Bottom line: The variety and the baked goodies will keep me coming back for more!
Cafe Monte is truly a gem. I didn’t expect to find such delicious French food in Charlotte. Although I am no expert on French food I hope to be able to gains lots of experience with it soon (more to come on that later!). I have to admit that I have been there several times. Twice for brunch and once for dinner.
The restaurant is located in South Park next to the brand new Whole Foods. They have a small outdoor seating area and an indoor seating area. The outdoor seating area is ok, it’s rather small and it’s right next to the parking lot. I wish they would add more plants to shield from the parking lot and create ambiance but they do have limited space. Once inside you will see lovely yellow walls, mirrors, and French music in the background (Champs Elysees played while we were there!). The decoration is very chic and cozy. You will also see waiters clad in black with long white aprons. Booths line the back wall. Upon coming in you will see the bakery display to the right, a waiting area to the left, and the hostess stand straight ahead. One thing worthy of mention is how courteous and friendly the staff is. In all my visits there I have really enjoyed that.
While I have lots of pictures of the bakery display cases and my dinner I do not have any of my brunch. I am a glutton what can I say? There have been many a time where I start eating my meal and then I am like oops I guess the picture will show a bite or two. All in the name of sharing delicious food with all of you.
The first time I went there for brunch I had the Florentine Omelette. The Florentine omelette comes with tomatoes, spinach, gruyere cheese, and roasted red pepper. It is served with fruits, whole grain toast, and potatoes. I chose to go double on the fruits and skip on the potatoes (can you tell it was a particularly gluttonous weekend and I was trying to rectify that?) I really liked this dish because it was simple, fresh, and satisfying. Nothing more and nothing less. You get exactly what you see on the menu. My friend had the Fruit De Mer Omelette which comes with smoked salmon, crab, lobster, scallions, and tomato. Quite a dish for the morning but she seems to enjoy it none the less. I wish I could tell you more about it but I didn’t try it myself.
Upon finishing our brunch (we ate outside) we headed inside because I wanted to take a look at the bakery display. Just a look mind you! While perusing the bakery options (for viewing pleasure only) the guy behind the counter asked if we wanted anything. I cheekily replied that we were just eating with our eyes. He surprised me by letting me and my friend pick a macaroon for free. They have multiple flavors. I decided to go with pistachio and it was fresh and delicious. Barely crunchy on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside. I liked it way better than a certain other French bakery in town.
During my second visit for dinner I took the time to take picture of their amazing bakery display case to provide you with plenty of inspiration. I did not partake but it is on my infinite places to eat list!
For dinner you will be served the delicious mini loaf pictured in the slideshow above. The bread was fresh and still warm (note to all restaurants that serve cold bread, get with the program!). I, of course, couldn’t help but keep eating it. For dinner I had the Herb Basted Salmon, this dish a nice big piece of salmon served with veggies. It also came with mashed potatoes but I substituted for carrots. The salmon was slightly crispy on the outside. The veggies were good. The mushroom had a good buttery flavor and it wasn’t too soft or hard. Perfect point. The only complaint I had was that I wish the carrots had been cooked a little longer but wish such an amazing meal that is something I can live with.
My friend had the Mussels and Frites dish. She was very happy with it. Especially the sauce. The tomatoes were really fresh and the whole dish was served in a wine butter sauce that was garlicky and perfectly creamy. My friend commented that she could just drink it! The fries were ok. They were fries. Better than fast food but still fries.
I can tell you that there are many reason why I will keep going back to Cafe Monte. They have plenty of options throughout the day and a delicious brunch. And that bakery? I want to try it all. Every single little bit of it. Alas, that may take some time.