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Cuban Comfort Food

11 Not sure what makes me more excited about Cuban Pete's -- the fact that they offer 12 different types of sangrias (I sampled six) including a mojito-inspired version and the fun Habana Banana (not to worry, there's plenty of traditonal red wine-based recipes for purists) or that the eatery, which evokes the mood of a tropical vacation, stays open late enough for Cinderellas like me who want to do movies first and dinner second. That's right, the kitchen at Cuban Pete's closes at midnight (every night except Monday when the place is dark) and the tapas menu (priced at an attractive $3.95-$4.95 a plate) makes having a light, late nite dinner a real possibility in a downtown Montclair that rolls up the sidewalks way too early.

The kitchen is still working out some kinks, but I was there on day 6, this past Tuesday night and by 6:15 the place was packed. It's a big space -- looks much bigger than its former incarnation as Liberte and the smart design includes a wall of floor to ceiling windows looking out on the attractive courtyard, as well as distinctive artwork, murals, faux finishing and the entire decor concept conceived and executed by Tony Ortiz. The other big news -- patrons of Cuban Pete's can park for free in the parking lot of the Masonic Temple (located on South Fullerton behind the restaurant). 14_1

I sampled chef Carl Ruiz's (formerly of Sabor in Bergen) hazelnut goat cheese fritters, crispy chicken lollipops and tasty empanadas with manchego and spinach. I'd recommend them all, as well as the garlic shrimp which a table of guys next to me liked so much, they ordered a second round. For dinner, pargo, a whole red snapper in all its glory, came to the plate crispy on the outside and perfectly flaky and flavorful inside. A big part of the restaurant's appeal is the decor -- a Caribbean-Cuban fusion with lots of old world charm and awash in cheerful color. Cute waiters in fedoras worn ever so slightly askew and gregarious host Dominick Restaino complete the transportive vibe. Check out the tapas room, with its giant black board above the huge sangria jars, where you'll find a listing of the day's offerings. And although they have a kids menu, my 6-year-old was content to nibble from a bag of Cuban Pete's table crackers (the Cuban version of chips?), which he gave, a big thumbs up. -- Liz George

November 29, 2005


Looks interesting, will give it a try.
Great that it's open until midnight.

Agree that most restaurants (and stores) in Montclair close WAY WAY too early (except, I guess, the Office).
If they would stay open later, the area would become far more vibrant and even safer. And there would be plenty of happy customers they could service.

Posted by: Karen | Nov 9, 2005 5:20:21 PM

Try the skirt steak - best I ever had. Thanks Carl!

Posted by: janny | Nov 9, 2005 6:51:29 PM

Went there Sunday night (nite 4) with my husband and three kids. Though we experienced the "kinks" in full (we seemed to lose our waiter midstream and the adult entrees got forgotten), the owner was keeping a close watch and made up for the lapses very graciously. The food was indeed delicious, the sangria tasty, and the ambience warm and inviting--and it was kid-friendly. They offered a couple of decent choices for kids--not too greasy--and there are enough tapas choices to round it out. Excellent dressing on the salad mixto. Will definitely go back, soon!

Posted by: b.e. | Nov 9, 2005 8:40:58 PM

Okay, as a former restaurant owner myself (shameless plug -- vinorossony.com) I’m loathe to review any place in its first week. It’s just not fair. The front of the house is too green to be objective about and the prep cooks don’t have the recipes down yet to offer any degree of consistency in the food. It’s a TOTAL Hit or Miss. Time fixes these things, I’ve seen it myself.

Nonetheless, when I heard the one-time owners of Mexicali Rose (i.e. the WORST restaurant in NJ) were opening a Cuban (!!!) place down the block skirting a non-compete clause with the new Mexicali Rose owners (or so I’ve been told,) I had to try it. This place is every bit as atrocious as I expected but nonetheless it is destined to be the most hopping new restaurant in Montclair (witness Egan’s, runner-up for the worst food in Montclair.)

Here are my beefs . . . I thought the idea of a sangria menu was great. Unfortunately, the sangria itself was not (we had they traditional.) That’s too bad because sangria is the EASIEST drink the world to make and I think this sangria suffered from the wine used (I’m guessing Cuban Pete’s is using the boutique wine outlet clause to offer wine from some god-awful “vineyard” in NJ. Funny they didn’t advertise the place.) At $15 / pitcher (with $14 of pure margin for Pete!) we expected much better.

The tapas was OK, we had the chorizo (greasy but tasty,) shrimp in garlic (actually quite good) and the stuffed peppers (also good.) Only problem was our over-eager waiter took away the tapas then we were 3/4's through. I didn’t have a chance to stop him he was gone so quick. But more on the INCREDIBLY SPOTTY SERVICE later . . .

For the main we had the Cubano (it’s not called a cubano but a Pete’s Cuban or something like that) and the pulled beef. The Cubano was practically tasteless which is a shame b/c this is such a tasty sandwich. The portions of ham and pickles were so lacking I assumed this is why the poor thing was so devoid of any flavor. The pulled beef was only slightly better.

By now we’d seen our waiter about twice the entire time we’d been there and were itching to get the check (the place was bad, I expected it to be bad, no harm, no foul, I just wanted to leave.) We sat for 20 minutes waiting for our waiter (I begged my wife to do a dine and dash, I wanted out so bad.) Funny thing is, the chef was standing right next to us chatting to a table the entire time. We might as well have been invisible! I overheard him mention he’d come from place in the city – a Zagats search couldn’t find it – but they’re better off without him. As unenthused as I was about his cooking, he’s the chef. He has sway over both the front and back of the house and to be so nonchalant about the lack of service going on right under his nose to me is unforgivable. If he’s so cavalier about his customers, imagine how he is about his food.

This place is just what we in Montclair deserves – another lackluster restaurant so sub par that it will be impossible to get in soon (look at Fascino, something which equally has mystified me in recent months.) Do yourself a favor – if you want Cuban, go to Union City.

Posted by: Ninahc | Nov 10, 2005 9:32:50 AM

Ninahc's above post is so biased it's not even funny. It's more than okay to post a review but when you begin a review by stating the owner's previous establishment was the "WORST" restaurant in NJ (have you been to EVERY restaurant in NJ?), why should anyone take your "review" serious.

It's one thing to give your opinion but when you do it in a jaded manner, it's not really fair to review. Plus, you said right in your opening that you loathe reviewing a place just after its opening but then you post 300-word review anyway. Puzzling.

I am in no shape or form affiliated with Cuban Pete's, just someone who thinks you are trying to sway reader's opinions in the first week the restaurant is open.

I suspect a hint of jealousy on your part when you say how Cuban's will be packed, does the jealousy stem from the fact that you are a former (read: failed) owner? Just curious.

Oh and by the way, I took at look at the menu your former establishment has.....yawn.

Posted by: It's obvious | Nov 10, 2005 10:37:54 AM

It's Obvious -- Like I always say, try the place yourself. Post a review. I was specific (as I'm sure you'll be) and frankly objectively fair (as I'm sure you'll be.)


Posted by: Ninahc | Nov 10, 2005 10:43:58 AM

My boyfriend and I went last night and had a great time. We loved the pitcher of sangria with pineapple. We devoured the tapas - I especially liked the one with goat cheese. The place is much bigger than what it looks from outside. Atmosphere was great. We will go back.

Posted by: Ann | Nov 10, 2005 11:34:44 AM

In response to Karen's post that restaurants close way too early- your point is well taken, but the reality is that business drops off dramatically after 9pm or so (a bit later on weekends). Really, there is just no one going out. We intended to stay open much later(at Raymond's), but soon realized that there was no point. Besides, staff gets verrry cranky when you make them stay an hour or two later and there are no customers.

Posted by: Joanne | Nov 10, 2005 12:53:56 PM

I went last night and was disappointed. My review leans toward ninahc's. A few items on the menu were not available ( I dined at 6pm!) my fish was not fresh and the service could improve. I liked the tapas and would go again just for the tapas and the sangria (it was okay).

Does anyone else feel the hats are a bit much on the staff?

Posted by: witchypoo | Nov 10, 2005 1:24:24 PM

Went their last night, 11/10.
Food /drink are very interesting and show much promise.
Service was AWFUL!! Hopefully they will get their act together over the next few weeks as this could be a really popular spot.
I know the 4 of us won't be back for several weeks until they have a chance to hire and train more/better help!!

Posted by: C D Kreps | Nov 11, 2005 6:52:23 AM

Unfortunately, I have to second the reviews above. We went Friday night -- food was mediocre and cold by the time they managed to get it to our table. The sangria used inferior wine and was waaaay too sweet (perhaps to cover up the fact that the wine wasn't drinkable). Service was very slow, particularly in trying to get the check. The place itself was crowded, noisy and thoroughly unpleasant. Frankly, with so many good places here in town, I'm unlikely to be going back to Cuban Pete's.

Posted by: MontclairMom | Nov 13, 2005 7:50:08 PM

Stopped by Cuban Pete's on the way home
from NJPAC night. I was looking forward to eating there for weeks, as I've loved
Dominick for years. Hubby and I waited for 40 minutes to get a table, and then
waited another 20 minutes for a waiter to show up. The menu is very small, and
was surprised to find out that we couldn't get any Cuban Grill selections.
As a vegetarian, I found choices few and far between. I don't understand some of the menu choices. Is it Cuban?
Spanish? Puerto Rican? Lots of weird
fried cheese thingies. After all was said and done, we left after an hour
because I couldn't get the waiter to
get the chef to find something for me
to eat that didn't have tomatoes in it.
When he said "all of our dishes have
a tomato base, just a little," we got up and left without eating. If one is
allergic to tomatoes, then it just takes
a dab to do it. Went home and made
grilled cheese on a bagel, although hubby stopped by Nauna's to get a great
chicken Caesar salad. We did find the
parking lot to be a plus, however. Too
bad we're too bummed out to try the place again. I could just cry...

Posted by: May | Nov 14, 2005 9:20:52 AM

I haven't been there yet. Don't know if I will go now.
I have to echo Ninahc's comments on Egan's though. It was so highly praised on this site and when I went there, I was fairly disappointed with the food. It's a nice bar, a good place to catch a drink, but go eat elsewhere.

I was hoping more for Cuban Pete's, but I'm not so sure anymore, esp. since I know the owners are the former Mexical (blech) Rose owners.

Oh well, on the plus side, I've read very positive reviews of Blu on egullet.

Posted by: Karen | Nov 14, 2005 6:29:06 PM

My husband, friends and I LOVED Cuban Pete the atmosphere is warm and lively
the food was great and the service was good I like the hats on the waitors it adds to the charm of the place. The owner Dominick and his wife are wonderful so friendly and appreciative I can only imagine that it will get better and better and that patio in the nice weather will be great we wish them all the success in the world. And I have to say to Ninach your comments--while you ae entitled to your opinion were hurtful and mean.

Posted by: Ruthie | Nov 15, 2005 6:48:41 PM

Ruthie – My post wasn’t about my “opinions.” It was about what actually happened. I was very specific as opposed to your post – What did you eat that was so good? How was your service so wonderful? What differentiated it from other places you’ve eaten? Other than the hats, what did you like about the ambience? Frankly, it looks like most people agree with me re Pete’s though I do wish them the best of luck. The restaurant business is a tough one (I have first hand knowledge.) Remember, feedback is a gift . . .

Posted by: Ninach | Nov 16, 2005 8:36:44 AM

Be careful of your postings... I actually ate at ninach restaurant on Long Island. Do yourselves a favor and go visit the website. Salmon stuffed with cheese and red sauce everything! I rest my case. One of the worst culinary experience of my life. So I don't know about Cuban Pete's but as a food critic, ninach's credibility is not too good.

Posted by: todd helton | Nov 18, 2005 2:58:07 AM

Todd, thanks for your post. I know this is off topic, but did you go recently? This is great feedback I plan on passing along.

BTW -- Was at BLU last night -- this place is fantastic. Had the charred octopus and short ribs, wife had the beet salad and the risotto with truffle oil and shitakes -- liked it so much we ordered another.

Posted by: Ninach | Nov 18, 2005 8:08:46 AM

For the love of God, we log in for the reviews and opinnions from patrons. Much valuable space and time is being wasted on ninahc and whatever she has to say based on her own failures. Get with the program!

Posted by: Ozzy | Nov 18, 2005 11:36:59 AM

From the moment I entered Cuban Pete's I felt like I was being transported to Havana Cuba. The decor is so amazing!!!!!!! Tony Oritz the brains behind the interior decorating & painting, well let me say there are not enough words to say what an amazing job he did. He really captured the feeling, look & essence of Cuba.

Dominick, George & The staff were all so friendly and attentative. The sangria & food was also very tasty. I will be back again to enjoy the ambieance & food.

Posted by: Monica | Nov 18, 2005 11:50:49 AM

not a complaint....great food, fun, surrounded by pleasant staff...and the decor is beyond fabulous...Tony Ortiz is amazing...all original work....it will wake up Montclair.....

Posted by: scarpa | Nov 18, 2005 1:59:05 PM

We went to Cuban Pete's last night and really had a good time. I could tell the staff was new (a few broken dishes shattering in thebackground and a few items not available on the menu), but what do you expect in teh first couple of weeks of business.

Our tapas were all good - we tried nearly every one on the menu!

Our sangria was VERY good! We got the traditional, but the Mojito was the best. We had 2 pitchers!! (One on Dominick).

Only one person from our table ordered an entre and she enjoyed it.

We were not rushed at all and were able to sit and chat and laugh and order our drinks.

We'll definitely be going back! This is a great place to meet for friends.

PS - I disagree with the above comment about Egans having bad food. I really love their food (fish & chips rock!!! desserts rock!!) and would go there more often if it weren't so loud and busy.

Posted by: butchcjg | Nov 18, 2005 4:14:11 PM

Cuban Pete's was a disaster! After waiting over an hour on Sat 11/19, we found out that there were two hostesses. The girl in the front was giving tables to people who walked in from Bloomfield Avenue, while the idiot hostess in the back (facing the lounge) seemed to enjoy lying to us that a table would be available soon (without really checking). Also Dominick (the owner) was seating all of his cronies immediately - with no regard for the people who were waiting patiently for a table in the lounge. This is no way to treat patrons. Cuban Pete's has lost at least 4 because we would NEVER go back.

Posted by: Deve Guzman | Nov 20, 2005 1:17:00 PM

Tried out Cuban Pete's this weekend and will NEVER go back. The food was bland, at best. Most was simply limp and tasteless. The sangria was too sweet to drink, especially the reds. We waited 2 hours for a table, only to discover they play games with the seating and then lie to your face about it. The owner couldn't care less!!! Of course, if I had realized that it was the an owner of Mexicali Rose, I wouldn't have even bothered with Cuban Pete. I agree with the review that said Mexicali Rose has the worse food in NJ. Bad service, bad food, bad sangria......Cuban Pete is a total disaster of a restaurant.

Posted by: Stacy | Nov 21, 2005 11:40:44 AM

We tried Cuban Pete's two weeks ago. We never got beyond the sangrias, as none of the food we ordered ever arrived. Actually, neither did our place settings.

We were comped one pitcher, and we'll probably go back, once the kinks are worked out and maybe either really really early or really really late.

I wanted so much to have a great meal, and we enjoyed the atmosphere. Maybe next time.

Posted by: godlikeingoal | Nov 23, 2005 9:40:55 AM

This is my first posting to this site. I am supprised by some of the anger directed at Dominic and the staff. As someone in the restaurant business, I know it takes at least a few weeks to get things organized and the menu fine tuned. Yes, the service is slow, but I always felt everyone was trying, if the restaurant had been open for a while, I would have been quite annoyed. The tapas were very good, I thoroughly enjoyed the sangrias. The churasco was excellent. I have been to Cuban Petes twice. The second time was much better than the first and I am sure the third time will be even better. If you were unhappy here, wait a few weeks and give it another chance, with Carl as the chef, it can only get better. As those of us who have been to Sabor know, Carl is an amazing chef and can not fail to show the same skills here.

Posted by: JeffreyL | Nov 23, 2005 1:29:43 PM

Was driving by Cuban Pete's yesterday and saw something that amused me. As most of you post here know, Cuban Pete's is supposed to use only New Jersey wines in the sangria. The guy with two dollies of Franzia box wine shows me they may not be following that to code.

They can always use the excuse they are using it for cooking purposes, but first of all who cooks with Franzia and also if they are, that's a hell of a lot of wine to be used in only two weeks.

Last I checked, Franzia wasn't made in New Jersey. Maybe they should change their name to Sneaky Pete's and be wary when you are ordering the sangrias.

Posted by: somethingfunny | Nov 23, 2005 3:13:04 PM

Hey smarty pants!

We cook with Franzia at Church Street Cafe, buying multiple boxes at a time. It's used in more recipes than I can count. Boxed wine is inexpensive & very convenient to handle, as well as much safer than glass bottles in the kitchen. Duh!

Posted by: Greg Spinelli | Nov 23, 2005 4:57:05 PM

Just came back from Cuban Pete's tonight for dinner with my husband, we had a great time. The Mojito Sangria was very good. My appetizer was the best, Hazelnut goat cheese and my hubby ordered the Chorizo, he loved it. Dominick was very friendly and very cheerful, plus the Chef - Carl is so pleasant. Our server was great, too bad i never got his name. For our main entrees, I ordered the double pork chop and my hubby ordered the cuban paella, we both loved our entrees, also special mention to the Plantains, they are so perfectly riped. Will surely come back and bring friends with us.

Posted by: me | Nov 23, 2005 8:27:59 PM

I managed to try Cuban Pete's the other night and am happy to report that I had an excellent dining experience. The atmosphere was exciting, the food was delicious, and the service exceeded my expectations. Both the owner and the chef came to our table, introduced themselves, and made sure we were being properly taken care of by the friendly staff.

A couple more things I would like to say: 1) the management of Pete's are very aware of the negative comments being made on Barista; 2) the people that work at Pete's are of course only human, and therefore feeling stung by the criticism; but 3) they are taking the comments very seriously, and taking appropriate measures to address the complaints.

I loved Cuban Pete's and definitely intend to go back. And I hope those who haven't been there yet will try it and enjoy it as much as my wife and I did.

Posted by: Happy | Nov 24, 2005 11:18:53 AM

Once again the negative comments about Cuban Petes are obviously competitors. Everyone knows that Franzia is cooking wine. It is quite apparent that some people are trying to sabotage Cuban Petes. I can only explain the negative attacks as jeolousy.

Posted by: Jeffrey | Nov 24, 2005 5:40:53 PM

Hi there friends, I am Tony Ortiz, the designer of Cuban Pete's and the master mind behind the idea of a Cuban Restaurant in Montclair. Cuban Pete's was concived to honor our spanish heritage and to share the latin flavors and our culture with you all. And you are all right when you complaint about the service and everything else you may want to bitch about... but at the end of the day, you must (please) realize in your discriminating minds that this simple idea turned out to be a "monster"... a monster that needs to be taimed and trained, and that my friends... takes time! It takes time to work out the kinks, it takes time to please every one, it takes time to live up to the expectations of a town that can easily compare its dining experience to that of a metropolis. I am the first one to realize their weaknesses, but I will keep coming back to show my support to Dominick, his wife, his family, to Chef Carl and the entire staff. But not only it takes time, it takes courage and it also takes a lot of "cojones" to open up the doors every day to a full house. I know (first hand) that Dominick and staff is trying VERY HARD to please everyone... hey, I've waited over an hour for my own food, but you know what? If you come in with the right state of mind, your dining experience will be a wonderful experience, but don't come if you are in a rush to catch a movie, at least not for now. Things are happening faster than they can be addressed, so if you are a sour puss insipid demanding patron I will strongly suggest you don't come just yet, give them some time so they can be running up to par. I speak for myself, as the designer of Cuban Pete's, Diva Lounge, Chelsea Grill, Comb Barber Shop, Intimate Engagements, Mexicali Rose, Stephanie's Restaurant, Jungle Gymz, Alpha Graphics, Over The Edge, Lynnes Infinity, Nissan-Subbaru, Bardis Restaurant and many, many private homes in town... at the beginning there is always chaos, but given the time, excellence will prevail. Thanks for your understanding and suppor. love to all. Tony (www.tonyortizdesign.com).

Posted by: Tony Ortiz | Nov 25, 2005 12:56:43 AM

Most people don't realize it, but opening a new restaurant is one of the hardest things you can do. The details that must be considered, including design, menu, equipment, staffing, service procedures, kitchen organization, etc, etc are absolutely staggering. No matter how much experience you have in the business, and how much you plan, you really don't know what to expect until you open your doors. There are an incredible number of things that can go wrong.

The most difficult thing, as Ray and I found out, is the problem of starting out with a lot of new staff. When a restaurant is open, any potential hires (both kitchen staff and wait staff) must "trail", that is, work for a shift or two as an "audition" of sorts. Then it can be determined if they are able to handle the demands of the job. In a new restaurant, you do not have this luxury. When we expanded Raymond's we had to hire many staff members on the basis of an interview only. Disaster ensued, even though we had a core group of returning cooks and waiters. It is not easy, and it takes quite a while to develop a staff who can function well as a team. (This is something we still continue to work on daily.)

Dominic and Carl are both talented and have created a restaurant that is more ambitious than most. It is sure to become another beloved Montclair institution, but this doesn't happen overnight.

Posted by: Joanne | Nov 25, 2005 6:59:49 PM

Can't wait to try it out.

Posted by: jojo | Nov 26, 2005 9:52:16 AM

I was at Cuban Pete's with a large group (12) and had an EXCELLENT meal. Here's what I'm thinking...if all of the people who are b*tching about CP's stay away, then there will be less of a wait for me the next time I go.
PFFFFT to anyone who is so critical of a place in its first month--esp when the chef is putting out such terrific food! We sampled a bunch of tapas (dates in bacon, goat cheese fritters, empanadas, the chorizo and plantain-stuffed pequillo peppers, pork belly, chicken 'lollipops,' and probably a few that I'm forgetting. For entrees, we tried the oxtail (YUM), the whole red snapper (fresh, light and moist), roast pork, and more. Without exception, the food was terrific, and probably a few dollars less per dish than it should be. So for all of you naysayers, stay away! The rest of us will be happy to go back to Cuban Pete's time and time again.

Posted by: Ev | Nov 30, 2005 10:45:22 PM

I was part of the party of 12 last night and we had a most delicious evening. Kudos to Chef Carl and Dominick as they are trying very hard to get the kinks out. My advice would be to dine here midweek for the time being. If possible go with a large crowd as you will be able to taste more of the tapas.

I personnally loved Tony Ortiz's Favorite which was red sangria filled with berries. The pork belly tapas, chicken lollipops, oxtails, whole fish and dolce de leche cake were a few of the "don't miss? dishes we tried.

There were quite a few local chefs dining there last night and I also applaud them for supporting a local restaurant.

Posted by: Rosie Saferstein | Dec 1, 2005 4:55:52 PM

Had a wonderful time at Cuban Pete’s!
We ate there somewhere in the second week they where open. Didn’t wait at all for a table – but we where on the early side. We order only ½ a pitcher of sangria and a full pitch come to the table – courtesy of Dominic. I think the sangria was Spanish Harlem. Very tasty!
We order 1 entrée and few appetizers. I would order everything again. The chicken dish was juicy and nicely seasoned. The garlic shrimp was great, good and spicy. The empanadas had beautiful pastry and you just can’t go wrong with Manchego. The plantains where nicely caramelized and sweet.
My seat was facing the kitchen and it was really interesting watching everyone and I do mean every staff member run around. Yes it take our food awhile to get to us but then again by the time we had ordered our meals the whole place had filed up.

The kinks will work themselves out. The pace of the service will improve. You don’t go to a brand new restaurant in its first few weeks and not expect that something might go wrong. I look at it as a mini adventure.

I wish them the best of luck!!!

Posted by: natcrow | Dec 2, 2005 4:03:58 PM

Cuban Pete's dazzles your eyes but rots your gut. I didn't even know it was owned by the same guy as Mexicali until the day after i ate there. I said to myself that explains why the food tasted like crap.
Love the sneaky pete nickname - so apt.
oh yeah, and the seating thing - really annoying but not annoying enough to deter customers - leave the food to do that magic instead.

Posted by: Feedme | Dec 3, 2005 10:31:19 AM

I continue to be surprised by the love it or hate it reaction to this gem of a restaurant.

Personally I love it. Been there three times and while there are some issues on timing of service,I and my guests have loved the food and the Sangria.

Posted by: ManoAVino | Dec 3, 2005 5:13:39 PM

We went to Petes on a Tuesday night and were very impressed. The menu has a cuban side and a latin side, so those who guessed it wasn't just cuban, you are right.

Tapas were great: garlic shrimp, fried pork, chorizo and plantains. Each very delicious. Had the shredded beef entre and was equally as good.

Food from this region is very basic. Perhaps some of you are looking for something this is not.

As for those who don't like Egan's food, you probably don't understand what you are eating. The menu is very representative of traditional Irish and British food with a gourmet flare. It's not bad food, just not the American spin on it you are used to.

Posted by: cruzamente | Dec 4, 2005 8:43:39 PM

Ate at CP's tonight. Very festive fun atmosphere. Delicious food. Service very accommodating. Seems like they've worked out the kinks of a new endeavor. Don't think the negative comments are keeping people away. It was very busy for a Sunday night.

Posted by: jrmakowski | Dec 11, 2005 9:56:03 PM

I vote for Cuban Pete's. Live the different tapas dishes. Nice salads for those who want to add a healthy touch. And the sangrias are the best idea that has arrived in Montclair lately.

Posted by: Redsuitt | Dec 12, 2005 11:46:23 AM

dang!! i wonder if the cuban sandwhiches have mayonesa

Posted by: lourdes irizarry | Dec 12, 2005 10:26:55 PM

Sorry to report that Chef Carl Ruiz has left Cuban Pete's.

Posted by: Ev | Dec 19, 2005 11:27:15 AM

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