Avenue 31, Monaco

March 12, 2008

This location, at 31 Avenue Princesse Grace, in a modern glass enclosure, with outside tables and fronting on the boulevard and seafront on the east side of Monaco, would seem to be superb. But the last three restaurants in it have failed. Now some experienced Monaco restauranteurs have just opened Avenue 31, a chic casual restaurant there featuring fish and seafood. So David, Frédérique, Linda and I went for lunch on March 9, 2008, following a concert at the Salle Garnier.

For Sunday lunch the clientele included many children, some of them attentive to their hamburgers or pizzas, others more interested in the little video games etc. We ordered a bottle of the Saint André de Figuière white wine from the Var. This was very nice despite having the lowest price on the list.

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Linda started with the Oeuf cocotte aux truffes. An egg had been cooked in the bottom of a small cast iron kettle; truffles were shaved on top. She enjoyed it a lot, although I would have expected the truffles to have been cooked in the egg.

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The rest of us had the Black Angus Bresaola. This was excellent. A generous serving of the very thinly sliced dried beef had been topped with good olive oil, mâche, mozzarella, sun-dried tomatoes and grissini.

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Linda and David went on to the fish of the day, grilled filet of sea bass served with tempura vegetables. Nice. .

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Frédérique had the pasta of the day, squid-ink linguini with tuna and tomatoes. Good.

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I had the Thon Wasabe pizza. This was not so good. The pieces of grilled red tuna were okay, but the wasabe was hard to taste in the sauce. The crust was soggy and doughy.

And so we enjoyed seven out of the eight plates. That is a good start. It is surprising that they didn’t get the pizza right, but that may be because I ordered an exotic variety. This “casual, chic” model has worked well for many years for The African Queen in Beaulieu-sur-Mer and they have great pizzas.

As Avenue 31 is a short walk from the Grimaldi Forum, the largest concert and opera hall in the principality, I imagine that we’ll be back.

www.avenue31.mc

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