Originally established in 1877 at No. 15 Tichborne Street by brothers Giacomo and Battista Monico, Cafe Monico was popular for serving continental coffees and liqueur. In 1885 some of the other properties on the street were demolished to create Shaftesbury Avenue, and Giacomo and Battista obtained a building lease for a plot that bordered the back of their original premises. After the brother’s deaths Giacomo’s two sons ran the restaurant, before the business was acquired by Forte’s and Co. Ltd in the 1950’s.
Soho House collaborated with chef Rowley Leigh to devise a menu with influences from Provence through to Northern Italian cuisine and the restaurant serves breakfast through to dinner everyday. Cafe Monico seats 140 diners and has an open-plan kitchen and centralised bar, which opens up to the mezzanine.
The all-day menu offers guests bites, shellfish, salumi (Italian cold cuts), starters, egg dishes, salads, mains, dishes from the grill, pastas, sides and plats du jour:
· Shellfish options include a selection of oysters served as a dozen or half and Atlantic prawns, dressed Dorset crab and lobster mayonnaise.
· To start, diners can choose from soupe a l’oignon, parmesan custard with anchovy toast and steak tartare. A selection of egg dishes and salads include omelettes and salad landaise.
· For something hot off the grill guests can try Cornish sardines, Dover sole, and T-bone steak, plus mains such as mackerel vin blanc, and guinea fowl with morels are also available.
· For a sweet finish, diners can pick from a selection of ice creams and sorbets, as well as crème brule, roast spiced pineapple with pain perdu and vanilla ice cream and crepe soufflé grand marnier. Coupes options include pavlova, crumble and a turinois.
· The drinks menu includes classic Soho House cocktails and sodas, as well as some French & Italian aperitif classics. The ‘Cafe Monico Cobbler’ mixes Hendricks with rinquinquin, dubonnet and lemon. There is also a wide selection of beers and extensive wine list.