This week it was somewhere rather unusual – the Monte Carlo Beach Road, a small restaurant established 3 years ago on the southern stretch of Central Road near Beach Road. To be truthful, one would pass by without noticing – but what a revelation this Italian restaurant turned out to be. On a recommendation we visited this tiny restaurant and pizzeria, owned by restaurateur Vincenzo Santamaria, who also has the distinction of being a published author. What Monte Carlo lacks in space it makes up in bucket loads with top quality dishes – especially freshly made Pasta and Pizza. In fact, one can watch Vincenzo create different varieties of Pasta from dough in his spotlessly clean open kitchen. If you have never tasted ‘the real thing’ – absolutely fresh ‘al dente’ Pasta – plus the bonus of deliciously outstanding sauces – then get along and visit Vincenzo! Not only Pasta, but wonderful tasting Pizzas as well – all made to order from scratch!
Why the name Monte Carlo if it’s an Italian restaurant? – Well, Vincenzo, a seasoned chef, has over the years had restaurants throughout Europe, including his favourite near the world famous casino in Monaco’s capital, Monte Carlo.
The menu is considerable with Antipasti ranging from 180 baht for Grilled Mixed Vegetables to 300 baht for Parma Ham and Melon.
There are 25 Pizza varieties to choose – such as classic Marinara (150 baht) with Tomato, Garlic, Oregano and Olive Oil to fine Pizza Rucola (300 baht) with Parma Ham, Rocket, Tomato and Mozzarella. With Main Course Meat dishes from 250 baht for Chicken Breast and Ham with Fontina Cheese, to 390 baht for Fillet Steak with Bearnaise Sauce and Pasta or Fries. For Fish and Seafood lovers, includes Grilled Salmon Steak (320 baht), or an excellent Frito Misto selection of Seafood and Salmon (350 baht). But the specialty of the house has to be the freshly made Pasta dishes, starting at 150 baht for classic Spaghetti Aglio – with Garlic, Oil and Pepper, to 300 baht for Tagliatelle with Salmon and Cognac Sauce. And with no hesitation it was the Pasta dishes that we were tempted to try.
First to arrive was intense tasting Ravioli (Mushroom and Spinach filling) with Ham and Cream Sauce. (250 baht), followed by Pappardelle Ragu – broad Tagliatelle with a really delicious robust Meat Sauce. (240 baht), especially when topped with full bodied Parmesan. ‘Pappare’ means gobble up – and that we certainly did! The third Pasta dish was Spaghetti with Pesto Sauce (250 baht) – freshly made Spaghetti with homemade Pesto (Basil) Sauce – what more can one ask for? We couldn’t leave without trying the Pizzas – Capricciosa (280 baht) with Ham, Mushrooms, Artichoke, Black Olives, Oregano, Tomato and Mozzarella. Also Frutti di Mare (290 baht) – Seafood, Tomato, Oregano and Cheese. If you want to know what they taste like – get down here and try them yourself. Decent Italian House Wine at 100 baht a glass.
Vincenzo prides himself on his Pasta and Pizza dishes, so if you like Pasta, Pizza and Sauces bursting with flavour, Monte Carlo is the place to be. Open every day from 10am to 1am. 1/65 Central Road. Telephone: 038 425 407 or 087 082 1078.
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