Marche on the Square (Ghiradelli Square), SF - Skip it!
- hhc Oct 22, 2008 12:02 AM
Marche on the Square is in Ghiradelli Square. It's pretty new. I was just there to look around & maybe buy something. I didn't see many customers - not a good sign.
Looking around the tiny deli area I wasn't impressed at all. So boring. Other stuff on the shelfs were boring stuff you can find Anywhere. Not worth buying anything.
I didn't bother with the wine area since I don't like wine.
I did use their one Unisex Bathroom which was ok.
I give them a year at the most.
After dinner on Thanksgiving, I met up with the rest of my group at Ghiradelli. Despite my best warnings, they took the red and white fleet cruise. After doing that awful bay cruise when I first moved to California ... with the corny jokes and music blaring ... California here I come ... the only way I'll ever board one of those again is if someone scatters my ashes on the bay ... and if they try that I'll haunt them
Anyway, Marche was open. I walk into the deli part ... lights lowered ... all the dishes covered up in plastic ... the soup pots shut off. I figure the deli was closed. There was one guy sitting in a dark corner who paid no attention to me.
To give some positives first ... the deli and restaurant use seasonal, organic fruits and vegetables and the meat and poultry have no added hormones or antibiotics. The coffee is organic. They have a list of paninis and crepes. The prices for these look reasonable. The little area in the center with plush couches and two tables might be pleasant to sit with a coffee and a crepe.
As you said, the deli didn't look interesting at all. The goods on the shelves were silly like Dicecco pasta and a refridgerated section with fresh veggies, some vinegars, oils and sauces ... like San Franciscans would shop here or tourists would buy this type of thing. They would be better dumping the groceries and putting more tables in there for a coffee lounge. .
So I check out the bar. Tiny place with little more than half a dozen tables and a seven seat counter/bar in the center facing the bay.
The problem is that almost all of the view is blocked either by McCormicks, or the roof of Lorie's. There's ... as the real estate agent said about my old condo ... a peek-a-boo view. There is a view of the bay on the website and I'm guessing someone stood on a chair to get that. The restuarant looks a lot cozier in the website photo. Mainly it is watching the tourists climb up and down the stairs ... which can be entertaining.
Then again the view photo could be from the upstairs restaurant. It wasn't open on the day I was there. I'm not really sure if they opened that at all from the yelp reports.
They were serving Thanksgiving dinner also in addition to the regular bar menu. Nothing on the other tables looked inspiring. There are some positive reviews on yelp about the food, but nothing was calling out to me. I did get a glass of sparkling wine. To their credit it was a generous pour. The glassware was ... the inexpensive type.
There were no beers on tap. The offerings by glass were limited. The wine list in some cases were silly. This is not the type of place anyone would think to go for an almost $500 dollar bottle of Opus One.
It was sort of stark in there. I will say the bartender was terrific and help warm the place a bit with his personality. There are mainly positive reports about service in the restuarant on yelp and this visit seemed to back that up.
Walking out, someone had ordered a panini at the deli ... turns out they were open and the guy sitting in the corner was on duty.
After many years of dealing with my mom who was in a wheel chair, I always look at handicapped access out of habit. There are some steep steps leading to the resturant. The wheelchair lift on the side was broken and might be fixed next week. The whole Ghiradelli Square area should be ashamed of the handicapped access. Instead of ramps they rely on lifts which you must have staff operate. There is a phone next to the lift. While I was there, a women who had a child in a wheelchair and a mother pulling an oxygen tank couldn't get out of the building. Repeated calls on the phone got no response.
Marche on the square
900 North Point Street, san francisco, ca
A year is a generous assessment, especially in this economy. The deli is, at best, Oakville Grocery Lite, and Oakvillle barely lasted a year in a Wharf location with more foot traffic in flush times.
Navigating Ghirardelli is a conundrum even for the able-bodied; Allan Temko once said the Cannery looked like a map of Leonard Martin's mind, but from a wayfinding standpoint it's a model of orderliness compared to Ghirardelli. I think the problem with ramps, though is the gradients would be too steep without several switchbacks.
"Back in the day," Ghirardelli Chocolates produced chocolate candies and powder on the labels of which the name was spelled out phonetically, so generations of chocolate-lovers in the Bay Area grew up knowing both how to say and to spell the venerable name! It will be a lot easier for folks to search if the name is corrected. Below is a quote from the company's Web site.
<<The correct spelling and pronunciation of the Italian name "Ghirardelli" has long stumped even the most avid consumers of Ghirardelli Chocolate....
<<For many years, a bright colored parrot and the words, "Say Gear-ar-delly," (a phonetic spelling of the name) were used to help solve the pronunciation problem. The strategy proved to be very successful.>>
I live in the neighborhood, and was looking forward to a good spot for local, organic, etc. I had dinner there on a quiet evening. The service was great, both attentive and intelligent. The food was completely boring. French onion soup tasted like canned beef broth and was topped with a slab of melted cheese that might have been part plastic. The roast chicken was primarily the flavor of raw garlic and didn't taste like it was anything other than factory farmed. I skipped dessert and left feeling duped.