Chef Andrew Nienke of Cafe Monarch on His Field of Dreams and What The Phoenix Food Scene Is Still Missing
This is part two of our interview with chef Andrew Nienke of Café Monarch in Scottsdale. Yesterday he dished about his belief in "no bullshit" food and today we discuss what will change and what will stay the same at the restaurant this year.
Courtesy of Christian Lewkowicz Chef Andrew Nienke of Cafe Monarch
Cafe Monarch will re-open for the fall on October 4th and if you want to be there you better act fast because reservations are stacking up. It will be the first night the restaurant is open under new owner Christian Lewkowicz, who took over earlier this summer when former chef and owner Christopher Van Arsdale left after six years. If you missed part one of the interview, in which Lewkowicz and Nienke discussed their passion for carrying on Van Arsdale's legacy, you can read it here.
Lauren Saria The courtyard at Cafe Monarch
Now that he's at Café Monarch Nienke says he's excited to be able to "actually give people the best dining experience possible" -- not to say that he wasn't always trying to do that in the past. It's just that here he'll know that he's directly responsible for every dish that goes out to each guest. He's excited to be able to "really nourish people."
"This is a dream restaurant for a chef," he says.
But if you ask either Nienke or owner Christian Lewkowicz they'll both tell you the idea behind Café Monarch isn't to be just another great restaurant; It's to make their place not feel like a restaurant at all.
Lewkowicz says he expects to be able to accommodate between 80 and 110 people during a typical weekend dinner service. Some will be seated in the small, bright front dining room that also houses the kitchen. Others will be able to sit on the lovely outdoor patio that features candlelight tables, rustic chandeliers and vine-covered walls.