A Cozy Cafe Ripe with Character
Cafe Monet lets diners build their own menu combination.
Café Monet is a quaint bistro ripe with character. Large, colorful paintings of fruit and the French countryside adorn the walls of the two dining rooms. These rooms are separated by a solid wall, which creates the feeling of two small cafes that share nothing more than an entryway. Comfortable booths line the perimeter, but one of the rooms can easily be rearranged to accommodate groups of eight or more.
The server seemed to be part of the atmosphere. He spoke in a heavy, authentic French accent. He was attentive and knew the menu well. As we debated our main course options, he was able to offer on-point suggestions, from which plates to combine to which wines would complement each dish. Unfortunately, the wine will have to wait until our next visit, as we forgot that Café Monet is B.Y.O.
Without overdoing it, chef/owner Wes Sawi combines a multitude of flavors to create unique, tastefully light dishes. The menu is split into three courses, with five items in the “un” and “deux” sections and eight entrees. We shared a first and second course and ordered separate entrees. A plate from each course would have been too much if we were not sharing. The medium portions are just right, so that we left feeling satisfied but not stuffed. Entrees can be ordered in half or full portions.
We started with the Smoked Rainbow Trout ($13). The thin, tender trout sits atop a bed of romaine lettuce tossed with avocado and orange. The salad is dressed in a barely-there lemon vinaigrette. Other “un” dishes include Goat Cheese Napolean ($13), Petit Shrimp Cocktail ($15) and Duck Brandy Sage Pate ($13).
Moving on the second course, we devoured the Red Beets ($13). The beats were topped with strawberries, herb-goat cheese and balsamic drizzle. The sweet strawberries perfectly balanced the earthy beets. There are also seafood plates in the “deux” section, such as Vodka Salmon Tartar ($15), Seared Ginger Scallops ($17), or Duck Confit ($17) and Small Bouillabaisse ($15).
As we moved from course to course, Sawi came out to see if we liked his colorful creations. If he stops by your table, you are in for a pleasant chat about food, life and everything in between. It was obvious from his conversations with other patrons that he is one of the reasons many first-time customers quickly become regulars.
For our final course, Debbie had the Skate ($15/$24), while I ordered Chilean Sea Bass ($17/$26). Both delicate plates and served with sides that complement the fish well, such as olives-spinach sautee with the Sea Bass and apple-remoulade with the Skate.
We finished our meal with a Chocolate Tarte. It was on the house, a surprise from Sawi when he heard that it was our first visit to Café Monet. It was absolutely delicious. We couldn’t resist finishing every last bite.
Café Monet is an upscale café with lots of heart. It is best for adult nights out, as there are not many menu options for children. It is a fun, reasonably priced place to gather with old friends or for couples to enjoy a quiet night out. From the fresh-baked bread to the steaming chocolate torte, everything was prepared perfectly. The service was excellent. The only thing missing was the wine—don’t forget to pick up a bottle before heading in.