Craig LaBan finds a little bit of the South of France in South Jersey at Dream Cuisine, a French cafe tucked in among chain restaurants.
And the straightforward presentations are rustic French, rather than fussy French, with chunky tomato-based sauces that evoke the Mediterranean garden. This food reminds me of the grandmÃ¨re cooking you’d find at a neighborhood cafe – if your neighborhood happened to be near Fanari’s native Nice.
The intoxicating smell of garlic and Pastis rises up from broiled scallop shells that cradle both tiny bay and larger sea mollusks – and I sop up with crusty bread every last drop of the remaining crumb-thickened juices. A lightly seared tuna steak comes posed over real ratatouille – the ProvenÃ§al vegetable medley of eggplant, zucchini, onions, peppers and basil-laced tomatoes, sauteed separately in olive oil before being brought together for a final simmer.
Two Bells – Very Good