Montrio Bistro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Montrio Bistro
Restaurant information
SloganFeel good about what you eat[1]
Established1995 (1995)[2]
Owner(s)Downtown Dining[1]
Head chefTony Baker[3]
ChefJustin Robarge[4]
Food typeNew American cuisine
Dress codeCasual
Street address414 Calle Principal
CountyMonterey County
Postal/ZIP Code93940
CountryUnited States
Coordinates36°35′59.29″N 121°53′43.36″W / 36.5998028°N 121.8953778°W / 36.5998028; -121.8953778

Montrio Bistro is a New American restaurant in Monterey, California in the United States.


Montrio Bistro was started in 1995[2] and is located in a brick firehouse, the first in Monterey, built in 1910.[5][6][7] The first chef was Brian Whitmore. That opening year, the restaurant was named "Restaurant of the Year" by Esquire.[8] Tony Baker serves as head chef and Anthony Vitacca is the bar manager.[3][9] In 2010, the restaurant became one of the first in Monterey County to install an ultraviolet-treated water filter system, ending the restaurant's reliance on filtered bottled water.[6] The restaurant installed a new sidewalk patio in 2015.[10] Justin Robarge, former sous chef of Deetjen's Big Sur Inn and Cannery Row Brewing Company, became sous chef de cuisine in 2018, replacing Bryan Copp.[1][4] That same year, the restaurant introduced a tipping program enabling guests to send staff an alcoholic beverage to drink after their work shift is over.[1] The bistro is listed as a two-star green restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association.[11]

Design and ambiance[edit]

The bistro comprises a dining room, bar and sidewalk patio.[10] Sculptures of clouds hang from the ceiling with pipes twisting between them. Frommers calls Montrio Bistro's decor "downright odd" and looking "like a space created by a designer with "Cirque du Soleil" ambitions."[12] Each table at the restaurant is lined with craft paper and has crayons for children.[6][13] The restaurant has a display kitchen.[14]

Cuisine and cocktails[edit]

The menu at Montrio Bistro is New American. Ingredients include seasonal, locally sourced herbs, salts, vegetables and fruits, and housemade English-style bacon.[6][7][15] The restaurant is a member of the Seafood Watch program.[5] The menu changes frequently based on available ingredients. Small dishes have included white anchovies, oxtail risotto with fava beans, bacon and egg salad, and oatmeal-crusted brie.[6][7] Medium and large dishes have included roast duck breast, artichoke ravioli, grilled quail, grilled peaches and burrata, wood roasted brick chicken with spiced green beans, a bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin with shredded pork ("Pork Trio") and herb-crusted Arctic char.[6][3][7][15] Desserts have included carrot cake with coconut cream cheese ice cream and lemon curd brulee.[6][3]

The restaurant's cocktail menu also uses seasonal ingredients. Bar manager Anthony Vitacca makes classic and "farm-to-glass" cocktails. He visits local farmers markets weekly to purchase ingredients, many which he uses to infuse simple syrups, vodkas and gins. He makes his own maraschino cherries from local orchards.[16] "Beta Vulgaris" is a beet juice-based drink, comprising beet, St-Germain, Chartreuse, and lemon.[6] The whiskey-based "Saving Private Ryan" comprises brown butter bourbon, walnut liqeur, chicory pecan bitters, and smoked ice.[9] The "Corazon Valiente" is made with Del Maguey mezcal, blackberry-plum shrub and organic agave.[17] The bistro also has a mocktail menu.[6]


Frommers praises the friendliness of the staff and the restaurant's focus on using unique and fresh ingredients. They described the interior as "odd" and describe the food as "hit or miss of late."[12] In 2012, Montrio Bistro was named best restaurant in Monterey in the Monterey County Weekly.[7] In 2018, the restaurant was named the fourth "greenest" restaurant in Monterey by the San Francisco Chronicle.[11]


  1. ^ a b c d Hale, Mike (25 September 2018). "The Grub Hunter: Montrio Bistro brings in Justin Robarge for the position of sous chef de cuisine". Monterey Herald. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Montrio Bistro". Old Monterey. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Montrio Bistro". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Montrio Bistro brings onboard a new chef de cuisine for the destination's next chapter". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Always In Season: Montrio Bistro". Visit California. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Anderson, Mark C. "Montrio Bistro celebrates 15 years by getting better". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  7. ^ a b c d e "Montrio Bistro". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  8. ^ Nordstrand, Dave (19 November 2005). "Food consumes chef". The Californian. p. 1E. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  9. ^ a b Faries, Dave. "Smoky cocktail at Montrio Bistro brings the season into one glass". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  10. ^ a b Anderson, Mark C. "Dog breed controversy (?!) as Montrio Bistro celebrates 20 years with tasting party on new patio". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  11. ^ a b Anderson, Mark C. (6 September 2018). "The 5 greenest restaurants in Monterey -". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Montrio Bistro in Monterey - Restaurant". Frommers. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  13. ^ "Montrio Bistro | Monterey, USA Restaurants". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  14. ^ Karen Misuraca (2 March 2010). Quick Escapes® From San Francisco: The Best Weekend Getaways. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 199. ISBN 978-0-7627-6210-1.
  15. ^ a b "Montrio Bistro I Tony Baker". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  16. ^ May, Meredith (14 September 2012). "Garden in a cocktail glass at Montrio". SFGate. Retrieved 24 December 2018.
  17. ^ Anderson, Mark C. "Montrio rules, plus a smorgasbord of "quick bites."". Monterey County Weekly. Retrieved 24 December 2018.

External links[edit]