New Jersey's Best Italian-inspired Steakhouses
As evidenced by shows like The Sopranos and certain Bravo franchises, New Jersey and Italian culture go hand-in-hand. Or more aptly, fork-and-knife. This is certainly true of the state’s myriad steakhouses as well, which go well beyond the standard all-American fare to add Italian-inspired flair. From milanese to meatballs, these are some of the best Italian dishes in New Jersey steakhouses.
Rare, The Steak House: In addition to chops, cowboy steaks, chilled seafood and salads, this burly bastion boasts designated menu sections dedicated entirely to Italian flavors. Scroll to the “Il Tulipano Classics” section for sea scallops Provencale, shrimp scampi, veal milanese and spicy sausage with broccoli rabe. Then there’s a whole portion that’s just pastas, like spaghettini with tomato-basil sauce, penne with eggplant, spicy rigatoni and pappardelle with vodka sauce and green peas. Pair all this with a glass or two of Italian red wine and you’ve got a quintessential New Jersey steakhouse experience on your hands.
Roots Steakhouse: This classic fixture certainly has a penchant for classic Italian fare as well. This includes impossibly buttery fried shrimp scampi drenched in garlic and white wine. And roasted clams Casino strewn with diced peppers, onions and smoked bacon.
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Grill: At this New Jersey institution, veal Parm shares menu space with lobster cocktail, baby back ribs, Canadian bacon, and lots more. In addition to items like veal, available with Parmesan or milanese-style, there’s grilled lemon caper chicken, pastas of the day, chicken Parmesan and seafood pasta brimming with clams, shrimp, calamari and bass in a spicy marinara sauce with linguine.
Dino & Harry’s Steakhouse: In Hoboken, the Italian-accented steakhouse of choice is this Mecca of all things meat. And Burrata. And ravioli. You get the picture. Start with Dino & Harry’s seasonally inspired Burrata plate, which features the creamy cheese with the likes of honeydew and cantaloupe, plus prosciutto and balsamic glaze. Then move on to roasted branzino with raisins and lemon vinaigrette, rigatoni with spicy pork sausage and smoked tomato sauce or penne with asparagus, fresh peas, pecorino and ground black pepper.
Steakhouse 85: Rich with romantic vibes and old-school glam, Steakhouse 85 in New Brunswick, New Jersey, is well-versed in the red sauce classics. This includes tenderloin meatballs with tomato gravy so good you’d swear that someone’s Italian grandma was in the kitchen. Also true of the crispy, lightly fried calamari and the delicate, prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella, served warm and gooey with roasted tomatoes.