Back in October 2008, my friend DP was the first of my friends and family to take me out for my birthday. I looove when people take me out for my birthday!
She sent me the link to Marche Moderne, a French bistro at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. I had just recently seen Kevin Eats' post about his first visit there. And since Kevin and I have wildly divergent dining budgets, I worried that my friend would be spending too much money on me. No worries, she reassured me. Marche Moderne has a great rotating three-course lunch menu for only $20. Oh yay! My friend always takes me to fabulous places and I don't have to worry about her spending too much.
The restaurant was quite crowded during a weekday lunch. Good thing my friend made a reservation. But also a good indication of how popular this place is, whether it's because of location or deliciousness remains to be seen.
We started off with French bread, of course.
My friend ordered an appetizer of foie gras on a bed of chanterelle mushrooms, $23, as her meal. What came out was a whole lobe of goose liver, not just a pate as I'm used to seeing at other places. She shared with me some of it and it was just heavenly, smooth, unctuous, without being gamey. Perfect with the mushrooms and also perfect to dip with the French bread.
She also ordered an individual-sized flatbread pizza that was good, but not as worthy of mention as the foie gras.
Of course, I chose the $20 three-course lunch, which started with a roasted asparagus, arugula, and spinach salad with buratta cheese and toasted hazelnuts in a Spanish vinegar dressing.
For my entree, I had a choice of brown butter roasted salmon, green beans, caper emulsion, and crispy fennel. Or roasted filet fricassee, cipolinni soubise, sauteed brussels sprouts, braised bacon, and Madeira jus.
Obviously, I chose the beef. Tasty, but the salmon that other diners had chosen looked a lot better. Still, not bad, I just had diner's envy.
Dessert was cinnamon-scented pound cake with vanilla ice cream, which I shared with my friend.
She had also recently come back from vacation and brought me these Danish dolls handmade in Vietnam. Ha! Seriously! The dolls say they're handmade, they just don't tell you where. :P And a copy of "The Little Prince."
Which of course means I must mention my favorite quote, "It is only with the heart that one sees rightly, what is essential is naked to the eye."
I enjoyed Marche Moderne so much that when Ila of I Nom Things asked for suggestions of where to take her little sister for her birthday, she fell in love with the affordable three-course lunch too.
Who else dined at Marche Moderne?
Kevin Eats' post offers a more thorough look at the restaurant's dinner menu.
Ila of I Nom Things had a different menu during her three-course lunch.
Other South Coast Plaza restaurants:
Seasons 52 - Costa Mesa
South Coast Plaza
3333 Bristol St., #3001
Costa Mesa, CA 92626-1837
Monday to Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
1 year ago today, trying to identify my dahlia.
2 years ago today, individual hot pots at Jazz Cat Cafe - Alhambra (Closed).