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Jan 29, 2005 12:11 PM

Marche - Menlo Park

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Not sure why this restaurant hasn't garnered more attention. They have a four course tasting menu that changes monthly for $55 - this month it is "Simple and Sublime" Cracked Dungeness Crab, Caesar Salad, Local Petrale Sole- stuffed with Swiss Chard, Meyer Lemon Sorbet, this allegedly is the meal the chef cooked at home for his friends as "A welcome respite from the excesses of the Holidays"

Their regular menu is seasonal. I had a sublime starter following a wonderfully rich and tasty amuse bouche of mushroom soup.

The starter Assiette Cru is described as raw Ahi tuna, diver Scallop Tartar, Hog Island Oyster, Oyster Chantilly, Herb Infused Olive Oil $18- which doesn't really do justice to the wonderfully fresh fish and lovely tastes - oyster chantilly is creme fraiche with sprinkles of salt. Chef suggestion is that it be used as a "dip" for the other fish. Absolutely fantastic!

I decided on another "starter", not on the menu that was described as foie gras on a carmelized onion tart - a bit expensive at $30. I asked and was told that it was 5 oz. of foie gras so decided to go for it.

The disappointment - it was about a 2 oz potion, not served hot BUT the taste was wonderful. Very sweet complementary carmelized onion in a puff pastry. At the smaller size it WAS expensive.

With the two starters and 2 of the wonderfully warm Acme sour dough rolls (well, and too much wine) I was too full for dessert. I was served five wonderful small pastries, complimentary - which I enjoyed at home later!

Rest of menu - starters $11 (handmade empanada)-$18 (assiette Cru), salads $9, sides $6, Mains 30is - including Ahi tuna, Tai Snapper, Duck, Beef or Lamb (interesting sounding Lamb Pot Au Feu - Ribeye, shank and rib of lamb, root vegetable, crouton and fress herbs $34), desserts around $8

They have a very extensive wine list (somewhat pricey) and sedate interior with really excellent service. Love to hear whaat others think.

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  1. thanks so much for the heads up and review. i'm in the palo alto area and am always looking for good local places to check out. this is now at the top of the list.

    1. This place is fantastic! Here is a brief review I posted on my Yelp page - I'm very smitten with this restaurant. It oozes modern romance. The interior is inviting with hardwood chocolate booths banking the right wall and beautiful tables dressed in white nestled in the center dining room under large dramatic drum lights. You get the feeling you might be dining in a nice home - intimate, but without feeling crowded.
      The menu at Marche is seasonal with a lot of variety. The wine list is eye popping and can be a bit overwhelming. Plates that wowed me: Hal's Duck prosciutto was delicate and luxurious, roasted guinea hen perfectly crisp with fingerling potato in a heavenly sauce (so good you had to get your bread in there!) and for the finale a lovely blackberry shortcake with fresh whipped cream and honey lavender ice cream. This place has excellent service, outstanding food and ambiance to match. Marche is perfect place for any special occasion. Additionally, they have two private dining rooms for larger parties.


      1. I have had really good meals at Marche. I also like the ambience, it's kind of New York comes to the California suburbs, dark leatherish banquettes, tables close together, high ceilings.

        I had some halibut there that was amazing. And I was there alone, and was treated well. However, it's really expensive. I'm thinking it was $100 just for me with two glasses of wine.

        1. a little off-topic but are rsvp's a must here? what are my chances walking in for a dinner for 2? i keep forgetting about this place.


          1. thanks for the review - i will be sure to check it out. sounds yummy.