Cafe Panache - Ramsey [NJ]

We had another outstanding dinner at Cafe Panache over the weekend.

We started off with an excellent special appetizer of Veal Osso Bucco ravioli

We also shared an appetizer of Sauteed Gulf Shrimp with eggplant caponata & Saba vin, which they generously split for us. The caponata went very well with the shrimp. Below is a half portion.

For entrees, Mrs. P had Crispy Panko crusted Alaskan halibut with black rice, pickled radishes, & wasabi.

I had the Norwegian crispy skinned salmon filet, with black olive oil fennel thyme vinaigrette.

For dessert we had the intensely flavored espresso gelato. Below is a half eaten picture.

Chef Kohler is still going strong over 40 years later.


You may already know this but Chef Kohler was nominated for a 2018 Garden State Culinary Arts Award (Outstanding Chef in NJ).

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Yes, but I don’t think he made the final cut.

Cafe Panache has been in the NJ Monthly top 25 for numerous years, though.

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You’re right; he did not make the cut. Those who did are:

Ariane Duarte, Ariane Kitchen & Bar; Verona
Shigeru Fukuyoshi, Sagami; Collingswood
Dan Richer, Razza Pizza Artigianale; Jersey City

We had another spectacular dinner at Cafe Panache. Besides the usual dishes, we tried an outstanding crispy pan seared yellow fin tuna collar with a balsamic lemon soy reduction. This was the first time we had tuna collar & it was so good. It was crunchy on the outside with plenty of fish. You just scoop it out with a spoon.
We also shared a yellow fin tuna poke bowl with forbidden black rice, seaweed, in a soy reduction.
I had an incredible entree of King salmon with a crispy fingerling potato crust, in a beet juice and star anise reduction.


We had another superb dinner at Cafe Panache Saturday night.
We started off with an excellent shrimp and eggplant caponata with saba vin. We also had an arugula salad with sliced prosciutto de parma, honeydew, and reggiano parmesan.

For entrees Mrs. P had the outstanding 1 1/2 lobster with the creamiest pureed Yukon gold potatoes
I had The Montauk tuna sliced over gingered black rice, with seaweed, in a soy citrus reduction.

To drink we had an awesome 2000 Jordan Cabernet sauvignon that was gifted to me for my 60th birthday and saved for Mrs. P’s 60th birthday.


Wow, those dishes are speaking my language. Would you give the medal to the lobster or the tuna?

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The lobster gets the gold medal with the tuna a very close second :slightly_smiling_face:

We had another spectacular dinner at Cafe Panache Saturday night.
We started off with an excellent appetizer of sliced imported French ham (jambon), with Bolt Fog chevre, roasted red peppers, and fresh arugula. All of the ingredients went so well together. The jambon is like a moister version of prosciutto, which is drier. Below is a split portion.

We also shared sauteed fresh Gulf shrimp in black garlic sauce with crispy Italian parsley.

For entrees we both had the outstanding and perfectly cooked 1 3/4 pound lobster in an orange anise sauce with cauliflower puree. It was a lot of lobster.

For dessert we had creamy homemade passionfruit sorbet.
We drank the same excellent Chateauneuf Du Pape that we had last week at Drew’s.


That presentation is world class! I am a huge lobster fan, if you have not noticed lol. Great pics Eli.

Thanks cj! I like the way he plated it with the head & tail. The lobster just melted in your mouth and went perfectly with the orange anise sauce.

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Ho hum. Yet another spectacular dinner at Cafe Panache😋
There were a few nice specials tonight of lobster cake, Canadian hard shell lobster again, excellent saddle of venison in gin flavored sauce, with buttered spaetzle and oyster mushrooms, tempura maitake mushroom salad with sesame dressing, and light as a feather coconut cream cake with caramel sauce. The venison had a nice char on the outside and was perfectly medium rare on the inside. Everything went great with Cooper & Thief red blend wine aged in bourbon barrels for 3 months.



Nice pics as usual Eli! How was that lobster cake texture-wise? (If that is a word) Was it kind of chunky tail meat or more minced lobster claw and knuckle meat? Either way, you’re winning!

I can’t remember if I’ve ever had one but I’ve had a few crab cakes in my day :slight_smile:

And I’m also a bourbon fan so this looks delicious


Thanks Johnny. I’m not sure what part of the lobster was used in the lobster cake but it had nice chunks of lobster meat in it.
If you like bourbon and red wine then you would love this wine. You get a hint of bourbon with plenty of dark fruit. It contains 17% alcohol but is very smooth. I think Stew Leonard sells it and it is very reasonably priced at under $22.

@corvette_johnny not to turn this in to a bourbon thread, BUT.
-Angel’s Envy bourbon is aged in PORT barrels. YUMMY
-Asbury Park Distillery has a new gin that’s aged in bourbon barrels. I’m generally not a gin fan, but the mix mellows out the juniper (I haaaate the flowery scent/taste). I think it’s only available there–just tasted it, but my friend had an Old Fashioned made with it (I went traditional) and he enjoyed it.

We had another excellent dinner at Cafe Panache. I had a roast farmhouse duckling with braised red cabbage, in a blood orange coco sauce and Mrs. P had panko crusted tuna, with black gluten free rice, in a wasabi sake sauce. For appetizers we had a warm goat cheese salad, with roasted beets, spiced walnuts, and sumac. Below is a split portion. We also had Humboldt fog cheese with spiced walnuts, apples, and grapes. This was actually on the dessert menu but we love this cheese and had it as an appetizer. For dessert we had coconut sorbet with mango, papaya, pineapple, tahini and sesame seed crumb, and whipped cream. It all went great with a 2016 Seghesio Sonoma Red Zinfandel.


2016 - Seghesio Sonoma Zinfandel

93 Points Wine Spectator

  • Sub RegionSonoma
  • RegionCalifornia
  • Size750 mL
  • CountryUnited States
  • ABV14.8%
  • Varietal(s)Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Syrah / Shiraz, Carignan / Carinena

From the Critics:

  • Loaded with rich, jammy fruit, this plump Zin is a pleasure to drink, with bold accents of wild berry, spicy cinnamon and licorice that glide dynamically toward plush tannins. Drink now through 2025. 122,500 cases made. - 93 Points Wine Spectator

That duck is looking and sounding fantastic. I think we should start a duck thread. I don’t think we have ever had one???

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The duck was very good. It was prepared two ways; a crispy duck leg confit, and a nice medium rare breast. The sauce went very well with it, as well as the wine :grinning:

We had another superb dinner at Cafe Panache Saturday night. We started off with very flavorful and spicy curried mussels imported from Holland with Thai lemon grass. Below is a split portion. We also had amazing green and white asparagus, which is just coming in season. Below is a split portion. For entrees I had a beautifully charred pan seared prime black angus sirloin steak with cognac peppercorn sauce, that was medium rare in the center. Mrs. P had a crispy tempura battered soft shell crab with eggplant. For dessert we had the light as a feather dark chocolate Bouchant with Chantilly cream. The steak went great with an outstanding 2016 Domaine De L’Harmas Chateauneuf Du Pape.



Is the red for the whole meal? It’s a good match for the steak, but how about the spiced mussels and soft-shell crab? But anyway, there are times we just want to drink what we want and forget about food matching. Ha!

LOL, so you are eating Dutch mussels. Here too, most mussels we bought came from there. They must be exporting for the whole world!