New Jersey Date Night is a series on NJ Flavor by relationship writer Craig Rogers.

When it comes to the Valentine’s Day date, the stakes are high because of the importance we place on the perceived “most romantic” date night of the year. Even though we should approach every date night with the same vigor, Valentine’s Day seems to bring the most pressure to get it right. 

Maybe it’s because we can feel the love in the air, or perhaps it’s due to the threat of Cupid’s old-school firearms, but the end result is always the same — a date night fit for red-blooded lovers.

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If you’re a meat-eater, nothing says red-blooded like a perfectly prepared steak. Much like relationships, the right cut over the right flame for the right amount of time results with love in every bite. Be it filet mignon or New York strip, you’ll find some great steaks in the Garden State.

Get ready for a New Jersey Date Night that’s both rare and well done!

Deeply Rooted Love

What started as a store in Summit became a place where what’s in store is a meal that will knock your socks off. Roots Steakhouse, named for the Canadian store, prides itself on grilling perfect cuts of beef under an 1800-degree broiler. Now with additional locations in Morristown, Ridgewood and Princeton (home of Roots Ocean Prime), you’ll find an assortment of steaks and other delicious treats ready to make your heart soar.

Starting your meal with a salad is a must with options like the chopped salad (iceberg and romaine lettuces with tomato, corn, broccoli, carrots, feta, cucumber, asparagus and topped with black peppercorn dressing) or the lobster salad (lobster with mixed greens, avocado, bacon, tomato, Grana Padano and topped with lemon-herb dressing). 

Besides their perfectly prepared steaks, you’re options for a main course are many, including The Roots Trio (filet mignon slider with crispy onion, horseradish cream with a half lobster roll and your choice of cup of lobster bisque or clam chowder).

For more information on Roots Steakhouse, visit

Tried and True

With 37 years of experience, River Palm Terrace sure knows how to cook a steak, but they also know how to serve up a superb dining experience.  Located in both Edgewater and Fair Lawn, River Palm Terrace dry ages their beef onsite for 28 days, enhancing both flavor and texture. 

Regardless of which steak you choose, the waitstaff will provide you and your date the best of the best in butler-style service.  When it comes to sides, their choices are both classic and tasty.  Maybe it’s the creamed spinach or perhaps the onion rings you’ll fancy — regardless, you’re in for a treat!

For more information about River Palm Terrace, visit

On the Rails

Where can you enjoy your steak dinner while experiencing a speakeasy, a cozy lodge and a mountain view? If you answered Rails Steakhouse, then either you know New Jersey or you’re a Real Housewife! Located in Towaco, their USDA Prime and CAB corn-fed beef is dry aged onsite and hand-cut by their resident butchers.  All it takes is a little kosher salt and a bit of ground pepper and the 1400 degree charbroiler does the rest. 

From the cowboy steak to porterhouse for up to four people, you simply can’t make a wrong choice.  Add on a side of parmesan truffle fries or butter poached lobster mashed potatoes, and you’ll be in heaven!

Be sure to check out their signature cocktails or make a choice from their Wine Spectator-winning wine list in their spectacular speakeasy, Thirty3 — perfect for a pre-dinner toast or an after dinner drink.

For more information on Rails, visit

Turf and Surf

Shipwreck Point Steakhouse in Point Pleasant serves up a date night with expertly prepared steaks. Located on Manasquan Inlet, you can pair your beef there with the fresh, delicious seafood you’d expect from the Jersey Shore. 

You’ll love their raw bar and you might be tempted by their seafood appetizers such as the Maryland crab cake (served with Granny Smith apple slaw and grain mustard dressing) or the moules marinieres (mussels with leeks, thyme shallots and hard cider). Save room for dessert because the chocolate flourless mousse cake with toasted pistachios isn’t to be missed.

For more information on the Shipwreck Point, please visit

Gotta Have Heart

When it comes to love, the stakes are high because there’s nothing more precious and breakable than a heart. Sometimes hearts can shatter and even though it feels like the pieces are forever scattered, they’ll eventually come back together. It may take more time than the 28 days it takes to dry-age beef, but it will happen.

Hearts are resilient, having the ability to heal and re-shape into something even better because of the experiences it encounters. Your heart might not be ready for a date on Feb. 14, but when it is you’ll prove that Valentine’s Day is just one of many most romantic days of the year.

I’ll stake the cattle ranch on it!

Craig Rogers is the guy who gets relationships write. Author of The 49th Challenge, Craig has written countless articles on dating, relationships and breakup recovery. To learn more about Craig, visit

What’s your idea for a great New Jersey Date?  Tell Craig all about it at


More Date Night Ideas:

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Get Lost in the Game at These Sports Bars

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