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

Think back and recall, former names of them all, The Beef, The Sinker, Wind and Sea. Not always fantastic and sometimes quite spastic, but somehow quite up to the tee. Your prose is half baked, barely kept me awake, yet here I sit rhyming away, ‘cause your laptop and spuds, and our meals that were duds, sent us down the road to Fromagerie. (now called Rumson House, no affiliation with Brando’s, kthxbai)


Hello Laptop man,

Welcome to the Hungry Onion. It is a pleasure to have you here. I live across the river in Navesink and I’ve been a fan of “what’s your beef” for a while. I’ve been in Middletown my entire life.

From what I’ve read, the restaurant is undergoing some changes. Can you elaborate on what this will entail? I’m always looking to support local businesses and I’m excited to hear what changes they have in the future. Cheers

Corvette Johnny


Playwright by day… Laptop Man by night.

have we established LTM is indeed part of the new spot or is he just a neighborhood bard?

Who else is hoping that ‘Laptop Man’ is actually Marilyn???

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I’m hoping its the manager that stalked CJ; no offense, but that would be epic…

I would also like some poems in our honor.


At Elaine’s the food was actually pretty good.

I think that would probably be a good place to start to make this “the Elaine’s of Monmouth County”.

I also don’t recall any high tops at Elaine’s.


They should have put in a new bar instead of windows! Most uncomfortable bartop & limited seating. Plus they took away the crackers & cheese to pay for the new windows! :-1::cry:


I am not familiar with Elaine’s and I have never been, but I decided to google it since you mentioned it was pretty good. Assuming this is the right place it seems LTM might be spot on with the comparison. Obviously these aren’t my words:

“Elaine’s is dead”

“But its recent opening on the old Elaine’s site — the very idea — whips many Elaine’s devotees into a seething rage.”

" I didn’t like Elaine’s snoots and shady food."

"Old-timers chasing ghosts will be crushed or relieved, depending on their memories: "

" not a trace of Elaine’s survives"

" but full of gawkers who suffered uptown’s worst food in the Siberian side room." ((can’t make this up, it even has a Siberian reference!!))

You can substitute What’s Your Beef in any one of those quotes and it would be accurate for Victory Park Tavern! lol


Yes, the place that replaced Elaine’s, The Writing Room, is as far from what Elaine’s was as either Russell and Bette’s or Victory Park Tavern is from What’s Your Beef?.

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This thread is the gift that keeps on giving.


Fluffy review from the Two River Times last week (guess they didn’t hear about the name change?) but saw some info on a local FB post that indicates MS was bought out almost a year ago and the place has been run by the original investors and their chef since then…

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I love it…a year later, and the review starts with:

Get over it! What’s Your Beef is no more. A Rumson institution since 1969, it is now just history. The salad bar and the walk-up window to order your meat are gone, but in its place, at the same River Road location, is the new, but feels-like-it’s-been-there-a-long-time, Russell and Bette’s.

This fresh iteration of the old concept is more of a French/pan-European Bistro, and if you leave your memories and comparisons at the curb, you’ll really enjoy your dinner there.

All local papers (such as the Two River Times) are good for nothing but puff pieces when it comes to restaurant reviews. There is never objectivity. Sure, there may be a couple of tiny complaints sprinkled in to cover their own asses, but I have yet to read a single restaurant review where the food wasn’t good. I don’t know what the deal is. Its like these papers are afraid to say something negative because they’ll hurt their already dwindling numbers.

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Advertising $$$ grasshopper!! You aren’t going to continue to advertise if they trash you, you’re also not going to start advertising for the same reason. It’s not like these papers are subscription based, all revenue is advertising!


See also: New Jersey Monthly


Rather random post I saw on Facebook…

I just did a quick Google; O’neil is the sign painter (he’s done a bunch of work in AP)…did you get any info on the chef/owners? (I’m not on FB)

Nope all you see is all there was.

Chef is Peter O’Connell.