ON THE GROUNDS OF EAGLE OAKS GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB, PRIME & VINE IS A TRIBUTE TO STEAKHOUSE MENU CLASSICS
BY JESSICA JONES GORMAN • PHOTOS BY AMESSÉ PHOTOGRAPHY
With its plates of thick cut bacon, three tiered towers of clams, oysters, and shrimp, and hearty sides of lobster mac and cheese, the menu at Prime & Vine is an adventure in classic steakhouse menu items. The restaurant offers an array of dry aged beef, and its Langostino shrimp are measured in ounces. There’s also an exclusive, private collection wine list, featuring such prestigious vintages as Chateau Lafite Rothschild. But before this newly launched restaurant established such an enviable bill of fare, its creators formed a clear cut vision.
“Domenic Gatto, our chairman and owner, had a distinct idea for this restaurant. He wanted to create an upscale steakhouse, because so many of our members used to have to travel to New York or Atlantic City to get a truly delicious steak,” noted Nato Giordano, chief operating officer of Eagle.
Oaks Golf and Country Club, where Prime & Vine is located. “And, while many other clubs are going strictly casual with their dining, Mr. Gatto wanted to place importance on an additional dining area that was truly upscale.”
The restaurant, which opened on June 15, is the latest addition to Eagle Oaks, a full service, family oriented golf and country club that has been serving Monmouth County residents since 1989. The privately owned, invitation only club, which has three levels of membership, has long placed emphasis on providing upscale experiences for its guests. Prime & Vine takes a similar approach.
“We buy only the finest quality meat and use one of the highest rated butchers in New York City to dry age it,” Giordano said. “Our executive chef, Richard Bishop, has designed a menu full of coveted entrees and appetizers.”
Eagle Oaks hired Cahill Design Studio and artist Gregg Hinlicky to create the dining room.
“Mr. Gatto decided upon an Art Deco concept because he wanted Prime & Vine to have its own identity,” Giordano said. “Our designers and artist came up with this incredible mural, which is the focal point of the dining room. All of our furniture, china, glass, and silverware were chosen to represent that Art Deco model. Our outdoor patio was designed with a fireplace and a breath taking waterfall view. Inside we added etched glass doors and a private wine room, which ties the entire theme together.”
And that wine room is impressive. The sprawling, temperature controlled space is organized by category and region, and features a selection that includes Opus One from 2009-2014 (from a winery founded by Baron Philippe de Rothschild and Robert Mondavi), Joseph Phelps Insignia from 2013 2015, and Silver Oaks, Alexander Valley, and Napa Valley vintages. The Eagle Oaks Private Collection, which is on display in the private dining room, includes but is not limited to a 1949 Chateau Talbot Saint Julien, a 1949 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes, a 2002 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, and a 1998 Romanée Saint Vivant Burgundy.
“For a private club, we have one of the largest wine inventories in the state,” Giordano noted.
The restaurant also features 48 individual wine lockers where frequent diners can store their own bottles. When they arrive, they are greeted with a printed wine list displaying their inventory.
“It’s an individualized service that makes this dining experience truly unique,” Giordano said.
Eagle Oaks, which was recently recognized as a Distinguished Club by the industry an honour requiring a nomination and vetting process that includes an on site visit, an interview with the team, and an assessment of the amenities offered also offers a limited number of social and dining club memberships that allow access to its four dining outlets for personal and corporate entertaining, as well as social events year round.
“There are a lot of affluent people in this area who do not play golf but still want an upscale destination and private place for family functions,” noted Gatto. “Our dining membership serves that population.”
The club’s Corporate Dining program allows members to entertain clients in a private, members only grill room and attend special members only functions and events throughout the year. There’s a private boardroom (with seating for 18) for business meetings and conferences, or the more spacious Farmingdale Room, which can accommodate more than 100 people.
The Family Dining Club at Eagle Oaks offers members access to family centric events all year long. Brunches and dinners are offered on Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving, and other major holidays. Special events, like a celebration of the San Gennaro feast, are held annually.
In October, Eagle Oak’s newest restaurant, Prime & Vine, will provide club members with even more amenities, including wine tasting dinners and a cigar lounge, which will offer members private humidors and help cement the restaurant’s resort lifestyle aesthetic.
“This is one of very few private steakhouses in New Jersey,” Giordano said. “We are very excited to offer superior food in such an upscale setting. This is a great place for the whole family and an intimate location for a private date or business meeting. It’s a wonderful extension of the services that Eagle Oaks has offered for decades.”
Prime & Vine / Eagle Oaks Golf and Country Club
20 Shore Oaks Drive, Farmingdale 732.938.9696 /