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Reincarnation {Marché Bistro & Wine Bar}

October 21, 2011

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So, I’m sick again. Seriously, if they offered experimental sinus removal surgery, I’d probably volunteer. I think I was home sick when I watched one of those medical talk shows that said sinuses are like our appendix and wisdom teeth… leftover parts that, while certainly capable of inflicting serious misery, have long since outlasted their usefulness. Move on sinuses, move on.

Anyway, the point of telling you is that I took a real, bonafide sick day earlier this week. I checked and answered email at about 5:00AM when I couldn’t sleep and made another quick check about 3:00PM (again when I couldn’t sleep), but otherwise, I slept, watched Law & Order reruns and a couple bad movies.

One of those movies (and it really was pretty terrible) was Autumn in New York. Short synopsis is Richard Gere’s womanizing character is in a relationship with a much younger character with a terminal illness played by Winona Ryder. There. Now you don’t need to see it. On my mix of codeine and Sudafed, it held my interest long enough for one quote to catch my ear. “Food is the only beautiful thing that truly nourishes.” It’s so true. It’s not particular to this meal, but is certainly applicable.

B and I made plans last week to meet our friend, LF, for dinner this week. She suggested a couple places, but we opted for Marché. The funny thing is, though I’d read about them on Twitter for weeks, it didn’t even occur to me that they were actually Campagne reinvented. It wasn’t until we walked into the courtyard that I put it together. I’m disappointed that we never visited Campagne (though we’re longstanding fans of Café Campagne), but I was excited to see what Marché had in store.

I love, love, loved the interior as soon as we walked in. I’ve written about it at length in the past, by there really isn’t a better attribute for a Seattle restaurant to possess during the dreary Winter months than palpable warmth. Marché oozes warmth. We sat at a table in the bar (easily our favorite seats in any restaurant). The menu isn’t elaborate, which in my opinion, is another strong feature, but it wasn’t lacking by any means. There were plenty of options.

B wanted to try the Oregon’s Holmquist Farm Hazelnuts (dry-toasted Moroccan spice). I wanted the Pommes Frites with mayo, so we ordered both. Neither was disappointing. Nuts aren’t really an appetizer to me and these were really salty, but B seemed happy with them. He kept commenting on how spicy they were. Honestly, I didn’t taste any spice aside from salt, but my taste buds aren’t exactly reliable right now. The Pommes Frites were pretty much exactly like those from downstairs at Café Campagne… which was exactly what I was hoping for.

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We went a bit off plan for our entrees. It’s pretty clear everything is meant to be shared, but given I was on my way to under the weather, we didn’t share. B opted for the Epaule de Porc Roulade (roasted & stuffed pork shoulder, white bean & oven-dried tomato salad) and I went with the Fish (salt & pepper broiled mackerel, shallots, herb, steamed fingerlings). Both excellent… both probably a bit much for either of us, but the portions weren’t outlandish. I’ll do it differently next time. I’d rather eat communally and this food definitely lends itself to this.

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We ended the meal with ice cream (as any good meal should end). Be warned. The portion is huge. Our awesome server warned us off ordering multiple servings. I was expecting a single small scoop. Turns out, that’s not so much the case.

Service was slooooooooow… but it’s a French restaurant. Something tells me that’s by design. Our server was awesome. He even solved a minor conundrum for us. So, if a woman having an affair is the man’s mistress, what do you call a man having an affair with married woman? Our servers answer? A paramour. Sounds good to me!

We’ll be back to Marché… sooner than later.

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