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Nutley Resident

The Petite Cafe, Nutley

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Does anyone else agree that Nutley's The Petite Cafe is one of the finest, if not THE finest little "gem" in the Township? Their dinner specials are truly special. These non-menu items are worth the trip from anywhere. They also have outstanding Wine Tasting Dinners that are roughly once a month. Chef and owner Keith Jaret is a true food and wine genious. If I may suggest, please visit their website (click the link) and take a peek at their offerings. http://www.thepetitecafe.com/


Nutley Resident

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Proud to be American

Proud to be a Nutley Township Resident

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Never been... Little Saigon is what draws me to Nutley.

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Just found The Petite Cafe a few wks ago. Tried it for breakfast - was not all that impressed with either the food or the service. Are things better for dinner?


www.cookstour.netMy Blog

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Not to appear rude, but this message thread is about The Petite Cafe -- at least that was my intent! :biggrin: There is a completely seperate thread about Vietnam cuisine in NJ that your comments belong in.


Nutley Resident

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Just found The Petite Cafe a few wks ago.  Tried it for breakfast - was not all that impressed with either the food or the service.  Are things better for dinner?

Peter Genovese did an Eat with Pete review in the Ledger on April 12, 2002. The owners previously operated Ole in Elizabeth, which was favorably reviewed.

He seemed to like the place for lunch and described several items. Based on the review, it's unclear whether he had dinner there. PG's reviews have been generally consistent with my experiences. PG makes it sound like a nice place for lunch, tkrongold found breakfast lacking, and Nutley Resident raves about it.

Petite Cafe


Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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I have only been to The Petite Cafe on one occassion for dinner and found their food to be very imaginative but not quite as overly impressive as the way NutleyResident describes. I usually like to visit a place at least twice however before I make a complete observation as I feel anyplace can have an off night or an off meal and conversely a not so great place can turn out a great meal on any given night. My thoughts from the outset are that this place needs more defining as to what they actually are - a breakfast place, a sandwich place, a coffee and dessert shop or a restaurant(they only serve dinner from Thursday - Saturday). It seems that the owner/chef is certainly talented enough that if he concentrated more on being just a restaurant instead of an everything in one that this place could rise to be much better. As for being the best of Nutley's gems... I like Terrazza, Franklin Steakhouse, American Bistro and Papilion more at this point.


A.D.S.

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Not to appear rude, but this message thread is about The Petite Cafe -- at least that was my intent! :biggrin: There is a completely seperate thread about Vietnam cuisine in NJ that your comments belong in.

Actually, since you claim that "The Petite Cafe is one of the finest, if not THE finest little "gem" in (Nutley)" and ask "does anyone else agree?" It is perfectly appropriate for someone else to respond that they have other places they consider "gems" in Nutley.

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Rachel, perhaps you misunderstood my comment. One poster commented about Little Siagon as being his "draw" to Nutley (and that's wonderful), but the second poster asked about the food (reviews) at Little Siagon, location, et al and I felt it was inappropriate to start a discussion about THAT restaurant when I invited posters to discuss the pros and cons about The Petite Cafe. Is that too much to ask? I'm not being rude, but where did I cross the line, Rachel? Was my request too over demanding? Was I cross? Did I flame somewhere? I realize you are an Assistant Coordinator here, I'm just trying to find out why I'm "out of line" in my simple plea.


Nutley Resident

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nutley res, what other restaurants do you like? i don't think many of us have been to Petite Cafe, and i'd be more inclined to visit if i had a better feel for what type of places you generally like.

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Nutley Resident, you have to let conversations flow naturally here. If you were objecting to scarlet knight's question instead of 201's comment, you should know that since 201 is a very astute poster he probably would have dealt with the question by pointing scarlet knight back to another thread. You didn't give him a chance to do so and wound up taking us even more off track than we would have been otherwise.

Rachel is a Coordinator, by the way, not an Assistant Coordinator. I suppose you could argue that she assists Rosie in providing content, but that doesn't change her level of authority. And I didn't see her telling you that you were "out of line"--she was merely saying that scarlet knight wasn't out of line.

I'd like to hear more about this restaurant. Can you give more specific details of your reactions over and above the general ones you started with? Do you have any affiliation with the restaurant? If you do, its not considered a crime here--we tend to take it at face value.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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nutley res, what other restaurants do you like?  i don't think many of us have been to Petite Cafe, and i'd be more inclined to visit if i had a better feel for what type of places you generally like.

All types, Tommy. I must say I'm partial to quiet places. I like creative cooking. This restaurant (The Petite Cafe) fits that bill, hands down. I hope this helps.


Nutley Resident

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Proud to be a Nutley Township Resident

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If I was considering dinner in the Clifton, Nutley, Rutherford, Montclair area, I might look at Matisse, Village Gourmet, Sonoma Grill, 77 Walnut, Dish, Park & Orchard, maybe Corso 98 in the future.

Based on Genovese's article, it looks like Petite is in the lower end of the general price range. That's good. Why should I choose it over the places I mentioned?


Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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Does anyone else agree that Nutley's The Petite Cafe is one of the finest, if not THE finest little "gem" in the Township? Their dinner specials are truly special. These non-menu items are worth the trip from anywhere. They also have outstanding Wine Tasting Dinners that are roughly once a month. Chef and owner Keith Jaret is a true food and wine genious. If I may suggest, please visit their website (click the link) and take a peek at their offerings. http://www.thepetitecafe.com/

Nutley Resident

I asked my wife, who does not follow this forum, to read your writing and tell me what she thought. Her initial comment was that you sound like someone who is associated with the restaurant.

I feel what also set others off is your irrational exuberance with no substance. For example, you say dinner specials are special but give no details of what you enjoyed or tasted. How can anyone take a trip from anywhere based on that? In addition you say the Chef is a food and wine genious. Again no backup as to how you came to this conclusion, and, from my perspective a statement hard to believe, more hyperbole that fact.

But, I happen to feel similar to you that very easily threads are stolen so to say and you were correct to protect your turf.

I have this place on my BYOB list to visit in the next month or so and I will share with you my comments. I must say that their web site dinner menu sound like fun. Not sure I understand the wine dinner concept though. Thanks for bringing the place up again.

Viejo


The Best Kind of Wine is That Which is Most Pleasant to Him Who Drinks It. ---- Pliney The Elder

Wine can of their wits the wise beguile,

Make the sage frolic, and the serious smile. --- Homer

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jhlurie amply defended my post already (and correctly pointed out that I was saying it SK's post was appropriate), so the only comment I'd like to add is that your quoting the words "out of line" make it sound as if I said those words (and you were quoting me) which isn't the case. Do a quick search of this thread and you will find that Nutley Resident is the first to use those words in this thread. Please try not to put words in other's mouths.

And, like viejo majadero mentioned, we don't mind people with restaurant affiliations tauting their places, however we do request disclosure if that is the case.

Thanks for your participation on eGullet.

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nutley res, what other restaurants do you like?  i don't think many of us have been to Petite Cafe, and i'd be more inclined to visit if i had a better feel for what type of places you generally like.

All types, Tommy. I must say I'm partial to quiet places. I like creative cooking.

such as? this is getting more and more comical by the minute.

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And, like viejo majadero mentioned, we don't mind people with restaurant affiliations tauting their places, however we do request disclosure if that is the case.

And I do note, Rachel, that you aren't necessarily saying that he is affiliated with the place, just that if he was there would be nothing wrong with that.

RockADS21, since you've actually been to this place, do you recall anything more specific about the actual food you had? Given that the conversation has gone in a certain direction, I think we will understand that without your second visit, your observations are subject to change.


Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

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And, like viejo majadero mentioned, we don't mind people with restaurant affiliations tauting their places, however we do request disclosure if that is the case.

And I do note, Rachel, that you aren't necessarily saying that he is affiliated with the place, just that if he was there would be nothing wrong with that.

Exactly.

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The Petite Cafe has been discussed here before, a few times. Here's one thread; here's another.

I've been here 3 times in the past 3 months or so for dinner. Also got lunch once. It's always been quite good. As others observe, the dinner menu is more inventive than what you generally see around these parts. It's a breath of fresh air, it's super convenient (for me), and I like the owners (well, I have not met Keith Jarett yet but his wife Marueen is very sweet). And, I should add, it's never really crowded. Perfect for a Friday night!

Last time we went, my husband ordered an entree from the specials that was a selection of grilled game meats--I wish I could remember the specifics but I have a lousy memory :rolleyes:. I do remember buffalo short ribs, because you just don't see that every day. But even as someone who's not crazy about meat in general, I tasted, and actually really liked, everything on his plate. On a previous visit, I ordered snook, a Floridian game fish that, if I recall correctly, was prepared with a coconut curry glaze and black rice. Again, not a fish that you see on most menus.

I've had a few conversations with MJ about the restaurant and how they are faring in Nutley. She has mentioned that the dinner menu has met with some resistance from some local diners, who either see the name "Petite Cafe" and think it's going to be a french bistro (despite the fact that the menu is posted at the door), or they are simply disappointed when they don't see an entree that includes tomato sauce. Personally I don't have a problem with the "ambience" or lack thereof, because I generally favor laid back, casual places, but I guess it has been something of an issue with some diners as well.

One thing I will say is that the menu could be perceived by some to be unfocused, but someone else might appreciate the diversity. It just depends on what you like, I guess. They post their dinner specials each week on their website www.thepetitecafe.com. I hope they stick around. I'd be sorry to see them go.

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Hello again. I'm sorry if I upset anyone, I'm new here. I'm just an average "Joe" and have no affiliation with the restaurant other than being an eager patron. I am not a food critic and don't know how to write about the finer qualities of food. Sorry. In my opening post I provided the web address (URL) of The Petite Cafe and thought it would be helpful for those to take a quick tour and examine the menu items first hand. Here it is again (just click on the link), if you missed it: http://www.thepetitecafe.com/

I was also hoping that other readers of the Forum would add their experiences to help enlighten others about the restaurant. Chef Jaret is an outstanding chef which can only be demonstrated by a visit. They are open for breakfast/lunch (daily) and dinner (Thurs-Sat). Their breakfast and lunch menus are pretty mediocre (Sunday is more special -- an extended menu -- than any other day). Their dinner fare is much more "fine dining" when they put out the linens and transform the Cafe into a quiet, intimate, quality dining experience with an extremely diverse and varied menu. Weekly specials are extraordinary. Special events, such as the upcoming Fondue tasting and recent Wine Tasting events are made to be very unique, delicious and educational. Chef Jaret is highly knowledgable of wine and food.

Perhaps I should not have started the post and just kept my mouth quiet about this wonderful restaurant. Others may be able to embellish about the cuisine, etc. I look forward to other people commenting about the establishment.


Edited by Nutley Resident (log)

Nutley Resident

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Proud to be American

Proud to be a Nutley Township Resident

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Perhaps I should not have started the post and just kept my mouth quiet about this wonderful restaurant.

We're always looking for good places to eat, so post away.

There is, however, a scepticism when a new poster comes on that strong about a place which is unknown to a crew of pretty experienced and highly critical diners. That's why one of us asked for specifics, another asked for your frame of reference, etc.


Apparently it's easier still to dictate the conversation and in effect, kill the conversation.

rancho gordo

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nutley res,

i think that you're no stranger to the internet. so, this all should come as no surprise. but, as long as you post in good faith, nothing anyone says should deter you.


Edited by tommy (log)

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:smile: Just like NR, I love the Petite Cafe. I have been going practically since they opened. I have been for breakfast, lunch, dinner and wine tastings.

Breakfast is breakfast, lunch is wraps, salads and sandwiches, dinner is a completely different animal.

We love how they are able to transform from a quaint luncheonette, to a fun dining experience.

We just had dinner on Saturday night, I had their mussels, which I love for an appetizer and Opah with Lobster Butter and Vegetalbles and my girlfriend had the Fried Lobster Ravioli with the Cheese Fondue for the appetizer and the Tequila Guava Shrimp for entree.

I like to go for the chocolate cake and my girlfriend had an ice cream chimichunga with Lignonberry for dessert.

We absolutely loved everything. We love to go because the menu has a lot of imagination and we like a lot of diversity. I have been to Matisse, Village Gourmet, I love those also. I have mentioned The Petite Cafe before, and I totally agree with NR about his/her opinon, but I have just been afraid to state it so loudly. I am afraid that I will not be able to get a table next time I try to have dinner.

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I forgot to add - did you know that The Petite Cafe got a 3 Star Review from The Bergen Record. It is on their website www.thepetitecafe.com

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RockADS21, since you've actually been to this place, do you recall anything more specific about the actual food you had?

I am almost afraid to post in this topic...we should all move to a neutral corner... :wacko:

The meal that I had at The Petite Cafe was a few months back but I will try my best to elaborate...we shared an order of steamed mussels to start which were very good...full of flavor. I also had a creamed vegetable soup that I recall being good as well, but apologize as I do not remember exactly which vegetable it was. For my entree I ordered the grilled game off the specials menu. It was made up of grilled elk and boar as well as venison sausage. The grilled meats were served with a curant topping...I thought the dish was imaginative and interesting but much like the restaurant it just tried too hard to be too much rather than just being one exceptional item. As I said earlier I will certainly venture another visit but in my opinion the true potential of this place would be accomplished better by concentrating on the kitchen and not trying to be a breakfast/coffee shop/lunchenette/part-time restaurant. One seems to be difficult enough to perfect...


Edited by RockADS21 (log)

A.D.S.

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