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Ambiance at Marche Moderne?

Casualis Apr 9, 2009 10:45 AM

Hello all,

I was going through the different posts to find a nice restaurant for an anniversary celebration with my better half and decided that Marche Moderne sounded like a nice try. However, I also noted that this is in South Coast Plaza and I am a little bit afraid that the location might not be the best choice for a romantic dinner.

For those who have been there before, do you think that this restaurant might be nice for an intimate dinner?

Also, do they have tasting menus with wine pairing?

Thank you for your help!

  1. a
    AquaW Apr 9, 2009 10:59 AM

    Marche Moderne does have an outdoor patio area that would better for a romantic occasion, but the restaurant interior itself does feel very mall-ish (granted an upscale mall) and more suited for casual-business meals.

    Asides from their occasional special events, I don't think MM has a tasting menu dinner, but you should try calling ahead to see if something special can be arranged. The chefs there are very friendly and may be able to whip up something.

    And of course, happy anniversary!


    2 Replies
    1. re: AquaW
      josephnl Apr 9, 2009 11:13 AM

      I agree, and also somewhat disagree with AquaW. I think that the atmosphere at MM is really quite nice, and don't find it "mallish" at all. That said, most of the interior tables are rather close together, and not especially romantic. However, the food and service will, I think, make up for this...and, if you explain to them on the phone what you are looking for, there are some locations in the restaurant that will be more what you are looking for. If Amelia (the co-owner) is available by phone, I would talk to her. She is delightful and very accommodating.

      Although, there is not a tasting menu (at least, I don't recall seeing one), I am pretty certain that they can do one for you. And...since they have a very large wine selection by the glass, I can't imagine that wine pairing would present any difficulty.

      Try to reach Amelia, tell her what you want, and I doubt that you will be disappointed.

      Although not in the same league with MM for food, but nevertheless quite excellent and romantic, consider also Traditions by Pascal in Newport, or Bistango in Irvine.

      1. re: josephnl
        Das Ubergeek Apr 9, 2009 01:11 PM

        Agree 100%, josephnl. I don't find it terribly mallish (as long as you're not facing the mall), but if ambiance is your thing you'll want Tradition by Pascal or something along those lines. The food is much, much better at MM than at Traditions (home of the smallest piece of $19 foie gras in the history of history).

    2. j
      jacknhedy Apr 9, 2009 04:03 PM

      i agree with the comment about not facing the mall, but the inside is nice enough. as far as tasting menus, the chef owner, florent is very gracious. we have done it before - just call and ask him. he normally prefers to do them on weeknights, so he can take his time. it is one of our family's favorite places. you can tell him the family with three girls who love foie sent you. :)

      happy anniversary!

      ps: a little digression - if you like foie, when it was troquet, it was better. it's not that the portions are small, but iirc the sonoma valley foie is not as buttery as the hudson valley variety - it has been a tad too livery sometimes. however, his torchon is much better. his sweetbreads are to die for. as an aside, i love the one at bayside in newport, which they serve with a piece of quail. it is a little nicer, but a bit noisier. and i have called and requested them to ditch the quail and DOUBLE the foie portions. just make sure call ahead. yum.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jacknhedy
        Das Ubergeek Apr 9, 2009 04:33 PM

        Well, whether it's Sonoma or Hudson Valley, the piece of foie I got at Pascal was less than an inch cubed. It was two small bites of foie. I don't need some ten-inch slab of... foie gras, but come ON...

        1. re: Das Ubergeek
          jacknhedy Apr 9, 2009 05:39 PM

          sorry to the op for the threadjack, but thanks for the warning, das ubergeek. it was going to be next on our list to go try out pascal soon...agreed. i never expect it to be cheap, but the few times where we have microscopic portions are disappointing...

          1. re: jacknhedy
            Das Ubergeek Apr 9, 2009 08:36 PM

            The portion size in general is fine at Pascal. It's just that foie gras which is such a ripoff.

      2. l
        lawdog262 Apr 9, 2009 07:47 PM

        We've gone to MM many times, and it is very appropriate for special occasions. We always ask for one of the cabanas on the patio (the inside of the rest. is elegant, but as bit cramped and I was once hit by a shopping bag). We've asked about tasting menus before, and were told all we needed to do was call ahead (we assume a couple days notice at least).


        1. A5 KOBE Apr 10, 2009 12:07 AM

          Not very romantic since you are sitting right next to the person next to you.

          The place is so cramped I feel like everyone is chiming in on my conversation.

          1 Reply
          1. re: A5 KOBE
            lawdog262 Apr 10, 2009 07:11 AM

            The inside tables are too close. The patio tables are not close, let alone cramped, and the cabanas on the patio are as close to private dining as you get without a private room. After sitting on the patio once, we've always asked for a cabana at the time that we make our reservation, and have always been given one.

          2. c
            Casualis Apr 10, 2009 07:09 PM

            Thank you all for your helpful replies. I have decided to give it a try but I asked for a table on the patio. :)

            3 Replies
            1. re: Casualis
              josephnl Apr 10, 2009 07:52 PM

              Certain you will enjoy it. Did you request a tasting menu with wine pairing? I am sure that they will do a terrific job with that if you so request and go at time which is not their peak of business!

              1. re: josephnl
                Casualis Apr 11, 2009 02:52 PM

                Unfortunately no. My better half would prefer to see the tasting menu before deciding for it. And since it is made upon request, that is not a possibility. But I am sure I will enjoy the experience nonetheless. Thank you once more for your help.

                1. re: Casualis
                  josephnl Apr 11, 2009 08:04 PM

                  Let us know how it turns out!

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