Guess where I ate today! Blue Monk
I can check another restaurant off my “Restaurants to visit this summer” list after going to the Blue Monk yesterday. I remember reading all the hype surrounding this restaurant for almost a year before it opened so of course I would have to check out this place. Luckily I had a friend who also wanted to check out this restaurant so I finally had the opportunity to go.
We walked in about 5-10 minutes after they opened. I suppose it may have looked odd, two 15 year olds walking in to have lunch, but the 10 second starring contest we had with the hostess proved to be quite awkward. To break the silence my friend pipes up saying “We wish to dine at your fine establishment.” After which we were seated and began a great dining experience.
As with many elmwood restaurants, there is a bar and small seating area on the first floor followed by a center staircase that leads to the upper seating area, kitchen, and restrooms. The walls were decorated with Belgian beer signage and other memorabilia. Doors cut in half to form wainscoting was a very unique touch.
The Meal: In my “try anything once” spirit, I ordered the Duck Confit Reuben. Not knowing if I liked duck or reubens, I thought this would be a good choice. For $12, I received a nice size sandwich with great flavor and the satisfaction of knowing that I like duck and reubens. For an extra $2 I substituted the chips for Duck Frites (fries cooked in duck fat) and had my choice of one dipping sauce from a long list of options, I chose the Honey-Cayenne aioli which our waitress Mia said was one of her favorites. If the menu didn’t say that these fries were cooked in duck fat, would I have known? Probably not, but they tasted good nonetheless. My friend suggested that I now demand all my fries be cooked in duck fat at whatever restaurant I go to. My sole complaint about this sandwich is that it seemed very greasy, but with the amount of gruyere and dijonaisse on it, I suppose that is an understandable circumstance. My friend chose the Shaved Prime Rib Beef on Weck for $13. He was quite impressed with this twist on a local favorite, raving “If Jesus made a sandwich, this is it.” He mentioned that the roll was a little salty for his taste, but that tends to happen with almost all beef on wecks.
I have yet to mention the extensive beer selections this traditional Belgian style pub offers. As you walk in, you are greeted by a large chalkboard that boast many authentic Belgian beers. I would love to go into more detail about it but being 15, my knowledge of traditional Belgian beer is not all that extensive.
Closing Thoughts: This restaurant truly lives up to all the hype surrounding it. Although the menu is not very large, it offers dishes that you can not get anywhere else in the city and that is what I look for when trying a new restaurant. I plan on bringing more friends or family back to the Blue Monk first chance I get. Two down, three to go!