Ambiance and elegance abound at two popular eateries

Quiet music echoes over candlelit tables, draped with old-world charm and coupled with the whimsy and elegance of a European garden. Café Monarch’s attention to detail delights all the senses. From upscale and eclectic cuisine to an intimate ambiance, it is a romantic experience.

“We stand out due to our staff,” says sales director Phillip Lewkowicz. “All our sommeliers are trained extensively in food and wine — they take guests on a journey around the world in one evening.”

This is the first restaurant venture for Lewkowicz’s family, and they offer an exceptional experience because that is what they know and what they love to do. 

The ever-evolving menu changes every two to three weeks at Café Monarch and revolves around what is local, in season and fresh. All ingredients are premium and high-end, from their vegetables and fish to their beef. The four-course prix fixe menu is dependent on the main entree with the addition of wine pairings.

“You’ll feel like you’re on vacation when you visit — that’s our goal,” Phillip says.

Simple Gatherings Dinner Dates for 2018-19 are as follows: Oct. 5, Nov. 2, Dec. 14, Jan. 18, March 15 and April 12, with more dates to be determined. Visit for details. 


The Simple Farm adds new dimension to the Farm to Table Dinner, with a true farm experience that is also elegant and alluring. 

“For us, it’s about so much more than food — it’s about the experience. Simple Gatherings offers an authentic alfresco farm experience,” says owner Lylah Ledner.

Simple Farm is the sole working farm in Scottsdale, and often visitors marvel at its very existence within a busy city. The welcoming and inviting space that houses the Simple Gatherings aspect of the farm features wood-fired ovens, an intimate table for up to 34 guests, twinkling lights and chandeliers, and fresh flowers and herbs. The added element of community is ingenious, allowing diners to delight in specially created menus while connecting with other guests.

“You become a community at the table, which connects us all — it’s beautiful,” Lylah says.

Chef Derek Christensen from Moonrise Standards bases his menus for Simple Gatherings on what is in the garden that day. He also focuses on what is seasonal and local. Diners are encouraged to try something new by attending a Simple Gatherings Dinner.

“You can’t be concerned about the menu. Our chef will build a menu the week of the event that will make your senses come alive. You have to be ‘all in’ because this is something magical,” Lylah says.

Lylah, her husband, Michael, and Derek want the Gatherings to be an organic experience and create a friendly setting with pre-dinner tours of the farm. A full wait staff and sommeliers provide an upscale tone you won’t soon forget. 

“Don’t expect anything but celebrating everything. You will leave with an ‘ahhh’ feeling,” Lylah says.



Café Monarch

6939 East First Ave., Scottsdale, Arizona, 480.970.7682,

The Simple Farm

9080 E. Cactus Road, Scottsdale, Arizona,