Any trip to the West End is not complete without an indulgent pre or post theatre dinner, and look no further than the elegant Café Monico perfectly located on the bustling theatre hub of Shaftesbury Avenue. Found nestled between the Gielgud Theatre and the Sondheim Theatre, Café Monico is in the perfect spot for those that are looking for a culinary treat, alongside the best that the West End has to offer.
Split between two floors, with décor inspired by the original Café Monico, which was established in London in 1877, the refined restaurant is a throwback to the stylish, dashing eateries that were commonplace during late 19th and early 20th centuries. Mahogany panelling and marble floors, with low, moody lighting resonates with the style that Café Monico is trying to emulate. The first floor is a balcony that follows the circumference of the restaurant, looking down onto the grand main bar located in the centre of the ground floor, which offers a perfect view of your Dirty Martini being made. The Soho House owned restaurant will be a gem amongst the London restaurant landscape for decades, as it is a vintage, much like a 1945 Mouton Rothschild, and its reserved style and sophistication should be revered.
It is not just the interior of Café Monico that solidifies itself as a must visit in London, but more importantly its food is outstanding. Whilst its menu is not outlandish or experimental, the dishes served are bursting with flavour with starters including ‘Steak Tartare’ and ‘Burrata Pugliese, green olive tapenade, crostini’, to mains such as ‘Confit duck leg with puy lentils’. Alongside the plates available, the drinks choice is enviable and what better than a pre or even post theatre Manhattan, just to capture the cosmopolitan mood. Aside from the classics, the Café Monico bar has its range of variations and creations, from the ‘Monico Martini’, made up of Sipsmith Gin, Mancino Bianco, Benedictine, Orange & mandarin bitters, to the ‘Averna Sour’, a concoction of Bacardi, Averna, lemon juice and Angostura bitters.
Old school cocktail making techniques are at the heart of the ethos at Café Monico, with the highest attention to detail in order to craft phenomenal drinks. The stripped back, original approach to artisan cocktail making is at the core of how things operate at Café Monico which is a classy establishment that is here to stay, whilst utilising the original ideals of restaurateurs. A fitting way to honour its predecessor, that was lost as a result of the grand urbanisation of London in the late 19th century.
Photos from Cafe Monico's Website