Ever wondered what it’s like to visit the Secret Garden? I imagine the atmosphere would sort of be like the patio at Cafe Monarch. Head past the intimate chef’s kitchen dining room, which seats about 10, and through the gorgeous indoor restaurant that will make you feel like you’re in a castle dining room, and walk out to the patio covered in candles, featuring a fountain, and ensconced with flowers. It’s one of the most romantic restaurants in the Valley I’ve ever been to, and it re-opens tonight, Friday, October 4, after new owners have taken it over.
Every night, Cafe Monarch features a unique three-course prix fixe menu, based on seasonal items and Chef Andrew Nienke’s taste. Call ahead if you have special dietary needs, and they’ll adjust the menu accordingly for you.
I went there last week with some girlfriends — thank you so much to new owner Christian Lewkowicz for the invitation — and had one of the freshest meals I’ve ever had. We started with a watermelon salad, which came with huge chunks of juicy watermelon and a bed of fresh greens. I love watermelon salad, and this one was extra-tasty.
For dessert, we were treated to freshly baked puff pastries topped with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream. I slurped up every bite of the dessert, which was light and refreshing and managed to seem healthy because of the fruit.
My favorite part of Cafe Monarch, though, was the atmosphere and hospitality. The service was amazing and made you feel like you were in your own little world — perfect for an anniversary dinner or special get-together. Our meals would have cost $45 each, which was a steal for such unique culinary creations and such top-notch ingredients. The relaxed atmosphere will transport you out of the Valley for a night and make you feel like you’re in your own private retreat.
For more information on Cafe Monarch, check out their Facebook page here.