New York City has always been known for its trendy everything. Trendy fashion, trendy clubs, trendy outfits for your pets (eww), but something you never really put together is trendy Belgian cuisine. I discovered that is actually factual when me and a friend visited a brand new restaurant located in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen called The Jolly Monk. Only being open for a month or so, The Jolly Monk is nestled right on 9th Avenue and 48th Street, an area that is growing in its popularity for its food selection, gay and straight bars, and overall town appeal. So naturally I was excited to check out the new digs and see what this place had to offer.
When you walk into The Jolly Monk it feels like your atypical bar, but the brand new sense of it really kicks in with how spacious the actual location is set up matched with how beautiful the wood furnishings are throughout the place. I will preface this with saying that I am not much of a drinker myself, which begs the question why did I review a place that is becoming known for its choice of Belgian beers? Its simple- they had a yummy menu. Duh. As much as I am not a drinker, I do have to say that the selection that was presented to us was tasty in their own ways. Some of the beers were easier to go down, especially paired with the food that we had (more of that to come later), and some had an actual sweet texture to them that really was enjoyable. The Jolly Monk actually boasts quite a beer list that you can order from, including imported, American Brewed, Craft Bottles & Cans and other staples such as wine by the glass and cocktails to strike whatever your fancy is.
The food itself was quite delectable. This is like an elevated bar experience in terms of you get a lot of quality out of the food that is presented to you and not just something that was hastefully put together. Two appetizers that I would recommend getting are the mussels served in a delicious and warm sauce that really pair well together (see photo above) and their delicious frites which come with not one, not two, not three but 6 DIFFERENT SAUCES! From Garlic Mayo to Sriracha Ketchup, each of them have a very unique flavor that compliments the frites very well.
When one thinks dessert and waffles, the other word that needs to be wedged in their is Belgian. So naturally after having some delicious starters we were happy to make a beeline all the way to their dessert and try the epic deliciousness that is their waffle. You can choose it in either classic Belgian style or Sweet Liege style. As they said in one of my favorite 90’s shows, “Legends Of The Hidden Temple”- “The Choice Is Yours and Yours Alone”. Corny but whatever. The waffles come with the following, do your best to not salivate as you read- Belgian Chocolate Sauce, Vanilla Honey, Scoop of Gelato, Whipped Cream, Fresh Berries, and COOKIE BUTTER. You heard that right folks, COOKIE FREAKING BUTTER. I was enamored at the richness of the waffle paired with so many different toppings that it really was a great way to end the meal.
Bottom line, this is a good place to go to and hang with friends in a casual setting. Right now The Jolly Monk is offering some great Happy Hour specials as well as their own Brunch menu should you choose to go at an earlier hour. I would definitely recommend stopping by The Jolly Monk as it is a guaranteed good time to have with you and your friends. Check out the official website for more info.
The Jolly Monk
701 9th Avenue (Between 48th and 49th Street)