Overview: This small, friendly bistro in Old Town Monrovia serves Provencal cuisine and features wine tastings and other special events inspired by French holidays.
Décor: The restaurant’s relaxed atmosphere is complemented by the simple elegance of its red tablecloths and walls adorned with paintings, historic black and white photographs of Marseille (which was called “Massilia” in ancient times), and maps of Bordeaux and other famous French wine regions.
Drinks: Wines from France and California are sold by glass, carafe and bottle; in-house sommelier available. Domestic red and white wines range from $4-$6/glass and $13-$58/bottle. French wines come from many regions, including Bordeaux, Bourgogne, Southwest, Languedoc-Rousillon, Loire Valley, Beaujolais, Rhone, Provence, Alsace, Loire Valley, Macon-Beaujolais, Champagne. Reds range from $6-$8/glass and $17-$149/bottle; whites range from $6-$9/glass and $18-$68/bottle. Dessert wine: $8-$10/glass; $31-$47/bottle. Beers from France, the Netherlands, Belgium, the U.S. and Mexico range from $4.50-$11. Apertifs and digestifs available by the glass or half bottle range from $6-$34.
Appetizers: Some featured appetizers include Escargot Au Beurre d'Ail, with 6 or 12 snails in a garlic, butter and parsley sauce ($8- $15), and Cuisse de Grenouille, frog legs traditionally prepared with butter, garlic and parsley sauce and served with salad ($ 10). Also available are Coquille Saint Jacques, marinated scallops on a bed of cucumber with mint and citrus segments ($11) and Assiette de Fromage, a 3-cheese plate with mixed greens and toasts ($ 13). Assiette de Foie Gras Maison, homemade duck liver mousse, is $14; and Moules Marinieres, mussels in white wine, shallots and creamy garlic sauce, or Moules Provencale, mussels in fresh tomatoes and white wine, are available for $8-$11.
Entrees: Loup De Mer Massilia, one of Café Massilia’s signature dishes, features baked fresh sea bass with ginger and orange crust, served with champagne sauce for $25. Seafood dishes include Tilapia Tapenade Seared Filet or Tilapia with tapenade crust served with Pastis Beurre Blanc sauce ($18) and Filet de Thon Provencal, seared ahi tuna with roasted bell peppers, onion, tomato and pimiento ($23). Other entrees include Pave de Boeuf de Massilia, filet mignon of beef with porcini mushroom sauce ($24) and Carre d'Aigneau Sauce a l'Ail, a rack of lamb served with a creamy garlic sauce ($27). Chef’s Specials have included Cassoulet, a traditional dish with pork, duck confit, and white haricot beans ($24); Bouillabaisse, a traditional fish soup ($29); Coq Au Vin, chicken marinated in wine ($23); and Boeuf Bourguignon, also known as Beef Burgundy ($21). Dinner entrees range in price from Pates Aux Legumes du Jour, with vegetables sautéed with olive oil or cream ($14) to Tournedos Rossini, grilled tenderloin on a crouton with foie gras and bacon, finished with a demi-glaze Rossini sauce ($29).
Breakfast and Lunch: French Baguette French Toast with fruit and maple syrup ($11) is a favorite. Other items from the griddle include waffles and pancakes with a variety of toppings in the range of $7-$10; Crepes Suzette with melted butter, orange, lemon and cognac flambé ($8); and crepes with toppings such as Crème Chantilly, chocolate, and/or sliced fruit ($6-8). Egg dishes, including Eggs Benedict, Eggs Florentine, a variety of omelets, and eggs with poached salmon or grilled sirloin, range from $7-$16.
At lunch, crepes and baguette sandwiches are very popular. Their many crepes include Crepe Au Brie and Crepe Vegetarianne for $10; Crepe Au Poulet with grilled chicken breast, onion, roasted bell pepper and Swiss cheese in a creamy sauce for $11; and Crepe Aux Fruits de Mer with smoked salmon, scallops, shrimp, Swiss cheese and cream sauce for $12. Cold sandwich baguettes include Baguette au Brie ($10) Baguette au Pate with home-made pork and chicken liver mousse ($11), and Baguette au Saumon ($12). Hot sandwich baguette offerings include grilled top sirloin or sautéed tilapia and range from $10-$12. Other lunch entrees are available in the range of $11-$14.50; burgers from $10-$12. Salads are available for $6-$13; quiches and omelets for $10.
Sides: Soup of the Day is $3-$6; French Onion Soup is $7. Meal sides include fruit and roasted potatoes for breakfast; salad or French fries for lunch; and sautéed carrots, bok choy, and potato gratin for dinner. Escargot, black mussels, and fois gras are also popular accompaniments to lunch and dinner.
Salads: Featured salads include the Salade Poire Pochee, spinach salad topped with pears poached in red wine, potatoes, sliced onion, blue cheese, caramelized almond, and vinaigrette ($12) and Salade Au Steak de Thon, mixed greens with grilled sesame crusted ahi tuna, avocado, tomato, and sliced oranges served with orange and honey vinaigrette ($13). Other salads include Salade de Chevre Chaude with mixed greens, walnuts and warm goat cheese ($10), Salade d'Endives, with Belgian endive leaves, sliced tomatoes, sliced apple, walnut, blue cheese and old fashioned mustard dressing ($12), Salade de Steak ($12), tomato and mozzarella salad($9), and salad with tuna or smoked salmon ($12).
Desserts: Creme Brulee, Mousse Au Chocolat, or Profiteroles are $6. Tart Tartin a la Mode, Peche Melba, or a sampler of Creme Brulee, Mousse Au Chocolat and Profiteroles are $7.
Service: Servers or the owner will seat you. Sometimes there is a wait on weekends; reservations are recommended for dinner.
Signature Dishes: Crepes, Baguette Sandwiches, Fresh Sea Bass, Filet Mignon
110 E Lemon Ave, Monrovia, CA 91016
Chef: Vincent Perraud