Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Marché Moderne

Marché Moderne is one of the popular French restaurants in Orange County. It's located in the Penthouse (3F) of South Coast Mall with all the glitz and glam of the posh and luxurious shops such as Tiffany & Co. and Louis Vuitton. However, if you're used to having some of the Modern French restaurants say in Napa/Sonoma County, Las Vegas or New York; unfortunately the food served at Marche Moderne is no where near the refined caliber of those restaurants although the dining area's elegant and upscale with modern tones of black, beige and ivory that's certainly not tacky. Be that as it may, it's one of the better French restaurants in Orange County.

I will say that the service is amazing at Marché Moderne. Our waitress (who I happened to know personally from college :)), in addition to the rest of the waitstaff, was very kind, attentive, and knowledgeable of the menu.

I first started out with a Sapphire Martini made with a Lemon Twist as that tends to be my starter drink at nice places such as Marché Moderne with a full bar. They have appetizers and small plates to start out with. The difference between the appetizers and small plates is that even though they are similar by quantity, the food of the appetizer consists more of something being given for a first or second course whereas a small plate would be like a smaller main course. As recalling from Anthony Bourdain saying that Bone Marrow spread on toast would like to be his last meal ever plus with me never trying it before, I've ordered the Bone Marrow appetizer for the first time as it would come off to me as quite an adventurous activity. In addition, I ordered the Alaskan King Crab with butter, citrus, and a cillantro and radish salad topped with a vinaigrette. I will say that the appetizers we've had were pretty good.

The Alaskan King Crab was delicious, full of flavor especially with the citrus and butter complementing the crab. It was also refreshing to have the cillantro and radish salad to cleanse the palate as well.

I moved onward to the Bone Marrow. With the recent ban on the sale of foie gras served from restaurants in California (You can still buy foie gras from online stores such as D'artagnan outside of California and consume it prepared at your own home (not selling) for sure) I was devestated of how Marché Moderne could not sell foie gras anymore. It was because of that on why I had opted to try Bone Marrow as Foie Gras tends to be my go-to appetizer at French restaurants. I'm so glad that I did because when I first put the Bone Marrow on top of toast in my mouth, I felt that the bone marrow had very similar textures, richness, flavors as foie gras. The bone marrow was amazing so that it was, dare I say, divine as it was my first experience trying it. It came with some grilled Asparagus spears in order to balance out the richness on the palate without acidity.

In addition to ordering their special Mojito which was delicious and refreshing made with a vanilla bean rum (sorry, I forgot what else they added exactly as it seemed like a berry syrup was added). Our main dishes had arrived. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed in my main course. I ordered the Long Island Duck Breast with stuffed figs and a Cassoulet of Fava Beans and my dining companion got the Coq au Vin with pasta on the side. I hate giving negative comments and this was my only negative experience at the restaurant but I personally felt that my duck breast was very dry and the sauce was bland. The Cassoulet of Fava beans had a bit more flavor but was still bland nonetheless.  I would also like to add that the last time I came to Marché Moderne, I ordered the Short Ribs and it was actually not bad as it seemed like one of their signature mains.

However, my dining companion had said her Coq au Vin was very delicious.

I concluded my meal with a Camus VSOP Cognac which was a great way to end the meal. Overall, although they have some pretty good appetizers and cocktails, I just couldn't get over the fact that their main dishes were not as good as their appetizers. However, I do see myself in the future coming back for a return visit hoping for a much needed improvement of their main courses.

Marche Moderne on Urbanspoon

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