a special item, it’s an exceptional steak. You have the choice of the traditional side dishes that accompany the meal or drift slightly and pair it with one of their homemade pasta dishes. They have an amazing wine list and it remains one of my all time favorite restaurants. I don’t say this often but I’m pretty transparent.
Morton’s – Atlantic City, New Jersey
This iconic steakhouse chain was started in Chicago by restaurateur and entrepreneur Arnie Morton. I had the chance to speak with Arnie a few times when he was at the original Morton’s in the 80’s, he was such an interesting man and I enjoyed our conversation. The original Morton was at the bottom of an office building with limited room. They didn’t take reservations and the queue for a table was always long. I worked in Chicago and at that time there were only the first Morton’s.
Arnie Morton will expand to seven Morton’s restaurants which he will sell in 1987 for $13 million. I’ve been there often for great steak, amazing sides and their famous soufflé to top off a wonderful meal. I’m glad they franchised the restaurant which has restaurants in most major cities in the US and around the world. We are fortunate to have a Morton right here in Jersey in Atlantic City. There are a few changes from the original, but the basics of a great steak dinner are all there, from the colossal shrimp cocktail, to the huge, perfectly cooked porterhouse, to a wine and dessert list that will make you want to go back. I have been to their restaurant in Atlantic City several times and have enjoyed everything it has to offer. Morton’s is located in Casers.
The Voorhees Library 2, New Jersey
I know this is an article about my favorite places to get steaks in New Jersey, but I have to include library 2 in Voorhees, while their steaks are good, their prime rib is on my list as one of the best. It’s a popular item on their menu and it’s served cooked exactly to my liking and not dried. They sell so many prime ribs you’re going to get a good cut. . The Library 2 is an award winning restaurant that has a great salad bar and I’m not a fan of salad bars. The sides are good but the prime rib is worth the trip from anywhere in the state.
Fleming’s Steakhouse – Marlton, New Jersey
I like Fleming’s for the look and feel of a classic steakhouse. Their steaks are very good and the selection of different cuts of steak is impressive. I’m a huge fan of their ribeye served the way I like it. I like to start with their seafood tour; it’s fresh and a great way to start a wonderful meal. They have great sides including their Fleming Potatoes which is a au gratin recipe which is good and cheesy. You will appreciate the experience I have.
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse – Somerville
I was very happy when they opened Wolfgang’s in Somerville. I had been to the original Wolfgang’s in midtown Manhattan and enjoyed the experience. Wolfgang has a great story, after many years as a butler at the iconic Peter Luger’s steakhouse in Brooklyn, Wolfgang honed in on what he wanted to improve and he nailed it.
this. The steaks are outstanding, the sides are perfect including Wolfgang’s German Potatoes and they are very good. If you can get to Wolfgang’s, the trip is worth it.
These are my seven favorite steakhouses here in New Jersey. These are restaurants I go to for special occasions. They’re pricey, all of them, but if you’ve been saving up for a special occasion to share with someone special, I highly recommend one of these destinations. I want to make it very clear that I received no compensation for listing the restaurants above; they are clearly based on my opinion and experience. Go out and enjoy a great steak and if you have the chance to try any of the above please drop me a note about your experience.
The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. All opinions expressed are those of Big Joe.