Char Steakhouse - Raritan
7:45 reservation we were not seated until 8:05, 2 out of 3 steaks ordered medium rare were overcooked.
I had an interesting experience at Char steakhouse to say the least. It was a combination of disappointment, surprise and indifference. I’ll attempt to shed light on my experiences to give some credibility to what I feel I experienced at Char. Firstly, I’ve been going to high-end steakhouses for the past 10 years. From my first experience at Houston’s, Morton’s, Ruth’s Chris, then eventually, my being stationed in Kansas and enjoying some of the best prime dry-aged beef in America at 801 Chophouse, Char falls short in relation to their hostess staff. I’ve also dined at many high-end steakhouses in Germany and eventually Prague, before heading back home to NJ. So that being said, I am well aware of the standard of service that should be provided given a certain price point. I have never once, anywhere in the world, in 10 years of dining at high-end steakhouses, been told to wait for a table that I’ve reserved and already confirmed the day of. The hostesses at Char are, to be bluntly honest, unprofessional and rude (in my opinion, inexperienced and too young for such responsibilities). When I entered, I informed them that I was meeting family and they pointed me to the location that my family was waiting. Upon my return to the hostesses to be seated, they acted as if I had no reservation at all, “we are working on getting your table ready, just go sit at the couches and wait.” Now, I thought their demeanor to be somewhat disrespectful, especially considering that I had made and confirmed a reservation, prior to my visit. Their demeanor though, was what bothered me the most. I received, not one single apology for my table not being held. They seemed extremely pompous and as though they were doing me some sort of favor by hosting me. This is unacceptable considering the price-point.
We went to Char for our anniversary since we had been given a gift card. We've been to some of the best steakhouses in NYC and Chicago so really wasn't expecting much from the Jersey 'burbs but boy, were we wrong! First off the evening was in the high 70s so sitting at an outdoor table with a waterfall and firepits and the smell of flowers in the air was magical. The restaurant is right on RT 202 so while you do hear traffic, it still feel like a fun oasis with everyone enjoying the atmosphere.
Food-wise we weren't up for red meat but there were other options. My husband got escargot for appetizer and I got a burrata special. Both of our appetizers were fantastic and even better with the wonderful bread options served. My husband got focaccia and I got a popover which was amazing! I love popovers and it was such a treat to have them as a bread choice at a restaurant that I got another! For entrees my husband got the salmon with tzatziki sauce and I got the lobster avocado salad plus sides of lobster mac n cheese, mushroom caps and potatoes gratin. FYI watch out for the daily side special which is $18. The regular sides are $8.99 so that cheesy mashed potato "special" could be a real surprise to the wallet if you aren't warned. I was happy to pay $11.99 for lobster mac n cheese which was incredible and thrilled with the mushrooms and potato gratin. All of them were rich, flavorful and decadent. My husband's salmon was perfectly cooked and the flavors of the tzatziki with the garlic and dill were such a compliment to the fish. My salad looked tiny when it came because it was piled upward but with two big pieces of lobster plus artichokes, avocado, tomatoes and amazing flavor, it was bigger then I thought and filling. We finished our meal with some raspberry, mango and lemon sorbets and called it a night.
Overall the food was AMAZING, certainly not cheap but well worth the money for the quality and flavor. We're looking forward to coming here again.
All the food was excellent , service was great, but if your looking at value it’s hard to justify $40 for a 6 oz pice of fish.... yes I get it.... only a slight complaint
Char is tops in everything! Highly recommend this restaurant to any foodie
Asher our waiter was great. Awesome steaks
Went to Char to celebrate my birthday and everything was amazing. From the tuna tartare appetizer, which was delicious, the pretzel roll, the focaccia bread, everything was perfect. I ordered the surf and turf and my husband ordered a filet mignon. One of the sides was the loaded mashed potatoes, which we could not get over how delicious they were. The steaks were done the way we both liked them and seasoned perfectly. I would definitely recommend Char if you are craving a delicious steak, actually a delicious meal, as my lobster tail was done well, not overdone at all. It is a little on the pricey side, but was definitely worth it, especially for special occasions.
Not impressed whatsoever. We went there for a special Mother's Day dinner and do not plan on going back. The valet people were very rude to my son who was waiting to park his car and little did they know my husband was standing behind them and heard them laughing and making fun of him. My husband proceeded to tell one of the Managers that his valet attendants were very rude but that didn't make a difference. Our waitress seemed clueless!!! I ordered the special Chilean Sea Bass and that had ZERO taste to it.. it wasn't even as big as a roll of quarters and I left some on the plate. We ordered 2 orders of a special mashed potato side dish to see it on the bill for $18 APIECE. For mashed potatoes. Seriously for spending $350 for dinner for 4 people, I would have gone to many other restaurants twice.
Steak was good as were the sides. The tuna app was disappointing as it was tiny for $15. Overall good, but might not be worth the price.
Mother’s Day and birthdays great food and service home run
This was not my first time at Char, in the past I always had amazing meals.
However, on Mother’s Day, we had the most horrific experience. First, my shared Appetizer plate was filthy, sent it back, sometimes my dishwasher doesn’t get all the stuck on food off and I shrugged it off. Then, our Entrees came, and when I cut into my lobster it revealed human hair on my plate, there are no words.
The manager approaches our table and removed my plate, returning with a fresh clean plate, and now of course I can’t eat!
Here’s the kicker, they didn’t comp anything, not my gross meal, not desert, nothing.
Will never go back!
A decent steak house but there are better in the area.
Food was delicious
Everything was excellent
Have been many times and never disappointed. Food is always outstanding, your patronage is appreciated, and everyone who works at char is well trained. Kudos to the owners who clearly know how to successfully run an A+ restaurant business. They deserve their success.
Great time, food was excellent. I couldn't ask for better service. Can't wait to go back soon.
ALWAYS a great meal at CHAR!!! When you go out to dinner you want to escape for an hour or two. Good food, a great server, drinks, ambiance...you get all of these at CHAR, that’s why we keep going back time and time again! Thanks for making Mother’s Day a really good time for ALL of us!!
The food was very good, however my sister's steak wasn't cooked the way she had ordered it. The waiter didn't really do anything or apologize when we informed him, so we just ended up taking it to go and saving it for someone else at home because we didn't want to fuss about it being that it was for Mother's Day. So the service wasn't what I had expected, but I'll likely come back; just not sometime soon due to the price.
The place is very nice the vibe is of a NYC steakhouse. Very deceiving from the roadside signage. It’s one of the reasons for years we just passed by. We never realize how nice the place was because it’s nestled down in a valley off the road and their signage could probably use a little better lighting. We only booked it because we couldn’t get in at Ruth Chris’s of Princeton. But it all worked out we were pleasantly surprised with the ambience, service & the quality of the food. The party was for eight people the staff handled it very well the food was timed perfectly and everyone was very pleased and happy. We’re looking forward to checking out their outside dining area. We dine out 2-4 times a month.
The food was pretty good even though it came a little tepid. However they took back and it came back perfect. They sat us at our scheduled time. The waitress (Eve) was extremely pleasant. The appetizers were great. Overall a very good experience.
Great experience all around.
Very nice service, good food, and ambiance. Cant wait to experience the patio when the weather really breaks
My family and I went to Char with family from out of state. Not only was the food amazing and our steaks cooked to perfection, the atmosphere was relaxed and we did not feel rushed. We were able to enjoy each other's company for the entire evening.
I took my girlfriend out for mother’s day. And we always have a great time and the food. Is always amazing there.
It was my girlfriend birthday and she enjoyed the small surprise.
Vastly overpriced. Example, no vegetables served with entrees. Want creamed spinach or mashed potatoes? Yours for an additional $8.95 each.
Terrible inattentive service. (Example: waiter never asked if we wanted a second $14 Cosmo, as he never came by after another waiter delivered the food. When asked why he never came back to ask if we wanted a second drink, he said: I came by and asked you. We said no you didn’t. He had an attitude that said - so what. )
Worn table condition.
Now we know never to return to this wanna-be high end dining experience.
Char is an excellent steak house and if you have folks with you that don’t eat meat, the seafood is just as outstanding. I have been coming here for years and the staff, the cooks, the entire team never disappoint. My go to items Filet Surf & Turf , Lobster Mac & Cheese, Cookie Bowl. They don’t disappoint.
My wife Birthday
Outstanding food, service and atmosphere!!! They made my husbands birthday a special one and we will definitely be back!!!
Steak was inedible. Way too fatty. Unusual
Food and drinks were fresh and well constructed. Service by Dario was spot. A tad overpriced but overall a good night
Everything was wonderful. We'll definitely visit again!
I wasn’t happy with my steak.
Not cooked right and not a top grade cut of meat.
This was my second time there and the first was great.
So I’ll chalk it up to an off night
I ordered a drink, but the server forgot it. I wasn’t charged. The service was okay. It took a while to get a water refill. Waiter never came around to see if we liked our meal. Fortunately, the food was very good.
Steak was under done as usual. Everytime the steak is under. If you want medium rare order medium. Don't send it back they will.just throw it back on and its ruined by that time. The waiter also dumped a glass of wine on me. Not a little, the whole glass. Mistakes happen I get it. My comp was another glass of wine that I already paid for.
I have been to Char several times and I am always ordering The Tomahawk dry aged 45 days and this time it came burnt on the outside and tasteless. I was really disappointed for a steak worth more than 75 USD.
Food was excellent. A little pricey but we had no complaints
Food and service were great and it was unusually quiet due to holiday weekend. Expensive as always but worth it overall with this visit.
The service and food was very good. From the salad to the main course