The Victory Park Tavern (Formerly Russell and Bette's) Rumson NJ

From their website:

RUSSELL & Bette’s has a new name! We’re proud to introduce Victory Park Tavern. Along with our new name comes a new wine menu and wine list. Same great chef, same warm, welcoming atmosphere. Your neighborhood restaurant located in the heart of Rumson, New Jersey.

Our Executive Chef, Peter O’Connell, is an American chef and restaurateur as well as a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America.

We welcome you to join us and enjoy our delicious cuisine.

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Interesting. It appears they have just changed the name.

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I can’t believe Jen didn’t give us a heads up about this. At least a late night call or visit to @corvette_johnny.


I was at a meeting tonight and chatting with someone who lives near there and I mentioned the name change…
She said that the chef is now the owner. Evidently Marilyn was bought out by her partners. My friend and her husband have stayed away but decided to try it after hearing this three weeks ago and they thought the food was decent and the pricing reasonable, so she has high hopes…

Wine menu AND a wine list? To me, the word “Tavern” screams beer.

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Ohhhh you go to AA too?? We should meet up sometime! I like to have a drink after my meetings to try and meditate on what we learned…

All kidding aside thank you for the feedback from your friends but I would hope for something more than “decent” even if it is reasonably priced.

It was my understanding that Marylin had a token ownership because the majority owners were big fans of hers and brought her in to fulfill their vision. Obviously either her execution failed or they had a pretty shitty vision. I would also assume this is why the place was so poorly managed with Marylin being there more as a token than her own vision she set it up and left it to in my opinion poor management. (not calling out anyone by name :wink:)

Anywho as they say curiosity killed the cat, hopefully my curiosity when I go check this place out won’t kill me. I think @seal and I should do another investigative review.

HA! The funniest part is that this conversation was over drinks AFTER our meeting. :rofl::joy::rofl:

ETA: One of the things my friend said was that they used to refer to WYB as “The Rumson Diner” because they were there all the time and saw so many other regulars. She and her husband boycotted R&B because "Marilyn did everything she said she wouldn’t do; when they heard she was out, they decided to give it a try again.

I also have to say that Victory Park Tavern sounds like those ambiguously named townhouse developments… River Run, Hilltop Greens, etc. (I’m making those up, btw)


You know even giving this more thought, not only has restaurant competition increased dramatically over the last 20 years, but just think about what I’m posing about Shop Rite carrying Prime AND Wagyu beef. 20 years ago (I don’t know if Monmouth Meats carried it that long ago as I only discovered them maybe 5 years ago) you could only go to NY for prime beef, it wasn’t readily available for public sale. Now look we have Costco - Bj’s - Shop Rite - Dearborn Farms and a dozen other novelty shops selling prime beef and Wagyu!!!

Just like I said in my last post in the steak thread, for $ 30. I can get a "decent’ (not the real deal compared to the photos googlegormet posted) Wagyu steak to make at home…so why would I order one out for $ 150-$200 +?

If you think about it the mid range steak houses are probably all being squeezed. Kind of makes sense when you see changes at places like Charlie Browns who besides their past problems no longer identify as a Steakhouse, but rather a “Fresh Grill”. Their menu has expanded their seafood and other entree’s over the years to where steak is actually the least of their offerings.


Always a pleasure to go on these “fact finding missions” with @NotJrvedivici


it’s a blatant ploy to sound local and trendy -aka victory park mashed up with Tavern, b/c why not- that’s trendy now…wonderful… meanwhile it’s just another generic paint by the numbers soulless spot with no hook or passion. Somehow they feel they will stand out from the litany of spots within 10 min, Georgica, Salt Creek, Angelicas, Woodys, Blu Grotto, Graze, Albarino, Christines, Gaslight, Copper Canyon, Fresh, Porcini… and that’s literally off the top of my head. They literally learned 0 lessons from the previous iteration. I mean if they said “we’re bringing back WYB but with an updated twist”, who would say no? They would buy a ton of good will right off the bat…at least they would stand a chance…I mean a Marilyn 2.0 joint is gonna prosper? the 1.0 lasted how long? So far the kindest words we’ve seen is its “decent” and “Marilyn is not involved” and that’s gonna be a barn burner?


don’t forget the American chef…that seems to be important to them…
they also brag he CIA grad but fail to list one single spot he spent time in the kitchen for…really just wonderful pr release…
wine list & wine menu- why not just come out and say we give so little of a sh*t we can’t even proofread out PR releases…


One of the best, truest posts I’ve ever read.

If I could give you ten knives and forks instead of one, I would.


thank you Greg. I’m glad we can unite in our bitter disappointment for this spot…it’s just so sad how little places give a care…aka the McCloones of the world…except sadly somehow McCloones spots make $$$$.


Not disagreeing with the point of the post. Just FYI…Peter owned Pasta Fresca in The Grove in Shrewsbury (in the D’Jeet location). He more recently worked at La Dauphine at the Berkeley-Carteret Hotel in Asbury Park. I am forgetting where he cooked before La Dauphine.

Um…about proofreading…

Phew! I’m exhausted from reading that second sentence in the OP! Great one!

Is there a Victory Park in Rumson? The new name seems really silly if no.

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kinda remember some of that from when R&B announced his hiring. Just don’t understand how you brag he is CIA trained then fail to mention literally one place he cooked; anyone with a brain can infer that maybe they aren’t that into trumpeting his CV; but nothing seems to really work for this place PR wise so far

btw- fully admit my proofreading here is for sh*t…but I post on my phone while putting a kid to sleep most of the time and don’t do this for a living. A semi-pro PR shop should do much better…


yes- it’s actually quite pretty- with a tiny beach as well and a place to keep a boat. Like to go there with the fam and then hit either Barnacles or Brennans after/during. as of now, it seems like a cheap way to try to sound like a “local joint”.

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Um yeah it’s across the street

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Dear Cold Beer,

Your observant nature of sussing-out ‘former chopped salads’ masquerading as ‘accompaniments’ and pure transparency regarding triggerable emotions experienced due to ‘Siberian barstools’ is admirable. Yet, Sir or Madam, a journalist you are not.

Should you have simply asked anyone around you (in my favorite watering hole/feeding trough), you would have quickly discovered that your tirade about ‘laptop man’ is a complete fiction…without merit or research.

I am ‘Laptop Man’ – a playwright who finds continual comfort in the former Russell & Bette’s (the new Victory Park Tavern)…a place I consider to be the ‘Elaine’s of Monmouth County’. A place to meet, greet, learn, listen, and laugh. The Victory Park Tavern (in any of its previous incarnations) is, above all, a friendly locale fostering camaraderie and conversation.

We very much hope you will return again with new eyes and strike up a chat.

Yours truly – blissfully away from any back-room desk; bitten-nails and all…

‘Laptop Man’

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