We were going for BBQ at The Smokin' Barrel, when we realized that this place closed. It was replaced few months later by The Shepherd and The Knucklehead, a pub and steakhouse that opened seventeen years ago in Haledon, NJ and chose Hoboken for their second location. I was curious to know where their name is coming from and their website gave a pretty complete explanation:
Perhaps you’re asking: Where did our name come from? The Shepherd & the
Knucklehead is a novel published in 2001. It delves into the subject of the duality in man. The responsible (Shepherd) and the irresponsible (Knucklehead) represent the mental tug of war going on inside each of our minds, bodies, and souls. The main character, Oliver Wendell Tweed (a compilation of Oliver Wendell Holmes and Boss Tweed—in other words, a mix of purity and greed) is on a search for the meaning of this duality in each of us. Along for the journey is his sock monkey and constant companion, Francis Bacon. Interestingly enough, Oliver owns a pub near a university and implores emerging philosopher-students to develop both sides of their brain so they can ensure balance in their lives.
As we entered, I noticed that the decor did not change much from the previous restaurant, although some of the cowboys artifacts disappeared.
I was intrigued by their qualification as a steakhouse and so, we decided to order steaks. Of course, when seeing the prices, I knew that it would not be the best quality, but who knows: I might have a surprise. Jodi went for the filet mignon, ordered medium.
I went for the porterhouse for one, medium-rare.
When the meat came, I immediately noticed that they switched the temperature, Jodi having her steak cooked medium-rare and mine being cooked medium. We decided to send it back to the kitchen. I admit that they managed the issue very well, the owner, and even the Chef apologizing for the mishap. I should mention that this post is long overdue and that dinner took place a couple of weeks after they opened, the staff still being in training. After few minutes, our steaks came back, with the correct temperature. They were decent, the filet mignon being better than the porterhouse. With it, we got to try the mac and cheese that was good, but could have been creamier, as well as some delicious fries that were skin on, slightly crispy.
Because of the issue with the steaks, they offered us the dessert and we chose the tiramisu. Unfortunately, it seemed to have been frozen or at least was kept at a very low temperature...
So, dinner was not great, and we decided to go back for brunch. As they did not have a brunch menu yet, we ended up with mostly bar food. The giant German pretzel was delicious. We got it with the cheddar dipping sauce that was optional. Too bad they did not give more of that sauce considering that it costed an additional $3.
I then tried the buffalo chicken spring rolls that were served with a blue cheese dressing. Quite good I would say.
Next was the lobster bisque that was made with sherry, lump crab meat and shallots; it came with some bread. It was just fine, missing a bit of taste.
Jodi went for the ahi tuna salad that was pretty good, the seared tuna being well cooked, with a sesame crust that was delicious.
So, overall, I was not that impressed by The Shepherd and The Knucklehead. It is a bar, so I was not expecting a spectacular meal. However, places like Hudson Tavern are far better. Would I go back? Maybe in few months, after they fix the kinks in the kitchen...
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