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Looking for a good, byo place somewhere in Northern Jersey. Need food worthy of opening a nicely cellared, perfectly aged wine!

new_west_foodie Feb 7, 2007 05:09 AM

We are looking for somewhere close to equi-distant for us from Chappaqua to meet a couple who live in Scotch Plains. Appreciate any and all suggestions.... We have a great wine collection at home and some of our older wines are getting ready to drink. We want to be able to share with our friends, who are also wine lovers.

  1. c
    Concetta Feb 7, 2007 01:43 PM

    Cafe Panache in Ramsey seems to fit your description.

    1. p
      Pinnacle Feb 7, 2007 01:59 PM

      Chappaqua neighbor seconds the suggestion.

      1. sixelagogo Feb 8, 2007 02:13 AM

        How about the village green in Ridgewood (they've even got decanters for ya) or Cafe matisse in Rutherford?

        1. Striver Feb 8, 2007 05:17 AM

          Village Green in Ridgewood is good, and so is La Tour in the same town (which I'm pretty sure is also BYO) - but I'd join the posters who recommend Cafe Panache in Ramsey.

          If you're opening an Amarone, you might also consider Fascino in Montclair.

          1. Wizzapizza Feb 8, 2007 08:18 AM

            I second Cafe Panache. A really great experience.

            1. d
              dock Feb 8, 2007 11:26 AM

              cafe panache can be a rushed dinner especially on a weekend. i once ate a 3 course dinner there in 70 minutes and it wasnt by choice. i much prefer village green. also consider david drake.

              1. e
                ElizabethHenton Feb 10, 2007 10:39 PM

                Saddle River Inn

                1. g
                  giammmx Feb 26, 2007 05:10 PM

                  Cafe Panache in Ramsey or Saddle River Inn in Saddle River

                  1. t
                    trufflicious Feb 27, 2007 04:22 AM

                    not northern, but central coast. Indigo Moon, Atlantic Highlands. Will amaze you

                    1. s
                      sweetpotopie Feb 27, 2007 04:47 AM

                      Bazzini in Ridgewood-great atmosphere & food

                      1. m
                        moma23 Feb 27, 2007 05:22 AM


                        1. b
                          berna Feb 28, 2007 05:40 AM

                          Cafe panache is not as good as it used to be. For a GREAT byob meal try Cafe Matisse in East Rutherford. Its easy to get to, the atmosphere is lovely and the food delicious (and affordable). We have never had a bad meal here.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: berna
                            Striver Feb 28, 2007 06:31 AM

                            I ate at Panache about two months ago, and it was one of the single best meals I've ever had anywhere - and I've been dining there a few times a year for a period of several years. Unless they've gone downhill in the past two months, our experiences clearly vary. Cafe Matisse is very nice, but I still prefer Panache. I'll be eating there again in a few weeks; I'll be happy to report back.

                          2. f
                            foodyum Mar 1, 2007 07:51 AM

                            How about Relish in Sparkhill NY (Rockland). I know on Sunday they have no corkage fee and the fee is not that high on the other days. Their food is definately better than their wine list. The shortribs entree would be good with something aged.

                            1. n
                              new_west_foodie Jun 17, 2009 07:27 AM

                              so... we never actually made it out two years ago when I first posted this... I thought I would try again. Are these suggestions still valid? Any new ones? We are looking to go in mid-July (and promise to report back after!). Thanks in advance!!!

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: new_west_foodie
                                menton1 Jun 17, 2009 07:48 AM

                                LaTour, Ridgewood
                                Pourquoi Pas, Westwood.

                                Both very French...

                                It's a tough task to find exceptional restaurants in Bergen. I must admit there are much better choices over where you are in Westchester, IMHO.

                                1. re: menton1
                                  sixelagogo Jun 18, 2009 03:56 AM

                                  LaTour is a waste of frenchy space IMHO...re-heated beef, poor service, high prices, et al... Cafe Panache similarly disappointed (without the reheated beef taste, but really, why put beef tenderloin in ravoli?? My suggestions:
                                  Saddle River Inn
                                  Chef's table

                                  1. re: sixelagogo
                                    Striver Jun 18, 2009 04:37 AM

                                    YMMV, obviously, but the filet mignon ravioli in truffle butter at Panache is one of my all-time favorite apps. :)

                                    We haven't been to Saddle River Inn in a while, but just dined last weekend at Chef's Table; the rack of lamb for 2 (two double chops of Colorado lamb per person wrapped in puff pastry and served with a tarrgon sauce) was excellent and perfectly cooked.

                                    1. re: Striver
                                      menton1 Jun 18, 2009 08:56 AM

                                      Problem with Chef's Table is that it looks like a diner with tablecloths. SR Inn when I last went was a "regulars only" place, if they didn't recognize you they treated you scornfully.

                                      Pourquoi Pas was excellent, haven't been for several months, though...

                                2. re: new_west_foodie
                                  Striver Jun 17, 2009 02:33 PM

                                  Cafe Panache in Ramsey is still very good, and has expanded, making for more available seats and better spacing between tables. My favorite recent meal, though, was at Passione in Montclair (also BYOB), which may be out of your range distance-wise.

                                3. Curlz Jun 18, 2009 06:11 PM

                                  Agree with the rec of Fascino, but I'd also highly recommend Blu, which is also in Montclair.

                                  1. clairetraas Jun 18, 2009 10:28 PM

                                    Try Les Rendez-vous in Kenilworth. It's BYO, they have a lovely tasting menu and the chef is the kind of guy who would create a dinner to suit whatever wine you bring.

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