While I was trying to figure out a cool place in Nutley to dine, the popular Franklin Steakhouse, open seven days a week at 238 Franklin Avenue, was recommended to me multiple times. This iconic eatery, although physically located in a different venue than in years past, still offers its signature steaks and ribs, along with a variety of other old favorites. The restaurant did not disappoint and lived up to its numerous glowing recommendations.
Upon entering, my entire mood positively shifted. The place was dimly lit but still entirely inviting with a Cheers-esque atmosphere. Dominated by a mural photograph of Tangorra Field, there are also multiple TV’s hung on the walls. The wrought-iron chandeliers throughout the restaurant hung over the hungry customers.
My companion and I promptly seated ourselves on the bar side, directly in front of the 20 glistening taps. I ordered a draught Blue Moon while I looked over the diverse menu which offers appetizers ranging from Chinese dumplings to Mexican nachos and of course the old staples of loaded potato skins and short rib tacos. There is something for everyone’s palate.
My companion was enticed by an adjacent diner’s meal and asked what it was she was eating. The answer was Mexican Firecrackers, or crispy tortillas filled with spicy marinated chicken, multiple cheeses, and served with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream. My friend ordered the same immediately. I myself ordered the Cajun Calamari as my appetizer, and it was tantalizing.
After we devoured our appetizers and finished licking our fingers, it was brought to my attention by the bartender that there was a large event venue upstairs. My friend stayed back while I decided to go have a peek.
The steakhouse has long been a staple of casual dining in Nutley, but the upstairs venue I was about to encounter had its own charm. After ascending the stairs flanked by a wall of windows, I happened upon a large room with light blue recessed lighting surrounding the crown molding. Crystal chandeliers hung symmetrically over the white cloth covered tables that lined the polished dance floor. Mirrored walls and a dimly lit bar in the back gave the venue exceptional appeal.
Upon returning from upstairs, I found my main dish, the Bloomfield Ave. Burger, waiting for me on the bar top next to a perfectly poured Yuengling. The burger was topped with sautéed onions, bell peppers and sliced potatoes piled high next to a mound of crispy orange sweet potato fries. The meal itself was exceptional in almost every way; although only a burger, it was definitely memorable
The Franklin Steakhouse also offer some ‘enticements’ to come visit, such as Wednesday Nights Kids Eat Free, Happy Hour Monday through Friday 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM with half price appetizers and drinks, and Live Music during Happy Hour on Wednesdays.
This restaurant certainly continues the long tradition of its predecessor and is still a Nutley favorite. With all the different choices Nutley has to offer for dining, this restaurant is definitely one to put on your list when you want that casual experience. I enjoyed my visit and feel wholly satisfied with my first encounter with Franklin Steakhouse. I can now add my recommendation to all the others it receives!
By Andrew Konzelmann