A Fusion of Classic and Contemporary Flavors at Red Horse by David Burke

by Tom Lavecchia
Red Horse by David Burke Rumson, NJ

Red Horse by David Burke is a modern American steakhouse and sushi bar located in Rumson, New Jersey. The restaurant is housed in a beautiful Victorian-era mansion, and the interior is decorated with a harmony of classic and contemporary furnishings. The walls are adorned with a collection of equestrian art, which is a nod to the restaurant’s namesake, the Red Horse Tavern, which was a popular watering hole for horsemen in the 1800s.

Chef David Burke

Chef David Burke | Photo via Red Horse

In 2021, David Burke took over Red Horse, a restaurant initially established in 2008 by chef/owner John DeBartolo. A recipient of the prestigious James Beard Award, Burke boasts a culinary empire of over 18 restaurants. Renowned for his inventive cuisine and emphasis on locally sourced, seasonal components, he has garnered widespread acclaim. Red Horse has earned enthusiastic praise from both critics and patrons. The menu features a wide variety of dishes, from classic steaks and chops to more creative fare like the lobster dumplings and the tuna and salmon tartare.  Red Horse also offers an extensive sushi menu, including wagyu beef sashimi, tuna nigiri and a list of creative rolls. 

We recently had the pleasure of dining at Red Horse and  were blown away by the food, service and drinks. We started with the oysters, which were fresh and briny, and the tuna and salmon tartare, which was beautifully presented and incredibly flavorful. For our main courses, we had the branzino, the bone-in porterhouse, and the roasted chicken. The branzino was cooked perfectly, with crispy and delicious skin. The porterhouse was well-seared and juicy, while the roasted chicken featured a shatteringly brown skin and succulent meat. 

We also enjoyed a bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape—a Grenache blend from the Rhone Valley recommended to us by our server. The wine list at Red Horse by David Burke is extensive and features a wide variety of wines from around the world. There is a wine for everyone, from affordable everyday glasses, to rare and sought-after bottles. It is best to allow the knowledgeable staff to navigate the list, recommending a wine for you to try. 

We were particularly impressed with the selection of red wines. There were a number of great options for pairing with our steaks, including a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, a Pinot Noir from Oregon, and a full-bodied Zinfandel from California. We also enjoyed the white wine list, which featured a number of crisp and refreshing options perfect for summer dining.

The top-notch service at Red Horse cannot be overlooked. Our server was knowledgeable about the menu and attentive to our needs. He made sure that we had everything we needed, and was always happy to answer our questions.

In addition to a-la-carte dinner, Red Horse by David Burke offers a variety of special events and dining experiences, including:

What’s Your Beef Nights: On Wednesdays, Red Horse offers a special menu of beef dishes, including filet mignon, ribeye, and New York strip. Guests can choose their preferred cut of beef and have it alongside Burke’s famous popovers, clothesline bacon, a classic steakhouse salad and more. 

Dinner in the Dark: On select evenings, Red Horse offers a blindfolded dining experience. Guests are led into a dark room and served a 5-course meal hosted by Chef Burke. The goal of the experience is to heighten the senses and focus on the taste of the food. The experience is renowned for its risk-taking, which puts total control into the staff’s hands.

Omakase: On select Thursdays, Red Horse offers an omakase-style dinner. This is a Japanese-style meal where the chef chooses the dishes for you. The omakase dinner at Red Horse features a variety of sushi, sashimi, and cooked dishes.

These are just a few of the special events and dining experiences that Red Horse by David Burke offers. Red Horse also has space available for private events such as wedding receptions, bridal showers, baby showers and birthday parties.  Happy hour is offered daily and dog friendly “yappy hour” is offered on the outdoor patio when the weather permits it. Whether you are looking for a weekend dinner, or to plan a special event, Red Horse gets my highest recommendation. 

Overall, we had an amazing dining experience at Red Horse by David Burke. The food was incredible, the service was excellent, and the atmosphere was warm and inviting. We would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a special dining experience. If you are seeking a meal that is guaranteed to impress, look no further than Red Horse by David Burke. You won’t be disappointed.

About the Author/s

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Tom is a lifelong New Jersey resident, Rutgers and FDU alumni and the publisher of The Digest.

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