I think sometimes when you have great expectations for a restaurant, and those expectations don't even come close to a reality, the let down of the situation becomes greater than it might have been if you didn't have high expectations..
We went to Culinariane with extremely high hopes. We were sat promptly at a wonderful table. It took a few minutes to get the wine glasses- No big deal at all. We had a bit of wine and ordered our meals. The amuse came out and was very nice. We were never served bread which was a bit bewildering.
I ordered their famous cornmeal crusted oysters. They came out of the kitchen cut in half!!! and lukewarm to put it mildly. When I told the owner, he apologized and said he'd be right back. In the meantime, my wife's tuna tartare was merely ok. When I asked the bus boy for bread (yes, we still weren't served bread), he brought over this breadbasket with three tiny croissants in them. And gave us the last three.....saying that was the end of them. I didn't realize he wasn't kidding.
When the owner brought back out the oysters, instead of a new order, they were the same oysters, reheated......are you kidding me?
On to the main courses. I ordered the pork chop. The server never asked me how I wanted it prepared, so it came out on the well done side...that said, the glaze was excellent and the pork chop was really good. My wife's skate on the other hand was a tasteless mess of a dish. When the owner inquired, she basically told him how she felt about the dish. He took it away and brought her an order of scallops- which were very good indeed.
We asked for more bread and were told "there is no more". WHAT??? A restaurant runs out of bread? The owner made the excuse that since we were the last table to be seated, why should they make more bread? Are you kidding? In all honesty, he knew we weren't happy about that, and when he brought out the new scallop dish, he did bring out three fresh croissants. Weird though.
We split a dessert which was nothing special, and got the check. Nothing was taken off...no apologizes given....they just really didn't care. The restaurant seemed to have no vibe....no passion.
In my opinion, this is another overated and underwhelming restaurant surrounded by their own hype. I would suggest to avoid this place and look elsewhere.
33 Walnut St, Montclair, NJ 07042