This wasn't my first time eating here, but a recent experience:
Rhonda and Tony have created a wonderful restaurant for the die-hard locavores in Davis. They have taken over the space abandoned by the former owners of Osaka sushi, just north of the Davis Food Co-op.
Monticello's produce come from a Capay Valley farm (Fiddler's Green) that also graces the Davis Farmer's Market. The meat is also locally sourced and humanely raised. To further their local bona fides, Tony and Rhonda also support local art by providing wall-space to foodie photographers for the Second Friday ArtAbout (full disclosure: my photos are currently showing for display only).
The space is well-designed and has a friendly feel. And for those who liked the food at the Bistro served at the Farmer's Market... well this is amazing. The menu changes weekly to reflect seasonal food. At my last dinner, I had the pan-fried gnocchi with a wild mushroom ragout. What a blissful experience! I don't think I'll be able to have gnocchi anywhere else. While I understand that the sauce will change, Rhonda assures me that the gnocchi are on the menu to stay. Fantastic. They also do a pretty impressive burger, and served it the way I ordered it: rare (it is not common for restaurants to do this). They can do this, because the meat is from a reputable source and does not need to be sterilized.
Now, I've read some reviews about how long the food took. I'll admit that I had to wait a while. But, hey, Rhonda and Tony are proud to be members of the Slow Food movement (even starting a new Davis/UC Davis chapter). This means food is made from scratch and cooked to order. Nothing is waiting under heat-lamps.
I highly recommend coming here and supporting a local restaurant that gives back to the community. If you go with the right expectations (remember, Slow Food), you'll love it. And if you are starving, order an appetizer,
If you own or manage Monticello Seasonal Cuisine, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.