Ursino reopens as a steakhouse with a tavern
By Joshua Rosario | Published by Jan. 29, 2018
After its sudden shuttering in December 2016, the former Enoteca Ursino restaurant reopened on Nov. 8 as Ursino Steakhouse and Tavern. According to university spokesperson, Margaret McCorry, the 2016 closing of Enoteca Ursino was due to the termination of its year-long contract with the Terra Momo Restaurant Group.
The restaurant is located in the STEM building. It first opened in 2011 as Ursino and was managed by Gourmet Dining. Ursino closed in September 2015 for remodeling. It was rebooted and subsequently reopened in Spring 2016 as Enoteca Ursino under an agreement with Terra Momo. But after six months, Enoteca Ursino closed.
“Planning for the new restaurant began early this year, after the Terra Momo Restaurant Group completed its one-year agreement at the end of 2016,” said McCorry. “The new Ursino Steakhouse & Tavern meets demand in the region for both a family-friendly restaurant and a classic steakhouse. It will also hold classes and events.”
Ursino Steakhouse and Tavern, a subsidiary of the Kean Foundation, is two floors. The top floor is designated for the tavern and the bottom floor for the steakhouse. There are separate menus for each area.
“The restaurant is now open and serving customers,” said McCorry. “The Kean community was already notified of the opening and additional promotion is underway, including a feature in the Kean Culture publication that is mailed to homes in Union County and beyond.
Restaurant managers are also working with Kean Stage on “dine and see a show” packages.”
The steakhouse menu features dishes such as a raw seafood tower for two priced at $44, a grilled pork tenderloin for $25, and red pepper cavatelli for $16. Steaks vary from NY strip, Wagyu, filet mignon to a shared porterhouse. The prices on the steaks range from $30 for the 10 oz. Wagyu bistro steak to $51 per person for the 32 oz. bone in prime shared steak.
“A little too romantic for my taste because I was with my best friend,” said Gabriela Carreon, Mathematics major, after dining on mac and cheese bombs at the tavern part of Ursino. “The sriracha aioli was the only good thing I liked about my food. It made everything taste better.”
Ursino’s Tavern menu contains more affordable prices. The highest priced item being the $13 lobster cobb salad. The tavern menu features more bar friendly food like burgers and Macaroni and cheese. Ursino cocktail menu online features no prices on any of the the drinks and has six beers on tap; Founder’s centennial IPA, Kane Overhead Double IPA, Kane Sneakbox American pale ale, Brooklyn Lager, Allagash White, North Coast old #38 stout.
“We are doing a soft opening right now,” said Ursino employee Patrick, who asked to only use his first name. “We are trying to get this place to where we want it to be.”
Ursino Steakhouse and Tavern is the only place on campus where alcohol is available. The restaurant follows the Kean University Alcohol Policy Statement, which reads as follows: Kean University’s Board of Trustees considers the consumption of alcoholic beverages within its confines a privilege subject to the limitations imposed by law and University policy as befitting the decorum and dignity of an academic community. Kean University acknowledges its commitment to encourage students to pursue a quality education by providing an environment that is conducive to the total health, education and well-being of the person. To this end, the University permits the moderate and responsible consumption of alcoholic beverages on campus within stated limits. The sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages must comply with the limitations established by University policies, local ordinances, New Jersey state laws, applicable federal laws, and local ordinances and laws at the Wenzhou Kean campus.
“Try the Kane,” said Tavern Bartender Matt Pasquale about the beers on tap.
See the link for Kean University’s alcohol regulation and violations: