DREAM CUISINE CAFE – BYOB (SECOND REVIEW)
Another Friday night dine out and a return visit to one of our favorites, Dream Cuisine Cafe on Rt. 70 in Cherry Hill, NJ. We had all 8 of our diners this evening, Carol and Joe B., Jerry and Sue C., Tom and Barbara T. and My wife, Kathy and myself.
Dream Cuisine offers a four course meal at a prix fix price which seems to be the best value if you are getting anything other than just an entree. The prix fix includes a “small bite”, house salad, choice of entree and one of three desserts of the evening. I believe all eight of us opted for this offering.
I have to pause here for a brief explanation. Since I started this review a few days ago we have had 2 feet of snow, tons of shoveling, holiday shopping, putting up and decorating the tree and even another BYOB dinner two nights ago. I feel like I am running and I can’t catch up. We now return you to a review of Dream Cuisine Cafe which may feature a brevity that is not the usual modus operandi.
Once again the meal began with their very tasty house salad. From there we moved to the “small bite” or appetizer portion of the meal. Quite honestly, I don’t even remember what I had and the only “small bite” I can visualize is Tom T’s who had the Dream Ratatouille and found it enjoyable.
Carol B. took my suggestion and ordered the Chicken Gruyere which I had on my first visit and thoroughly enjoyed this entree. I could have easily ordered it again but with my Vayniac Cabernet (review of this wine is posted a couple days ago on this blog) I decided a nice Filet Mignon but be a better accompaniment. As it turned out, there was such a large gap between the “small bite” and the serving of the entrees that my wife and I had finished the cab and moved on to the 2006 Zin 91, Old Vines Zinfandel. Kathy is a big fan of zinfandels so she had no problem with this second wine of the evening.
I would point out that I enjoy a BYOB that does not rush you in and out in an effort to turn tables. That being said, the pace on this evening at Dream Cuisine was just about too slow. I think everyone was a bit on edge with how long it was between appetizer and entree as almost an hour went by as we waited and chatted. It would appear that something was amiss in the kitchen but I have no details to confirm this.
Joe B. was feeling adventurous and ordered the Fish Special which, on this particular evening was skate. Sue B. also ordered the skate. I don’t think any of us, Joe included, had ever had skate but he was willing to try it. Both Sue and Joe felt the skate was a little too salty. I opted for the filet, Carol had the chicken, Kathy ordered the scallops and Jerry checked in with his rack of lamb.
Barbara T. had them substitute chicken for shrimp in a scampi sauce. My filet was nicely done and the potato log was excellent. Kathy enjoyed her scallops. Jerry liked his lamb although felt it could have had a tastier sauce with it. Carol liked her chicken and I can’t remember what Tom T. had as his entree.
For dessert we tried all three of the offerings. A multi-chocolate cake with crushed peanuts sprinkled throughout, a cheesecake with chocolate drizzle and a warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream. They were a nice ending to the meal and we passed them around so each of us could sample all three items.
Overall this dinner at Dream Cuisine Cafe feel short of out first experience. Unfortunately, for all of our friends, this was their first time here. I’d certainly go back again but when I do, hopefully, Chef Vincent Fanari will be back to the form he demonstrated on our first visit.