Russell and Bette's Rumson

Had dinner at the bar with @NotJrvedivici tonight. The locals were packed in at the bar by the time we left and the bartender, Liz, handled the big group very well. There is a nice happy hour with a lot of choices on sale and most of the orders I saw were from the happy hour menu. Unfortunately, there is a lot more to the restaurant than just the bar area and at prime dinner hours on a Thursday I saw only one table occupied the entire night.

As for the food, overall it was decent. An order of poutine was very tasty. The problem was that it was not poutine. The eminently edible mixture of crispy fries, gravy, bacon bits, and melted cheese was closer to disco fries than poutine. Call it what it is.

The same thing applied to the wedge salad. A wedge salad should be iceberg lettuce, bacon, and blue cheese, with or without any extras. The wedge served at Russell and Bette’s was romaine, very good candied pecan bacon, and thousand island or Russian dressing. @NotJrvedivici said they should call it Bette’s Best Salad.

It’s late and I am worn out from keeping up with the big guy all night, so more to come later.

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Good stuff @seal @NotJrvedivici

Do you think it would be beneficial to change the original thread subject to have both wyb and russell and bettes in the title? The first thread ranks well on google. I think one thread, the first one, with both spots in the title, would be the way to go for SEO. In fact I can guarantee it :slight_smile:

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OK. back for more.

I had a steak sandwich for my main. The description said with au jus, so I was expecting a small ramekin filled with the liquid on my plate. Instead, the bottom of a pretty good roll was soaked in the jus, making eating it like a sandwich impossible.

For me, these little things added up to a less than enjoyable experience. Together with the new menu, that seems to be shooting for some kind of French bistro, I was underwhelmed. The draw of the old What’s Your Beef was in having a local steakhouse. They used to do well with that, and I am hard pressed to remember a time I ate there and all the tables weren’t filled.


Alrighty then……………Mr. Seal was gracious enough to extend the invitation to share in his Russell & Bette’s.

I arrived at 5:45 while keeping my date waiting 15 minutes past our prearranged meeting time, I was happy to find him enjoying a cocktail at the bar. (I won’t mention what kind of cocktail but it did have a little umbrella in it) I was relieved that upon first inspection/impression it seemed as if they left the bar area mostly unchanged. The open kitchen still directly in front of you and the general feel of the place is still very WYB. I sat and ordered a cocktail (not one that is served with an umbrella), Seal had mentioned he was interested in a 3 course special they had, so once my cocktail was served a quick glance at my watch revealed it was 5:50pm so I mentioned, we need menus for the 3 course special we only have 10 minutes! He corrected me and said: “No we only have 5mins” quickly checking my watch to make sure it was ticking properly I then checked my phone, it was 5:50 when Seal pointed out the cut off is 5:55pm!?!?! 5:55? Really?

We decided there was nothing on the 3 course menu we wanted so we ordered of the regular menu, here is where my annoyance with the place began.


Liz the bartender while very pleasant and adequate at her job, I ordered a glass of water with my cocktail which after finishing my first glass remained empty the remainder of my time there. (I could have asked for a refill, yes but honestly with the amount of staff including a manager, someone besides Liz who was a little busy, should have an eye on things)

Similarly the cheese and crackers on the bar, by the time I arrived the cheese was fairly depleted and there were only a few pale looking crackers on the plate. I was initially pleased to see the spread able cheese although not the old port wine, still on the bar. It wasn’t until a little later did I notice a full platter down the bar that had a variety of crackers, not just the pale ones it seems my companion decided to leave for me. (thanks Seal!!) Again, there is staff upon staff including a manager standing around, pay attention refill / restock / re-water customers, back Liz up.

I’ve been around a gin joint or two and I’ve become fairly familiar with many POS systems, Russell and Bette’s uses a very old school system I haven’t seen or witnessed in years. The YO100; Liz enters an order into the system and then the kitchen staff yells: Yo Liz! Servers run food from the bar and stand at the service area of the bar and yell: Yo Liz!! Even several of the customers use the YO100 system, perhaps if I should have used the YO100 for my empty water glass!

I was served my salad Liz mentioned she held off on firing Seal’s sandwich since I was having 2 courses vs. his 1. Two minutes later a server brought his sandwich.

Wedge salad: as Seal noted I ordered the wedge salad based off of name/title alone. I did NOT read the description simply because I know what a wedge salad is. Well this wedge is a ¼ head of romaine, with Russian dressing and a very tasty nut/ bacon combination. I asked for a menu to make sure I wasn’t served someone else’s salad. When I read the description it was exactly as described, but it’s NOT a wedge salad. (shortly before being served my salad a server offered us wings and poutine we didn’t order, so I did sincerely think this might be someone else’s salad)

As Seal mentioned while his sandwich was good, the au jus soaked through the bread making it very sloppy to eat. The bread / roll seemed excellent but having it soaked made it far less enjoyable. As too were the cuts of meat, too large and thick for one bite. Thinner or smaller chunks slices would make it easier to eat.

My companion was charged full price for his happy hour special meal.

One table served in the dinning room between 5:45 – 7:30 pm.


The bar atmosphere is relatively unchanged from WFB.

The cheese and crackers, but as stated they should be replenished.

Liz, very nice and friendly.

Manager very nice and quickly sought to the check/over charge situation.

My meal: Boeuf Bourguignon
Brisket cubes slow simmered in a Zinfandel demi glace with a button mushrooms and cipollini onions served with buttered spaetzle 24
It was very good, and the spaetzle was prepared very well.

Pet Peeve:

Upon leaving the manager who was very pleasant and helpful in correcting the over charge was in the parking lot smoking. Listen, I’ve been in the business, 75% of the industry smokes, I get it, I know. However it’s also obvious there is a private gated area where employees can smoke out of sight, she shouldn’t’ be in the parking lot doing such. Just my $ .02.


My initial feeling about the place seemed to be accurate. There was no reason to say you were going to keep the concept in place, while tweaking or enhancing a few things. They could have easily kept the cut to order steaks and implemented this menu, no reason to sacrifice the former to provide the later. I don’t think I’m in the minority in this opinion since in my 25+ years as a casual customer of WYB I have never in my life witnessed only 1 table served in the dining room. (Thursday night as well)

Bottom Line:

Nothing to draw me back. Do I discourage anyone from giving it a try, absolutely not and I do look forward to hearing other peoples opinions.

that’s shame- was thinking about possibly heading here tmw night…will prob stick to Woodys TF, Pour House, or Barnacle Bills instead- was looking for mix of booze and meat…always good thing, right?

Listen as I said I don’t want to discourage anyone from giving it a shot of their own. If you are in the mood for booze AND meat, they only have one steak on their menu. I normally would have gone with the steak but I wanted to try something more from the kitchen and I’m sincerely glad I did, my meal was good.

FYI I just noticed when looking at the menu for posting in another thread, the Pour House has raised it’s price for their Kansas City Strip steak (24oz) to $30.99. That steak use to be a pretty decent value at $26, as silly at $3. might sound once you break that $30 price point, I’m looking for a better overall quality of steak than the Pour House. Woody’s is my pick of your selections for dinner tonight! Thanks for letting me decide your plans!!

(if you see a rather large man, devilishly handsome, oozing charisma and charm, hair thinning but brushed back, black suit, black and white stripped dress shirt, with a not so large woman, come say hello!! There is a very good chance I will be at Woody’s TF tonight. It’s a tie for there or Blue Grotto, not sure what I’m int he mood for.)


thank you sir- I’ll post more decision for you at a later date…mostly on pants and haircuts…unfortunately, my big night out will be tmw night…so please enjoy Woody’s for me and leave it in one piece until tmw (and try not to eat all the steaks…)- although Blue Grotto might be a great idea too…hhmmm- with Sea Bright out my night time options dwindle a bit…

I’m wondering how the burger is at R & B’s. But there is a problem here as well. Why the need to call something what it’s not? A little internet research will show anyone that there is never such a thing as a Kobe burger. If you want real Kobe beef, go to 212 Steakhouse in NYC. Still, I’d be willing to bet the burger at R & B’s is tasty.

So I got outvoted and somehow we ended up a Dublin house. Granted I was many drinks into the night so I was able to move past my disappointment quickly. Was there for less than an hour and somehow two drinks And a cpl appetizers later I was 40 bucks in. Service was good and the food sucked. No better than applebees. Granted I was outside on a beautiful night in red bank so I can’t complain too much but food wise I would have actually been better off at Applebee’s, at least thier chicken fingers are good and priced much better and they have beer there too.

I agree seal. Years ago when it was trendy I could see restaurants jumping on the bandwagon like everyone else, but today people know the truth. When I see restaurants doing this I get pretty turned off. At least put something like “wagyu style” and not flat out lie about it.

@Metsfan86 yeah the Dublin is where you go to drink and have fun, not eat…much like Ireland lol

To be fair I had really good food in Ireland. Nothing on the high end like multi Michelin starred places but very good very fresh very local ingredients.

Dublin house was not my pick. I threw out woodys tf blue grotto and barnacles as my picks. Unfortunately the crew in question are not a bunch of Hoes. I don’t mind slumming it but the prices were crazy. In honor of VJs triumphant return I’ll assume it’s the jersey shore rule of crap food plus liquor license = profit


Hot off the press!!! (Literally nothing in Google about this, score 1 for the printed news)

Where’s he from?

Just listed Pasta Fresca, which if memory serves me correctly was a take out pasta joint in The Grove. Defunct at least five years I would guess, I’m sure he will bring vast improvement!!


He’s been at several of Schlossbach’s places over the years including Langosta and Trinity & the Pope. Nothing to inspire me to try this place.


I thought the fact that @seal and I have had date night there might be enough to inspire you.

Peter is a fantastic chef. I loved his food at Pasta Fresca and Le Dauphine at the Berkley-Carteret in AP.

Thank you so much for your feedback. By the way I was the Manager, My name is Jennifer. I agree personal breaks including eating or smoking should be out of sight of guests. However I have to laugh upon not taking the time to read the menu, we are at fault. In addition the chef at Russell and Bette’s made the move from Woody’s last month. I think it’s so interesting that you would compare at all as the concept and menu are from two completely different restaurant’s. You know like apples and oranges.
Have you ever cut a steak to order? I am a long time resident and loved WYB. However we brought in butchers and spent endless hours trying to cut portions to the ounce. I beg to differ, not so easy. Kong and Chung came to this country as young teenagers and worked for years under the tutelage of their father protecting that skill.
Quite frankly it is a sad that you don’t fully understand how special and unique WYB was. It can’t be duplicated or whipped up like a recipe from the Betty Crocker Cook Book.
Do you realize that most of the staff stayed on and although you feedback is I’m sure well thought out, have you considered how it affects the pockets of the servers with whom you affect by the comments made. For instance Gita who has been a server there for 50 years and is all she knows?
In addition your facts about portion size of the salad are incorrect. You contradict yourself, Boeuf Bourguignon is generally not served with Spaetzle however that was acceptable where the chefs interpretation of a wedge left you dissatisfied because admittedly you didn’t take a moment to read the description as a first time guest. In addition this was an item he had as a special a Woody’s.
Best wishes Jen

Calling @VikingKaj