New Brunswick Night Out!
So we've been married 10 years! Que the champagne, party bells and shuttle limo to the airport.
But really it was more like que my mask, sanitizer and Uber driver.
What was suppose to be a week long trip to Napa or mountain hiking in Switzerland turned into a one night out about 20 miles away.
But since we've always been a "glass half full" type of couple, we decided to make the most of the occasion.
Enter one of our favorite dining downtowns, a great reservation and an open-air bar on a gorgeous fall evening.
We kicked off our anniversary night out at Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe. With the retractable doors ajar and the streets lively, it had such a great vibe. Husband had an IPA while I ordered an Octoberfest brew. Both ice cold, crisp and gone too fast!
We strolled down the street to our dining destination- Stage Left Steak, formerly Stage Left. The hostess led us to a quaint table in the back adjacent to a rustic fireplace and it felt oh-so-romantic.....reminescint of our early dating years. ;)
Always ones for the wine list, we debated and decided on a 2009 Red Burgundy (Pinot Noir) from the Volnay region of France.
While we sipped our wine, we got down to the business of ordering. We split the stufffed clams appetizer, a special of the evening. “Auntie Mame’s Clams” were stuffed with cherry stone clams, garlic, lemon and topped with crispy breadcrumbs. Although not the best we’ve ever had, they were definitely above average and dually enjoyed. As for entrees, I went with another special of the evening. Seared scallops over a pumpkin risotto with fried butternut squash atop. It was sublime. The scallops, seared to a T, were caramelized around the edges and butter-like tender when cut through. The fall flavors shined amidst the piping hot pumpkin risotto and almost candied butternut squash pieces.
But while that dish was oh-so-yummy, it was the other entree that really had us swooning. The Wagyu Flat Iron cooked on our own sizzling hot Himalayan sea salt block was unreal. It was presented to us with a quick kiss from their grill and sliced. We then had the joy and privilege of cooking each piece to our desired preference. As rare steak lovers, we literally seared each piece for a mere 5 seconds on each side, then sprinkled it with some coarse salt and relished in its deliciousness. The flat iron had the mouth feel of some $50 a pound reserve filet mignon, I kid you not. It was just exceptional. I put in a vote to pair the meat with some onion rings and damn, was that a great combination.
With pre-dinner drinks, a bottle of wine and a 2 course meal devoured, we took a rain check on dessert.
So while it wasn’t the getaway we’d been planning for years, it was surely a night out our hearts and bellies will remember nonetheless.
Harvest Moon Brewery & Cafe is located at 392 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Stage Left Steak is conveniently a 2 block walk from there and is found at 5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ 08901.
Final Grade: A-