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Rail Paul

[Rutherford] Cafe Matisse

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We ended my birthday weekend with a spectacular dinner at Cafe Matisse. We haven't been here in over 7 years (since we got married). This is still one of the top restaurants in NJ. Chef Loria is a true artist! We dined with some very special MFF friends, and these are the magnificent items we had:

 

Asiago Glazed Shrimp w/ Lobster Meat - Spring Pea and Macadamia Nut Risotto, Dollop of Pea Mint Pesto, Asiago Cream Jus, Asiago Shards

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Roasted Beet Tartare & Imported Burrata Cheese - Peaches Wrapped in Speck Ham, Dollop of Peach Ginger Jam, Peach Vinaigrette, Vanilla Yogurt, Black Pepper Maple Jus, Baby Greens

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Cilantro Lime Shrimp & Crab Cocktail with Yellow Tomato Confit - Spicy Tomato Horseradish Gazpacho, Jumbo Lump Crabmeat Rolled in Cilantro Crema, Cucumber & Red Onion Julienne, Baby Greens

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Panko Crusted Fried Artichoke - Creamy Sage Feta, Heirloom Cherry Tomato and Thinly Sliced Red Onion Tossed in Olive Oil, Spicy Tomato Jam, Speck Ham, Sage Vinaigrette, Chopped Arugula, Balsamic Pearls & Jus

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Panko Crusted Crab Cake & Cheddar Glazed Shrimp - Chipotle Honey Glazed Cornbread, Cheddar Cheese, Dollop of Spicy Crab Relish, Guacamole, Fried Jalapeno Cheddar Popper, Chipotle Mayo Vinaigrette, Cheddar Glace'

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Pan Seared Scallops - Toasted Macadamia Nut Crusted Foie Gras Truffle, Pineapple Shortbread, Toasted Banana, Coconut Yogurt Jus, Mango Vinaigrette

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Pan Seared Muscovy Duck Breast - Cherry Balsamic Demi Glazed Short Ribs, Parsnip Risotto, Pecan Fritter, Black Cherry Ginger Marmalade, Cherry Vinaigrette, Foie Gras Jus

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Pan Roasted American Lamb Loin - Goat Cheese Pine Nut Fritter, Chorizo Jam, Hummus, Eggplant Tapenade, Drizzle of Red Pepper Vinaigrette, Lemon Yogurt Jus, Mango Vinaigrette

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Pan Seared Bronzed Chilean Sea Bass - Wild‎ Rice Lentil Croquette Pancake, Apricot Ancho Chili Mustard Vinaigrette, Apricot Glazed Carrots, Apricot Ginger Jam, Julienne Scallion

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I love how anchronistic the food is...that being said I am sure it is delicious and I do intend to make it there soon.

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Terrific meal Sunday - and an outstanding staff. Highly recommended.

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I love how anchronistic the food is...that being said I am sure it is delicious and I do intend to make it there soon.

You mean the squiggles and dots and verticality?

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I love how anchronistic the food is...that being said I am sure it is delicious and I do intend to make it there soon.

You mean the squiggles and dots and verticality?
Yes. And the many ingredients per dish. And multiple sauces. Etc. Not that this is bad, but you just never see this anywhere (that is talked about on food boards). I still want to eat here.

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I remember going to Common Lot in Millburn with a friend from the area who was raving about how advanced it was. And of course I, as a Snobby Parochial New Yorker, just thought there was nothing on my plate that I had seen served that way in something like ten years.

 

It was still really really really good, of course. Leading me to think, in the end: I'm really Snobby and Parochial.

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It just sorta reminded me of the old if I've got an ingredient, I should use it school of thought. I always saw that in Florida when I would go out to eat visiting my parents...didn't they call it Floribbean or something like that?

 

Not debating that it can taste good. And not debating that I too am snobby and parochial.

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Yes, Chef Peter Loria tends to use an enormous amount of ingredients per dish, but they surprisingly go very well together. I don't know where he thinks these dishes up. He must smoke a joint, and just dream up these wacky ingredients, that you would never think would ever go together, but they do. It may seem pretentious, but it is a really fun place. It is a gorgeous room, with faux Matisse paintings, and Murano glass chandeliers, plus they have a magnificent garden in the back to dine during nice weather. They also replaced the liquor store in the front with a beautiful Moroccan themed room. The servers are fun and friendly. It is a great place for a date, or special occasion. I actually took Mrs. P on our first date here (which probably sealed the deal ;) ). It just makes you smile being there. Below are some pictures of the restaurant from their web site.

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God. I remember as a kid having a recently married into member of the family pull something snobbish like this about the restaurants where I grew up (North shore Nassau) and being incredibly offended

 

And then today realizing I've become that guy.

 

Still thinking about moving to Palisades tho....

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Anything that got her to marry you cant be anything but GOOD!

Nah. He had her at "hello." And she had him without saying a word.

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At south shore Nassau, we didn't have to worry about that.

 

On the South Shore, we had people from the North Shore coming to condescend to us.

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As I said, an all-time classic...still doing it, and doing it exceptionally well, after all these years. Very rare that a restaurant can be at the top of the pyramid for 25 years!!! Look at the "top" places, whatever kind of place, that are like that -- and they are few and far between. It's been too long since I've made it there -- but -- I don't have anyone to go with!!! LOL.

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Overcooked hockey puck of a burger drowning in BBQ sauce and cheese, chewy, heavy chicken wings, tuna drowning in soy, tasteless veggies, buckets of sweet sauce on everything, 2-mm thick industrial wine glasses, 20 minute wait between courses, leaden desserts, undersalted, no acid.

 

This is one of the best restaurants in NJ? Really?

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