Mes Reves: Dreams Come True in Bloomfield

BY  |  Friday, Feb 18, 2011 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (13)

Broad Street in Bloomfield has become a veritable haunt for foodies. With Momoya, Brookside Thai and Pandan, Bohemia and Stamna all in close proximity, Mes Reves, with a slick aura all its own (and a building all its own), has sprung to life as a shiny new star on the block.

The restaurant was a delight to walk into. Its airiness and the combination of fabulous light fixtures, glass panels, pale yellow upholstery and warm, oak-stained floors came together harmoniously (and unostentatiously). I’d only just arrived and I had every intention of lingering.

Mes Reves (French for my dreams) opened its doors on Feb. 7, and appeared to be off to an encouraging start, enjoying a full house on Valentine’s Day, and a reasonably brisk dining room on subsequent evenings, one of which included familiar faces such as those of Bloomfield’s Mayor Ray McCarthy and several members of the town council.

More obscure faces recently included my husband’s and mine. The typically French menu, leaning heavily meatward, comprised five appetizers (priced between $10 and $16), three salads ($8 to $12) and eight entrees ($20-$28), with options for the carnivor, omnivor and pescetarian.

We started off with the mushroom tart and the seared fois gras. The former burst with the savory-spicy flavor and scent of wild mushrooms, doused in a mushroom demi sauce, all atop a flaky rectangle of puff pastry. We were wowed. My husband was less impressed by my fois gras, which he considered a little rare and rich, but I enjoyed every fatty milligram of it.  It was melt-in-the-mouth silky, served with the thinnest, sauteed leek strips (impossible to eat gracefully) in a sauterne sauce, on a bed of tiny, cubed butternut squash.

As we awaited our mains, the chef (I assumed it was him) appeared in the dining room to mingle briefly with each of his patrons, and then returned to the kitchen to work his magic with our entrees.

The rack of lamb arrived as it was intended, medium rare, in a shallot sauce with bordelaise. It was infused with roasted flavor, and accompanied by couscous, and ratatouille in which you could see the component vegetables and taste the subtle smoky-char flavor off the grill pan. Delightful.

Pan-seared duck breast was served with grilled endive, carrots, wild rice and a port-based sauce. This was so tender and tasty it was practically inhaled in two breaths by my husband.

With the food all gone, and still soaking in the excitement of Mes Reves‘ newness (and the realization that we’d found another great local place to dine), we had no choice but to prolong our stay by ordering dessert. Alas, only two items were on the menu that night (well, they’d only been open such a little while) – a bread pudding and creme caramel. We picked the latter and weren’t disappointed. A sweet finale to a smashing meal.

I later spoke to Quang Tran, owner and chef de cuisine of Mes Reves.

“This was my dream, there were little nightmares along the way during this journey, but it’s finally come true,” said Quang, a charming and modest 42-year-old who looks half his age.

“I wanted to bring a little piece of Manhattan here, a Soho Village-type restaurant with provincial French, simple dishes; I don’t want to intimidate my patrons.”

Born in Vietnam in Saigon, Quang moved to the U.S. as a young child. He was trained at the International Culinary Center in NYC (the combined French and Italian culinary school).

“It’s a passion,” said Quang, who lives with his wife (co-owner of Mes Reves) and two kids in Nutley. “I take pride in the product that I’m making and hope that what I create from the kitchen will be satisfactory.”

“I’ve jumped into it (the restaurant business) and gotten my feet wet. I can only hope for the best.”

Congratulations, Quang. We’re rooting for you.

Mes Reves

407 Broad St (corner of Broad & Baldwin),
Bloomfield, NJ
973.429.4888

Mon-Thurs 5-9pm; Fri-Sat 5-10pm, Closed Sunday

(No special attention was sought during this review and no introduction was made on the day of the review. The chef-owner was interviewed and photographed a day later. Apologies for underlit photos, surreptitiously taken sans flash.)

13 Comments

  1. POSTED BY Karen Banda  |  February 18, 2011 @ 12:39 pm

    French food isn’t my thing, especially the foie gras, but I wish the new owners well and much success. I love it that Bloomfield is becoming home to some fine dining.

  2. POSTED BY anne prince  |  February 18, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    I had the pleasure of eating at Mes Reves last Saturday and was blown away with the food and service. We went with a party of 5 and there were 5 apps on the menu so we all ordered 1 of each and shared. There was seared Fois Gras, sweetbreads, seared sea scallops, a mushroom/leek tart and mussels in saffron cream sauce. All were excellent, perfectly done and beautifuly plated.

    Then for …the dinners we had breast of duck, rack of lamb, skate, salmon and steak frites. All were done perfectly. There was also cornish hens, pork and I think something else on the menu. It is small but solid.

    We all had coffe/espresso/tea and shared a bread pudding (very good) and a flan (not my fave just cause I don’t like the texture). BYBO.

    Bill with tip per person was $55 which I thought was okay given the quality of the food and service. Place is nicely appointed.

    The owners did indeed come out to soliciate our opinion and were very gracious and asked for our opinions which was nicely appreciated.

    I will definitely be going back there again.

  3. POSTED BY Kevin57  |  February 18, 2011 @ 1:29 pm

    Thanks Bernadette & Anne, I will be sure to get this on my “to do” list!

  4. POSTED BY bebopgun  |  February 18, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

    Very cool. I had been waiting to see what this place was going to become. It’s on my list, too.

    I finally made it Anthony’s Cheesecake in Bloomfield, too. Yum.

    Mes Reves are already about the weekend.

  5. POSTED BY scottie  |  February 18, 2011 @ 7:39 pm

    Thanks, BB. We have reservations there tomorrow night. And now I have no reservations about our reservations.

  6. POSTED BY ricrac  |  February 19, 2011 @ 9:51 pm

    This was originally POSTED BY ricrac | FEBRUARY 11, 2011 @ 10:55 PM on Baristanet under the “A Taste of Valentine’s Day in Baristaville”

    My wife and I had dinner at Mes Reves (it means MY Dream) tonight. What a treat. She started with the Mussels (toasted baguettes,white wine, saffron herb sauce) and followed that up with the seared rack of Lamb(couscous, ratatouille, shallot bordelaise sauce). I had the Mesclun Salad (goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, croutons and a shallot vinaigrette), the salad was perfectly dressed , just enough to coat the salad without leaving a puddle on the plate. I followed the salad with Steak Frites, (a 12 oz NT Strip with truffle fries). Prices range from $10 to $16 for Appetizers and $20 to $28 for Entrees. Everything was excellent.. The waiter (David) was knowledgeable and gave us just the right amount of attention without being over bearing. Since this is the first week the place has been open, the owner and his wife were going around to all the tables , greeting the diners and asking for their thoughts on the food. This is a very new place and I suggest you try it know before it becomes so popular that it will be impossible to get reservations.

  7. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 22, 2011 @ 11:21 am

    Looks like Broad St. in Bloomfield is becoming quite a restaurant row. We look forward to sampling Mes Reves. As for fois gras, if you object to it don’t eat it. Making everything into an issue becomes tiresome after a while. Personally, I will look forward to ordering it.

  8. POSTED BY deadeye  |  February 22, 2011 @ 1:22 pm

    Here’s how the process of raising ducks for fois gras works here in the good old US of A. Not some factory farm in France…

  9. POSTED BY azbagoo74  |  April 29, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

    Had a fabulous dinner and experience here last night. Started with the mushroom tart and the calamari salad. Both light without being oversauced or overseasoned. We both loved the bread and butter (mint honey-melty enough where it spreads great on the ovenwarmed bread!:)) I had the steakfrites-perfect and he had the pork tenderloin, which we both agreed-probably one of the best we have ever had. For dessert had the flan and the grand marnier flambe with rum raising (keep the kids away)-yummy. But besides the food, two things struck me as standout: 1) french bistro to me conjures rustic furniture and hearty, unrefined decor and food-it was quite the opposite. I was surprised at the very chic, without being pretentious setup and surroundings. 2) the owners-Tammy and Quang! In addition to bringing out a complimentary dessert, they chatted with us for over an hour after closing about food, towns, and everything in between. Most places are ready to kick you out if you are the last people in the place but not there. It was a welcome discussion with two very knowledgable and personable people that I would love to have over my own house for dinner. Two thumbs up to Mes Reves for the food, owners, and a new spot in Bloomfield. I wish them all the success and plan to be back with others…

  10. POSTED BY ricrac  |  April 29, 2011 @ 3:43 pm

    azbagoo74,
    I totally agree with your comments regarding the food ,decor and even the owners, Tammy and Quang. I will only disagree with you regarding having them over to my house for dinner. I can not prepare a meal that I would feel would be good enough to serve to them. If I were that good of a chief, I would not be going to Mes Reves (or any place else) for dinner. BUT until I can prepare a meal of that caliber, I’ll go to Mes Reves.

  11. POSTED BY ollie  |  September 25, 2011 @ 8:36 pm

    Had a bad experience here recently.Tried to have a vegetarian request–just bring all the side dishes on a plate but was refused because they were too busy–the restaurant was half empty!Had tough chewy steak which should be a specialty considering that this is a bistro.The server shook up our wine bottle before opening it.All is all the staff tries but there are too many other decent places for less money with better food.

  12. POSTED BY schlmeil  |  May 16, 2012 @ 9:09 am

    Wow, I went here last night (May 15, 2012) for the first time and it was INCREDIBLE. I live right on Osborne St for the last year and have never seen this restaurant. My mom and dad were in town from Michigan and pointed it out, so we went. The food was very delicious (we’re foodies, but not snobby elite foodies). Quang, the owner/chef, came out to visit and brought two gratis dishes to show off his skills – as he should, because it was fantastic. I can’t believe I’ve gone a year without visiting here, we will definitely be back.

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I will really miss their store. It was always so easy and fun to find a fun gift there. Walking into their store made me feel like I was transported into a faraway happy place!

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