Rails Steakhouse in Towaco is quickly becoming the 6th cast member on the Real Housewives of New Jersey. We’re only on Episode 3, and already we have have seen two memorable Rails appearances and it is quickly surpassing Fresco as the dining destination of choice. This past Sunday the ladies picked the neighborhood steakhouse to host Dolores Catania an epic leopard and red themed birthday party. Ever since Siggy Flicker burst onto the show during her infamous post-facelift lobster bisque scene in their basement speakeasy during the Season 7 premiere, I immediately needed to know more about this contemporary, rustic-chic New Jersey celebrity hotspot. So of course, the very next day I booked a lunch reservation for two, so I could find out exactly what all the hype was about. I figured if it’s good enough for the RHONJ ladies, then it’s good enough for me. And let me tell you Rails did not disappoint. Watch below to get the inside scoop, and your exclusive tour inside one of the Garden State’s most posh restaurants.
This Towaco establishment is situated right next to the train station (hence the name), making it very convenient for locals (and regulars) Teresa Giuduce and Melissa Gorga to stop by to grab a delicious cocktail inside their private speakeasy, or dine al fresco on one of their beautiful outdoor terraces.
The rest of the ladies, including Jaqueline Laurita, Kathy Wakile, Rosie Pierri, and of course the hubbies, are all known to frequent Rails as well. We hear cameras were rolling during quite a few of their visits this year, so this certainly won’t be the last you see of Rails on RHONJ. The Housewives aren’t the only New Jersey celebrities in the know about this hidden gem. Other regulars include Kevin and Danielle Jonas, Saddle River resident Nick Cannon, and new parents Tiki Barber and his wife Traci Lynn Johnson.
Now onto the best part: the food! The RHONJ ladies love to start out with a plate of their delectable tuna tartare, then move on to the raw bar where they share the jumbo shrimp, clams, oysters, and chilled lobster. It’s seafood again for their entrees. The women all love the Organic Scottish Salmon, Chilean Sea Bass, and Sesame-Crusted Ahi Tuna. As delicious as all of those dishes sound, I opted for their signature Rail’s Burger with parmesan truffle fries, and let me tell you, it was seriously scrumptious!
No meal is complete without a refreshing cocktail, and if any one knows that, it’s certainly the Housewives. Some of their favorites include a classic Bloody Mary, or a Margarita with a chili powder salted rim. And we all know from Dolores’ birthday bash that Melissa is a huge fan of their Sangria. Melissa isn’t the only Gorga who loves to get tipsy at Rails. Hubby Joe Gorga has his own signature drink named after him — which I of course had to order, duh. His concoction is simply vodka with muddled orange and an orange slice.
Even better than the food at Rails, is the decor. The second you walk in, you feel as if you’ve been transported into a rustic-chic cabin somewhere in the Swiss Alps. You’ll see sprawling timber and natural stonewalls, with accents of glass showcasing fire-and-water features. Each room in the three-story building has a unique feel and vibe from the others, but somehow it all flows together seamlessly. Their stand out piece is the 150-plus year-old Douglas Fir from Oregon that towers from the first to second floor, and essentially holds the entire restaurant together. In fact they actually built the restaurant around this one tree. They also created a massive customized-table next to the first floor bar, out of a tree that fell down during Superstorm Sandy. Other unique features include a woodstack wall, a floating floor, and a rotating art exhibit on the first floor which showcases a new local artist each month.
Rails isn’t just known for its cuisine, they also have quite the vibrant nightlife scene. They boast three impressive bars: Thirty3 — the basement speakeasy lounge where the Siggy lobster bisque scene went down, the Timber Bar/Lounge on the main floor, and the Rafters Lounge upstairs. You can also grab a drink outside at their Trackside bar or on the Vista Terrace. My favorite was the tucked-away basement speakeasy, that you can only enter if you know which book to pull down on the bookcase (if you can’t figure it out, you can get some help). Once inside you will find a cozy, modernized Prohibition-era style room complete with a beef-aging closet, wine cellar, and cheese room.
If you are in the mood for a delicious meal and some yummy cocktails, and also looking for a fun RHONJ sighting, then Rails is most definitely the place to be. You can visit them at 10 Whitehall Road in Towaco.