The Strip House at the Westminster Hotel in Livingston is famous for its prime steaks, burlesquish décor and top notch service. It also does what few steakhouses of this caliber manage to do: it serves up great cocktails.
Amid the boudoir-like space with its red velvet wallpaper, velour seats and Studio Manasse photography from the early 1900s Vienna, guests can find creative bartenders, uh, mixologists, serving up inventive and delicious cocktails to guests frequenting the attractive lounge and sipping at nearby tables.
At a recent dinner party I attended, two outstanding cocktails we served that are worth mentioning. The first was a fiery drink aptly named The Sombrero, featuring Tequila, lime juice, mint and muddled Jalapeno. The other boozy gem was the Blueberry Mint Mojito. I am sharing the recipe so you can recreate it at your next dinner party.
Blueberry Mint Mojito
- 2 Lime Wedges
- Handful of Fresh Blueberries
- 1 oz. Simple Syrup
- 2 oz. Bacardi rum
- Club Soda
- Mint Leaves
- Muddle two lime wedges with blueberries, several mint leaves, and simple syrup.
- Add ice and rum.
- Shake well and pour into highball glass.
- Top with club soda. Garnish with mint leaves and enjoy!
On to the food. Executive Chef, Bill Zucosky has created a menu featuring contemporary steakhouse dishes that highlight both his creativity and locally-sourced ingredients. Yes, Strip House is located in a hotel, a AAA 4-Diamond hotel at that, no, it does not serve up food typical of many hotel restaurants. Fresh, never pre-prepared / processed ingredients and prime, corn-fed, Nebraska beef are what guests are treated to.
Chef Zucosky and his team serve up steakhouse favorites with a twist. Some solid starters are the Roasted Golden Beet and Grilled Asparagus Salad served with tangy Stilton cheese and a Sherry vinaigrette and the Maryland Lump Crab Cake with potato salad, green beans and a remoulade I would love to be able to recreate at home. As delicious as the aforementioned dishes are, the appetizer to really win the prize is the Roasted Bacon Salad. Perfectly-cooked, applewood-smoked slab bacon is smartly paired with peppery arugula and served with Russian dressing. A fatty, meant in a great way, dish like this might not be what most folks think of before a rich cut of beef, but it is absolutely the right call.
Steaks are king at Strip House and what diners should order. There are non-meat dishes that are popular with carniphobes like the Sesame-Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna and the Pan-Seared Red Snapper, but prime beef is where it is at.
The 22-ounce Bone-In Rib Eye I savored is presented with a half head of roasted garlic. The meat was served as ordered, rare, and was seared to perfection with plenty of salt. Simply put – decadent. Another favorite at our table was the Veal Chop. The sizeable portion is served with a roasted pepper and parsley salad.
As is true of many upscale steakhouses, Strip House offers a variety of side dishes meant to be shared. Must-have sides are the Crisp Goose Fat Potatoes, the Black Truffle Creamed Spinach and the not-on-the-menu Ripped Potatoes. Demand the Ripped Potatoes, fried chunked potatoes tossed with butter then generously-topped with Parmesan, sea salt and parsley.
As if one saved room for dessert, the signature 24-layer Chocolate Cake must magically make its way to everyone’s table. The cake is moist and frosted with rich, gooey dark chocolate ganache. It is over-the-top but a perfect dessert to share among friends.
Chef Zucosky masterly serves up what is unquestionably one of the best steaks in the area. The efficient and knowledgeable wait staff ensures a great time is had by all.
550 West Mount Pleasant Avenue
Livingston, NJ 07039