This green oasis is the latest project from the team behind Forgtmenot and Kiki’s, the popular local spots on Division Street. The restaurant, Monroe (49 Monroe St.), is right across from Coleman Skatepark under the Manhattan Bridge. It opened last night after months of renovations and planning.
As you can see, it’s a big, dramatic space filled with plants. The former home of Kaplan Philip Glass Works features a double height ceiling, an expansive rectangular bar in the back of the restaurant and long picnic-style tables meant to accommodate groups.
Monroe’s menu is Southern European/Mediterranean. You’ll find Italian, French and Spanish dishes, many of them ideal for sharing. Main courses include seafood paella, a 16-ounce rib eye, a mixed seafood platter, lasagna and cacio e pepe. Among the smaller plates are escargots, steak tartare, mussels (steamed or grilled), meat and cheese platters and a variety of salads (Caesar, Nicoise, Lyonaisse, etc.). Like the team’s other restaurants, prices are gentle. The small plates range from $7-12. Entrees run from $12 for carbonara up to $29 for the steak.
Paul and Abby Sierros opened Forgtmenot at 138 Division St. in 2012, winning over locals with a combination of warm service and uncomplicated but well-prepared bar food. Kiki’s , serving homestyle Greek food, debuted on the same block three years later. A coffee shop next door to Monroe (Little Chair) was added to the mix this past summer, in the aftermath of a brutal battle at Community Board 3 over a liquor permit. One more venture is still to come — a rotisserie chicken and pita spot on Division Street.
For now, Monroe is open for dinner only. Weekend brunch and lunch will be added later.