So Crabby, we had our first look at the much anticipated new Marc Restaurant on Friday, with my niece K who was feeling very stressed about leaving for home the next day.
I liked the concept, which I understood to be reasonably priced French bistro food in an unpretentious setting.
According to the website (quoted from The Journal), “The room alone is worth visiting. It’s soothing in shades of white, taupe, and black with sparkling pendant lights and a bar constructed with marble reclaimed from the CN Tower.” I wonder if it’s the piece that fell off the facade and crushed someone’s truck.
I thought the room was a little too stark. The blazing white tablecloths against the dark windows meant contrast hell for taking pictures of my lovely dining companions.
And all the hard surfaces meant that the room got very loud when it was full.
The menu had the classic bistro items I was hoping it would, among them steak tartare and mussels to start, and mains of cassoulet, duck confit, and steak frites.
I forgot to take pictures of our appetizers (d’oh!). I started with steak tartare ($12) (you know my fondness for raw beef). I thought it had too much acid in it (from the cornichons, capers and pickled pearl onions I guess) which overpowered the raw beef taste I love so much. How were your diver scallops, Crabby? K’s frisee salad with roasted beets looked really good.
Cassoulet ($19) seemed a fittingly hearty choice for this cold weather. I found it quite disappointing though. The beans were undercooked and quite dry. I liked the pork belly and bits of duck confit but the sausage (merguez?) had an odd flavour I didn’t like. Crabby, we need to make our own cassoulet soon (you do the duck, I’ll do the rest) – I think we can do much better. On the plus side, I did find it very filling. I certainly didn’t go away hungry.
K’s duck confit ($20) came with pomme puree and sour cherry reduction. She really enjoyed it and I liked the small taste I had.
But I loved your steak frites ($23). I thought it was cooked and seasoned perfectly and the fois gras butter on top was heaven. Wish I’d had this instead of the cassoulet.
You and K had the creme caramel for dessert ($6 I think). From my taste, it seemed to be perfect – silky, smooth and rich. I would have ordered it too, but we couldn’t all have the same dessert, could we?
So instead I ordered the beignets (also $6 I think), which were also quite lovely. The best thing on this plate was the Calvados caramel sauce. It made me totally ignore the dark chocolate sauce.
So there you have it. I was mildly disappointed by my meal, but it may have more to do with my specific choices. What is your take, KC?
Posted by Jean Poutine