Mokka and the Sunset Bar & Grill

500 Monmouth St.
Newport, KY 41071
859.581.3700
websiteMokka (Newport, KY)4 stars

Another of the interesting bar concepts that has sprung up in the Newport area just south of downtown Cincinnati, Mokka and the Sunset Bar and Grill offers breakfast, lunch, and a plethora of mixed drinks to be enjoyed day or night. The Newport area brings a lot of people out at all of those times, and I found that Mokka  had some really great offerings. That said, there were times when the process could use a bit of refinement.

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The breakfast menu draws me back. My favorites:

  • Mokka French Toast: this delicious take on French toast is coated in cornflakes, then grilled and served with bananas and cream on top of it. Crunchy, yet fruity and refreshing. It doesn’t really even need syrup, the thing is just great as it is. Better, it’s served with a salty meat and a side to balance the sweetness out.
  • Frittata: this one is cooked egg whites this one is cooked egg whites and topped with vegetables and some sautéed mushrooms to top it off. Really amazing how the cook produces such flavorful dish. I love the crisp edge to the veggies. Relatively speaking, it’s a simple concept, but packs a lot of flavor because the ingredients are great.
  • Parfait: this dish is great. A simple yogurt topped with granola, and chopped melon to top it off.  It’s a simple side, but it’s a great healthy option.
  • Blackened tilapia: A light fillet of the popular fish topped with lettuce, tomato and tartar sauce. Great!

The restaurant has a lot of great food to try, but the service is something that seems to have divided a lot of people online. A spot as small as this one can have a wait sometimes, which can be frustrating. Overall, once I was seated, I found the people to be agreeable though. That said, once the restaurant attracted a wait out the door, I still noticed that several tables at a time were empty and food took a long time to get to customers. Sometimes this is because the kitchen is only so small to handle a certain number of orders at a time, but with the restaurant set up as it is, I suspect it might be able to handle orders more quickly if it had an extra person or two. In fact it seems to me that it really needed a dedicated hostess to seat people and take names down, because it seemed to be a significant distraction for the waitstaff.

That aside, the price points are excellent at this spot. The recipes are simple, but they’re very refreshing. And they don’t cost you a lot. Which is really nice, considering that the rest of Newport can be expensive at times. The spot has a lot of local flavor, a lot of character, and I really do think that it’s worth a try.

Recommendations

  • The Mokka French toast is a great breakfast option to try here.
  • Craft beer options are extensive too.
  • The line gets long for brunch. Earlier though, service is fast.

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