Living in Chicago means I have been to my share of steakhouses. Chicago is probably the best if not one of the best cities to enjoy a good steak. So I was pleasantly surprised when I found Ursino Steakhouse and Tavern in Union, NJ.
Ursino is located on Morris Avenue on the campus of Kean University. If you’re not careful you can miss it, as it’s on the campus. I didn’t know what to expect, but making the reservation online was pleasant. You pick your time and immediately receive an email.
I even received a text message reminding me of my reservation 30 minutes before I was due to arrive.
The first thing I noticed when approaching the doors is the logo of the bovine on the door above the name of the restaurant. They want you to know that this is going to be a beef experience upfront.
The bar is upstairs, and what a bar it is. A large circular bar in the center of the room. It’s inviting and intimate at the same time. This isn’t your college hangout. This is a date night location for those who don’t mind a little indulgence.
The floors upstairs were sticky, but I don’t know if that’s from the traffic or neglect. That said the ambiance reminded me of Morton’s or Shula’s in Chicago, but not quite as luxurious as Ruth’s Chris. The winding staircase down to the dining room was a nice touch. We were lucky enough to be alone on a Tuesday night. Good thing as the waiter had to go back upstairs for drink orders. The dining room is an excellent choice for a business dinner or night out with your significant other.
My drink of choice is Tequila, and they didn’t disappoint. My beverage was a generous pour with little ice. Everyone at the table ordered steaks, but there are other choices including a raw bar, chicken, salmon, or Black Bass. There are over a dozen side dishes to choose from as well. We skipped the appetizers and went straight for the steaks. We had filets, creamed spinach, sweet potato fries, and I had a loaded baked potato.
Everything was cooked well, but the steak really shined here. The steaks had a sumptuous crust from being seared on high heat with a warm pink center. I’ve had my share of good steaks, and this ranks in the top 5. If you are in the Newark area, and don’t want to battle the NYC traffic, this is an excellent choice.