There's a new restaurant opening in Las Colinas inspired by the French Riviera. Called Monaco Restaurant, it's from a local team of food & beverage veterans, including the Lamberti family, who own Lamberti's Ristorante in Irving.
The restaurant will open in the Water Street area of Las Colinas, facing the canals — very French Riviera-like! — in the former Olivella's space at 5238 N. O'Connor Blvd. #134, Las Colinas.
According to a release, they'll usher in a soft opening in mid-August, when they'll serve a limited menu, before going large in mid-September. It'll be open for lunch, dinner, and brunch.
The menu includes:
- Tartare of Filet
- Burrata and Prosciutto with salsa verde
- Hamachi Crudo
- Neapolitan pizzas such as the Margherita, made by two cooks from Naples
- chicken liver salad
- Pork Boudin
- Moroccan Beef Cheek with quinoa salad, prune, shallot, parsley, mint, preserved lemon, and macadamia nuts
- Redfish Marsala with onion marsala and woodear mushroom on celery root puree with sorrel greens
Come on, that sounds good, especially prune in an entree, and celery root puree. Prices range from $9 to $36.
The restaurant will also feature a worldly wine program with labels not only from obvious places like France, Italy, and California, but also Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Sicily, New Zealand, Serbia, Macedonia, and Argentina.
Owner is David Lamberti, who previously worked in corporate development for I Fratelli, before opening Lamberti's Ristorante in a former I Fratelli space in 2017. Although his family has roots in East Coast Italian food, he's totally Team Irving, having grown up and attended college there, opened his businesses there, and currently residing with his family.
Staff is family, with longtime employees such as Assistant General Manager Johnny Hardy, who worked his way up from washing dishes at 15 to becoming a server, bartender, and into management. Hardy is also a musician and performs at local Dallas spots like Granada Theater and Doublewide.
Executive Chef and Beverage Director Matthew Perry is Hardy's brother-in-law and also worked for Lamberti at I Fratelli when he was a teenager. Perry helped open PM Lounge at The Joule Hotel and was heavily into the cocktail culture and bar programs for Victor Tango Parliament. He's also been a cook, mostly recently a sous chef in Austin; Monaco will be the first kitchen he leads.
General manager and sommelier is Frank Horak, also an Irving native, with sommelier experience at acclaimed restaurants such as Flora Street Cafe, Gemma, and Sachet. His goal is to create a wine program good enough to save local residents from having to drive elsewhere.
The idea for the restaurant was hatched during the pandemic when Lamberti discovered the former Olivella's space. After they get it rolling, they hope to open a bodega next door and a cocktail lounge behind the restaurant.
"It embraced everything we were wanting: a small spot by the water, a hidden gem, a destination, walkable and a place where we can create something special for the locals," he says.