Stage Left New Brunswick, NJ

Went here Saturday night for dinner, I had heard and read A LOT about this place on the “other” site (Oh wait I think it’s better for web search optimization to actually use the name Chowhound ) and have wanted to come here for a long time.

We had 9pm reservation which we made earlier in the day, when we arrived I was surprised by how “quite” the place was, we sat in the newly renovated bar area and were only 1 of about 4 tables dining there. Also there were only 2 people sitting at the bar, I did not take note to how crowded the main dining room was. FWIW this is located next to the State Theatre in New Brunswick, so I have a feeling early 6pm-ish reservations are probably hard to get then everyone clears out by the 8pm show start, just my gut feeling.

Anyway we were seated and greated, one thing that I wasn’t prepared for is the “Steakhouse Menu”, I really had no idea this place was offering prime aged steaks. Once finding this out, the rest of the menu pretty much went out the window for me and it was just pick a steak for me. Since my daughter was going to order a Filet Mignon I just decided to join her and split the porterhouse for 2 with her, my wife ordered the beet gnocci that was on special.

Since it was a late dinner they weren’t in the mood for apps or salads, I did order the extra thick cut bacon app which we all split and the spinach salad. The bacon was the normal or standard steakhosue extra thick cut bacon, nothing exceptional about it, the salad was fine, fresh spinach a hard boiled egg and a warm bacon vinaigrette dressing. Could have been a little larger considering the $14. price tag…

The porterhouse for 2 was served in a VERY odd manner (see pic). In all my hears eating steak I’ve NEVER seen a presentation anything like this, I also can’t figure out why they would serve it like this, if anything you have no idea the whole steak is actually there…it’s all piled together and you literally have to search for which is strip vs. filet. Not a big fan. Also I didn’t care for the canned “frenchies” styled onions covering the steak and plate. It really seemed to “cheapen” the $125. steak.

The steak was very good, an interesting woody flavor which I assume is from their wood burning grill. The wood fired grill definitely left it’s mark on the steak with a very unique smokey wood flavor I have never had before. It was very good, but very unique. My daughter ordered parmesean gratin potatoes which were very tasty.

The beet gnocchi was a very interesting dish and I cannot recall all the ingredients because it was a special and I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to it. lol Sorry. My wife enjoyed it, so if beets and gnocchi are your thing then certainly give this a try.

The truly outstanding part of the meal was the service. I really appreciated the attention EVERYONE seems to pay. You notice everyone passing your table eye-balls it and regardless what their position is, if they feel you need something or perhaps I have a needy look about me, they stop and ask. Even when we were done with our meal, not a long time sitting idle with our plates in front of us, the bartender noticed, left the bar and came and cleared our table. Exceptional service and for that alone I would go back.

I will go back…but I will not have steak again. Steak 85 is just a few blocks away and is a local favorite of mine, it’s priced less and is more “steakhouse” in appeal to me. I would like to try some other items on the menu…parking can be a bit of a bitch…but that’s New Brunswick for you. Anyone know if you can pay/use the valet parking at the hotel across the street?

Overall a very favorable impression although I would not repeat anything that I ate there again. lol

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Forgot the picture;

That is odd!

Right? Honestly I know enough about this place I wouldn’t question them, but if I didn’t and you served me this I would have a real issue because it’s impossible to tell you are serving me an entire porterhouse. How do I know a couple slices didn’t wind up on the chef’s steak sammie, or in the food runners mouth -or- that my porterhouse isn’t made from some scraps of others from earlier in the night. Again, with this places reputation I’m not truly concerned but I’ve been around enough kitchens to know just how “f’d” up some things can be.


Man! I hate having somebody else cut my meat ( insert own joke here ). I’m not even happy when they do it at Peter Luger’s.

I would be up for a HODown at Steakhouse 85 as I am in New Brunswick a lot.

I’m there a couple times a month (any night i have an appointment anywhere near that area) so let me know I’m game.

I like Steakhouse 85 a lot. They also have a great burger but I’ve never understood why it’s still on the dinner menu but they took it off the lunch menu.

We’ve been to Stage Left many times, but only for the burger, which is exceptional. This is probably doing the restaurant a disservice, but we find ourselves ordering a better bottle of wine than we normally would, and that seems fine with Francis and Mark. It really is a damn good burger, I believe we have Anthony Bucco to thank for that.

I went back again for a business dinner last night. I was looking forward to returning since my last visit and their reinventing themselves as a Steakhouse.

Long story short, they continue to serve the porterhouse in this bizarre fashion, however this time the brought it to the table prior to slicing it for “inspection”. This honestly make me even more suspicious that they aren’t serving the entire steak when they pile the meat up like this. (yes I’m being overly cynical) All my years eating in streakhouses I’ve never seen a presentation like this and I just don’t like it.

The steak was good, the service as well, but I prefer Steak85 just a few blocks away and don’t think I’ll be returning to Stage Left anytime soon.

Everyone’s preferences vary so please give it a try yourself but it’s just not my cup of tea.

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