A ‘hate it or love it’ kind of vibe is significantly present amongst the locals in Monaco during the Formula1 Grand Prix weekend. The principality is flooded with people, all kinds of them. The party people, the athletes, the celebrities, the jetsetters, the industry professionals. The hospitality and service industries are flushed with reservations, excessive amount of food and drink consumed at establishments, every single patron is a “somebody” so large amounts of cash in tips are offered for the best service with no regard to capacity. It’s like the saying “it is the best of times; it is the worst of times” – Charles Dickens.
For a big spender it matters not – where, what and how as long as it is the best of the best. However, I don’t intend to disappoint but around this time of the year, with the exception of a few wannabes (Luxury lifestyle, without a luxury bank account), everyone one is a big spender or can be, if need be, so relying on a large tip in order to get the table you want is hardly the best course of action, if you don’t want to eat room service, and yes, exactly… I am not talking about the parties. At the club a large tip will likely get you in and you will likely run into some friends or get a shitty table or worst-case scenario party by the bar at any given establishment – the above written concerns your meal. Your pre-party meal I might add. Even though Monaco is host to a ridiculous amount of restaurants, most of which offer a Fomrula1 menu (shortened version due to unusual capacity of patrons), most of them are hardly going to set the mood for a long night of partying, and surprisingly unless you are joining from the closing events from the Cannes Film Festival you might want to consider booking a table at one of the following restaurants.
Twiga, which I have mentioned in Eveningwear during the ultimate ‘event’ months of Monaco article as a great party spot, is not just a famous club, but it is also a delicious restaurant, which has just undergone a refurbishment and will be opening just in time for the Grand Prix weekend. Booking a second seating (late dinner) is guaranteed to set your mood for the rest of the night, even if you plan on continuing your party elsewhere or visiting a few different clubs or parties that night. A delicious Asian fusion menu, or the raw bar offer plenty of light options not to overfill you and your friends before a long night out.
Gaia. Now, everyone knows the most instagrammed fish, right? The seabream carpaccio served in the shape of an actual fish, with three little bottles next to it… that is Gaia. A famous around the globe and supremely successful Greek restaurant (it’s not so Greek), offers not only a great ambiance and fresh seafood, but also delicious cocktails and one of the hottest crowds you will encounter in Monaco. I can definitely suggest this restaurant as one of your pre-party dinner bookings during the Formula 1 weekend for either one of the 3 nights. The upbeat music, fun and handsome wait-staff are 100% going to set you up for a great start of the night. Just make sure to wake up for the race after starting the night with their delicious 1942 with apple juice (my personal suggestion – it is the best one in town).
Coya, is a place I have had a long-term affair with. The first one ever opened was in London, and it is not only a restaurant, but also a member’s club, of which I have been a member since its opening, so of course I have a soft spot for this particular place, even though Coya Monaco has nothing on the original Coya London (especially the members lounge parties), it is still one of the most delicious and fun restaurants in Monaco. This is Peru my friends so go for the ceviche and down a few Pisco Sour or Pura Vida cocktails and get in the mood jungle style! Coya has by far the nicest and friendliest wait-staff and amazing views, ambiance and amazon forest vibes to put anyone into a Tulum style party mode!
Finally, my absolute favorite (and I believe I am not alone in this) hot spot during the Grand Prix de Monaco is the one, the only Sass Café. This place is old world Monaco so to speak. It is a classic so just like the black classic Chanel 2.55, or the little black dress, it just will not go out of style. Sass is a tiny piano bar with the most prominent crowd you will ever come across in the same place in Monaco, with a small room that transforms from a restaurant into a piano bar and from a piano bar into a club, it is the ultimate place to be during the Monaco GP. You will find seating outside for your dinner and if you book early enough you are able to move inside for one of the best parties in town that weekend. The food is also delicious. You cannot visit Monaco and not have been to Sass Café.