elsa-featureWhile spending a few lovely days in Monte Carlo, my husband Johnny Jet and I enjoyed dinner at Elsa, a wonderful, stylish, gourmet restaurant inside the Monte Carlo Beach Hotel.

While we didn’t get a chance to peek inside the hotel, I checked out their website to see what the rooms at this 5-star luxury hotel are like. I love the soothing palette of this one-bedroom suite loft. The stripes add an understated nautical look and overall, the rooms seem to be minimalistic but serene.

inside-monte-carlo-beachAlthough we didn’t get to see the rooms first-hand, we did get to experience drinks on the Terrace at Elsa and dinner inside the bright and modern restaurant.

elsa-terraceThe terrace overlooks the shining waters of the Mediterranean and we sat down at dusk, beneath the last warm rays of the day’s sun. John doesn’t drink alcohol and I rarely do but the bartender whipped us up fresh fruit juice concoctions that hit the spot. We snacked on a variety of appetizers, including barbajuans (stuffed pastries that are a local favourite, originating in Monaco), while gazing out at the sea before us.

We moved inside to eat dinner at Elsa. It was a quiet Tuesday evening in there. But our private table for two was secluded and romantic and yes, offered a view of the Mediterranean. Fortunately, the view of the Riviera’s rugged cliffs sloping down to the sea below is something I could never tire of.

The menu is moderately priced, particularly by Monte Carlo standards. I ordered the braised ossobuco, served in a saffron strudel (29 euros) and my husband ordered the gold risotto, complete with a golden leaf garnish and grated mimolette cheese (26 euros). Chef Paolo Sari uses all organic and locally sourced ingredients in his delicious dishes, influenced by the foods of both the French and Italian Rivieras. Because of this, the menu changes seasonally, depending on what is fresh and in season. The website states that ‘respect for the seasons is key, resulting in specific menus for spring, summer and autumn.’ Based on my visit, this respect for eating fresh, local ingredients was apparent not only in the dishes we ate but in the passion of the chef, who came out to say hello.

Between the view and the food, Elsa at Monte Carlo Beach is a wonderful restaurant to try if you’re visiting Monte Carlo. You won’t be disappointed.

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