Quai des Artistes: seafood heaven in Monaco's port
Price: high with some appetizers in the €20 range and main courses around €30 and more. High quality seafood is not cheap in Europe though today, so the price is justifiable.
Atmosphere: Buzzing, casual and very French. What I mean by the later is that the Art deco design of the interior with its long wooden bar and the staff conservatively dressed in white shirts with black pants are the signature feature of classical French brasserie. During the cold months the indoor premisses are filled with local customers and when it warms up they all together with Monaco’s tourists move outdoors to a larger terrace. It is lively there not just because of the diners sharing their daily stories within the tables, but also because of the location – right in the busy port surrounded by restaurants, bars and nightclubs open late towards the morning hours. The staff is friendly, speaks English and some of them even Italian. The final big plus is that you can wear almost anything you feel like – with the exception of the flip-flops.
Food: From the French traditional fish soup – Soupe de Poissons de roche de la pêche locale en croûte de feuilletage (Homemade fish soup with its puff pastry top), which is outstanding to a gourmet treat of Burgundy snails with mild garlic butter you can get practically anything what is a staple of the French cuisine.
On the other hand, with the Asian trend spanning even to these traditional brasseries, the Japanese duo: raw and yuzu marinated salmon, warm potato and avocado Makis, ginger, wasabi surely satisfies the Japanese cuisine fans.
The favorite warm dish of many regular guests is the Grand risotto crémeux aux fruits de mer, noix de St Jacques, gambas, crevettes et moules d’Espagne (Creamy seafood risotto: scallops, mussels, gambas, prawns). It does not come cheap (36 €), but the generous portion will sate most, even the big eaters. The seafood is so fresh and the creamy texture so delicate that this dish callas for some white wine with good acidity. Sauvignon Blanc from Loire or a rosè from Provance add a bit of freshness and zest to this rich risotto.
From the purely seafood courses, perhaps the most popular is a fresh seafood platter on ice – ranging from various oysters and shrimps to crab or lobster – the offer is wide.
If you feel like having a fish, then I highly recommend the Filet de Loup « plancha », fricassée de légumes verts Primeurs. The Grilled sea bass fillet with mixed green vegetables has a wonderful soft texture as a great sea bass should have, the crisp skin is edible (not like in most of fish dishes) and the crunchy vegetables in olive and herb sauce are perfectly accompanying the fish.
The meat offer is large as well, yet the seafood at the Quai des Artistes is so good that I would stick to it. You can peak at the menu.
Cuisine: French brasserie, seafood
Visit: June 2012
Drinks: You can start with an aperitif at the recently opened outdoor bar – open daily from 5h30pm – 2h00am. The wine list is focused on France (not a surprise at a French brasserie) and is build so many wines match the prevailing seafood dishes. We could not have chosen better – the mineral Chablis, 2010 from Grand Règnard was just perfect with our seafood platter as well as the fish later.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun: Lunch: 12h00-2h30pm(Sun: till 2h45pm); Dinner: 7h30pm – 11h00pm (Fri&Sat: till 11h15pm)
Contact: +(377) 97 97 97 77
Address: 4, Quai Antoine 1er, Monaco, 98000