Whew! There was a lot of pressure on me that I didn’t know existed. I had no idea our Friday night dining group was THAT disappointed with my last choice of Oceanos Restaurant, ok, maybe it was ^*&^*$%^*#@ diner, but I still thought the food wasn’t bad. It had been quite a few weeks since our four couples had gotten together for one of our regular wine diners. The end of the summer marked an opportunity for Carol and Joe B, Jerry and Sue C, and Tom and Barbara T to resume our regular friday night BYOB adventures. Once again, they left it up to me to choose the sight.
I settled on The Station House Restaurant at 600 Station Ave. in Haddon Heights by some unknown process that even I am not totally certain about.
I almost hate to use this terminology but….it really was a dark and stormy night as we made our way to Haddon Heights. We both were able to park right outside the restaurant for our 7:30 reservation. After the appropriate hugs and kisses we settled in with our wine, the guys together at one end and the women deep in conversation at the other end of the table. There were a lot of congratulations on my new job that will soon be starting. The menu was fairly intriguing, the prices seemed more than reasonable and Jerry C was elated to find Bruchetta available as an appetizer. My wife Kathy and Tom T split the Eggplant Rollatini. Jerry loved his bruchetta, Tom and Kathy gave a thumbs up to their eggplant and I was feeling pretty damn secure. As we waited for our entrees we all sipped an array of wines. I had brought the 2005 Thumbprint Cellars “Climax”, a nice red blend which we had enjoyed on previous occasions. Jerry had a local Jersey wine, the Heritage Station, Steel Rails Red (52% Cabernet Sauvignon, 34% Cab Franc, 14% Merlot). I was actually shocked to find the wine drinkable early in the night though it did seem to fall apart a bit toward the end of the evening. Joe was drinking a 2006 Trapiche Broquel Malbec which was decent to start and improving with time in the glass.
The service was good and our waitress, despite being teased non-stop by Joe, never lost her composure and gave it back just as well. I ordered one of the specials the Ultimate Surf and Turf, a 7 oz. filet with a nice crab cake accompanied by mashed potatoes and seasonal veggies. It was excellent. Joe had the Mahi Mahi, another special, Kathy and Jerry had the Granny Smith pork chops, and Carol had the surf and turf from the regular menu which included shrimp with the filet. Barbara was so far up the other end of the table that I didn’t see what she had ordered. Everyone was well-pleased with their entrees and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief knowing I would not have to face the wrath of the angry diners.
We shared a few desserts which were passed around the table, a chocolate pudding cake, a peanut butter pie and some sort of apple pie with ice cream. They were all pretty good. We lingered for a while drinking our wines and chatting with the wait staff in the charming Victorian dining room. They brought us breakfast and lunch menus in case we wanted to stay for the weekend.
Overall, everything was very good, the real shock was the check; $188.00 for 8 people. We dine at quite a few BYOB’s in the course of a year but all of us were hard pressed to think of a place where such quality food was served at such reasonable prices. We felt compelled to leave a 30% tip. We all agreed, we’d be back to The Station House in the not so distant future.