Cafe Panache
Cafe Panache

Cafe Panache

  • Dining Style: Casual Elegant
  • Website: http://cafepanachenj.com/
  • Phone: 2019340030x
  • Hours of Operation:
    M - Dinner 5p - 8p
    T - Th
    Lunch 12p - 2p
    Dinner 5p - 9p
    Fri
    Lunch 12p-2pm
    Dinner 5p - 10p
    Sat - Dinner 5p - 10p
    Sunday - Dinner 5p - 7p (Prix Fixe Menu only, $44)
  • Payment Options: AMEX,MasterCard,Visa
  • Cuisine: Contemporary French / American, Vegetarian
  • Executive Chef: Chef Kevin Kohler
  • Dress Code: Business Casual
  • Accepts Walk-Ins: Yes
  • Additional Details: Banquet/Private Rooms, Farm to Table, Non-Smoking Restaurant, Personal wines welcome, Private Room

Getting there

  • Cross Street: Franklin Turnpike
  • Parking: Public Lot
A word from Cafe Panache
Cafe Panache, located in downtown Ramsey, NJ, has been a top-rated BYO and "culinary mecca" since it opened in 1985. For almost 30 years Chef Kevin Kohler has been tantalizing his clientele with signature dishes - House Made Filet Mignon Ravioli Truffle Butter and Crispy Roast Duckling in Port Wine Sauce. Kohler's menu changes almost daily with seasonal ingredients - producing specials like Lobster in Vanilla Sauce, Artichoke Lasagna, Panko-crusted Soft Shell Crab. Service is "seamless" in an "elegant" "newly-renovated" dining room. Rated Top Restaurant in New Jersey by Jersey Monthly Magazine.
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Cafe Panache reviews from OpenTable diners
98 reviews since May 4, 2014
Overall Rating4.5
  • Food4.5
    Service4.5
  • Ambiance4.4
    Noise LevelModerate
90% of reviewers would recommend this restaurant to a friend.
special occasion (71)fit for foodies (56)romantic (56)neighborhood gem (54)good for groups (11)great for lunch (7)great for brunch (4)hot spot (4)great for outdoor dining (1)kid-friendly (1)late-night find (1)Show More
  • Consistent
    OpenTable Diner Since 2008
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    The food is consistently good and the atmosphere is nice.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Consistently Outstanding
    HillsdaleHal
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    We went for my fiancee's birthday this past Friday evening. We had warm carrot soup, with a hint of curry, and a nice, cold tomato gazpacho for appetizers. My fiancee's salmon was prepared exactly as she had requested (i.e., not sushi but not cooked to oblivion either). The waitress advised me that the Berkshire pork chop, a special that evening, was big. She was right. It was also excellent, leaving me with no room for desert. I did sample my fiancee's peach ice cream, however. Cafe Panache uses local ingredients that are in season, and that it a big plus. Be aware that there is construction at the nearby Route 17 interchange. Hint: If you can take Franklin Turnpike, do so to avoid delays and aggravation. Bring your own wine.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Overall great!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/29/2014
    My girlfriend and I went for her birthday and everything was amazing. The service was great, good was top notch and the overall experience was very nice. Will definitely be returning.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • doris
    OpenTable Diner Since 2012
    Dined on 8/28/2014
    Food and service was excellent. Would definitely recommend it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • As usual
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/26/2014
    Café Panache continues to excel in all facets of the dining experience. From the ambiance, service, and quality of food you can't go wrong here.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • AMAZING!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    What a fantastic dinner! I took my husband there for his 35th birthday, And I can say we'll be back soon! Amazing, fresh, local food. Awesome service! BYOB! Great job Cafe Panache! (dinner for 2 with tip less than $150).
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Fickle Foodie44
    FickleFoodie44
    Dined on 8/22/2014
    My wife and I have been eating at Cafe Panache for years and have never been disappointed. The food is superb, always delivered to the table piping hot and the host and wait staff who have also been there for years, are always friendly and attentive. My friend is a chef, thoroughly enjoyed his meal and paid many compliments to Kevin Kohler's preparation and presentation of each dish. Kudo's Kevin & Staff. Please keep it coming!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • simply wonderful
    delightedduo
    Dined on 8/21/2014
    We can understand why it is going strong after 30 years. Having read the NJ Magazine article my husband had to have the halibut. The restaurant lives up to it's reputation. Would go back in a heartbeat even though it's 90 minutes away. Well worth the trip.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Neighborhood Gem
    LuvtoDineOut
    Dined on 8/19/2014
    This was my first visit to a much acclaimed local restaurant. Both entrees were excellent, Mahi Tuna and Filet Mignon Ravioli. Appetizer, Hot Grilled Shrimp w/Avocado was good, but only 3 shrimp for $16. The service was exceptional. However, we stated in our reservation online, that we were first time diners, so, one would think we would be given a nice table location. Not the case, first we were put in the corner at a very small table, then when I asked if we could possibly move, the table was larger but it looked into the kitchen. This was a special occasion celebration, so our table location was very disappointing. Also, not sure it was worth the price.
    Special Features:
    special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Good, Not Great
    FishPopp
    Dined on 8/15/2014
    The last time we went to Panache, my meal was just alright but my Husbands was great. Since people speak so highly of this place, we gave it a second chance. This time the meals were both just ok. Since there are so many choices in downtown Ramsey with fantastic food, at this price point Panache is out of the running. We won't be returning.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
  • Great place
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    Café Panache has been a (no so) quiet gem in downtown Ramsey for 30 years.... They continue to amaze with a great menu, tremendous food and knowledgeable staff.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Overall good place
    lovetoeat
    Dined on 8/11/2014
    I would have rated it higher, but the duck portion I had was dry. The pork chop was very good, but some of the seasonings they put together didn't marry wonderfully. Nice quiet place. Service was fine, but just didn't feel 100% welcoming. So good place overall if you don't mind a few things that would make it great.
    Special Features:
    good for groups, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • surprise delight
    toxdoc
    Dined on 8/10/2014
    but when we drove in and saw the site, we were disappointed,it was at the corner of a strip mall. On a Sunday in the summer, there were only a handful of dinners and are we ever glad we found the place and they stayed open. The décor was subtly stylish, the wait staff consisted solely of a waitress and a bus boy, but it turned out that is all that was needed. The dinner menu is not extensive but there are adequate choices. The seasonal salad was cool and crisp with a delicious citrusy dressing, the Scottish salmon grav lox melted in your mouth. the crispy fee range chicken was done superbly and the fish was cooked perfectly. the lemon tart was delicious. we will go back and bring our food snob friends!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Should be named Cafe Amazing!
    BT27
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    The night was perfect. My wife and I travel all over the state for food. After saying that, Cafe Panache is in my top 3 resturants in the state. Service was tremendous. Recommendations were spot on. I had the special Soft Shell crab and it was unreal. Loved the staff, and the food. Recommend this place to anyone looking to have an amazing dining experience and that won't break the bank either. Tremendous restaurant!
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Hart2Hart50
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    We have never been disappointed in our dining experience at Café Panache! The experienced owner/chef speaks volumes for the professional and polished presentation. It was a lovely way to spend our 50th Wedding Anniversary Dinner. Keep up the great work!!!! You are a rare gem.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Great Evening
    BigEasy
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Wonderful evening with very thoughtfully prepared menu. Enjoyed the ambiance, the constant attention, and most importantly the food. No disappointments from appetizer to entree to dessert.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great service and great food
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    Diner with a friend was a great time. Service was wonderful staff could not have been nicer. Food was wonderful and different. If your looking for something special this is the place to go.
    Special Features:
    neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great Local Resturant
    Foodlover
    Dined on 8/8/2014
    I have been going to Cafe Panache since it opened 30 years ago. It continues to be a favorite restaurant. The food is always great. The Wild Mushroom salad is fantastic, when available, along with any of their pasta appetizers. The Wild Salmon or Tuna is highly recommended for your main course. The only problem is trying to get a last minute reservation.
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Amazing restaurant !
    Finedining4me
    Dined on 8/6/2014
    I came here for my birthday and was NOT disappointed . The ambiance was beautiful and the food was absolutely delicious . This place lived up to the hype. I will definitely be back again. What I really loved about Cafe Panache was the fact that noise level was wonderful . It is one of those places where you can truly enjoy your guests without shouting over each other. To me, that is a very rare gem to find in a top restaurant .
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, great for lunch, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Menu showcases seasonal bounty
    RamRes
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    The chef here is magic with the sauces created for each dish. On our recent visit, my husband had the soft-shell crabs -- delicious! I enjoyed the heirloom gazpacho for an appetizer and my son loved the corn ravioli appetizer. We enjoyed all the dishes which highlighted the summer produce perfectly. Because the menu changes based on what's available from the farm market, I keep wanting to go back and try something new.
    Special Features:
    great for brunch, fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • A top N.J. restaurant is empty
    vsasson
    Dined on 8/5/2014
    Cafe Panache in Ramsey, N.J., is supposed to be one of the top 25 restaurants in the state, but it was empty when I had lunch there with a friend. I enjoyed the food, but is this really among the best the Garden State has to offer? The restaurant doesn't offer a fixed-price two- or three-course lunch, which may explain why it was empty. I had soft-shell crabs with salad -- a pricey $23. My friend had roast duck with salad, but wasn't asked how he wanted it cooked. We told the waiter my friend was celebrating his birthday, and he brought us complimentary sorbet. This is by blog post: http://doyoureallyknowwhatyoureeating.blogspot.com/2014/08/cafe-panache-top-new-jersey-restaurant.html
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Food
    Kosd
    Dined on 8/3/2014
    As somone who dines out a lot, and have experienced many restaurants all over the world... I rate Cafe Panache very highly. The food is up there with the best I've ever had and would place it in my top 5.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • lemon
    Dined on 8/2/2014
    Great food, nice atmosphere. Close 3rd to Freelance and Restaurant X
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • The Bomb
    Willackie
    Dined on 7/27/2014
    The food is so fresh and so delicious. Kevin Kohler is a culinary GOD.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • OpenTable Diner Since 2002VIP
    Dined on 7/25/2014
    an exceptional dining experience. Lovely food beautifully presented and served
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent Experience
    Luv2dine
    Dined on 7/24/2014
    Went to dinner with my husband & daughter for my birthday. The food was incredible. Kale salad was perfect. My daughter had the salmon & requested a different sauce than what was on the menu, no problem, they suggested another sauce, fantastic. My scallops were cooked to perfection. My husband had the filet, there wasn't a drop of food left on anyone's plate. Wonderful evening as always. Love this place! It's bring your own.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Great food
    SteakLuvers
    Dined on 7/23/2014
    I had read the mixed reviews on Yelp regarding this restaurant, but went to the restaurant anyway after hearing a good recommendation from my cousin. My husband and I were glad that we decided to go for it. The food was excellent and had very unique flavors. We consider ourselves "foodies" and were very impressed with the quality and presentation of the food. We will definitely be going back another night for a mid-week dinner date. I had the filet minion and my husband had the pig chop. We were both impressed with our dishes. I am also Gluten Free and appreciated the acknowledgement of my gluten allergy right from the start of the evening so that I knew exactly what I could and could not eat.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
  • Quite Good
    DGJxVIP
    Dined on 7/22/2014
    This is a longtime favorite that is still cooking great food. It is a little bit expensive but definitely worth it.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Remarkable Food!
    PammyJo25VIP
    Dined on 7/19/2014
    A BYOB. Food with an Italian flair. The ingredients were fresh and there were an excellent amount of vegetables and herbs to accompany the proteins. The bread was fresh- not frozen. The sauces were what made the dishes most memorable. The building is on the main street of a town with no outdoor dining. The dining room is smallish and updated with classy decor. The chef came out and talked with several of the diners which gave the restaurant a more intimate feel.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Fantastic!
    OpenTable Diner Since 2009
    Dined on 7/13/2014
    Such an amazing night of great food and service! We could not ask for anything more!!
    Special Features:
    special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Wonderful dinner
    OpenTable Diner Since 2014
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Great food, nice ambiance, I highly recommend it for a nice dinner.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelCannot Recall
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • great BYO restaurant
    austrians4food
    Dined on 7/11/2014
    Food was very good on the edge to outstanding. We had both fish and meat and the quality of the product as well as the way how it was cooked asked for repetition. And the Service was how it should be, attentive without being pushy. We will definitely come back.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, great for outdoor dining, romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Excellent dining experience
    lucky16
    Dined on 7/10/2014
    Lovely birthday celebration at Café Panache. Excellent food, beautiful presentation, and attentive service. Best that it's BYO and all your $$ can be devoted to wonderful food. Limited choices but clearly something for everyone. Scrumptious deserts. A bit pricey but great for special occasions and portions surprisingly generous.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Mitchie
    Mitchie
    Dined on 7/2/2014
    Delicious! Always consistent! Great service! Will definitely go back!
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Unanimous like!
    DeeBee1
    Dined on 6/29/2014
    All six of us enjoyed our meals. It all started with those great rolls and went up from there.
    Special Features:
    romantic, special occasion
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Neighborhood Gem
    RamRes
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    The food was so good I almost cried. The sides that came with our entrees were not an afterthought, but complimented the main protein. The service was outstanding and friendly. The atmosphere was relaxing -- a totally enjoyable dining experience. We will be returning to try other menu items.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Underwhelming
    Goodfood4me
    Dined on 6/27/2014
    Based on this restaurant's reputation, I was so looking forward to our meal but was less than thrilled with the reality. Overall quality of food was good, but prep not wonderful. They were heavy handed with salt on a number of dishes, and i would have liked more descriptive info included in menu. Disconcerting to have to ask what everything is served with, but that's important to know. Coffee was excellent, though, and that's not always the case with other high-end places.
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelQuiet
  • Service is best part
    OpenTable Diner Since 2011
    Dined on 6/24/2014
    I was a little disappointed in the food for the first time at Cafe Panache ( it was my sixth visit over the years). The lobster/mussell soup should take the lobster out of the name as it had not a single piece of lobster. Also, my pork chop was undercooked. I have always heard that pink pork was dangerous but trusted that Kevin the chef knew better than me and cooked it this way intentionally.... However, my girlfriend fond her duck entree absolutely delicious and everything else about the place is top notch.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, romantic
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
    I would recommend this to a friend.
  • Can't miss dinner
    JohnVIP
    Dined on 6/22/2014
    As a regular diner at Cafe Panache since it opened decades ago I am always astounded how Chef Kohler and the staff maintain the consistency year after year. It never gets old, and regular dinners at Cafe Panache will be one of the things we'll miss the most as we move south to Florida.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, good for groups, romantic, special occasion, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelModerate
  • Food is always great.
    Rykee
    Dined on 6/20/2014
    Chef is always on top of his game. Enticing appetizers and very satisfying entrees are always changing so that the diner has a choice even when dining here repeatedly. Fresh produce and inspired recipes (well maybe not recipes) but rather, culinary skills (that's better, right Chef?) keep us coming back for more. This is a special restaurant that never fails to deliver.
    Special Features:
    fit for foodies, neighborhood gem
    • Food
    • Ambiance
    • Service
    • Noise LevelEnergetic
    I would recommend this to a friend.