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Dec 20, 2013 06:14 PM

Fine Dining in Montclair

Can anyone recommend with enthusiasm a fine dining experience in or around montclair, nj?

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  1. Without a doubt, Blu.
    Food is fantastic, service is excellent but relaxed, and it's a BYO to boot!

    2 Replies
      1. re: Curlz

        +20 for Blu- we discovered this within the last six month, have been there 10+'s wonderful!!! Their greatest hit's tasting menu is an amazing value for $65!! Chef is incredible!!

      2. YW! Just for further clarification, the thing I love about Blu is that you can go in wearing dark jeans and a nice shirt OR dressed up, and it doesn't matter. Hell, I've been in there on a Sat night after a big snowstorm and there were people in Giants sweatshirts--and nobody cared. You're there for a great time, awesome food, and terrific service. That combo is one of the reasons I've been recommending the place for years--I'M not a fan of stuffy, formal places.

        1. CulinAriane is also a top notch place.

          And in 2013, folks just don't "dress up" anymore, even for top restaurants. Even Broadway shows, which used to be the pinnacle of formality, now have folks in jeans and shorts.

          2 Replies
          1. re: lemarais

            Agreed re: dress codes!
            As for CulinAriane, I'm just curious...have you been recently? I went once a few years ago when the chef had just gained notoriety and while the food was fine, I just wasn't WOWed. Have things changed at all? I always get WOWed at Blu b/c the flavor combinations are things you just don't see on other menus.

            1. re: Curlz

              I've heard similar comments, but personally I think it's more "personal taste" and likes, dislikes, etc. Not everyone is going to like everything -- even something that the majority of the people think is "the best" so to speak. I've had a few friends go there and while they thought it was "good" and a "nice" experience, they too were not WOWed. Perhaps underwhelmed.

              Regardless, it's a well respected place that many people like...perhaps just not you, me, whoever, etc.

          2. OK. Thanks for your responses. I got a gift certificate for a family member to Blu, and will know about CulinAriane for the next time.

            3 Replies
            1. re: parapraxis

              Ehhhh, IMHO, be careful with CulinAriane- we've gone was just OK...very overrated! Blu, on the other hand, is wonderful, warm, and welcoming!

              1. Culinariane over Blu any day. It's the only real fine dining experience in Montclair. If by fine dining you think that a dropped ceiling is fine dining, well then, you might still be into Blu, but seriously. You'd be better off trying Fascino if Culinariane is full, although Fascino (like Blu), is a bit too Jersey for my tastes (read… misses some beats).

                We've given up going to Blu. If you're not 100% into fish, it's not going to serve you well. We have eaten there half a dozen times before giving up. The meals are simply not memorable.

                Two other restaurants worth mentioning. Pig & Prince is flawed (loud, boisterous, service not so good), but it will appeal to fans of big, loud restaurants. The setting in the old train station is spectacular.

                Upstairs is a bar with a restaurant attached and thus isn't really fine dining, but it's always a good bet and unlike Culinariane you are likely to get a table there on the same night you want to go.