Monks on the Commons is the newest addition to the hoard of restaurants that fill downtown Ithaca. It’s the kind of place where you could go for a business brunch or when your parents come to town. Located in the new Marriott Hotel, Monks has a classy yet welcoming atmosphere. It isn’t the kind of place where you would feel out of place in day-to-day clothes, but at the same time, it’s the kind of place where you would feel right at home if you were in the mood to dress up a bit. It is also the perfect spot for Saturday morning brunch.
As soon as we sat down, our waiter appeared and left a massive pot of coffee on our table. I have to say that it made for some pretty artsy pictures when we poured it into the restaurant’s rustic mugs. The menu was chock full of unique combinations and delicious-sounding dishes. The sweet potato hash caught my eye, and I knew I had to go for it. Our server was extremely accommodating when my dining partner and I both asked to modify our dishes.
After a bit of a wait, our food came out, and it was everything we hoped and more. My eggs were perfectly cooked with just a slightly runny yolk, and the whites were well done without being dry. The sweet potatoes were ever so slightly crunchy on the outside but extremely tender on the inside. I became full very quickly, but the breakfast was so delicious that I just couldn’t stop eating.
Monks boasts soulful food on their Facebook page, and they definitely don’t disappoint; soulful was the best word they could have used to describe my brunch. It was both comforting and filling, and it left me without any of the stomach pain or lethargy of an overly decadent meal.
Breakfast ran us about $15 per person, which is slightly more than I ordinarily go for, but the meal was most definitely worth it. If I were to go back to Monks, I think it would be for a birthday or a visit from my parents. It’s one of those places that feels a little bit too decadent for just any miscellaneous weekend. That being said, I would absolutely love to go back and try their dinner and other brunch dishes. I think a lot of Cornellians would agree that if Monks were located a bit closer to campus, it would be a destination for students looking for a bit of an upscale restaurant to contrast with Collegetown classics like Jack’s and CTP.
Much like Agava and Carriage House, Monks might not be the place to go if you’re a college kid on a budget just trying to grab a quick breakfast, but it’s perfect if you’re looking for a bit of a treat.