Posted on 30 January 2012 by Danny
So, we’re in the shopping mecca that is South Coast Plaza, on the 3rd floor dubbed “The Penthouse”, next to Nordstrom. Marche Moderne.
A nice little morsel to start off with. In case you don’t know, I love duck.
Pied de Mouton mushrooms, otherwise known as Hedgehog mushrooms with Armagnac jus (a type of brandy) baked in a wood fire oven. It’s served with a crunchy tartine (bread) spread with fromage blanc (creamy white cheese with herbs and spices). I don’t remember what the foam was made of, but it made for a fun presentation. Very tasty stuff.
Aaah, the creamy goodness that is foie gras, sautéed to bring out its beefy like flavor characteristics and velvety texture. It’s served with ravioli filled chestnuts, marscopone cheese and more foie. A port foam offers a nice sweet tangy note that goes well with foie and ups the eye candy factor of the dish.
Oh yeah, the salt it’s lightly sprinkled with is Fleur de Sel which is apparently one of the rarest sea salts but unless you’re a salt connoisseur, my guess is you won’t be able to tell.
I’ve had sweetbreads several times and I have a love/not so love relationship with the dish depending on where it’s served. I have to say that this is the best place I’ve had it. It’s sautéed perfectly with each side perfectly caramelized. It’s served with tempura potatoes and shishito peppers.
The whole dish is surrounded by ring of charred green onion aioli. Who knew Thymus glands could be so good?
This is the one stinker in the meal. Literally. First off, let me tell you, my wife and I love tripe. Put a bowl of menudo in front of us, blissfully devoured. Ginger scallion tripe, gone in seconds. Tripe braised in Calvados (brandy), fuggetaboutit.
With that said, we knew when this dish arrived to our table that it would be….challenging. The wonderful scent of umm…poop… was pretty overwhelming. The tripe was formed into a loaf and sautéed. Even the delicious marchand de vin sauce (wine, butter, beef broth sauce) and lyonnaise potatoes (scalloped potatoes) was not enough to overcome the strong taste.
In need of something sweet to get the strong intestinal taste out of our mouth, dessert was in order. The apple tart with vanilla ice cream was great.
Marche Marchand is a great restaurant with a great vibe. With the exception of one dish, we were very happy campers!