I recently turned 23 and Curtis took me to Cafe Monte French Bakery and Bistro in Southpark for my celebratory birthday dinner. After a few minutes of careful parking maneuvers we finally made our way inside the swanky French Bistro where we were seated immediately along the back wall and then greeted by our very friendly waitress.
Since it was a celebration dinner I thought it appropriate to order a glass of 2008 French Champagne to celebrate and the Brie en Croute with apples and walnuts for the appetizer. The Brie was perfect… the cheese was warm and super soft enclosed in the flaky pastry deliciousness. It came with sweet cooked apples and walnuts that added a nice contrast to the salty cheese. The waitress also brought us a side of toasted bread that she had recommended but doesn’t normally come with the dish… but it should because it made the Brie even better!
For my entree I ordered the Beef Short Rib Bourguignonne with pearl onions, carrots and mashed potatoes. It was probably the best beef short ribs I have ever had. I loved the way they reworked Beef Bourguignonne, which is traditionally a stew, into a delicious entree. The braised beef was so soft that it fell apart with the lightest touch of my fork and the sauce was rich and full of flavor. The potatoes were perfectly creamy and the rest of the vegetables were nice and tender.
Curtis got the Margarite Pizza which was topped with tomato slices and fresh basil. The pizza ended up being pretty good.. despite not having any meat on it. The cheese, the tomatoes, the basil and the dough were all fresh and had that made from scratch appeal. The only thing that would have made the pizza better would have been some ranch dressing to dip it in and some crushed red peppers to spice it up a little bit :)
For dessert we ordered the chocolate raspberry mouse cake. There was a layer of chocolate cake on the bottom, a chocolate raspberry mouse and a layer of raspberry jam on top. It was a nice dessert but paled in comparison to my short ribs.
We’ve had some pretty miserable experiences during celebratory dinners… but Cafe Monte changed that cycle. Fresh food, nice people and a great experience made for a great birthday dinner :)