It’s Friday night and the LR4U crew is looking to get out on the town. We’ve been hearing some great things about Monet’s in Exeter, so we took a short drive to see what all the fuss is about. Walking up we were drawn in by the quaint exterior. The lighting sets the mood and the outdoor seating is reminiscent of a small bistro hidden off the beaten path somewhere in Paris. As we waited to be seated we were mesmerized by the aroma of french cuisine that filled the room. Looking around it was evident that there has been a lot of thought put into the design of Monet’s from the copper painted ceilings to the running countryside mural. Here are a few pictures of the interior.
Adding to the ambience was one of their locals, Robert and his acoustic guitar. His soothing sound reminded us of an acoustic set by Eric Clapton. Although he did not play one song by Eric Clapton on this night I’m betting he will on our next visit.
Stan prefers a Stella Artois but with a little convincing we decided to start with a bottle a wine. With so many wines to choose from we went with the recommended Cabinet Sauvignon by Robert Hall. This wine is a flavorful full-bodied wine with hints of cider and spice with cocoa aromas and flavors of plush ripe fruits. We pulled that description right off their website.
Looking over the dinner menu was a battle in itself because everything sounded so good. Our waitress came over and recommended we start with the Ploughman’s Cheese Platter. It is served with a variety of cheese from Bravo Farms and fresh fruit, the Asian pear butter and balsamic drizzle sets this platter off.
Next she insisted that we try their crab cakes which she described as, “To Die For”. Served on a red bell pepper purée and a balsamic drizzle the crab cakes were to die for. For those wondering no one actually died on the visit.
She also suggested that we share the dinner special which was perfect for the two of us.
Herb baked chicken with homemade ravioli in a sauce made from a medley of reduced vegetables along with portabella mushrooms and served with a roasted garlic crostini. The dish was finished off with their signature balsamic reduction sauce. We were feeling the wine so we hope we got that description right.
Finally, Stan’s favorite part of any visit is the dessert. We were stuffed but wanted the full experience of Monet’s so we had the Lavender Cheesecake and the Caramel Pear Tart both garnished with lavender buds.
The cheesecake was light and creamy but not too sweet. The caramel tart was the perfect way to finish off this experience.
We realized we haven’t touched on Monet’s customer service. In this case, we saved the best for last. Throughout this visit it was plain to see that they had a following and the support of the locals. It was easy to identify the owner of Monet’s, Jennifer who also doubled as our waitress on this visit. There is something to be said about an owner and staff that takes a genuine interest in their customers. Jennifer spent quite a bit of time at our table getting to know us and giving us some of the history behind Monet’s. She along with her staff had us feeling like we were dining with friends by the end of the night. Collectively they created an experience for their customers that was again, simply amazing.
Let make like our dessert and box this up.
It’s been a while since the LR4U crew has had an experience that has left us in awe in all four categories of customer service, food quality, drink selection and ambience. The only downside to Monet’s was their beer selection… which was pointed out by Stan. Not too sure that’s a downside, since this is a wine bar after all. We would definitely encourage anyone to share this experience with both friends and family.
It’s no surprise as we go to their scorecard:
Customer Service- 5 Stars
Food Quality- 5 Stars
Drink Selection- 4.5 Stars
Ambience- 4.5 Stars