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AJ’s adds a Cajun twist to steakhouse fare


The Comedy Club in Webster has been hosting an impressive line-up of national comedy acts as of late, with recent performances from Tom Green, Andrew Dice Clay, and Marc Maron — in fact, Maron called The Comedy Club "the real deal" on his popular "WTF" podcast. AJ's Tap and Steakhouse (2235 Empire Boulevard) is connected to The Comedy Club in more than just the physical sense: the restaurant provides the food for the menu that The Comedy Club offers during shows, and it fully renovated the dining space, making it easier to get between both spaces.

Anthony Ottaviani and John Milliman purchased the business — formerly Daisy Duke's Bar and Grill — in March 2015 with the goal of building a full-service kitchen and providing classic American, steakhouse fare with a Cajun twist. That twist comes from Chef Josh Bickham, who trained with Bobby Flay in New York City before working in Rochester. Ottaviani grew up in Webster and started working in the service industry at 14 years old, right down the street from AJ's at the former Antonio's Restaurant. AJ's opened for business in September.

The menu features a variety of cuts of char-grilled steak, ranging from an eight-ounce strip-style sirloin ($19) to a 16-ounce ribeye ($27). The Cajun influence on the menu is realized in dishes like the Sausage and Clams ($18), made with grilled Andouille sausage, homemade Chorizo sausage, and little neck clams, served in a charred tomato broth with garlic toast. Chorizo also comes into play in the Chorizo Cornbread Stuffed Pork Chop ($19). A variety of starters, salads and sandwiches are also available as well as nightly specials like Taste of the Bayou Tuesday, featuring Cajun and Creole dishes.

AJ's has a full bar with 16 draft lines and a cocktail menu featuring a Filthy Martini with double the olive juice, and a blue cheese-stuffed olive. Live music is offered on Friday and Saturday nights. "We want our customers to be able to have a full experience here," Ottaviani says. "Have dinner, see a comedy show, and then enjoy some live music." Booking for private parties is also available.

AJ's Tap and Steakhouse is located at 2235 Empire Boulevard in Webster. It is open Tuesday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. with a late night menu available after 10 p.m. 671-4880;

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