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New Yorkers coming to Montclair for Dinner Saturday night - Suggestions?

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So I've been tasked with finding a great restaurant in Montclair for a Saturday night dinner in a couple of weeks.

These are the restaurants (some other site) recommends as the "top in Montclair," but none really seem to fit the bill for a fun Saturday night.

Any suggestions would be much appreciated. One thought I had was CulinAriane. I know she was a "Top Chef" Chef. Any thoughts on it?

Here's that other list. Thanks!

1. Raymond's
2. Cuban Pete's...
3. Mesob
4. Nauna's Bella Casa
5. Egan and Sons Bar and...
6. The Southern Belle
7. Dai-Kichi Japanese
8. Bluestone Coffee
9. Saveur Creole
10. Toast

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Dai-Kichi Japanese Restaurant
608 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07043

Mesob Restaurant
515 Bloomfield Ave Ste 1, Montclair, NJ 07042

Nauna's Bella Casa
148 Valley Rd, Montclair, NJ 07042

Cuban Petes
428 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

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  1. A 'GREAT' restaurant on a Saturday night does not, imo, include most of the places on this list (but I love Raymond's and Bluestone for bkfst or lunch!) and others will disagree, but I won't even go to #2.

    First of all, you need to know that most Montclair restaurants are BYO--a good thing b/c you won't be overpaying for wine, but something you also want to know ahead of time, so wherever you go, ask when making a res!

    My #1 suggestion is Blu (www.restaurantblu.com) for excellent, creative cuisine at insanely reasonable (imo) prices.

    Egan and Sons is a great Irish pub/restaurant (w/full bar), but if you're there before 8pm it could be full of families with kids, too--don't know if that matters (you're prob used to it on the UWS). I wasn't wowed AT ALL by Culinariane, but there are plenty on this board who will disagree. Mesob is Ethiopian food and while I haven't been, people I trust like it a lot. The other option could be Dai-Kichi's new upstairs 'lounge' space or Halcyon, which is the sister restaurant to Egans, and decidely more upscaling in terms of menu and pricing. I haven't been to either of those, but I can attest to Dai-Kichi serving excellent sushi--just haven't been to the new space.

    ETA: Right on the border of Montclair in Bloomfield is Stamna Greek Taverna, which has excellent food, and imo, a really fun vibe (do you go to Kefi? Same idea)...the place is always hopping, it's BYO, and you will eat incredibly well for little $! Then you can walk a block to Bar Cara for drinks. Which reminds me--Fascino (they own Bar Cara) in Montclair is another suggestion in Montclair ('tho Blu has def been my favorite of the two).

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    Mesob Restaurant
    515 Bloomfield Ave Ste 1, Montclair, NJ 07042

    Culinariane
    33 Walnut St, Montclair, NJ 07042

    3 Replies
    1. re: Curlz

      Trattoria Toscania is a little gem of a restaurant that can easily compete with the NY crowd we have eaten there several times and Chef Jose always has something interesting on the specials menu along with the standard italian fare it's also BYOB Main street Little Falls just a hop skip and jump from Montclair without the parking headaches municipal lot is behind the bank on the corner of Stevens Ave and Main St intersection

      1. re: Epicurium

        +1 for Blu.

        1. re: bgut1

          Next Door is good, too.

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          Next Door
          556 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

    2. CulinAriane is excellent. Corso98 also is very good. Some one mentioned Bar Cara and it is also a good choice.

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      Bar Cara
      1099 Broad St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003

      1. Try Adara. They just opened and are doing some interesting dishes based on molecular gastronomy.

        www.restaurantadara.com

        77 Walnut Street
        Montclair, NJ 07042

        p 973.783.0462
        f 973.783.0460

        5 Replies
        1. re: Bosmer

          Anyone know what happened to Pasionne/chef Michael?

          1. re: Curlz

            I heard Passione wants to reopen at a different site. We enjoyed it.

            We were regulars at Orbis, miss it.

            We ate at Costanera tonight. Very good Peruvian,

            have enoyed Brick Lane Indian and Sofra Turkish recently.

            1. re: scarlet knight

              >> I heard Passione wants to reopen at a different site. We enjoyed it.

              So did I, on both counts. The restaurant's website address ( www.restaurantpassionne.com ) redirects to Chef Mike Carrino's personal website ( www.mikecarrino.com ), where he refers to a search (presumably for a new location) and vows to "be back soon......bigger and badder-ass than ever!!!!!".

              P.S. No love for Fascino, huh? :)

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              Fascino
              331 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, NJ 07042

              Passionne
              77 Walnut Street, Montclair, NJ 07042

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Mesob had a really nice review in the record last week, been meaning to go try it. I would also reccomend Gencarelli's cucina as one of my Montclair favorites. Please do Not waste your time coming from NYC for Cuban Petes.

                -----
                Mesob Restaurant
                515 Bloomfield Ave Ste 1, Montclair, NJ 07042

                Cuban Petes
                428 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042

                1. re: yogi70

                  Well... after all of that, the Jersey friends came into the City and I cooked: Warm Fig & Frisee Salad, Pork Shoulder Braised in Apple Cider, Root Vegetable Puree, Brussels Sprouts and cupcakes (from Baked by Melissa) for dessert!

                  We'll hit Montclair some other night!

        2. Hi, great question by the way. Montclair is really becoming a go-to place for New Yorkers for dinner and while reading others' responses, I didn't notice mention of a new place that opened up in the former Passione space. It's called Adara and so far the reviews are crazygood. Went there a couple of times already and it blew our minds. It's molecular gastronomy and we think it might be the only one in Nj. The dishes are stunning, really, the people are really nice and we didn't feel uncomfortable asking many questions about what we were eating. Pricey, but worth it for the experience. Let me know if you try it.

          1. I really like Southern Belle. I've been for dinner and Sunday Brunch. Enjoyed the food very much. Service was prompt and attentive.