The Best Steakhouses in NJ (NJ Monthly chose both Stage Left Steak & Steakhouse 85 as their top 20

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The Best Steakhouses in NJ
A guide to the top 20 steakhouses in the Garden State

Stage Left Steak
5 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick, NJ

Named for its location next to the State Theater, this long-running steakhouse (celebrating its 30th anniversary in May) turns out 28-day dry-aged Prime Angus steaks on a firepit-like, applewood grill with crusty char and buttery flesh. Stage Left serves seldom-seen cuts such as a silken Japanese Wagyu strip and an aged, bone-in filet mignon, tender but brawny in flavor. Equally compelling is the burger—11 ounces of dry-aged ground beef cooked on the grill. Stage Left was founded and is still run by two Rutgers grads, Mark Pascal and Francis Schott. They offered one of the first serious cheese boards in the area, and were also early in offering eye-opening, estate-bottled wines from small producers. —KH

Steakhouse 85
85 Church Street, New Brunswick, NJ

Spirited and unpretentious, Steakhouse 85 has elements of a sports bar, with multiple screens and framed Rutgers jerseys. But the white tablecloths and high-caliber service set the stage for superb dry-aged steaks rubbed with sea salt, black pepper and fresh herbs, seared on a cast-iron grill before broiling. The 14-ounce Delmonico, dry aged 35 days, is robust, well marbled and juicy. The 12-ounce filet mignon, a center-cut Angus tenderloin, had melt-in-your-mouth texture and mild flavor. For max flavor and lusciousness, go with the 18-ounce, bone-in cowboy rib eye. Sides are not afterthoughts. Buttery Yukon mashed potatoes are accented with bits of peel. Roasted brussels sprouts are almost as meaty as the steaks.-KC

Photo by Felicia Perretti