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Has anyone been experienced?

Good thoughts.   FWIW, I've often felt that having one good steak, one good fish, one vegetarian entree etc on the menu is essential, regardless of the restaurant's overall focus.   It's so easy f

I really like this menu. There's lots of interesting apps. that I would like to try and obvious thought behind the menu. I loved my crispy-skin salmon with a soy marinade. Very crispy indeed, with still tender and rosy salmon flesh. D. had the short ribs which came with a menu-specified "cold potato salad". Menu said cold and it was, like right out of a walk-in, but I don't understand the pairing.

My galette suffered from under-browned crust and the dough wasn't sweet enough. But the sorbets (coconut esp.) were lovely and I liked the square plating of them. And yes, indeed, the napkin test was aced. I, too, liked the salt cellar. But - the plates and silverware and glasses were all dirty. And the service at the bar is as from another planet, this one occupied by people who don't care if you're thirsty.

Hope they can turn it around as I'd like to try more of the menu.

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  • 2 months later...
i was amazed to read this.  perhaps ms. mack (whose reviews i generally agree with) hasn't spent as much time there as i have.  or perhaps chakra has gotten its shit together.

Rene is a man and no relation to Pat Mack. Having followed the guys writings for a while, I'd have to say that Chakra is right up his alley. He has been described as having a "rather Fragonard" quality to his restaurant outlook. He likes and gives points for all that 'frou-frou' decorative stuff. I had a pretty decent experience at Chakra, though at a couple of hundred bucks for my somewhat modest meal; I felt I could do better.


Put it this way. I usually dine at these places for the first time on an expense account. The test for me is whether I'd return to a place on my nickel. I haven't been back to Chakra since I first ate there in April--thouigh the meal was pretty good. At this level of dining, The Village Green in Ridgewood gives much better value for money. Cafe Panache gives better food and both of those are BYO.

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i was amazed to read this.  perhaps ms. mack (whose reviews i generally agree with) hasn't spent as much time there as i have.  or perhaps chakra has gotten its shit together.


Rene is a man and no relation to Pat Mack.


I didn't know that, either.


I've haven't looked at the thread on the other site for a while, but I recall that several people had bad experiences at Chakra. Maybe they have got their stuff together, or maybe two visits by Ren Mack weren't representative, but I'd like to see some additional comments, too.

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  • 5 years later...

Bill Pitcher has the news that Thomas Ciszak, the highly regarded chef (and part-owner?) of Copeland in Morristown, has taken a part-ownership of Chakra. His wife has been general manager of Chakra for a year.


An owner, and an operator


More details in the follow-up article. New focus on food, and upgrading the food experience. Expect a new menu in September.


Bergen County

Edited by Rail Paul
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  • 3 months later...

Wine dinner suggests the direction of the "new menu" from executive chef and partner Thomas Ciszak.


First Course:

Marinated Pumpkin with Frisée, Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

Wine: Chardonnay: Bouchaine Vineyards Estate 2007, Carneros


Second Course:

Salmon Medallion, Savoy Cabbage, Mushroom Duxelle, Red Wine Butter

Wine: Pinot Noir: Bouchaine Vineyards 2007, Carneros


Third Course:

Berkshire Pork Belly Confit, Roasted Butternut Squash, Heirloom Apples

Wine: Pinot Noir: Bouchaine Vineyards Estate 2006, Carneros


Cheese Course:

Manchego and Quince on Focaccio, Sheep’s Milk, Spain

Wine: Chardonnay: Bouchaine Vineyards Bouche d’Or 2009, Carner


Wine Dinner

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Interesting, and big news. I've only been there for drinks. However, I know several people who have gone, several times, and some regularly. Like many places, I guess, some like it and some don't. I have spoke with several people who just didn't like, both from a food perspective as well as service. Sure, both can be hit or miss, exception rather than norm, etc. I get that. However, whenever we talked about going to Chakra, another place was always chosen. Perhaps because of my prior comments. I do like and appreciate Nick's comments.


Now, that said, I haven't spoke with any of the people about Chakra since Tom Ciszak has arrived on the scene, redone the menu, etc. This is a big step and big things can come from this. I would suspect that if he's not handcuffed or restricted, has complete control (of the kitchen), etc., he will produce very good things here. Ciszak is very well respected and I expect positive results here.

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