A hidden gem, Edward’s Steakhouse in downtown Jersey City offers delightful charm with classy appeal – from its varied menu to its music to its comfortable atmosphere.
“This is a supper club atmosphere,” said Dan de la Vega, owner and executive chef.
On Wednesday and Thursday nights, jazz saxophonist and vocalist Danny Bacher serenades patrons with the sounds of Sarah Vaughn and Frank Sinatra.
Nestled in a historic brownstone, the restaurant offers an intimate setting with a bar and cozy dining rooms that are also available for private parties. The menu provides a range of choices that include steak, seafood, chicken, pork, a raw bar, vegetarian selections, and an extensive wine list.
“I’m always exploring new dishes and figuring out what translates well for my customers.” – Dan de la Vega
“You are definitely getting your money’s worth,” said de la Vega.
Fusion of passion and quality
De la Vega left his career as a trader on the New York Mercantile Exchange floor to pursue his passion. He studied basic French technique at the French Culinary Institute, which gave him the foundation to inform the menu as executive chef and train his kitchen in specialties such as sauces and special dishes.
“I’m always exploring new dishes and figuring out what translates well for my customers,” said de la Vega.
For de la Vega, “owning a restaurant is a lifestyle.” He starts each day researching ideas for new dishes and then later experiments in the kitchen. He gets his ingredients from distinct places around the globe to ensure good quality.
“I care about people’s experience,” said de la Vega. “I insist service is good.”
De la Vega said he will go out of his way to ensure a patron has a good dining experience.
Delightful, delicious dishes
Appetizers run from $9 to $17. For $9, French onion soup is prepared with onions braised in sherry, finished with rich veal stock, and topped with melted Muenster cheese. On the high end, $17 will get you a jumbo lump crab cake combined with cilantro tartar sauce for great added flavor.
Oysters Rockefeller ($10), with sautéed spinach and shallots topped with fresh breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese, provide a delicate taste. Baked clams ($12) served with garlic, parsley, basil and lemon, are lightly breaded and offer a robust flavor.
The avocado against a backdrop of soy and ginger in the Ahi tuna tartare ($16) bursts with flavor.
The raw bar offers clams on the half shell, oysters, colossal shrimp cocktail, and crab meat cocktail, which consists of 4 ounces of lump crabmeat tossed with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.
“I have customers who drink this,” said de la Vega about his mignonette, a condiment that is typically served with oysters and includes chipotle, red vinegar, black pepper, cilantro, and shallots.
On the dinner menu, the twin 5 oz. South African lobster tails ($40), broiled and served with drawn butter and haricots verts, offer amazing taste and texture.
Edwards Steakhouse offers seasonally-based and family inspired specials, such as Shrimp Alex ($16), named after de la Vega’s daughter. A blend of buttery perfection, the dish includes three jumbo shrimp blanched in clarified butter, breaded, roasted, and served with Beurre Blanc sauce. Pair this dish with a glass of semisweet Oriel Albarino white wine ($20) from Barona, Spain for a light, fruity contrast to the rich-flavored shrimp.
Edwards stores their wine in special refrigerators and was the proud recipient of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the fifth year in a row.
For an experience that will warm you from head to toe, try the pumpkin soup ($9) with toasted pumpkin seeds and cinnamon cream. Prepared in a vegetable stock, vegetarians will appreciate this spicy and warming comfort food choice on a winter day.
Distinct steak experience
The cuts of steak are prepared with the right degree of tenderness for a savory and satisfying experience.
The steaks and chops menu offers a broad range of selections from pan roasted chicken ($25) to a porterhouse for two ($78) that consists of 42 oz. of sliced sirloin and filet mignon on the bone served with homemade au jus and roasted Yukon gold potatoes.
Steak lovers will enjoy various cuts, from 16 ounces of aged, boneless NY sirloin steak $38, a mouthwatering dish, to a sumptuous 14 oz. filet mignon ($40).
The moist and flavorful 36 oz. Gotham rib steak ($42) is grilled just right and topped with shoestring potatoes.
If you have room for dessert, satisfy your sweet tooth with the popular Chocolate Mayhem ($10) or the Pumpkin Chiffon Pie ($10) with cinnamon whipped cream, on the specials menu. Edwards also features items from local baker Sassy Sweet Treats.
During Hurricane Irene, De la Vega was away on vacation, and returned to find severe damage to the first floor of the restaurant. He had to gut the first floor and rebuild. The restaurant was closed for several days but he restored its cozy and inviting feel with dark wood, warm lighting, and burgundy tones.
The restaurant gets especially busy during holidays.
Reservations are recommended but not required. To make a reservation, go to: http://edwardssteakhouse.com/reservations.php or call: (201) 761-0000. Edwards Steakhouse is located on 239 Marin Blvd.
Adriana Rambay Fernández may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.