Monarque was a large place in the business district and was really three restaurants in one. The front of the place had a more casual menu and feel and the back was modern and elegant with a set lunch menu. The long bar had 20 stools for lounge dining. Rock music was in the background, the wall had lots of mirrors and a striking tile pattern ran the entire length of the place. An open kitchen was in the middle of the long room. In the back were white clothes and napkins and some semi-circular booths to make up the stylish interior. On Canada’s 100 best list it came in at #16. At lunch there was a 2 course menu with the main plate determining the price or there was the option of ordering beef. With the beef option, the first course is sold separately.
Bread service was a thick sliced Italian white bread and tasty butter. It was nicely moist in the center with a good crust.
Gem Lettuce was topped with grilled plum, fresh goat cheese, and pistachio then tossed with a honey and sherry vinaigrette. It was 1/4 wedge of a Gem lettuce head with dressing drizzled on top and sitting underneath. Lots of flavors and textures here with sweet plum and tasty goat cheese. The nuts and radish added crunch. It was good even though nothing new.
The Strip Loin was 8.5 oz. and came with Bearnaise sauce and fries. The steak was more medium rare than rare and the exterior grizzle had been trimmed from the meat. It had a good char finish but was on the dry side. The rich Bearnaise helped with that issue but it was thicker than I would prefer. The fries were a generous order in a cone and served with a side of mayo (they did offer ketchup). They were tastier than the meat. We passed on dessert.