Black Legend in Monaco: Nightlife Heats Up

Ah, summer nights. The soft breezes drifting across Monaco‘s port. The massive yachts lined up along the quay. Sweet-smelling, sun-bronzed and fashionable young couples stroll under a setting sun.

The scene is romantic and elegant, just like Monaco’s new lounge/nightclub/restaurant/bar, the Black Legend. The name says it all, as the ambient music is devoted to the giants of Black American music: Motown, Funk, Soul, R & B, Pop and Disco.

Our evening began on the spacious outdoor terrace with stunning views over the port and  tables far enough apart to enjoy an intimate tete a tete. The DJ spun soul standards while we examined an enticing menu of salads, pastas, fish and meat dishes. The cuisine melded American, Asian and Mediterranean themes. Between us we managed to devour a delicious small pizza with sliced truffles and arugula, Caesar salad, Asian shrimp salad, “Black Cod” (flakey cod in sweet sauce) and an entrecote. Nothing overly complicated but the dishes were perfectly executed and portions were copious.

Around 10.30 the live band started and we headed inside to the sumptously decorated interior which includes a restaurant. I hate minimalist decor and was instantly at easy in the cushy sofas, soft lighting and gleaming wood floors. The band, Soul Tigers, did covers of  R & B, Soul and Motown hits of the 70s and 80s which got people dancing. I loved that you could dance if you wished or chat away in a corner, taking in the music and luxuriating in beautiful surroundings.

Black Legend is everything that Monaco is supposed to be–glamorous, chic, luxurious and fun–plus it’s actually quite affordable. A hearty salad starts at €18 and cocktails run from €12 to €25. There’s no cover.

Black Legend is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5am (midnight on Tuesday) serving meals non-stop. (Hooray!) Wednesday through Sunday, a top-flight DJ spins dance tunes from midnight on for an increasingly frenzied crowd. See more.

See more about nightlife in Monaco.

In the ‘Moods’

Monaco has always been great for nightlife but with “Moods”, the little Principality has really surpassed itself. This jazz club has been open for at least a year but we just got around to visiting it last night. It’s not an aversion to jazz that made us slow to rush over there (certainly not) but a fear that an evening out would set us back the price of a sportscar. Not so.

Moods looks like it would be costly. First, there’s the location behind Monte Carlo’s Cafe de Paris. Then there’s the ultra-modern but somehow comforting decor. The staircase that leads to the entrance has a whooshing wall of water on each side and the interior is surprisingly spacious and extremely well-designed. There are several bar areas, walkways and even a book corner with sofas that border the stage and main floor. The sight lines are good from nearly everywhere and the acoustics are top-of-the-line.

Drinks run from €10 on up and there’s only a cover charge for the more renowned groups like Stefano di Battista or Paola Fresu.

We were most charmed by the music of Pink Turtle and Lillian Boutte that presented  New Orleans-infused versions of rock, soul and pop classics. Musically unusual (how about ‘Satisfaction’ to a bossa-nova beat?), Pink Turtle also put on a great show, with the musicians doubling as performers, singers and comedians.

Moods is open Tuesday to Saturday from 7pm on althoug

h the music starts at around 9.30pm. For more information and the program, see www.montecarloresort.com