Location: 365 Calle Principal, Monterey
Reviewed: October 12, 2007
Espresso: Noir uses the famed Black Cat blend from Intelligentsia, and they do an okay job with it. My ground-to-order pour had a thin medium-brown crema that dissipated quite rapidly (this was probably helped along by the wide-brimmed cup they served the shot in). It was full-bodied and mild, and I couldn't pick out much more than that (see below).
Atmosphere: Cafe Noir is located inside the lobby of the Osio Theatre. Although this sounds like a convenient location for a cafe, there is one horrible happenstance: you can smell the popcorn! The butter and salt aromas completely obliterate any scents that you might otherwise be picking up from your espresso. Perhaps if they served in a snifter so that you could stick your nose down into it, it would be alright. I do have to give them kudos for the restored 1960's era Faema that they use.
Verdict: I'll possibly even go back, but popcorn and coffee do not go together well!