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Larison's Steak House in Chester, NJ

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NJ Monthly's web site has a note saying that the former Larison's Turkey Farm, a.k.a The Puddingstone Inn, will soon reopen as Larison's Steak House.

It also says that executive chef Richard Varga will leave the Heldrich Hotel in New Brunswick to take over Larison's. It's not clear whether he will be the chef only or whether he has an ownership stake (pun intended!).

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  1. Interesting.
    I wish them luck with the location...and I hope it's a great steakhouse.
    The Puddingstone seemed to tough it out for almost a year, but was certainly hurt by a lack of advertising not to mention getting off to a decidedly very rocky start...but it wasn't all that bad and was certainly an improvement over the Larison's Turkey thing it replaced. .
    However, one wonders why the new owners would even think of reverting back to the Larison's name. The old Larison's is not exactly remembered for the quality of the food...so it seems to me that the name connection to the old turkey restaurant would not be a plus. Here's hoping I'm wrong...it would be great to have a decent steakhouse in that area.

    4 Replies
    1. re: The Professor

      I have to disagree with you about the name. Bringing back the Larison's name is bringing back a piece of history that is well known in the Chester area. Well known for it's great family style dinning & atmosphere. If you talk to most of the people in the area - there are more good memories of the Larison's Turkey Farm, memories of gathering the whole family for a fun & exciting place to dine.
      Again, have to disagree on the Puddingstone Inn - it was not known for good service or food. I hate to see any business fail but I believe this was truely their own doing.

      I am so happy to have the Larison name back & the beautiful historic, clean look!

      I will agree with you on hoping it is a great Steak House, we could use one in the area:) Here's to trying it out! Cheers!!!

      1. re: bellebuddie

        We can agree to disagree. I'm glad you had great meals at Larison's Turkey Farm restaurant...but I know I'm not alone in the opinion that the turkey they made was just awful. But hey. what do I know....they were certainly there for a LONG time, and it was a cheap feed, I guess. They must have done something right, at least once upon a time.
        Anyway...see you at the new steakhouse...that'll be me at the bar with a row of beers lined up in front of me for tasting!
        cheers !..

        1. re: The Professor

          We had our wedding reception at Larisons Turkey Farm exactly 30 years ago on the day after Thanksgiving. They closed the place specifically for our private function, and the food, service, and ambience were all fantastic. I used to love going there during those days, and if the reputation diminished in later years it is unfortunate. We've lived in Maine for the last 25 years, so I haven't been back there in a very long time. But rest assured, this place was at one time an absolute gem.

      2. re: The Professor

        We used to travel from East Hanover to Chester just to go to Larison's when I was a kid....I'm going back probably 30 years! I now live closer and go to Chester a few times a year and, seeing what that place has been through the past few years, I think bringing back the name and a completely different menu is a fantastic idea! They should probably keep the old turkey dinner somewhere on the menu for nostalgic reasons, though....maybe spruce the dish up a bit :-)

      3. Richard Varga will be the executive chef at Larison's Steak House.

        1. I'm not sure about this, but it looks like Larison's Steak House has closed...last few times I drove by (including what would be peak hours) the lot was empty and the building dark.

          That location _should_ be the best corner in Chester...since the turkey farm restaurant closed it seems more cursed than anything else.

          1 Reply
          1. re: The Professor

            According to a brief note on yelp.com, it has indeed closed. Less than a year since I posted that it was opening! Cursed indeed (the location, not me).