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“disappointed versus reputation” 4 of 5 stars
Review of CulinAriane

CulinAriane
33 Walnut Street, Montclair, NJ
973-744-0533
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Ranked #1 of 177 Restaurants in Montclair
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Description: This tiny hidden neighborhood JEM is nestled in the middle of a residential area of Montclair, N.J. With its Modern American menu of insane flavors CulinAriane offers those who are fortunate enough to snag a reservation an evening of quality Food, and Service. I've only dined hear three times, but Soooo look forward to getting back in.
Montclair, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“disappointed versus reputation”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2013

service- friendly, fast , helpful and knowledgeable.
food- very well cooked and sauces different but not exceptional as anticipated from reputation and reviews. Group of 4 we had the corn crusted oysters in mustard sauce which was tasty ; an ok salad; pork chop which was large, well cooked with interesting sauce including hot peppers; pasta which was bland ; scallops which were good. Overall it was a very well cooked, tasty meal but no dish was stunning. Passes as an upscale restaurant but not a gourmet restaurant where every mouthful is a delight.
value- reasonable but would have been better if food had met our high expectations.
Atmosphere- simple, airy, somewhat bare, friendly, all alone in a housing area.
conclusion- as a family class restaurant it is very good, but as an upscale class restaurant maybe above "average" but not "very good" for taste. I would return with lowered expectations but not soon.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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67 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    57
    7
    3
    0
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
New York City, New York
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“Excellent restaurant - top in the area”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2013

After hearing about CulinAriane for year, finally got a reservation for my wife's birthday. Unfortunately the reservation was early at 5:30pm so we were the first one there when the restaurant was empty, but right away the staff jumped to life and soon after people filled the restaurant quick. The service was excellent, very friendly, knowledgable and honest. My tomato appetizer was unique and could have been a touch better, but it was a nice light start. My wife had the smoked salmon special that was both artistic and very delicious (so long as you enjoy smoked salmon). Wife got the red snapper entree that had some massive shrimp on top, she enjoyed that and was very positive on the meal. I had the pork porterhouse that was sizable, delicious, hearty and perfectly cooked. Could have used a bit more risotto, but that's only because it was so good and got lost in the sauce a bit. Deserts were really nice, wife had the key lime tres leches which for someone from Mexico was a nice variation on a staple. Very limey, but very light and tasty. I had the chocolate peanut butter sandwiches and they were great. Overall, great experience and well worth the wait, will surely try again to bring more friends and family back and try to get a better reservation time. Highly recommended for the north NJ area. The surrounding neighborhood is not on par with the quality of the restaurant, but still felt safe.

  • Visited September 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Succasunna, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Great restaurant, delicious food”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2013

I had heard about this restaurant from watching Top Chef and seeing Ariane compete. I had wanted to try it for months but never got around to it. Some friends had been talking about it recently and when I said I always wanted to try it they suggested we go. My friend had called on a Monday and left a message for a Saturday night reservation (they're only open Wed-Sat). Her call was returned on Tuesday and the earliest reservation we could get for the upcoming Saturday night was 8:45 pm. I think that says a lot about this restaurant - it's very popular and reservations fill up very quickly. We (there were 4 of us) arrived right at 8:45 pm but had to wait a little bit since our table was still occupied by other diners. Michael offered to chill our white wines and decant our reds while we waited. For appetizers, my friend and her husband had the cornmeal crusted oysters. My husband and I shared the same oysters and the sashimi tuna flower. The oysters were delicious but the sashimi tuna flower was out of this world. Great flavors, great textures. For entrees, I had the scallops, my husband had the duck, my friend had the monkfish and her husband had the NY strip. All entrees were delicious. My experience with scallops has always been that when you're out at a restaurant (especially a more upscale restaurant such as this) you normally only get 2-3. I love to eat and was concerned I'd be hungry if I only got the scallops (thinking there would only be 3). But I opted for the scallops any way and was pleasantly surprised. There were 5 and they were very big sea scallops. The flavor was very good and the mushroom ragout was delicious. I tried a little of my husband's duck. Overall it was very tasty but a little bit chewy. I tried my friend's monkfish (I've never had monkfish before) and it was delicious as well. I was a little concerned about its seasoning (thai chile garlic) but it wasn't spicy at all. For dessert, I had the chocolate peanut salted caramel ice cream sandwich. I was really looking forward to this (I had checked out the menu before we went and knew exactly what I was getting for dessert) but must admit I was a little disappointed. I didn't taste much salted caramel and I expected the 'bread' part of the sandwich to be soft like most ice cream sandwiches but it was very hard, nearly impossible to break with a fork; a little difficult to eat. My husband ordered the lemon meringue martini which I sampled. It was good. Overall the service was outstanding. The staff was very attentive. The restaurant was a little noisy when we first sat down but quieted down as diners left. Overall it was a very enjoyable night with great food and great friends. I would highly recommend this restaurant.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Contributor
16 reviews 16 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Wow. Great meal from beginning to end.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 16, 2013

Can't say enough good things about this restaurant. I'd been wanting to go here for ages and finally made a reservation. the meal was probably one of the best I'd ever had. the oyster appetizer was cooked perfectly. My husband had the most beautiful plate of scallops I'd ever seen. I had the ravioli special and it was just as amazing. Coconut cake with a lime syrup was the perfect ending. The service is wonderful. Our waiter Peter was helpful and gracious. The rest of the wait staff was just as considerate and contentious. Much attention is paid to detail, but its a very relaxing atmosphere. Warm and inviting. A little loud, but not sure how that could be helped. Tables not too close together. I just attributed it to everyone having a great time.

Would recommend enthusiastically. Its a little pricy, but byob helps and what you get is worth every penny.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hazleton, Pennsylvania
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
“Excellent from beginning to end”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 4, 2013

We love Montclair and often My wife and i will drive the two hours from our home in PA. just to have dinner in this restaurant filled town. We have eaten twice at CulinAriane and it is not surprising that this restaurant tops the Montclair list. The food, service, and presentation are impeccable. We have been lucky enough both times to get reservations on short notice, however since the restaurant is only open four nights a week calling ahead would be a prudent. I can only echo what many of the other reviews have said. The breaded oysters are exceptional, The scallops are sublime and the Kobe beef carpaccio is a particular favorite.The duck the pork chop and other seafood entrees are equally outstanding.The homemade desserts are equally delicious. This is food that is loaded with flavors that POP on the palate and is memorable for days afterword. There is outside seating available on warm summer evenings which further enhances the experiance. By all means grab a good bottle of wine ( there is a bottle king not even a mile away ) and enjoy.

  • Visited August 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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