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“Seems authentic enough” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Cornell Cafe

Cornell Cafe
4000 Morikami Park Rd, Delray Beach, FL 33446
561-495-0233, ext. 219
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Ranked #20 of 349 Restaurants in Delray Beach
Price range: $0 - $20
Cuisines: Japanese
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Outdoor seating, Scenic view
Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children, Romance, Outdoor seating, Scenic view
Top Contributor
244 reviews 244 reviews
130 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 108 cities Reviews in 108 cities
324 helpful votes 324 helpful votes
“Seems authentic enough”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2012

I am not qualified to assess the authenticity of the food--but it seemed reasonably Japanese to me (I've been to Japan a number of times). The eel and noodles were certainly authentic. The service was friendly but rather slow, and the place could have used a tidying up.

  • Visited March 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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38 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
“Incredible bento box”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 13, 2012

Our meal was an unexpected delight. This was our first visit to the Morikami Gardens and we stopped for lunch because we were hungry. We had taken the 1pm tour and wanted to eat something before touring the gardens.

My husband and I shared a beautifully prepared bento box. Each compartment contained two of each food. We enjoyed tasting each compartment together and discussed the food.

Our favourite dish was the salmon teriyaki. We were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food in the bento box.

We recommend combining dining at this restaurant with a visit to the gardens or gallery.

Visited February 2012
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Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 14 cities Reviews in 14 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“A great way to start or end a visit to Morikami”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 10, 2012

After driving up here from South FL to visit Morikami, my boyfriend and I were both starving and in need of sustenance. Just beyond the museum entrance, the Cornell Cafe beckoned and we happily indulged prior to our visit to the gardens.

I had the teriyaki grilled chicken, which came with rice and veggies. The teriyaki was sweet but not overly so, and the rice was cooked to that perfect texture. It was a decently sized portion, and just tasty and filling enough to satisfy my hunger without weighing me down for a walk through the gardens later. Prices are surprisingly reasonable for a museum cafe establishment: most entrees are under or around $10 (expect to pay more for the sushi, obviously). Service was unobtrusive, speedy, and efficient, and the staff is Japanese, lending a little bit to the credibility/authenticity factor.

The view from the patio overlooking the gardens is to die for. Morikami makes you feel like you've been transported to somewhere outside Florida (if not Japan, California maybe?) and enjoying the view of the lake and gardens as you dine only adds to that experience. Definitely one of the best museum cafe experiences I've had.

Bottom line: top off (or start!) a visit to Morikami with a lunch at the Cornell Cafe. It will only add to your day of Japanese immersion.

  • Visited January 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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Delray Beach, Florida
Top Contributor
201 reviews 201 reviews
152 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 53 cities Reviews in 53 cities
107 helpful votes 107 helpful votes
“Surprise Inside Morikami Gardens”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 14, 2012

While visiting the Morikami Museum and Gardens you must stop for lunch at the Cornell Cafe, inside the Museum Building. It is a wonderful Japanese/Asian restaurant that serves only lunch. On a recent visit we had delicious egg rolls and cold sesame noodles as appetizers. The lunch bowls of chicken, pork or eel served over rice are always a hit. My favorite is the Bento Box, which contains rice, chicken and salmon teriyaki, asian eggplant, red shrimp, pork and vege dumplings, three sushi pieces, an egg roll and the most delicious fried tofu (and I am not a tofu lover). For $13.95 you get to sample the best of their menu. We finished up with a dessert of Manju Ice Cream, which is two bon bons wrapped in rice paste of green tea or red bean. I did not expect to like them, but they were quite delicious. The restaurant has outdoor tables on a covered balcony overlooking the Morikami gardens. A beautiful place to dine. For those who do not like eating outside or for those too hot days in Florida, there is also an inside dining room. I highly recommend for some very good Japanese/Asian food.

Visited January 2012
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Las Vegas, Nevada
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Restaurant, twice was too many. Don't let that stop you from visiting Morikami!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2012

I reviewed the restaurant last time as part of our overall visit to Morikami, I thought it could use a review here as well since there don't seem to be many.

We enjoy food, particularly good food. We've eaten at Cornell Cafe twice now- once a full meal and this time a light lunch-- same experience both times. Not here to tell you to eat or not eat just sharing our honest opinion. We offer two points for consideration: 1) The quality of the food is just ok, sometimes not very good, for the price they can certainly do better, and 2) not really Japanese.

Our family IS Japanese- American. We cook Japanese food at home frequently so maybe from that standpoint we're kind of overly picky about authenticity. I can see where people might enjoy this place as an experience, especially if this was the only 'Japanese' meal someone had eaten. But it's just about as Japanese as Banquet's Frozen Enchiladas are good Mexican. Compared with what you would find at a family table in Japan the food at Cornell is distinctly Chinese in style. Much more greasy and salty than traditional Japanese food. And spices, as well as some ingredients, that are common in Chinese cooking but not Japanese. There are also a lot of warmed up prepackaged freezer type foods, not made from scratch, and the quality shows it.

Don't let authenticity dissuade you from stopping to eat in a beautiful setting. Just don't go away thinking that is what Japanese food tastes like.

Quality wise, the miso has been consistently good. We enjoyed the mochi ice cream last time, but this time it was freezer burned. Everything else has been just ok to so bad we left it, we aren't picky eaters. Ingredients often just don't taste fresh. And the bento box was mostly those aforementioned grocery store type convenience foods from the freezer. blech. Because the place had such high reviews we went back to see if maybe the first time was just an off day, unfortunately it was consistent with the first. All argument over authenticity aside, it just hasn't been very enjoyable food. Twice was more than enough, we won't go back.

There are obviously people who do enjoy it so maybe you will as well. To each their own tastes :) And we love Morikami so even if you don't eat there, go visit!

As a side tip: I think it is a middle-aged Chinese couple that runs/owns the restaurant, they are always there. The gentleman is very sweet but the lady who often works in the kitchen is ornery. If you have any questions ask the man. And it is beautiful to sit out on the veranda during the winter! (no bugs)

  • Visited January 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
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