DelMonico: Steakhouse and Beyond
DelMonico is the latest venture of restaurateur Bobby Wong and Cedar Grove's soon-to-be hotspot.
DelMonico is the latest venture of local restaurateur Bobby Wong in collaboration with everyone's favorite boss, owner James Gandolfini.
This somewhat experimental restaurant impresses the eye as you approach the front entrance.
The backlit bottles behind the bar and glow from an impressive number of flat screen televisions provide a beautiful array of colors as you enter the restaurant. The bar comfortably seats patrons for dinner, or a cocktail.
DelMonico offers Happy Hour deals from Thursday to Saturday which include $2 drafts and a $4 small plate including fried calamari and rib tips. Their $4 sangrias and mojitos are also included in the deal.
Opened less than a month ago, their eclectic design and deep colors give a fresh, vibrant feel to the dining experience. From the burgundy outer walls to jeweled chandeliers to upholstered walls, the design offers a bit of everything.
Their expansive 40-page menu offers several dishes to fit every guest who walks through their doors. From breakfast to a huge dinner selection, the menu hits the mark, offering great steaks, fantastic pasta dishes, and delicious appetizers.
The waitress suggested the pu pu platter appetizer ($15.95) paired with their Signature Sangria and Mai Tai.
The appetizer had six small dishes including swordfish dumplings, crab roll, sautéed garlic shrimp, sesame chicken, grilled skirt steak and cole slaw. The swordfish dumpling was sautéed in ginger butter sauce that complimented the fish well and gave it an aftertaste that leaves you yearning for the next bite. The crab roll is lightly fried and served with a ginger sauce. The sesame chicken is lightly coated in sauce and breaded just enough to give it a crispy yet light crust.
The Signature Sangria ($7.95) and Mai Tai ($7.95) are a touch sweet, but complimented the flavor profile of the appetizer plate.
With an emphasis on comfort and luxury, their belief in comfort over capacity provides a nice dining atmosphere void of the stuffiness. Their tables offer the right amount of space to handle the parade of glasses and dishes throughout the meal.
The entrée was classically paired with a nice glass of red wine. The Robert Mondavi Cabernet ($10.00) was a nice choice to go along with the DelMonico steak and veal chop.
The DelMonico ($22.95) is served with choice of preparation including hot pepper, steak marsala, soy and garlic, blackened cajun, sizzling, butter and garlic, lemon scampi, shitake and traditional char. The steak is served on the bone and has a fried onion garnish. The wine accentuated the flavors of the steak and was a great in between every few bites.
The Veal Chops ($20.95), stuffed with crabmeat and mushrooms, is also served with on the bone and comes with a touch of mashed potatoes. The crabmeat and veal work well together with each bite a little better than the last.
The entrees are served A la carte, so side selection is key to completing the dining experience. Their sweet potato fries ($1.95) are topped with powdered sugar that doesn't overpower you with sweetness. Their garlic mashed potatoes ($2.95) are hearty and work well with a steak pairing. The baby green beans ($3.95) were well cooked and plentiful, and made another good side for their entrees.
DelMonico also offers alfresco dining. A handful of tables line the exterior of the restaurant, including a table with a built in fire pit, which is certain to be a sought after seat during the early spring and fall dining season. An entire evening could be spent around the comforting fire.
Their dessert selection includes several classics including the Chocolate Lava Cake ($7.95) and the Bananas Foster ($7.95). Both desserts were served with fresh fruit flambe and accompanied by cappuccino ($3.50) and double espresso ($5.50). The Chocolate Lava Cake was warm and the cool ice cream and fresh whipped cream made for impactful bites that delighted the palate and made you forget that you ate like an oversized king leading up to dessert.
The meal is not lacking in quantity and there is no sacrifice in quality. While a meal of this caliber can empty your pocket at most high-end steakhouses, DelMonico refuses to live up to those high pricing expectations.
The restaurant is not only a prime date spot; it is also a place where friends can enjoy good conversation without having to shout over the crowd.
If you are looking for a new experiential spot and dynamic meal make a reservation. Who knows, maybe James Gandolfini will thank you personally for your patronage.
505 Pompton Ave.
Cedar Grove, N.J.
Phone: (973)433-0333 (Reservations recommended)