"Oh, I'm running a little behind. I just got back from the farmers market," he said. We didn't realize there wasn't a brunch menu but were up for the vegetable frittata and freshly brewed chicory coffee that he offered. It sounded simple and nonchalant but turned out to be quite an elaborate spread.

First, huge cups of potent coffee, with creamer served in slender glass beakers. Then, warm croissants dusted with powdered sugar, served with chile mango sauce and gooey, spiced chocolate sauce, followed by a luscious double-layered frittata with meaty artichokes, zucchini, fresh parsley, and smoked Gouda. It had two crisp strips of bacon artfully balanced on it, and a side of roasted, thinly sliced potatoes with garlic, onions, rosemary, and sea salt. Very tasty.

Van Arsdale admits that Café Monarch isn't for everyone, and he's grateful to customers who give him a chance at realizing a longtime dream.

Up close and personal: Meet chef Christopher Van Arsdale at charming Café Monarch.
Jackie Mercandetti
Up close and personal: Meet chef Christopher Van Arsdale at charming Café Monarch.

Location Info

Map

Cafe Monarch

6934 E. 1st Ave.
Scottsdale, AZ 85251

Category: Restaurant > American

Region: Central Scottsdale

Details

Chef's whim for two:$8
Tuna salad plate: $13
Bacon sandwich: $12.50
480-970-7682
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner by reservation only on Friday and Saturday, 6 to 10 p.m.
Café Monarch, 6934 East First Avenue, Scottsdale

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"You know, I'm 46, and I always wanted to open my own place, so I figured it's now or never," he says.

Hey, carpe diem is my favorite expression.

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