Friday, December 5, 2008

Marche Moderne -- Marching to a tasty beat

Marche Moderne

3333 Bristol Avenue, #3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 434-7900

The images 'mall food' conjures up are an endless list of fast food and greasy spoons. In Orange County, where the rich and famous flock to shop at the renown South Coast Plaza, you can be sure that a lot of thought has been put into taking care of these celebrities as well as chain restaurants for us mere mortals.

Marche Moderne is a French-style bistro which is both upscale enough for those 'real housewives' of Orange County, yet, relaxed enough for the regular person. The restaurant is split into two sections, inside, an open kitchen aligns one side of the dark mahogany hues of the dining room, while the outside patio is absolutely perfect for a casual lunch with the girls.

The lunch menu consists of a host of fresh and light offerings ranging from salads and sandwiches to seafood. For dinner, you will find heartier dishes such as rabbit, lamb and beef short rib.

What sets Marche Moderne apart is their exceptional lunch prix fixe menu. For $20 you get a 3-course menu usually kicking off with a salad. I've had arugula salad with Asian pears, chevre and candied pecans, or a Belgian endive salad with balsamic vinaigrette and goat cheese.

Entrees generally is a choice between a seafood and a meat dish. On one visit I sampled the skate wing and on another, lamb osso bucco. I don't have a sweet tooth so I can't be objective when it comes to rating desserts, but I did try everything put in front of me. Some I liked, others, not so much. However, my dining companions have always relished in their Portions are ample and you will leave more than satisfied and be back at your desk in no time.

Service is attentive without being intrusive and in this economy, you can enjoy the prix fixe at Marche Moderne every week without breaking the bank.

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