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Jan 16, 2013 12:00 PM

Dry aged beef in central NJ. Question on Brando's Citi Cucina in Asbury Park

Has anyone been there? I am particularly interested in trying their dry aged steaks.

I was looking on Tripadvisor but I trust this site more. It's funny....a LOT of reviews on there are single posts by people. I never believe any reviewer with one post. Take a look at let me know what you think. I don't know if it is a coincidence.

JR, any good dry aged beef you really like around here? Ivans and Andys? I don't go to asbury but I am looking to branch out maybe if they have some decent steaks there.


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  1. Without boring you with another review here is the link that I posted my extensive Ivan and Andy review on.

    The big news is Char waiting to open in Red Bank. I frequently go to their location in Raritan and it's the real deal. The steak presentation isn't my preferred method being served "dry" without butter or au jus of any kind but for a steak this good that's ok.

    Also last Saturday I went back to the Raven and Peach in Fair Haven. They have a separate "Prime Angus" steak menu now. Although I didn't order a steak my daughter and her b/f shared a porter house and my son ordered the smaller sirloin. I didn't get a chance to try a piece of my son's but the porter house seemed to be spot on. The Red Wine Demi Glaze wasn't that good but over all the steaks seemed to be. The lamb chops were very good!!

    Other than this I still go into the City once or twice a month go get my true steak fix.

    ** Edit ** Let me add for a good/decent steak and a fun experience there is always What's your Beef in Rumson. (Not prime or aged to my knowledge)

    ** Edit 2** Word on the street is Walter Mihms rt. 36 Atlantic Highlands has changed hands......I haven't been there since I heard this to confirm. Supposedly the Chef/Manager purchased it which could be an indication it's still going to be sub-par or if they were intentionally undermining the business with the hopes of buying it cheap and will now improve it only time and a few reviews will tell.

    9 Replies
    1. re: jrvedivici

      Thanks for the info JR. Yeah I just was out in vegas and had a killer mesquite grilled dry-aged strip. I told myself I need to eat more dry aged beef (that might be my new years resolution LOL.)

      I just saw a post by MGZ that they had some smoked brisket. Now I am forced to try Ivan and Andy's. I love smoked brisket!

      Have you had the baseball cut sirloin at Salt Creek? Its not bad. Its served with bluecheese and its close to my house. Its not epic by any means but I enjoy it and its priced fairly.
      I have to get over to whats your beef too. I haven't been there in ages.

      PS, I will hit the raven too and check those out one of these days. And yes, I am ready for char!

      1. re: corvette johnny

        In 1992 @ The Rosewood Steak House in Las Vegas (long story abbreviated) I ordered the "largest lobster" they had which they gave me.......and was actually the one they used in their signature advertising and had kept in a special tank. Thing was like 15+- pounds. The worst experience of my life!! LOL

        I haven't been out to Vegas in 5 years or so. Right after the new Wynn opened up at the end of the strip....whenever that was. But the Rosewood was my steakhouse of choice in Vegas all starting with my first trip back in 92.

        I use to have a client that loved the Salt Creek and many many moons ago they did Prime Rib night on Monday's I think.....and almost every Monday this client would want me to take him there and I just got burned out on the place.

        1. re: jrvedivici

          HAHA! That is funny story. How much did they charge you for that beast?

          Yeah saltcreek is ok...not my favorite but its a good spot to eat late and close to my house.

          I wanted to get to Cut in vegas but never made it. I hear its excellent but quite pricey.

            1. re: jrvedivici

              900 seriously? I hope the client picked up the bill. Loll

              I need to tell you the story about albert's blue lobster...a commercial fisherman Friend.

              I know you are a steak guy but are you a lobster guy too?

              1. re: corvette johnny

                $ 900. for the lobster alone....the total check including the bottle of aged Grand Marnier I had consumed throughout the night, was closer to $2k.

                There were 10 of us and I decided to take everyone out for a top notch dinner instead of gambling for the night. Another one of my bright idea's gone bad.

                Sadly this was not by far my most expensive night out in Vegas. There is a reason I have no intentions of ever returning to that town. As a side note I probably should not travel without adult supervision.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  I've posted this tale before, but I don't recall where. So . . .

                  When I was around ten (I'm thinking '78-'79), we were at my Uncle's house in Lavallette. He gave my Dad some money to go see the guy he knew in Point that sold lobsters. He told him to "Get the biggest ones they got."

                  Well, me and the old man, drove up 35 to the fish store. My Dad talked to his buddy who informed him that they had a twenty-some pound bug and, although they had thought of simply using it for a display, he would gladly sell and cook it for the cash my Uncle had given Pop. We retreated across the street where Dad had a beer or two and bought me a couple sodas.

                  We later delivered the monster to the family, where my Aunt had set a nice white tablecloth and silver. Well, a lobster that big doesn't succomb to the usual crackers. My Uncle and my Dad resorted to a chisel and hammer. At the table we used knives and fingers to cut and dunk hunks of meat into a large saucepan of melted butter. To my pre-teen mind (and gullet), it was the most awesome thing ever! Dad still has one of the claw "thumbs".

                  To my recollection, the beast probably cost us around fifty bucks.

      2. re: jrvedivici

        jr, what are your favorite NYC steakhouses? I finally tried Keen's mutton chop recently...holy crap it was delicious!

        1. re: joonjoon

          Joon! Long time no see my friend hope all is well! I'm am a HUGE Peter Lugars fan. I love Peter Lugars from the onion rolls, to the apps, the steak for 2/4/6/8+, to the apple struddle with home made whipped cream for desert. I hate Peter Lugars location, ambiance (or complete lack there of) and the condescending attitude of the management and servers. However for years I made the pilgrimage to Brooklyn for meals there.

          When I was in the mood for a great steak but wanted some ambiance with the experience it was Sparks. Sparks was one of the first "formal" steakhouses that offered a nice atmosphere, bar, linen table clothes etc.. The steaks were always just a little too salty for my taste but I thoroughly enjoyed dining there.

          Then about 10+- years ago a couple of cousins who were servers at Peter Lugars left took most of the coveted recipes from Lugars and opened up Ben and Jacks Steakhouse. I was one of their first customers and have not dined at another NY Steakhouse since. (Well I've tried Del Friscos and one or two others but very very few over the past 10 years). Their original location is on 43(?) around 2nd/3rd Ave near the UN. 5/6 years ago they opened their 2nd location on 5th Ave and that's my destination of choice.

          Nothing better than a few cocktails and a cigar across the street at 230th 5th Ave roof top bar. Then after a few martinis under the glow of the Empire State Building a short 1 block walk and you are at the 5th Ave location for my favorite meal(s). I make this journey at least once a month. The roof top bar is open all year long with ample heaters or very heavy plush robes if you are still too cold.

          They opened up a 3rd location under the name Empire Steakhouse at Rock Center and a 4th just a few months ago in Scottsdale Arizona.

      3. Well, having reread the old Ivan & Andy's thread (with, honestly, some joy), I thought I might make a few of my thoughts about top notch steaks in the Mon/OC on this thread.

        One, when it comes to I&A, they are butchers first and restauranteurs second. Consequently, they offer some seriously fine beef products. On my last visit I asked our server if they had any cuts that had been aged longer then the menu advertised. I was rewarded with a (as I hazily recall) pricey, thick, strip that was probably hanging for at least thirty-some days. Rare and glorious in it's funk (Mothership Connection, and all). Nonetheless, if you want a side, order a beer - or the smoked wings - or a sliced brisket sandwich. They cook meat, they offer other stuff.

        Two, Mossuto's Market in Wall has some seriously fantastic dry aged, prime beef available. As a bonus, they have some righteous, wood over pizzas available to whet your appetite.

        Three, if you want a fine dining/NY steakhouse night, the Shipwreck Point basically combines properly dry aged, prime cuts with a fine ambiance, attentive service, and quality side dishes. It was wrecked by Sandy and I don't think it has reopened yet, but when it does, I'll cross the river by bridge, boat, or backstroke for an indulgence.

        13 Replies
        1. re: MGZ

          Holy Crap!?!?!?! What was Shipwreck Point before?? I had a complete misconception over Shipwreck Point I thought it was a completely different location/style of establishment. From the picture on the web site I recognize that location but not as Shipwreck.....was it another restaurant previously? I am going to have to make my way there now.

          1. re: jrvedivici

            They were very storm damaged, but, I've been told, should be open in a month or so. It's a great spot (but I&A's meat may be a little tastier).

            1. re: MGZ

              That's a cool story Mgz! Man I would like to see a picture of that monster. Do you have one by chance?

              JR, you sure do know how to party! I like your style. I think my best night was in Tokyo eating some kobe beef and 18 year old scotch. I don't even know what the bill was but I can assure you it wasn't a pretty amazing night and all free LOL

              Another lobster dad's buddy caught a blue lobster (he is a lobsterman.) Apparently they are very rare and he donated it to Sea world. They comped him a long vacation down to disney and he now has free passes for life to the amusement park.


              1. re: corvette johnny

                No pictures, I'm afraid - the 70s were pre-iPhone days. I may be able to get one of the "thumb". It was the size of a giant croissant. The tail meat was the thickness of my forearm.

                Later in life, though still in my lowercase days, I spent a bit of time hauling traps with my Dad's buddy. Never seen a blue, but, damn if that wasn't a good way to develop upper body strength before football season started . . . not to mention work on my balance.

                1. re: corvette johnny

                  It sounds like I might have ate the grand child of MGZ's lobster of the 70's, with one exception, mine was tough as hell! We had to chew, chew and re-chew every horrible bite of it. The sight of the thing spread open on a full sized baking sheet sent the women running from the table so the waiters would just bring us forearm sized chunks as MGZ described.

                  Similar to MGZ as well is the fact we didn't get any pictures of the entire beast however there are a few of us holding up the claws which were the size of a jr sized football.

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    Yeah, the full claws were like oven mitts. We hit 'em with mallet and a wood chisel. The knuckles were equally as tough. If I had it today, I'd probably use my Sawzall. The meat, however, was tender and succulent.

                    Just after Hurricane Sandy, my Uncle (who was my Godfather) passed away. A bunch of folks at the wake chose to console me by telling me the version of the giant lobster story they had heard and how cool (and, implicitly proud) my Uncle thought it was that a little boy helped take down such a beast..

                2. re: MGZ

                  Why didn't anyone say it was on the inlet in Point!?!?!? Uggggghhhh I feel like an idiot!! I was in the area today and decided to take a ride past the inlet when I saw Shipwreck, still closed still damaged. I cannot wait for them to re-open I love that location! I remember as a child that has been a half dozen Italian places. Then when Shipwreck moved in the did extensive renovations to the location. I feel like a dummy!

                  1. re: jrvedivici

                    Well, I posted a link to their website, which covers it all. Nonetheless, if "clicking" on it was too hard for you, I've copied the following:

                    "Shipwreck Point is an Upscale Steakhouse located on the Manasquan Inlet in Point Pleasant Beach. Every element of Shipwreck Point is designed to impress. From the ambience of finely crafted materials, intimate lighting and warm fireplaces to the friendliness of the expert staff, an exquisite menu and wine list, Shipwreck Point delivers a first class Steakhouse experience at the Jersey shore."

                    At bottom, though, my friend, you will like the place.

                    1. re: MGZ

                      Like a child I just looked at the pictures. Lol

                    2. re: jrvedivici

                      jr - While you're waiting for Shipwreck Point to reopen, you might want to visit it's sister, Shipwreck Grill, in Brielle. I think it's evolved to be one of the best restaurants in the Mon/OC. The focus is primarily on fish (but there's a lot of cow on the menu too). They do 20% off on drinks at the bar for Happy Hour (and have lots of vodka) with a complimentary small plate offering.


                      Swallow a half dozen oysters and follow 'em with a dry aged, bone-in rib eye or the lobster raviolis (if you're not inclined to pick a whole bug).

                      1. re: MGZ

                        I'm going to have to make a point of doing this. Trust me I'll be eyeballing every 6ft 180+- scruffy guy in a tee-shirt grudgingly removing his baseball cap when I do visit.

                        1. re: jrvedivici

                          If you see the bartender stirring a martini, you might want to look where he delivers it.

                3. re: MGZ

                  I just thought it worth adding that Mossuto's sells their steaks as a grocery item as well, so if you want a super thick slice of prime, aged porterhouse or strip to take home and grill it's a great place to procure it. Personally, I love that option since I can take it home and cook it over an oak fire on the offset. That, my friends, is good chow!

                4. I haven't been to Ivan and Andy's but I've had the dry aged steaks at Brando's a couple times. They were pretty good, I'd say on roughly on par with the stuff Manhattan Steakhouse (oh how I miss you) used to put out, if you've been there. I think it's worth a shot if you're jonesin for some dry aged stuff.

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