Cardinal Bistro

4.7
269 reviews
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$31 to $50
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American
Top Tags:
  • Creative Cuisine
  • Fit for Foodies
  • Neighborhood Gem
Cardinal Bistro offers a beautiful cozy atmosphere in down beach Ventnor New Jersey. A small 38- Seat BYOB declared as one of Craig Laban's Favorite New American Byo's at the shore, will dazzle you with the stunning culinary creations of Chef Michael. From our signature menu selections like Cioppino, Shrimp and Popcorn Grits or the award winning Green Circle Chicken there is something to surely please all appetites. Started by father and son team Thomas and Michael Brennan Cardinal Bistro is like walking into our home, so come see what the talk of the town is and we will see you at the Bistro!
Dining Style
Casual Dining
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Cuisines
American, Contemporary American, Bistro
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Hours of operation
Brunch
Daily 10:00 am–3:00 pm
Dinner
Wed–Sun 5:00 pm–10:00 pm
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Phone number
(609) 541-4633
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Casual Dress
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Executive chef
Michael Brennan
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
New Haven Ave
Additional
BYO Liquor, BYO Wine, Gluten-free Menu, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Takeout, Weekend Brunch, Wine
What 269 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.7based on recent ratings
4.7
food
4.7
service
4.4
ambience
4.4
value
Noise · Moderate
98% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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5.0Dined 15 hours ago

The best meal we have had in a really really long time. Staff was delightful, owner was charming and the food was absolutely delicious! Definitely coming back!!!

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5.0Dined 3 days ago

All the food was amazing but the lobster was phenomenal!

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5.0Dined 6 days ago

great as always! Ciopinno was delicious although pricey. It would have been nice to be told that it's MP was so much more than all of the other entrees .

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3.0Dined on August 11, 2018

This was our second time eating at Cardinal Bistro this summer. Unfortunately I have to say that the second time was nowhere close to the excellent experience we had the first time. Maybe it is August, when some of the restaurants feel that it is their last chance to “cash in” on the summer resort crowd, but the prices appeared to be at least 1/3 higher than last time. For example , the least expensive protein dish was chicken at $32. Nice portion and it was delicious, but $32? Would have loved to try the cioppino , however $56 is more expensive than the veal chop at Domenicos. Since they never seem to show the $ (mp) for this dish, maybe they should consider offering it without lobster, and then an added charge with lobster.
Most disappointing is that they just changed the menu, perhaps to raise prices (?), and two favorites, duck (my son stated that it was his best duck dish ever due to the chef’s ability to render the duck fat), and shrimp with grits are no longer offered.
Anyway, the food that we ordered was delicious but when a restaurant that has a very limited menu to start, and replaces it with fairly expensive items , even for a resort town, it does impact the experience. FYI , other tables seemed to struggle with the high price limited selection. If it wasn’t byob and I already gave them my credit card to reserve on Open Table, we probably would have left. Sorry CB, because your food is very good!

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5.0Dined on August 9, 2018

Wonderful food and service. When in Margate NJ do not miss this place.

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5.0Dined on August 9, 2018

Dinner was delicious. I was with a group of five and we all got different menu items and everyone enjoyed!

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5.0Dined on August 9, 2018

Chef michael and his team at the restaurant are all fantastic! We had a sampling of dishes from his brand new menu the other day and I can say with confidence that you can not go wrong with anything on the menu (even the avocado mousse desert!)

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4.0Dined on August 5, 2018

Overall I was very impressed with the meal. Compared to other shore point restaurants it was a breed of its own in regards to the food.
The ambience was also pleasant and homey.
The service was good and they were attentive, but nothing to write home about.
Prices were fair.

As far as I can tell the restaurant is a well oiled operation. The food came out very quickly (especially down the shore). And the servers were on top of the ball.
One critique I’d have is both the duck, and the pork loin we ordered were over cooked ever so slightly.

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5.0Dined on August 5, 2018

First time at this new neighborhood gem and so glad I found it. All 4 of us loved our appetizers, entrees and deserts! Food was inventive, fresh and well prepared. Servers clearly enjoy being there. It was lovely to have delicious vegetarian options. I highly recommend their crispy brussel sprouts- best I’ve had. Halibut and cioppino were amazing!

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Wonderful restaurant- we have been many times. Creative cooking with wonderful personal service!!

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5.0Dined on August 4, 2018

Best down the shore

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5.0Dined on July 30, 2018

The food was outstanding. So impressed for a young chef who’s dishes are incredibly creative and extremely tasty. The servers were also exceptional. They took their time to explain the dishes and share their favorites with us. I would highly recommended this restaurant. Will definitely be coming back.

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5.0Dined on July 27, 2018

We frequent this local hotspot almost weekly in the summer months. The service by Grayson and Quay is always outstanding! The owner Tom greets you upon arrival and the small but varied menu doesn’t disappoint. The brussel sprouts are always delicious and a good size appetizer to share. The beet linguine is also very tasty as is the gnocchi and the cauliflower.
My favorite “go to” dish is the shrimp and grits. The small slices of chorizo sausage add just the right amount of heat and flavor.
Overall high marks for this place plus they do a delicious Sunday brunch as well.
Hoping they switch up the dinner menu a bit as we’ve tried almost every dish . The chef seems very creative using seasonal ingredients but I would love to see some new dishes as well.

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5.0Dined on July 26, 2018

VERY CREATIVE AND SPECIAL CUISINE...LOVE THIS PLACE

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5.0Dined on July 24, 2018

I love this restaurant. We went 2 weeks in a row! Chef Michael uses fresh ingredients, many of which they grow themselves! Creative menu, the brussel sprouts are the best I’ve ever had! Vegan/vegetarian options which are amazing. Outdoor seating available which is great. One hundred thumbs up!!

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4.0Dined on July 22, 2018

Enjoyed a delicious and filling brunch here this week. We especially loved the grapefruit brûlée, grilled Caesar salad, beignets, and pancakes. The portions are as generous as they are delicious. The meal was also paced nicely. We’ll be back to try the shrimp and grits and chicken and waffles.

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5.0Dined on July 17, 2018

We have been here several times and each time is better than the last. I can’t say enough positive things. Chef creates food combinations you would never think of and they are always great.

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4.0Dined on July 16, 2018

Great service, wonderful waitress and terrific vegan options. Will definitely be back.

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4.0Dined on July 16, 2018

Cardinal Bistro does not look like much from the outside, in your standard main street storefront, but inside is very warm and inviting. Food was very good, and service was excellent. Our server really knew the menu, he made good recommendations and checked with us at the right times. The maître d' also checked on us once our food was served (he may very well be the owner actually) to make sure we were happy with our selections. They had a nice gnocchi dish as a special appetizer, server said it was large enough to share and he was right. The dish features small light delicious gnocchi with fresh lobster. I really loved it and only wish there were not quite so many capers. Their appetizers are generous and good for sharing. Entrees are just the right size. My halibut was fresh and delicious, cooked perfectly with a lovely sauce. My husband liked his selections as well, including a perfectly cooked steak.

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4.0Dined on July 16, 2018

The food was excellent , Unfortunately, both the lobster gnocci and the Carbonera were only warm and the plates were cool, possibly Sitting in the kitchen waiting to be delivered. I suggest using a platewarmer. Otherwise everything was terrific.

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5.0Dined on July 16, 2018

Ate outside. Delightful! Delicious & innovative menu.

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2018

Always a great meal at an affordable price. We keep going back again and again. Usually I get the halibut but this time I went for the duck breast. Both are excellent. Had brussel sprouts for an appetizer. Excellent as well. Not to be missed restaurant.

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5.0Dined on July 15, 2018

Fantastic dinner!! They really took great care of us. Every single dish for a party of six was exceptional. Creative, perfect! The chef really puts a lot of care into every single plate that leaves his kitchen. It’s hard to imagine a more enjoyable meal of original high-quality food in the Atlantic City area.

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3.0Dined on July 13, 2018

The food was interesting but what made no sense was what was on the menu. In July-should be tomatoes/stone fruit/corn , squash etc. the menu was filled with winter vegetables. The restaurant says the source locally and are seasonal. That’s just not true.
BE seasonal and you’d have a better option at repeat diners

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5.0Dined on July 10, 2018

Always Fabulous!

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5.0Dined on July 9, 2018

Seven of us on a Monday night. Delicious. Grayson our waiter was awesome !

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5.0Dined on July 5, 2018

Excellent service and delicious food and presentation. A must for Ventnor City and it’s a BYO!

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5.0Dined on July 3, 2018

Great food! Or first time there and we were pleased!

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5.0Dined on July 1, 2018

Cardinal gets better every year. Each dish is cooked to perfection and is creative, fun, and delicious. The chef takes interesting flavors to a new level, making Cardinal the most innovative restaurant down the shore. The staff is terrific. Seeing the same servers each year is a great testament to this restaurant and how they treat their staff. The staff is friendly, professional, and knowledgeable.

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2.0Dined on June 26, 2018

My husband dinner was good, however I ordered the dry rub steak and it was extremely dry and overcooked.

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4.0Dined on June 24, 2018

Would definitely return, not the coziest of atmospheres but food was very good!

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4.0Dined on June 24, 2018

Dinners were very good. Ordered the soup chicken vegetable It was not good! Broth with tons of chick peas! Bad! Brussel spouts delicious! Gnocchi just okay!
Over priced we won’t be coming back

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5.0Dined on June 23, 2018

Food was delicious and service was very attentive. Had a wonderful anniversary celebration here. Chef Michael is inventive. Great option for this area. Fantastic!

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4.0Dined on June 23, 2018

Only available slot on OpenTable was early early 5 ish OK fine the place is in demand. we show up and there’s one couple and the place is empty till close to 6 o’clock what’s up with that ?

OpenTable advertisement shows the pre fix on the restaurants photographs - which is what we liked about Cardinal the last time we came there just about a month ago as well as chef’s table. now all of a sudden “ unavailable during summer months”. What a disappointment.

In my opinion what made this place great value I truly unique and special has now disappeared. the value quotient does not work for me.

I still don’t get the purpose of serving popcorn from the get go.

Cauliflower appetizer for $16 was so-so .octopus appetizer tasted bland. Note to restaurants: do not serve octopus from can ! I mean really ? You could and should do better.

Surf and turf special for $65 was Way overpriced for what you gotLobster was tiny tiny and turf was a small mushroom size Foie gras.

Brussel sprouts appetizer was incredible. My other guest had the steak medallions and he was unimpressed. Two orders of halibut we’re good.

For desserts the last time we were there they had New Orleans Beignets but it was not on the menu again a disappointment

So I’ll summarize by saying our experience a month ago was incredible and I was very excited about the place and I was very disappointed this last time.

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4.0Dined on June 22, 2018

Creative dishes, especially the vegetable choices. Menu is well balanced and the service is very good. Everyone is pleasant and Accomodating. The owner Tom is a great guy and wants to make sure you have a good experience. This is my third time there and m looking forward to returning.

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5.0Dined on June 18, 2018

Highly recommend this BYO. Best things were halibut and excellent service by Leonard.

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4.0Dined on June 17, 2018

A lovely little restaurant in a lovely little town. Sunday brunch was served in a nicely spaced venue. Service was professional and informative.
The food was well prepared, good and there were many choices.

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5.0Dined on June 17, 2018

We took my husband here for Father's Day brunch and loved it. The atmosphere was comfortable and relaxed. The menu was creative and yet had the basics for brunch. I had the Avocado Toast with Crab which was beautifully prepared with a generous portion of crab. I also had a side of bacon which was outstanding. The others had the mushroom, onion and goat cheese omelet which was fluffy and delicious. Service was very attentive. Would definitely recommend for an excellent but not overpriced brunch.

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Exciting menu, amazing waiter....will be back soon

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5.0Dined on June 16, 2018

Excellent and unique preparation of every course. Definitely a meal preparation and presentation that I could not get in any other restaurant. It is always enjoyable to see how the chef combines different ingredients and tastes for every item that leaves the kitchen.
The service is always outstanding. Attentive not overbearing, and the meal is never rushed. Always an outstanding dining experience.

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