This article was updated on January 31, 2019. It was originally published on December 3, 2018.
Scottsdale's Cafe Monarch added to a growing list of accolades Thursday when TripAdvisor named it the second most romantic restaurant in the country. This on the heels of the Scottsdale eatery being named the third-best restaurant for fine dining in the U.S. in December.
Cafe Monarch comes second only to Charleston Grill in Charleston, South Carolina, in the romance department. The only restaurants finishing ahead of Cafe Monarch for fine dining are both in New York City — Gabriel Kreuther and Daniel. Both were also named among the top 25 in the world in TripAdvisor's 2018 Travelers' Choice Awards.
Survey says the most popular dishes are the filet mignon, sea bass, and duck.
"We're very excited and honored to be put in that company," Phillip Lewkowicz said in December. His family owns and runs Cafe Monarch. "We have to give a lot of credit to our staff, who, day-in, day-out, provide our diners with a great experience."
But the Lewkowiczes, who have owned Monarch since 2013, are hardly absentee bosses. Gustavo, the father, is the chef. His wife, Sofia, is in charge of the decor, and sons Christian and Phillip run the place.
The restaurant relocated to a larger space across the street from its former location to 6939 East First Avenue in Scottsdale only about a year ago. The old restaurant has been renamed Candela's and now is used for private events.
Phillip Lewkowicz says the more spacious and elegant new facility also may have helped it win the award.
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In 2018, Yelp named Cafe Monarch the most romantic restaurant in the country. Cafe Monarch also has been named by OpenTable as one of the top 100 restaurants for wine lovers and for foodies in the country, and is also a three-time winner of Phoenix New Times' Best of Phoenix awards.
TripAdvisor, which bills itself as the world's largest travel website, said the winners in its competition were selected using "an algorithm that took into account the quantity and quality of reviews for restaurants around the world" during the past year.
“The food was exceptional in quality and presentation — a real delight for the taste buds. The staff pampered us and made us feel right at home in this former mansion. We had a most memorable meal in this world class restaurant,” noted a TripAdvisor diner.
One other Arizona restaurant has been honored by TripAdvisor: El Guero Canelo in Tucson was named the 19th best fast casual restaurant in the U.S.