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December 10, 2009


I was very excited about the St. Louis Original’s restaurant week that took place from Nov 29th till Dec 5th. We looked through the participating restaurants, and picked Monarch and Araka as our best bets.  I had been to Monarch before, and along with Niche and Eleven Eleven Mississippi, considered it one of my favorite restaurants in St. Louis.  The tasting menu had potential, but ended up being not as impressive as their standard menu.  After getting comfortable, we were greeted with a bite-sized starter to whet our appetites, which set a nice tone for the meal.  I started with the butternut squash soup; it was warming and beautifully presented, delicate with a hint of the flavors of fall.  This was followed by a tasting of the pan roasted monkfish on a bed of greens.  The fish was light and while the broth it came in was very flavorful, the consistency didn’t enhance the dish at all, which would have benefited from some thickening up.  I finished the meal off with a pumpkin panna cotta.  It was nice and simple, but outshined by the whipped maple syrup and the butter pepita ice cream.  While they skimped a bit on the portions, I enjoyed the simple and clean flavors of the dishes.  Next time, if not too smoky, I would prefer to be seated in the wine bar area, as the dining room is a bit plain.

Monarch on Urbanspoon

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