Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant

Long Branch, NJ

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant is a “Jewel by the Sea”. I so enjoy the entire vibe of Rooney’s. Floor to ceiling views of the ocean, impeccably decorated and a staff that loves making the customer feel so special. Throw in a great seafood menu that pops with special dishes, a world class award winning wine list and your time at Rooney’s will be well spent.

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

I love the outdoor bar in the summer which is surrounded by palm trees and makes you feel that you’re in a tropical paradise. I hang there often throughout the summer. Part-owner Darrell Wordelmann has been a staple at Rooney’s for 27 years and through his leadership the restaurant has grown into one of New Jersey’s best.

Darrell has a great staff with little turnover that makes the restaurant run like a finely tuned watch. The Crab Cakes, New England clam chowder and Lobster dishes are my favorites as is Rooney’s featured dish of Wasabi Panko Tuna. I highly recommend them all to you.

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

I’m a big fan of brunch and Rooney’s has one of the most outstanding brunch offerings in New Jersey. Rooney’s has been named the Top 100 restaurants for best brunch by Open Table which is a tremendous honor. The numerous brunch selections, quality were the reason they garnered such prestigious recognition from Open Table. It’s a must try.


Just a note if someone in your party isn’t a fish lover, that’s ok, they have great burgers and steaks! Go to Rooney’s enjoy the view, enjoy the food and enjoy yourself, you will at Rooney’s Oceanfront Restaurant. One of my favorites!

Here is one of Rooney’s signature recipes: Wasabi Panko Tuna

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

Tuna 8 oz

Tuna Steaks 4 ea

Mashed Potato 16 oz

Asparagus 24 spears

Cusabi Sauce (see below) 4oz

Orange Ginger(see below) 4oz

Pickled Ginger 1oz

Wasabi Paste 1oz

Panko Breadcrumbs 2 cups

Kosher Salt to taste


Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

Smashed Potato Red bliss potato 5lb

Salted butter ½ stick

Heavy Cream 1 cup

White pepper pinch

Salt pinch

- Steam potatoes until soft through

- Melt butter in saucepan with the heavy cream

- In kitchen aid style mixer (or by hand) mash potatoes gently with skin on, slowly add cream and melted butter to incorporate

- Season with white pepper and salt to taste

- Hold warm

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

Cucumber Wasabi Cucumber (deseeded) 1 ea

Garlic Clove 2 ea

Wasabi Paste 1 tablespoon

Chopped Chives 2 tablespoon

Mayonnaise 1 cup

Salt to taste

- Halve a cucumber and remove the seeds with a spoon.

- Chop chives into small rings

- Add remaining ingredients into a blender or food processor and blend to smooth

- Hold cold , preferably in a squeeze bottle for plating

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

Orange Ginger Glaze Orange Marmelade ½ cup

Rice Wine Vinegar 1 tablespoon

Soy Sauce ¼ cup

Powdered Ginger 1 teaspoon

Powdered Garlic 1 teaspoon

Crushed red pepper pinch

- Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl with a whisk

- Hold cold, preferably in a squeeze bottle for plating

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

- Season Tuna on both sides with kosher salt, spread wasabi paste evenly on one side of the fish only

- Place tuna into a bowl of panko breadcrumbs wasabi side down. The breadcrumbs should adhere to that side of the fish.

- Add some vegetable oil to a warm sauté pan(nonstick if possible), place fish crusted side down into the sauté pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until bread crumbs are golden brown

- Flip fish and cook to desired doneness (1 minute for rare, 3 minutes for medium, 5+ minutes to well done

- Remove fish from pan and cook asparagus in the same pan with sprinkle of kosher salt. Asparagus only needs to be lightly cooked until starting to brown.

Big Joe Henry/ Cinecall Productions

- To plate, scoop mash potatoes to center of plate. Layer asparagus spears atop potatoes (all facing the same direction) Top with Tuna steak with the crusted side facing up. Garnish with pickled ginger and duo of sauces on the plate and enjoy!

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

The best outdoor beer gardens at NJ breweries

There are more options than ever for enjoying a Garden State crafted beer in an outdoor setting.

New Jersey tied for first place (with Kentucky) with 43% growth in the craft beer scene from 2015 to 2019, according to C+R Research.

The following is a roundup of breweries around the state with scenic, dedicated outdoor seating as weather allows.