New Jersey's Finest Italian Steakhouses
As evidenced by the likes of The Sopranos, Italian culture and New Jersey go hand-in-hand. This is certainly true of the state’s steakhouses as well, as pasta and red sauce and meatballs are about as commonplace as filets around these parts. Here are some of the best steakhouses in New Jersey for Italian food.
Rare, The Steak House: Located in Little Falls, this revered steakhouse has just as much pasta as it does beef. Get in the Italian mood with starters like fritto misto of calamari and crispy shrimp, then follow it up with burly pasta plates like spaghetti with tomato-basil sauce, penne rigate with eggplant and fontina, spicy rigatoni amatriciana or housemade pappardelle with vodka sauce and green peas. Even the wine list skews Italian, with ample options of white and red from Italy.
Wolfgang’s Steakhouse Grill: Pasta is a perpetual menu fixture at this Somerville staple, served all day long from brunch and lunch to dinner. The options change regularly, but seafood pasta is a typical mainstay, like linguini with clams, shrimp, sea bass and spicy marinara. At dinner, there’s also lemon-caper grilled chicken and crispy, saucy chicken Parmesan.
The Palm: One of the most iconic dining destinations in Atlantic City, The Palm is a veritable oasis for meaty Italian-inspired fare, like baked clams casino, clams oreganata, crispy calamari fritti with pickled lemons and peppers and beefsteak tomato capri with basil and imported mozzarella di bufala. Then there’s the dedicated menu section for Italian specialties, many of which utilize family recipes dating back to the 1920’s. These include veal Marsala, Colorado veal chop Malfata, chicken Parmigiana and veal Martini, which consists of shallots, mushrooms, fresh and sun-dried tomatoes, white wine, basil and dry Marsala wine.
Steakhouse 85: From meatballs to risotto, this place really runs the gamut when it comes to infusing Italian flavors into an all-American steakhouse. The New Brunswick restaurant is especially popular for date nights and couples, which is easy to understand once you look around the romantic confines and tuck into shareable plates like tenderloin meatballs with tomato gravy and ricotta, lightly fried calamari, garlicky steamed clams and decadent lobster risotto.
Roots Steakhouse: For a unique interpretation of chicken Parmesan, swing by any of the three New Jersey locations of this homegrown institution. One of the standout entree options, the dish features farm-fresh chicken breast that’s stuffed with spinach and Parmesan, resulting in a gooey, rich dish that puts the cheese in the middle of the chicken, rather then over top. The menu also boasts roasted clams casino and fried calamari with roasted red peppers and aïoli.