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Jul 10, 2008 09:02 AM

Porterhouse Grill Old Bridge, Opening August

Just read the thread on the New Brazalian place opening in Matawan, which got me thinking about this place that is taking the space of the forgetable Trabelli's. They have a website with a menu but no prices.

IMHO, the menu looks good, but there are many non-steak dishes, so will it be a true steak house? My gut says no, I hope I am wrong.

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  1. The above link is gone, but the menu link still seems to work

    20 Replies
    1. re: angelo04

      Hey, angelo,

      I pass that way regularly and have also seen the sign that Porterhouse Grill is taking the Trabelli space. That second link you've posted works for the entire site.

      On the homepage, they are describing it as a steakhouse. While it's not unusual for a steakhouse to have a number of non-steak items on the menu (all NYC steakhouses have them), what surprises is me what some of these items are. "Chicken Tagine with Israeli Couscous"?? Also, I'm surprised not to see whole lobster, which is a staple at many NYC steakhouses. Here, it's only lobster tails, and they are part of the "surf & turf," which made me laugh because it's so "yesterday," i.e., something one now finds only in places like the Buttonwood Manor. (I just checked the Buttonwood's website and, yup, it's still on the menu. lol)

      The "About Us" page says the chef, Keith Roybal, did "an apprenticeship at exclusive 4-star restaurant on UES of Manhattan under the direction of world-reknowned chef." The only restaurant that specifically fits that description is Daniel! Hmmm.... It also says he began his career at a 3-star in New Brunswick. Might that be The Frog and the Peach? Why not name names, so we don't have to guess? Chef bios normally provide that *specific* information.

      Frankly, I'm going to keep my expectations severely in check. If Porterhouse Grill turns out to be a winner, I will be thrilled to be pleasantly surprised.

      1. re: RGR

        cant wait to try the porterhouse and hope that its good....any word on the other place on rt 9 union hill road?..looks like building has stopped.

        1. re: karins

          The funny part about that building, if you look real close, they still have a small yellow sign about hand fed baby birds. Maybe the pet place is moving back there? Who knows. Time will tell.

        2. re: RGR

          Hey RGR - Agreed, expectation must be kept in check, At least it's not another Italian place.

          1. re: angelo04

            Hey angelo,

            Amen! to your comment re: Italian.

            P.S. Did you ever try Trabelli's? We did under the original management and, as expected, it was meh.

            1. re: RGR

              We did try it, it is so close to our house and I agree it was ah. My wife or I could execute better Italian at home. For Italian we head to Pauline’s on 34 in Matawan for typical red sauce fare. They make fresh whole wheat fettuccini which is a personal favorite of mine. But that maybe a thing of the past for us too, my wife wants the fresh pasta attachment for her Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, so I will get that for the next gift giving occasion that presents itself.

              1. re: angelo04

                Our "go to" Italian in the area has been SamVera though it has been a long time since the last time. (These days, we've been doing our Italian dining, such as is it, in NYC.)

                I've passed Pauline's many times. I've never seen any cars parked there, so I figured how good could it be? Maybe I've been passing at the wrong time. What days are they open? And is it only for dinner? Given that you speak highly of it, the next time we're in the mood for Italian, perhaps we'll try it.

                P.S. Why wait for a special occasion to give your wife that pasta gizmo? Surprise her and call it an "un-birthday" or "un-anniversary" gift! lol

                1. re: RGR

                  RGR - My wife would love your suggestion!. Come to think so do I, fresh pasta sooner. YUM!

                  Pauline’s keeps somewhat strange hours, strictly dinner after 5:00, 5 days a week, possibly only 4 nights s week and they close for over a month in the summer. If you go, I would love for Pauline to be there, she is great to chat with and representative of the quintessential Italian Grandmother. They are actually only half Italian. The other half is French. When she mentioned that, we said we were interested in trying French food but as you know there is none in the area (That was Before I knew about the French Thai place) She started talking about some of her favorite French dishes that she prepares and how there isn't really a market for them in the area and went on to mention her Shrimp Perno, kind of a shrimp francese with a perno sauce. We said we would love to try it. Right in the kitchen she went only to discover they were out of Perno. She yelled at one of her sons to go to the liquor store and buy some. He returned shortly there after and we were in for a real treat. It was a really nice dish. She personally makes the fresh pasta, and as I mentioned I love anything she does with the whole wheat fettuccini and the black ink pasta was also very good.

                  The only downfall, compared to Sam Vera is the ambiance. It is a bit dated but the food is solid, further evidenced by the fact that the owner of La Strada, an excellent Italian place in Staten Island and whom lives in our area will only eat at Pauline’s. Pauline’s food in a Sam Vera setting would make it more of a standout.

                  Let me know if you go, I'd love to know what you think. Piacere!!

                  1. re: angelo04


                    While we welcome attractive ambiance, Mr.R. and I care first and foremost about the cuisine. If the food is outstanding, we could care less if the surroundings are plain, dated, etc.

                    Your story about the shrimp with Pernod is very telling. It shows that Pauline is an owner who cares.

                    I Googled and discovered she has a website. (Note: The music is really annoying!)


                    1. re: angelo04

                      WOW! Great review of Pauline's, Angelo! I too, like RGR, passed that place so many times and just thought, "another gross Italian restaurant!" After reading your review, we are going to try it!

                      Grazie! :)

                  2. re: angelo04

                    Nice to hear that Pauline's is still good. We use to live in East Brunswick and Pauline's was a weekly visit for us in the early nineties as was DQs for drinks just across the street. She and her family were all nice people willing to please.

                    1. re: JerzeyShore

                      I presume that "DQ" refers to Don Quixote? I was there quite a few years ago for a baby shower. One word describes the food: Horrible!

                      1. re: RGR

                        Yes you are right, the food was bad and that is why we did not eat there, we just went in for drinks as the crowd were all great people.

                        1. re: JerzeyShore

                          Actually, years and years ago, we would go to D.Q. for dinner very occasionally. I always had the same thing, shrimp scampi, and they managed to do a fairly decent job with it. But that was well before we became "foodies," and my palate was far less sophisticated. Not that there's anything wrong with a well-prepared shrimp scampi. But after the experience with the vile food at that baby shower, I could never be convinced to try a shrimp scampi, or anything else, now at D.Q.

                          1. re: RGR

                            R - I almost fell on the floor when I read that you had enjoyed shrimp scampi at Dairy Queen! That will teach me to read the whole thread. :)

                            1. re: bgut1

                              lol b., It never occurred to me that D.Q. could also stand for Dairy Queen. Truth to tell, I've never been to one.

                              1. re: RGR

                                Oh you gotta go R - at least once. Their frozen treats are things of childhood dreams: blizzards, peanut buster parfaits, slush floats, or just the basic vanilla cone with the signature curl (even better dipped in chocolate or cherry).

                                1. re: bgut1

                                  Hmmm... b., Do they serve regular ice cream, or is it like Carvel?

                                    1. re: bgut1

                                      I've never really cared for Carvel. However, I do adore the soft serve at Shake Shack, in NYC, which is in a whole other universe.

          2. angelo04

            not pre-judging the place - but I'm thinking not necessarily a steakhouse despite the name. Porterhouse & Porter House turn up often as names of non steakhouses. I've encountered a seafood place with that name in my travels and I know there's an Irish pub in North Jersey by that name. All I'm saying is wait & see - I'd hate you to have your heart set on a steakhouse & be disappointed if it isn't. Could be good anyway - right? You must live nearby so let us know - post a review. Thanks.

            1 Reply
            1. re: CompareFranco

              Like RGR, my expectations are always in check when it comes to new places in this area. I live a mile or so east of this place and will certainly post back when we give it a try.

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