Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Philadelphia cheesesteaks and dark-horse upmarket pizzas.
Philadelphia-born husband and wife Jennifer Monti and James Gottwald clearly understand that to make a success of their barstaurant on a sleepy residential street in Lincoln Square, they’ll need to make their shrine to the Philly cheesesteak destination-worthy for everyone. So Gottwald lays in par-baked rolls from Philly’s Amoroso’s Baking Company, melts down his own aged Wisconsin cheddar cheese sauce, and pours it over his shaved and griddled rib eye, where it enhances rather than smothers. He also offers a few variants on the standard cheesesteak, hoagies and grinders, bar food standards like soft pretzel nuggets and wings, and consolations like a cheese plate or a Mediterranean-style hummus, feta, and olive platter for those who won’t get with the program. A plate of tarted-up fried calamari is outstanding, and the pizzas—appealingly greasy and customizable with upmarket toppings like lobster and wild mushrooms—are a completely unexpected success. My only serious complaint about Monti’s is that it's not an interesting place to drink: there's a small rotating selection of craft beers, but the bar's stocked with a scant inventory of unsurprising spirits, some employed in a handful of disastrous cocktails—but hey, the place closes at 10 PM. Read the full review >>
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Philly cheesesteaks aren't for barbarians—not these Philly cheesesteaks, anyway. But the cocktails here may be. The bar is stocked with a scant inventory of unsurprising spirits, some employed in a handful of disastrous concoctions. Better by far to stick to the small rotating selection of craft beers; better still to pair one with a cheesesteak or pizza, the latter a completely unexpected success. —Mike Sula