Beef Bar Monte-Carlo has an interesting origin – its founder, Riccardo Giraudi, was not a restaurateur, but a meat importer. He couldn’t find a suitable steakhouse in Monte-Carlo where he could take his clients, so decided to open his own restaurant. The idea was to serve simple steaks of the highest quality, accompanied by the tastiest mashed potato. Riccardo even invented an oven to give the beef a unique taste. Located in the Fontvieille area beloved by locals and with fantastic views over the port, the interiors are equally impressive. Stylish lighting and friendly staff make you feel instantly at ease.
Riccardo’s concept has paid off as Beef Bar are now steaking (couldn’t resist the pun) a claim to the world with restaurants in Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Moscow, Mykonos and Mexico. The wine list is extensive and complements the beef perfectly. We sampled a well structured Côtes du Rhône Domaine de la Janasse 2014, with notes of blackberries and strawberries…as well as a smooth Annandale Chalbert Merlot 2005 from Stellenbosch in South Africa. It had a smooth taste and a good long finish.
We particularly liked the fact that the sommelier split the wine into two glasses so we both got to try both wines.
We tucked into some tasty homemade bread with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
It went well with our starter, a 5J Bellota Pata Negra ham. 5J stands for Cinco Jotas, considered to be one of the very best hams in the world, which comes from free range, acorn-fed, pure breed Ibérico pigs. The ham is incredibly soft, with a rich, nutty flavour.
We also enjoyed a perfectly seasoned spinach salad, topped with crispy bacon and mushrooms.
There’s a huge choice of mashed potato at Beef Bar – as well as the basic one, you can have it with Gorgonzola cheese and walnuts, with bacon and crispy garlic, and many others too numerous to mention. There’s just one thing…I hate mashed potato for some reason! Mr Luxe has no such qualms and sampled two of them – the truffle oil and the gravy with Guérande salt which he said were lovely and creamy. I opted for the French fries, Spring vegetables and a really wonderful dish of fresh mushrooms, so didn’t feel like I was missing out.
The meat at Beef Bar is broiled at extremely high temperatures, which creates an instantaneous crust around the muscle. This ensures that the juice remains, increasing the meat’s flavour. We tried two different cuts, firstly an Aloyau French bavette, or boneless skirt steak. This meat was from Mid West America, and had been fed exclusively on corn. Connoisseurs consider it to be the world’s best quality meat. It’s unusual for me to eat meat quite so rare but I trusted our waiter and it turned out to be extremely tender with a crispy, salty crust.
We also greatly enjoyed the rib-eye of grass fed Argentinian Angus beef. Aged from 18 to 20 months, it’s a young meat from a smaller sized animal that has been bred outdoors. With less fat, it has a fibrous texture and a delicate taste. It was cooked here with herbs that enhanced the flavour even further. In case you have non meat eaters in your group, Beef Bar also have some tasty fish dishes on offer.
All the desserts are homemade, and the house specialties are soufflés to share. It’s been a while since I’ve tasted one, though I used to make a mean Grand Marnier soufflé! We went for the chocolate soufflé with sesame, caramel and yuzu ice cream. I loved the presentation with edible gold leaf and chocolate pieces…
And we lost no time getting stuck in! The fabulous gooey soufflé contrasted nicely with the crunchy nuts and tartness of the yuzu ice cream. Made with juice from the yuzu fruit, it tastes a bit like a mandarin and ressembles a like a miniature grapefruit.
Beef Bar Monte-Carlo, 42 Quai Jean-Charles Rey, Monte-Carlo, Monaco
Our dinner was complimentary for the purposes of this review