Many of you have probably driven past Café Monarch and never realized it was there. It is one of Downtown Scottsdale’s hidden gems! The building was one of Scottsdale’s first hotels and has been reinvented into a charming restaurant. With the twinkle lights and cozy patios, you’d have a difficult time remembering that you are in an urban neighborhood. They offer a four-course, pre-fixe menu that changes weekly and is the definition of the art of good eating, and their food is made with seasonal and organic ingredients.
My friend and I started with a Cucumber Tini, one their specialty cocktails. It was the perfect drink for a warm summer evening! The amuse-bouche was roasted corn polenta with spicy tomato jam, peppered ahi tuna carpaccio and pickled vidalia onion salad. Next was Summer Salad with frisee, baby romaine, hickory smoked almonds, orange segments, red wine and goat cheese emulsion, garlic confit sherry vinegar buttermilk dressing, and pink peppercorn lavash. We also split an order of the seared Maine diver scallops with baby spinach and soy-caper brown butter sauce. They may have been the best scallops either of us has ever had! The Seared Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and Black Pepper Roasted Rib Eye were amazing, and dessert was a wonderful Bittersweet Chocolate Panna Cotta. We did the wine paring with each course and they were perfectly matched.
The pre-fixe menu is $55 per person, the scallops (always on the menu) are optional at $20, and the wine pairings are $25 per person. Words do not do justice to this meal. It was without doubt one of the best meals I have ever had!
Thank you to Cafe Monarch for the complimentary dinner.