My ALL-TIME FAVORITE RESTAURANT in OC is finally open again y’all!

Well, they actually re-opened last October but we’ve been patiently waiting since they closed down at South Coast Plaza for almost 18 months without a notice of when they would reopen in their new location. So I’ve been watching the website for updates and finally got a chance to stop in for our 2 year anniversary just before heading to San Diego the next day.

For those of you who are not familiar with Marché Moderne, it’s a time-honored institution in these parts for modern-European fare. The husband-and-wife owned team Florent and Amelia Marneau have revolutionized fine-dining when you can casually stop in on an afternoon shopping sesh or for a celebratory meal and still feel perfectly welcome either way.

The service is always impeccable, the staff knowledgeable and just as passionate about the dishes as the owners themselves, and the cuisine is perfectly consistent, if not better with each visit.


Marché Moderne

7862 Pacific Coast Hwy | Newport Beach, CA | 92657

The Vibe

Dark and cozy, classy and romantic, Marché has kept all the modern French charm from its previous location at South Coast Plaza but updated to reflect their new surroundings in Newport. Expect a much older crowd, we are in Crystal Cove after all. Where everyone drives six-figure cars, carries Chanel, speaks Cabernet fluently, and dines out every other night.

I’d say Crystal Cove is Orange County’s equivalent to LA’s Malibu. Rich and haughty, hoity-toity, you’ll fit right in! lol


What to Order

Oysters Du Jour On The Half Shell: ½ Dozen Traditional O Med Rosé Mignonette Or Raspberry Mignonette Glacé

So good and juicy, we got 1 of each oyster du jour (2 total per person) and each one was just as sweet as the next. The perfect light starter to a traditionally heavier meal. That mignonette is so good, we asked for the recipe before we left. Can’t wait for le hubs to make it for me!

Wild Spanish Octopus Chorizo Emulsion (left) | Salmon Trout Gravlax (right)

The octopus was great, but nothing spectacularly memorable.  It was a tad bit salty because of the chorizo but that’s just me looking for something to quip about. Michael Voltaggio (Ink.) does an exceptional job of octopus so his is the one to beat, in my opinion.

The salmon was light and refreshing especially with that champagne gelee! OMG a total surprise for your tastebuds. Excellent execution!

Steak Tartare – Angus Filet 4oz A Farm Egg – Pommes Frites – Mustard Cream – All Condiments – Baguette A La Francaise – You Prepare It – Raw Egg – Condiments

They offer this tartare the American way as well where they mix everything up for you and serve it with a cooked sunny side up egg. So up to you which way you prefer but I’m very particular with my mix so I like to do it myself with that raw, runny yolk. Yum!

Sautéed Foie Gras Apple – Poire – Calvados – Duck Skin – Onion brioche – Dehydrated Balsamic

There is so much explosion of flavor, you’re hit with one note after another. It starts out sweet, then a bit savory, then BAM!!! An amalgamation of all the rich flavors you know and love.

Endive Salad (left) | McGrath Family Farm Beets with Arugula (right)

The BEST endive salad in the world! Lol my use of expletives in this post is on a whole ‘notha level but it’s simply a testament to how expertly they’ve crafted their menu. I literally CRAVE this salad. Can you say that about ANY ol’ salad?

 The beets are served with Fennel Pollen Goat Cheese Candied Pistachio Brioche Garlic Crouton – Pedro Ximenez Vinegar & Mustard Dressing – Garlic.  A rainbow of colorful beets. I always need something fresh and veggie to break up all the protein. Delightful!

Petit Risotto of Exceptional Crab- Stone Crab and Alaskan King with Leeks- Mussel and crème fraiche bouillon

Not everyone can make a good, perfectly al-dente risotto even if it’s on their menu, but we’re dealing with the PROS here guys! Expect nothing less than precision cooking and preparation. The perfect hot dish on a cold night.

Roasted Bone Marrow

Although you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, their bone marrow is easily THE BEST in OC. I DARE you to find any better! It looks heavy because of the glaze, but I swear once you smother this sucker on the crusty, chewy baguette, it’s like you’ve died and gone to heaven. That second bite will bring you right back babe! It’s THAT oralgasmic.

Roasted 10oz Angus Filet with steak frites

If I could, I would order ALL appetizers and skip main courses altogether. You get a better sampling of the menu that way but their steak is just classic. Expect classic French palate with perfectly cooked meat and perfectly salted fries and you won’t be disappointed. Ask for truffle essence on the side so you can flavor the fries with a kick!


What to Skip

NOTHING! GET EVERYTHING!!!

Know Before You Go

There is a HUGE public parking lot in the Crystal Cove shopping center. Marché is located in the same plaza as Javier’s and Mastro’s Ocean Club so chances are if you’re from Orange County, you’ve been here.  There is valet parking available for $6.  They do accept reservations, but seeing as how they are still in their “grand opening” grace period, expect to book a few weeks in advance (like I did) for a prime 8pm dining spot.

From the website:

Split Charge 5 – Corkage Policy – 35 Each (750 ml) Maximum Of 4 Btl Per Party 20% Gratuity Will Be Added To Parties Of Eight Or More

The Verdict

GO NOW!!!!

My absolute ALL-TIME favorite restaurant in all of Orange County. Yup, even trumps bomb sushi, if you can imagine!  They are always consistent in food and service. I am NEVER disappointed when ordering new dishes, which is fabulous for a seasonally rotating menu. Rest assured some of your previous favorite dishes may still be on their new and improved menu, but the verdict is- it’s ALL good!

Don’t believe me? I’ll bet you a dinner here. Winner pays for our meal. Can’t wait to cash in woohoo!! lol

Thanks for reading babes! What do you think of French Cuisine? Ooh la la LOVE?!! Or too fancy-schmancy for you?

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