A Conservative Menu for Robert Menendez’s Year at Morton’s Steakhouse

Congress Bob Menendez
A Conservative Menu for Robert Menendez’s Year at Morton’s Steakhouse

What is something you do at least 250 times in a given year? Go to the gym? Impressive, dedicated stuff. See friends? We should all be so lucky. Eat at an expensive chain steakhouse where the average entree has 1,600 calories and contributes several tons of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere? You may well be New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez.

Amidst an ongoing corruption scandal, a lawyer for the gold bar enthusiast argued that an allegedly shady dinner at Morton’s steakhouse in 2019 was simply par for the course, as the politician eats dinner there about 250 times per year. The man’s brand loyalty clearly knows no bounds.

That number of visits per year works out to between four and five nights each week. Just to give the rest of us mere amateurs a chance to vicariously enjoy what such a lifestyle might be like, here then is a five-night menu that we imagine the Senator would heartily enjoy. We use the menu at the Hackensack, New Jersey location — though this many visits necessarily means he likely frequents the Washington, D.C. location as well, we will grant him the slightly cheaper menu in his home state. Because he is a clearly a moderate sort, we will include a single 9 oz. glass of wine with each meal.

Bon appétit.

Night 1

Appetizer: Bacon-wrapped sea scallops, $26
Soup/salad: Caesar, $14
Main course: Dry-aged N.Y. strip steak, $62
Side: Creamed spinach, $14
Dessert: Espresso pot de crème, $14
Wine: Pinot Noir, The Harrison, Willamette Valley, $26

Night 2

Appetizer: Wagyu meatballs, $19
Soup/salad: Lobster bisque, $17
Main course: Rack of lamb, $66
Side: Jumbo grilled asparagus, $14
Dessert: Banana bread pudding, $15
Wine: Bordeaux, Château Lassègue, Saint-Émilion grand cru, $43

Night 3

In place of a la carte ordering, the “epic” ocean platter from the raw bar, containing cold-water lobster tail, jumbo shrimp cocktail, crab cocktail, oysters on the half-shell, and ahi tuna poke, $160
Dessert: Key lime pie, $14
Wine: Chardonnay, Frank Family, Carneros, $25

Night 4

Appetizer: Prosciutto-wrapped mozzarella, $18
Soup/salad: Morton’s iceberg wedge, $14
Main course: Tomahawk ribeye, $129
Side: Truffled creamed corn, $14
Dessert: Crème brûlée, $14
Wine: Malbec blend, C7, Uco Valley, $34

Night 5

Appetizer: Jumbo lump crab cake (two of ’em, why not), $47
Soup/salad: Baked French onion soup, $13
Main course: Miso marinated sea bass, $48
Side: Matchstick parmesan and truffle fries, $12
Dessert: Morton’s legendary hot chocolate cake, $16
Wine: Sauvignon Blanc, Loveblock, Marlborough, $23


Simply eat all that, over and over, for 52 consecutive weeks, and you will have the true Senatorial experience. That specific collection of artery-clogging delights would bring Menendez’s Morton’s total to $911 per week — and we didn’t even bother including anything from the sections of the menu with “butter and sauces” (cognac sauce au poivre, say, or black truffle butter, both an additional $6) or “enhancements” (throw in a jumbo grilled shrimp, why not, $12).

If bottles of wine are included, further hundreds of dollars would be routine.

As is, this works out to $47,372 for the year, or about 2.3 times the federally defined poverty level income for a family of two — not including tips. The average caloric intake is literally incalculable, thanks to some glaring gaps on the menu, but we can assume it would be approximately enough to feed the roster of New York Yankees AA affiliate Somerset Patriots, who play in nearby Bridgewater, New Jersey.

Menendez maintains his innocence of the various charges relating to bribery and corrupt wielding of his political influence to aid foreign actors. He pleads guilty to simply loving a good hunk of meat hundreds of times a year.

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