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My husband and I dined at Passionne last night (Walnut Street in Montclair).

We had a great meal. It’s a BYOB, and they had no problem with the request to decant two of the bottles of wine we brought.

Amuse Bouche – Tapenade in mini phyllo cups. Very good


My husband ordered Rillettes flavored with Pernod – very good

I ordered Foie Gras – It was cooked perfectly it came with grilled pineapple and duck carpaccio w/peppercorn foam, everything was excellent but I didn’t think the carpaccio went with the foie gras.


Husband: Veal chop with ramps and leaks, he enjoyed it immensely (as did I)

Me: Pressed duck w/peppercorn sauce – also very good


Husband: Crepe w/peaches and strawberries & Chantilly cream & strawberry sorbet & vanilla ice cream – very good

Me: Plum Tart w/custard & goat cheese – OK a little too sweet for me

The chef sent out another dessert when he heard it was anniversary darkchocolate soufflé & black current sorbet – we both decided this was the winning dessert.

The check was presented with 2 mini madeleine’s.

We will definitely go back!!!


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I had dinner here a few months ago and didn't report but will after having seen this. The restaurant space is nice inside, very sedate and dark (though perhaps a bit too dark for my taste).

Our meal was very good though a few points:

-I don't need an amuse from every restaurant. If I'm at the Modern or at Daniel I want an amuse but not if it's a Thursday night and I'm at Passionne. I know it's a high-end restaurant but to me, the place does not merit an amuse. I can't remember what we had. To me a more casual welcome from the chef would be more appropriate and in tune with the restaurant space (immediate and more general)

-First Course: I had a very classic bistro salad with small pieces of escarole, lardons, blue cheese and croutons. It was perfectly dressed and seasoned and very balanced. It was presented in a nice, tight bundle on the plate and very nice. My cousin had a wild mushroom tart that was also delicious.

-Entree: I had the short ribs which came with delicious, creamy mashed potatoes. The ribs were tender and seasoned well but needed more sauce. My cousin had the lobster crepes which I think needed a creamier sauce. It seemed to thin to me and a bit dry overall.

-Dessert: Profiteroles. They were delicious!

My one real complaint about the place is that the service was so slow. I think we waited 10 minutes to get our profiteroles, and maybe longer. It was a Wednesday and we were 1 of 2 or 3 tables in there.

I will be back and if they improve their service then I think it will be a very welcome and needed addition to the area!

"After all, these are supposed to be gutsy spuds, not white tablecloth social climbers."

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A couple of comments:

I, too, have dined here recently and found the place very nice and food was excellent. I will return, and I found this to be one of the better choices in Northern NJ and highly recommend it.

As far as amuse, how does a place "merit" this? If they choose to serve one, and it is good, I will gladly enjoy it and find it quite acceptable from any restaurant.

Also, as far as timing: I found it refreshing and wonderful that the service was deliberate here. I absolutely despise restaurants that serve the next course at the moment you finish an earlier course. I want time in between, I want to savor what I've eaten, and I want to enjoy the dining experience. Bravo, Passionne, and please continue to take your time!

Great place, go!

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Emily - sorry the service was not up to your expectation, I know how this can weigh on a good meal. Service was pretty transparent for us - meaning to say I did not notice any hovering or lag, as Menton1 described - deliberate. We even asked to be given a little more time between dinner and dessert so that we could finish up our bottle of wine (which was not a problem). We sent some wine back to the kitchen and the chef came out at the end of our meal to thank us.

Paul - I'll have to ask my husband, I can't remember exactly what we had.

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Well I don't want one course after the other either but the service was not just relaxed and well-timed it was too slow and uneven. We did wait a bit too long at the end of our meal for our dessert. I had the feeling that they had already started to close up shop...

And as far as restaurants meriting an amuse. I guess I was thinking as much about the amuse we had at Fascino when I made this comment. It was some hot zucchini soup in a shot glass next to a piece of too-crunchy Italian bread with a plop of olive tapenade on it. With some micro greens thrown on top. It didn't do a thing to enhance my meal but is more, in my opinion, given to suggest that I am dining at a "fancy" restaurant. To me it said: We have to do an amuse tonight. What do we have. That is the same feeling I got at Passionne with the amuse. NOT with the rest of my meal, let me say again!

All that said, I really liked both restaurants and will be back, but there are a few things about both that I'd prefer to do without!

"After all, these are supposed to be gutsy spuds, not white tablecloth social climbers."

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Sounds good. What wines did you bring to match the menu?


Starters: 1985 Robert Ampeau Meursault

Dinner: 1998 Domaine Coste Caumartin Pommard les vignots

Dessert: Keller Beerenauslese Cuvee Pius

please forgive any spelling errors

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Sorry, but I have a very hard time seeing how 10 minutes is too long to wait for a dessert. That actually seems about right to me, especially in a restaurant that considers itself fine dining. Much quicker and I would feel like the restaurant is rushing me out the door.

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Lisa, thanks. The Ampeau would have been a very nice match for the duck I think.

Yes, it was my favorite wine of the night it would have crossed over nicely from starter to the main. The Pommard was a little tight/tanic for me (and I usually perfer reds). My husband and the chef (as I said we sent wine back to the kitchen) enjoyed the Pommard the most, all 3 were fabulous.

Emily - You don't have to back down, that was your experience, and I'm glad you posted it. That's what makes this message board great!

Edited by lcdm (log)
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