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“Night Out On A Gift Card” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Char Steak House

Char Steak House
777 US Highway 202 North, Raritan, NJ 08869
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Ranked #4 of 36 restaurants in Raritan
Price range: $40 - $60
Cuisines: Steakhouse
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: First Avenue
Transit: Raritan stop on the New Jersey Transit Raritan Valley Line.
Bridgewater, NJ
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Night Out On A Gift Card”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 31, 2013

We went to this place to meet up with another couple...we wanted to sit outside so there was a short wait even though we had reservations...no problem as we were waiting for the other couple to arrive anyway...since it was a very warm night they had several fans running and they were very noisy to the extent that it made it difficult to hear the conversation at the table...eventually we ordered our meal and it took some time to get it to the table...while the meal itself was very good our waiter was not...if you want to hire a waiter / waitress from another country teach them to speak English first...it was nearly impossible to understand our waiter and once our food was delivered he never showed up again...at the end of the meal (which was overly expensive based on the portions) we gave our waiter our gift card and cash besides as we needed to break some larger bills and the gift card was being used by us only...our friends wanted to pay for their meal in cash...our waiter picked up the black folder with our gift card & cash inside and soon returned with the receipt and NO CASH...we are talking in excess of $60.00 missing...once again it was impossible to communicate with him and he thought he was keeping the 60.00 as a tip...!!! Hellllllloooooooooo...the meal for the four of us was 169.00 and even a 20 pct tip (which he was NOT going to receive) would have been only 33-34.00...!!! I was almost ready to get up and go to management but he finally got it through his head and quit pretending to play stupid and bring the money back...I think we will be passing on this place in the future and going elsewhere where we get better service for less money...!

  • Visited August 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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112 reviews from our community

60% Recommend
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Princeton, New Jersey
Top Contributor
52 reviews 52 reviews
40 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
“Very Well Done”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 25, 2013

I have driven by this place for a year and usually see it packed. Waited until an opportunity arose. Went with a party of 6 celebrating an anniversary. First off, it is pricey. But I was well pleased with all aspects of our dinner, from our greeting at the door to our service (excellent) to the taste of our meals. It is ala carte, so be prepared to order sides. The sides are very good, and feed 3 no problem. Entrees very good, particularly the crab cake. Excellent desserts. Bar service was quick and well handled. No complaints overall. A good place for special occasions.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“An utter disappointment”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 13, 2013

We've lived in Bridgewater for several years and always promised ourselves we would try Char Steakhouse after opening. We finally got around to making a reservation and after an utterly disappointing evening, found ourselves wishing we has chosen another restaurant.

Our evening began with a mildly hostile maitre d we approached at the front desk to ask for our reservation. We were 15 minutes early and without bothering to look up he mumbled that "we could check back in 20 minutes". No seating at the bar was available, no offer to sit, just a bored dismissal.

The atmosphere is fine.....vintage Las Vegas 2003. Dark wood tones, flame features and a lovely patio area during nice weather.

We were finally seated closer to 730. The menu had promise with several classic steak house offerings........aged beef, classic salads.........a few seafood options. We decided to stay with beef. I will say that my short rib was perfect - wonderful sauce with carrots, parsnips and full of flavor. My partner's steak was promised as "aged" but bland and disappointing. The "loaded" baked potato was lackluster with a dollop of sour cream and the creamed spinach marginally better than a frozen Stouffers side. The "chef's special" steak sauce was cloyingly sweet. We opted to skip dessert.

I would offer that the service was attentive and our server could not have been better. Knowledable, attentive and professional. The busboys were wonderful - frequently checking our table and bringing items without our having to ask. They all would have gotten an A+ from us.

Had we been met with something of at least marginal interest upon our arrival, maybe we might have been more forgiving. Unfortunately, the evening started with our wishing we have gone to a different restaurant and most of the food did little to change our original impression. Frankly, there are too many good places to eat rather than spned time and money with a restaurant that makes it clear at the onset that they could care less whether you bothered to come for dinner. Total cost for the evening $150.00 without drinks.

  • Visited July 2013
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Good place for dinner with colleagues”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 12, 2013

Pricey but great food. Obviously a steak house. I was surprised by the crowd on a Tuesday night - very packed. After a short wait, we were served quickly. The steak was excellent and the staff was very helpful in their recommendations. Would definitely go back again!

Visited July 2013
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New Jersey
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
48 helpful votes 48 helpful votes
“Char - Never say Never ;-)”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 28, 2013

My first review of Char Steakhouse in Raritan was really a review of the service my husband and I received that night because we never received our food!

A few days after that experience we received a phone call from the manager apologizing, not only for the wait staff, but for his behavior as well. He sincerely apologized and asked if we would return to give it another try...even offered us some incentives to come back...so we did.

We were able to make a reservation (with the help of the manager) to secure an outside table on a beautiful Saturday night. Our waiter was professional and attentive taking our drink orders and promptly getting our appetizers to the table. Hubby had the crab cake special - which was delicious. I had the buffalo mozzarella, tomato and basil which was also very good. On to the filet mignon's which we both ordered medium rare. Hubby's was cooked to perfection while mine was a little closer to medium but both were seasoned very well and were tender and tasteful.

I need to say that the manager, Kyle, stopped by our table to wish us well and to again make amends for our first experience at Char. He was gracious, sincere and I felt, genuine in his wish for us to have a great dinner experience at Char (especially since it was our anniversary!) I hugged him on our way out because he was so nice!

We each had dessert - mine was the mixed berry cobbler which was amazing and hubby had the chocolate brownie with Wild Turkey (bourbon) ice cream...also delicious.

Other than the hostess...same one as last time who was still "snooty"...our dining experience was great. Good food, beautiful atmosphere and attentive staff. It is a beautiful spot for a special dinner.

  • Visited June 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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