Cafe Monti

The Wiener schnitzel is the thing at this Italian/Austrian eatery.

From June 2005 Cheap Eats

If Cafe Monti seems a lot like Cafe Tirolo in Ballston, it's no accident. Vic Kriedl opened both, then sold Cafe Monti to his former employees. The new owners can hold their heads high. The food is Austrian-Italian, and just about everything, including desserts, is house-made. Decor is plain. Orders are placed at a counter in front of the burners and ovens; servers deliver the dishes. It's a place with lots of regulars who like the good food, low prices, and friendly atmosphere.

Except for Wiener schnitzel and veal scallopine, main courses are under $12; a few of the pastas are just $8.50. Eminently drinkable wine is $12.95 to $14.95 for a full carafe.

Good Italian choices are linguine with clams and a white sauce, cannelloni stuffed with ground veal, pennette with fresh tomatoes, basil, garlic, and onion, and grilled Italian sausage with green peppers, onions, and spaghetti. Both the Wiener schnitzel with roast potatoes and the Austrian goulash with bread dumplings are winners.

Behind the counter, desserts beckon: house-made Italian-style cheesecake, blueberry tart, pear tart, and creme caramel, all under $4. The espresso is a fine way to finish.