The Monarch Room in Chelsea is a nice getaway a few blocks north of the Meatpacking District and for those who want to avoid that cobblestone scene. However, it still offers a similar vibe. The room is dark, the customers are dressed to impress and there is an amazing club downstairs called Gilded Lily that you can escape to after dinner. There are no windows inside which felt weird for a minute, but I like the circular stripped hanging lamps, and it’s so large you have plenty to gaze around for, and I’d recommend it for big groups and business dinners for sure.Grilled Octopus Photo Credit Anna Malskaya
I love the menu and there might be a lot of options that you wouldn’t think collaborate but you just have to dive into it. This is one restaurant where I will say that you can trust the waiter to steer you in the right direction when you ask for recommendations. He made us toss in the octopus appetizer at the last minute, and boy did he immediately become a hero in our eyes. This was one of my favorite dishes from the night. It was a large portion, especially for two, and each bite was perfectly tender. There wasn’t a bad bite on the plate which is highly possible with this eight-legged creature that can char quickly. It’s light, fresh and a must order. You’ll notice the oyster bar in the back of the room as well. They are a good starter to throw back. In addition, the waiters drop complimentary cheesy bread on the table for your starting starch. Genius idea but it’s just not executed properly or worth it. The dishes on the menu are much better to fill up on. They also bring all the appetizers out so quickly that you lose space on the table and have little time to enjoy one dish at a time. Maybe it’s a sign I order too much, but this is overwhelming because everything looks so delicious and you want to put it all in your mouth. I guess it could be worse…Ribbon Pasta, Braised Short Ribs, Calabrian Chile
The Short Rib Ribbon Pasta is fantastic. It doesn’t have a ridiculous heavy or creamy sauce and won’t push you over the top when you designate it as an appetizer. The short rib itself is a standout, and there is a large portion of it. You can still take down dessert and hit the dance floor post dinner with this dish in your stomach. The Monarch Room does a great job providing a generous portion of food on each plate (if dining for one) and an ideal portion for sharing so that no one is left behind or holding grudges against one who might have taken more than their fair share upfront. Surprisingly, my absolute favorite dish of the night was the Roasted Cauliflower entree. I loved the presentation as it highlighted and separated each component yet when you mix all the ingredients, it’s an obvious, pure harmony of flavors that are meant to be. The sweet wheat berries mixed with raisins and almonds is beautifully matched with the cauliflower. I would come back just to order this and only this. I’ve seen several whole heads of cauliflower on menus lately but nothing this dazzled and promising. Nice work.
The tempting dessert menu offers items like a Rhubarb Pear Crumble, Peanut Butter Wedge to Cookies & Confectionaries. Listen, whenever you see an option for a cake for 2 or a cookie skillet for two or any type of concoction that takes longer to cook and is larger than the average, you must order it. By default and experience, it’s always the best, so don’t hesitate or try asking everyone at the table if they will have a bite with you because they will, and they will devour it. This Chocolate Cake for two is is layered with cakes that look like muffin tops filled with chocolate butter ganache in between each layer. It’s DREAMY. Go for it.
The Monarch Room is a perfect date night spot for couples who need to get out and enjoy a refreshing new restaurant in the city, ideal for bachelorette parties and out of towners looking for a New York City scene and lastly, fun for hip locals. Again, make sure you go down to the Gilded Lily after dinner. It’s not as intense as a mega club like Marquee, and it’s classier than Southside. It offers a swanky lounge environment with an amazing dance floor and people that don’t always frequent the club scene plus a side of bottle service if you’re into that. They even offer mixed cocktail bottle service which is a new one. This is one place I wouldn’t mind meeting my soul mate on the dance floor.