14 July 2010

Quai des Artistes, Monte-Carlo - Restaurant Review

I came across these pictures from my Monaco trip the other day lurking on my camera's SD card and I thought it would be worth posting something about them. Following on from the battering our wallets had taken at Restaurant Joël Robuchon the night before, we decided to go for something a little more low key for our dinner that night.

Eating out in Monaco can be a bit of challenge at times. Decent restaurants tend to be phenomenally expensive while the cheaper ones seem to serve mediocre fayre catered to tourists. Quai des Artistes strikes a middle ground. Although still fairly pricey, it falls into the mid-price range bracket of Monaco restaurants. The restaurant is modelled on a Parisian brasserie and is nicely located on the harbour just next to the raucous Stars'N'Bars restaurant. The interior is very pleasant, although it borders on the pastiche and is a touch clichéd; you sort of imagine that if Disney made a French brasserie that this is how it would look; leather banquettes, a large central chandelier and even an old Paris metro sign dominate the room. But the restaurant just about manages to carry off the look.

The extensive menu serves a wide variety of hearty brasserie food. Starters include, among other things, classics such as escargot, moules marinière, terrines and soups. Mains are dominated by grilled fish and meat. Everything on the menu here sounds good and it was genuinely a tough choice to decide.

To start with I had gratinated queen scallops which came served in the shell. The scallops were perfectly cooked in a cream and wine sauce, while the breadcrumb crust was satisfyingly crispy and cheesy. 
Gratinated Scallops
The main course was a fantastic piece of entrecôte steak cooked medium-rare with bernaise sauce. Accompanying this were pommes dauphinoise and a green salad. The steak was really good, perfectly cooked and well-rested, and nicely charred on the outside with a juicy, grassy taste. The creamy dauphinoise potatoes had a nice garlicy aroma to them and the green salad was, well, just salad, but perfect for mopping up the juices. This has to be one of my favourite food combinations of all time; very simple, but amazing when done well, and here it was done very well indeed.

Entrecôte steak with pommes dauphinoise and green salad
For dessert I had a strawberry mille-feuille, which although good was nothing special. The mille-feuille was a little on the chewy side but the strawberries were perfectly ripe and the coulis was not overly sweet.

Strawberry mille-feuille
The bill per person came to around €140 per person, including coffee and some rather decent red wine. This was probably more than I was expecting to pay for this sort of food, but as I've mentioned before there aren't really any decent 'cheap' restaurants in Monaco, so in this context Quai des Artistes seems reasonably priced for such an agreeable meal. I was also impressed with the quality of service given that it was the middle of the Grand Prix weekend. All in all, Quai des Artistes is a thoroughly decent place to while away the evening over some good French comfort food and some decent wine.

Food:        7 / 10
Service:     7 / 10
Ambiance: 8 / 10

Quai des Artistes
4 quai Antoine 1er
Monte-Carlo 98 000
Tel: +377 97 97 97 77

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