Monte Carlo Review (MSP)
Last night me and 8 friends went to the Monte Carlo for dinner.
It is a cool, throw back kind of place. I was surprised how dressed downed most people were. I know it is Minnesota, but I didn't expect people in jeans and tee shirts. The decor is awesome, especially the bar. I am actually a bit offended by the waitress uniform, a french maid type uniform, and there are NO men waiters, which was weird.
We started with drinks at the bar, and they were all very well mixed. The martinis are huge and about $10. I got a plain rum and soda water and it was $5.50.
We were sat about 20 minutes after our reservation, but that was totally acceptable to us due to our large size and great bar.
After we ordered, they brought out salads and bread first. I didn't have a salad, but they looked good. Nothing special, but good. I heard no complaints. The bread was good, but nothing special.
Next came out appetizers. The table ordered three different apps: chicken wings, fried calamari, and shrimp cocktail. The apps were huge orders. I think the wings and the calamari were made for 4 people because they were big. The wings were some of the best wings I've had. They had a spicy dry rub on them and were juicy. Just great. The calamari was also very good. They came with a spicy mayo based sauce which was good. I didn't try the shrimp cocktail, but it looked standard.
For the main, most people ordered steak. There was also a burger, a app pizza, and two salmon entrees.
I had a salmon salad plate. It was the most boring thing I have ever had. Nothing on the plate tasted like anything. I dumped salt on, but it did not bring out any taste. It was a huge piece of cold poached salmon. Supposedly cooked to medium, but actually it was well done. It tasted like nothing. Nothing. Also there were potatoes, tough tomatoes, and bland green beans. There was a pico de gallo type thing with it, which was fine.
The steaks looked really great, but weren't all that great, at least the one I tasted. They were just bland. For having half their menu being steaks, you would think they would be good.
The pizza appetizer did look really good.
I had burgers from the Monte Carlo as takeout many times. They are good. I should have went that way because the burger that came out looked awesome.
We didn't get dessert.
The service was great, even if they were wearing french maid outfits. One of the steaks came medium well when it was ordered medium rare. They corrected their mistake with lightning speed. Then the manager came by and checked that it was properly fixed. The staff was wonderful and helpful and on top of things.
Overall, a mixed review. The apps and drinks are great, as is the burger, but everything else is fair at best. It is a fun place though.
CG and I go there every winter solstice with some friends and family, and have been doing so for a few years. It's one of those places where nothing changes, and in many respects, that's why we go there. Their wings are fantastic-- they are actually spiced with a Chinese five spice rub that is unlike any I have ever had elsewhere, and I absolutely love them. Friends love the chopped liver, which I really don't like (probably too many bad synagogue versions while growing up). I also love the spicy green beans. I second churchka's opinion of the salmon salad-- very bland and completely unsatisfying.
They actually do employ a couple of male waiters.
Sorry about the salmon salad. If you're talking about the salmon Caesar salad, that's usually one of my standby faves. Usually, though, we order the app platter, skipping the chopped liver and subbing extra Szechuan green beans. You can order the wings all flats or all drummies.
And what else can you say about a bar that has 38 single malts?
And they have a spectacular patio for the summer.
"And what else can you say about a bar that has 38 single malts"...
That John should be concentrating on serving good food rather than 38 single malt scotches? Monte Carlo is a decent bar (if you sit at the bar), and a terrible restaurant. I think it may be hard to evaluate just how bad it is if you don't eat red meat. It's a chophouse, their specialty should be steaks and chops and maybe fish; they do all of these horribly. But they do have 38+ kinds of scotch to help you forget how bad it is.