Un, deux, trois. Such is the simplicity of Café Monet’s menu, whose three-part, mix-and-match structure is the brainchild of Egyptian-born chef Wes Sawi. The child of a diplomat, Sawi spent his youth traveling the world before finding his passion in food. He studied at the New York Restaurant School and trained at notable kitchens in Paris and Lyon, all of which contribute to the global touches on his predominantly French creations.
On the dinner menu, plates under the “un” and “deux” sections are served in appetizer-sized portions, while the “trois” offerings constitute full entrees. To start, a Moroccan tuile adorns mounds of crabmeat a la mango, and duck confit comes paired with wild-mushroom strudel, a creation that the New York Times hailed as “a small masterpiece of a dish.” Merlot-braised beef short ribs and an onion ring sit atop a mint-fava-bean-potato puree, and mint essence flavors rack of lamb and a Provençal–style vegetable tian. In addition to the egg dishes, sandwiches, and salads that populate the lunch menu, the cafe runs a patisserie that serves baked goods and gourmet coffee throughout the morning and afternoon.
Large canvases sporting colorful still-life paintings of fruit adorn Café Monet’s warm, neutral-colored walls, which reach down to a bare wooden floor in the cozy, 50-seat dining room. Granite tabletops separate chairs from leather banquettes, where diners sit and uncork wine they brought from home. Outside, red umbrellas shield tables as guests sip coffee and take advantage of complimentary WiFi.
Don’t be fooled by the beers on tap, the happy hour specials, or the games being played on big screen televisions—Corner Table at Whole Foods Market - Millburn-Union is not an average sports bar. Characteristically committed to ethical eating, the taproom presides over a selection of local craft beers and a menu of classic tavern fare made from locally sourced ingredients. The chefs whet appetites with battered avocado fries, accompanied by chipotle-ranch dressing, and locally-produced Chestnut Valley salumi served with a pretzel baguette. On the heartier side of the spread are prosciutto and fennel flatbreads, a pulled-pork sandwich drenched in honey-jalapeño barbecue sauce.