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Cafe Cafe in Rutherford


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I had the chance to dine at this new Latin Restaurant, last evening, with a friend.

For starters, we ordered a small dish of chiorizo sausage, fried onions, and olives. It was nicely accompanied by homemade potato chips.

My friend enjoyed her Tilapia with Enchilada Sauce, which was a light sauce with chopped tomatoes. I ordered the Roast Pork and yuca. The pork was a little overdone for my taste. Both dishes came with white rice, and the waitress brought over a bowl of black beans to ladle over the rice.

Cafe Cafe is a BYOB. On their menu, they offer a pitcher with fresh fruit for Sangria. We brought wine and ordered this. I was a bit dissapointed, as it was just a few chunks of pineapple, a few half slices of apple and orange. I didn't think it was worth the charge of Ten Dollars. I would have thought it would have also included some fruit juice, which is an integral part in Sangria.

We did not have dessert or coffee.

Dinner came to $65 + tip.

My feeling was that it was an "ok" restaurant, not one I would run back to.

Has anyone else dined here?

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  • 3 years later...

I had dessert at Cafe Cafe this Saturday night. I moved back to Syracuse NY from Rutherford about four years ago this month and it's one of a number of places - including Spring Grill and Enginar - that have popped up since I left.

We had dinner at Seabra's Marisqueria on Madison Street in Ironbound and it wasn't quite as satisfying as it has been for me in the past.

The pureed seafood soup (sopa del mar) was outstanding as usual. My date's grilled red snapper (whole fish with scored skin on and lemon butter) was nicely done and a bargain at $16.95. I think there was a lag between my placing the order and the waiter dropping the dupe because at around the time we expected the entrees he returned to inform me that the roast suckling pig was sold out. Bummer.... I've always wanted to try it and had just never made it in there on a night when they had it as a special.

My alternate choice - goat stewed with red wine and herbs - was tasty but lacking the complexity of curried goat or the other Caribbean style of goat I've had previously. A bigger issue was teeny tiny drain flies or fruit flies that appeared around our table and had to be swatted away during the meal but kept reappearing. Any restaurant can have these pop up and with this extremely warm late season weather it wasn't a shock to see them but it was aggravating for both of us.

On to Cafe Cafe. We stuck our heads in the door at Cafe Eros but it was jammed with a young crowd and some techno/disco type music was blaring loudly - not the environment for the after dinner conversation we wanted to share.

Spotting Cafe Cafe (our car was parked only a few doors away) we decided to give them a go for dessert. It was empty at 9:45 Pm although one solo diner came in after we arrived. We opted just for dessert thus I am unable to comment on any of the other food.

My date had a piece of chocolate cake that was simple but exceptionally good - not the high end Sysco or Bindi frozen and thawed stuff which is served at the majority of mid range places these days. This had a terrific balance of chocolate, sweetness and moisture with a very good frosting that was not overly sweet. if it wasn't made on premises then I'll wager that it came from an independent who bakes from scratch.

I had an apple filled crepe with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In between the two crepes was a thin layer of seasoned apple puree that seemed dense - almost like the texture of Nutella. The vanilla ice cream was relatively ordinary. But what I really really liked were the abundant flakes of caramelized sugar that were strewn about the top. They were almost like really thin chips of creme brulee topping but perhaps just a trifle more burnt (yet without tasting scorched). The crunch of the flakes was great contrast with the texture of the crepe and the filling. And the snap of the burnt sugar added a whole layer of flavor complexity that I hadn't expected and haven't previously experienced in a dessert crepe

On the basis of our moderately priced desserts ($6 and $7.50 respectively) I'm inclined to try this place for dinner when I'm in Rutherford again. I've heard the many raves about La Isla but when I'm in the area I rarely feel like schlepping over through traffic to Hoboken for dinner.

By the way - any reports on the new Mexican place on Park Ave next to Daruma? (across from Krauser's market)

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Peruvian in Rutherford? Where is it? I'll be back down that way within a month or so and will try it. I have yet to meet a Peruvian restaurant I didn't like - the marinated chicken in all that I've been to is typically excellent and the sides perhaps uninspiring but usually consistent.

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Here's the very short thread on Sabor Peru, Phaelon. Iirc, there was one other person who went and s/he posted about it on another thread...I'll see if I can find it.


"I'm not eating it...my tongue is just looking at it!" --My then-3.5 year-old niece, who was NOT eating a piece of gum

"Wow--this is a fancy restaurant! They keep bringing us more water and we didn't even ask for it!" --My 5.75 year-old niece, about Bread Bar

"He's jumped the flounder, as you might say."

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I believe there is a thread for Sabor Peru in Rutherford, in fact I am usually singing its praises. It's located on Highland Cross (right off of Park Ave. near the center of town) Closed on Mondays, and it's BYOB.


I've been there at least 4 times and I love it. I try something different every time I go and I've never had a clunker so far. It's a tiny space, so if you're looking for a Friday or Sat. eve. dinner, reservations are recommended. It is a friendly and sometimes noisy space. (during peak times) That doesn't bother me. I highly recommend it. (Plus, it's right down the street from where I live!)

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