Review: Marche Moderne
As promised, please find below my review for Marche Moderne. It is a long one but to make it short if you don't feel like reading: We loved it and will recommend it to all our friends.
Now for those interested in the details…
I made the reservation in advance and in person because I wanted to see what the restaurant looked like. I have to say I was unimpressed at this time if only because the hostess kept on calling me “honey” (which, in my opinion, is not classy at all) and did not look interested in my questions. I am not one for first impressions and since everyone here was raving about the food, I decided to go for it and made my reservation for 6.30pm since the restaurant closes at 9.30pm. For a celebratory dinner, I like to have plenty of time.
So, on the fateful day of the reservation, my better half, I and our purchased-in-advance bottle of wine showed up and were promptly and professionally seated on the patio (as requested). I was worried because the weather was gray, rainy and windy but the patio has a removable roof and heaters, so we were quite comfortable and apart from the crowd.
Our waitress was charming and brought us very large glasses for our wine. I have to say that I would like to get the same glasses for home because it does make a huge difference. Especially since we brought a nice bottle of red.
Before even looking at the menu, we decided to order the charcuterie platter so that we could enjoy it while deciding on our dinner. We chose the five items platter. It came with cured ham, a kind of mimolette, chorizo, some pate and saucisson. The cured ham was very good and the home-made pate was very tasty. The rest of the platter was regular in my opinion but still very good. The bread they served with it was excellent and I am a very picky bread lover.
We had plenty of time to choose from the menu but our waitress was evidently watching us because she came shortly after we had both put our menus down.
I picked the duck breast while my SO decided with the tagine. We were both very happy with our choice. My duck was cooked perfectly (rare, yummy…) with mushrooms and a mousseline. It was tasty and very fine on the palate and definitely French in the way it was seasoned (home, sweet home). The tagine was a waltz of colors and tastes, very refined and very unlike what you can get in morocco restaurants. Both plates were elegantly presented. It was certainly not the portion size of a Cheesecake Factory (I heard/read that some complained about the size) but I was full once I was done with my entrée.
We begged our waitress for some time before continuing the meal. A trou normand would have been welcome at this point.
Finally, when we were recovered enough, we decided to go for the cheese and left the choice to the chef, letting the waitress know that we were not adverse to the strongest of cheeses. She came back with some tomme, some chabichou and another one whose name I cannot remember because it was Portuguese and I was not familiar with it. This latter was absolutely perfect and reminded me of a very strong reblochon. But I am not sure that most people can stomach such a strong cheese. We finished our wine with the last bite of Portuguese cheese and at that time, we were purring like kittens. But we were not done because we opted for sharing dessert, the chocolate cake and ice cream.
I know that some people say that the desserts are not as good as the rest of the meal but I was not disappointed if only because I like simple desserts at the end of an elaborate meal. The chocolate cake was excellent (and full of butter I am sure) and the ice cream was absolutely divine.
At the end of the meal, we paid ($170 for two people w/ tip and tax and corkage fee) and went to see the chef to thank him for a very good meal. He was very gracious and pleasant to talk to.
All in one, an excellent experience. I don’t know if it was because it was a weekday but we never felt rushed (we spent almost 3 hours there). One thing I liked (and it may sound trivial to most) is that they took away our plates when we were both done. I hate when the waiter takes away my plate when my lunch/dinner companion is still eating.
I would definitely recommend Marche Moderne and will go back with foodie friends.
Thanks for reading.
MM continues to be an OC CH favourite...though unfortunately for me, I've had a mix of meh & very good service. Maybe I'm getting to be a contrarian in my middle aged. Our experience w/their food has also been mixed. We really enjoyed the charcuterie & cheese plates, along w/their amuse bouche, cassoulet and prix fixe menus; but I've found their moules frites & escargot to be mediocre. So it's been more good than bad, but at this level of restaurant, I'd expect more consistency.
In any case, I'm glad you enjoyed your experience.