898 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA | Directions 9402537.449977 -122.186037
Exquisite food, service, ambience. A gorgeous experience. Two friends and I were able to make a midweek reservation with less than 2 hours notice and ordered the chef's tasting menu with wine pairing for my birthday dinner celebration - the meal was absolutely amazing. Started with the foie gras starter, which was out of this world, and the meal continued to exceed expectations with every course. The scallops with carrot reduction were outrageously good and the wine pairings were sublime. The service was excellent and friendly and was enhanced by our interactions with the manager (Molly?), who checked on us several times. Ended the meal with the amazing chocolate cake and a lovely port - a most memorable birthday! Will definitely be back.
Fine...until we were asked to leave.
The introductory lobster bisque given to everyone from the chef was actually quite bad. Everyone at our table could tell it was overcooked, and/or used too much shell.
The set menu, overall, was very good. I thought the potato ravioli with mushrooms and truffle oil was outstanding. The lamb chops were average, but covered in an acrid sauce with flavors of asphault. The desserts were perfect. I tried the gingerbread as well as the orange mascarpone crepes - both very good.
The wine pairings were fine, but nothing worth writing home about, and simply not worth another $50 per head.
The waiter was friendly, but inattentative, and I hate to say, incompetent. He could not answer basic questions about the menu, and seemed flustered the entire time.
The ambience was fine, but nothing notable. The acoustics get pretty bad with a full house.
My big gripe is that we started with cocktails, then ordered our food soon thereafter. The food was brought out at a decent pace, and we ate it as it came. Before we were offered coffee or tea that is part of the prix fixe menu, the Maitre de came over and asked us how our meal was. She then stated that she needed a table for other people waiting. We were a little surprised, and stated that we had not even had coffee or tea. She lost us when she said that you had to ask for it if you wanted it. Obviously that's not how fixed menus work, and we did not have to ask for anything else. Moreover, we were spending at a pace of $150-$200 per hour for the table, so it's not like we were dead weight.
A person at our table said something to general manager, who gave us a $100 "apology" gift certificate, but she clearly just wanted us out of there.
I have never had a more insulting experience at a restaurant. Given all of the nice restaurants in Santa Cruz, the Peninsula, SF and Napa with equally good food, superior staff, wine lists and ambience, Marche would be wise to reconsider how it operates.
Horrible customer service!. I had read so many accolades (such as the 9.9 by citysearch and the 27 by Zagat's) about this place and was so excited to try it with an out of town relative who is a big foodie and wine lover. As soon as we arrived - the buzz of the restaurant was more of chaos than holiday cheer. We were seated immediately but waited 10 minutes for a waiter. We were never informed of the any specials or even greeted by the waiter - only handed menus. The wine, bread, and appetizer all came out together and the meal shortly thereafter. The lobster bisque sent out by the chef tasted burnt. The lamb chops were dry. Not once did our waiter ask us how our food was or if there was anything else we needed or even speak to us. It seemed more important to turn over tables than serve the ones seated. The staff ran around hurridly often running into each other. It was utter chaos. It was just not the experience I had ever expected. I had to wait 10 minutes to get my coat at the end of it all too. Save your time and money - go to Evvia or Tamarine for a better culinary and customer experience. I am not sure what all the buzz is about for Marche.
Fantastic service, love the tasting menu.
My husband and I ordered the $65 4-course tasting menu and enjoyed every course tremendously. The waiter was incredibly helpful and friendly, which added a lot to the experience. I replaced my entree and dessert (selected outside of the prix fixe menu). My husband replaced his dessert. The waiter even suggested we order 1/2 glasses of 2 different wine when we can't decide between several choices. Wow!
1st course: Sashimi (tuna, salmon, and white buttery fish) with avocado (perfect texture) and a wasabi sauce. Super fresh and yummy sashimi.
2nd course: 2 big sea scallops (with tiny crunchy browned onion or garlic on top) on mashed potatoes with truffle oil. So delicious...
3rd course: Lamb chops with carrots and mac&cheese. My 3 year old LOVED the mac&cheese. My husband loved the lamb chops and carrots. I don't eat lamb, so I had the Steak with Foie Gras on roasted potatoes. It was a thick slice of foie gras. The sauce was amazing. This came with 2 pieces of asparagus. I think it needed additional veges like carrots to balance this dish. I was only able to eat 1/2 because I wanted room to eat dessert.
Dessert: I had the Paris Brest which was a puff pastry cake with 2 kinds of creem (I forgot the terms they used) with chocolate sauce. My 3 year old and I shared this. My husband selected cheese which came with apple slices and nutty bread.
We'll be back.
Great Find. My husband had forgotten to make Valentine reservations and it was February 1. Our usual San Francisco restaurants were either not taking reservations yet or were booked, so we decided to try the Peninsula, searching for French Food and up pops Marche' in Menlo Park. We had more than a wonderful time...tried their tasting menu and it was an extraordinary experience. Food was great, wine was excellent, service was perfect, ambience was classy romantic (quiet, subdued and elegant). We have continued to return and are not ever disappointed.
User review by sammy327. I have been to Marche a number of times and for that the reasons are simple: the food is as good as any restaurant I've been to, the service is prompt, friendly, and efficient without being staunchy, and the ambiance is sublime. The only drawback that i can see is that they have trouble accomodating large (10+) parties. From what I understand however they are in the midst of constructing a private dinning room. I look forward to it.
I happened to be down the peninsula. After a late meeting down the peninsula, I decided to try Marche out. I was very happy with my food and the atmosphere was terrific. Great French food.
A Menlo Park sophisticate that pulls out all the stops with candlelight, luscious flavors and attentive service.. With deep leather banquettes, blinds and warm-brown palette, Marché has a clubby, masculine feel that starkly contrasts with the menu's lush sensuality. A glassed-in kitchen offers fleeting views of busy cooks. Highly skilled, knowledgeable servers keep things running smoothly for the dressy, older crowd. Hong Kong-trained chef Howard Bulka inserts numerous Asian twists into his seasonal French menu. Tender, poached lobster zings with subtle hints of coconut milk, kaffir lime and lemongrass. Endive and Fuji apple salad with blue cheese and pecans is exquisite, the flavors and textures blending symphonically. Beautiful, minimal assiette cru (raw plate) contrasts salted yellowtail with a dollop of creamy, incredibly rich Nantucket Bay scallop puree. Young, roasted chicken with crisp mushrooms and pureed rutabaga is an ideal fall dish, tender and aromatic. For dessert, it's got to be Le Concorde: a craggy mountain of firm, airy chocolate mousse interspersed with camouflaged chunks of dense, chewy meringue.
1 of the better French venues in the Pen. If you want all the pomp and circumstance of Fifth Floor or Elizabeth Daniel but don't want to drive to SF-- come here. The food is pleasing, but the service seems wanting and not up to the caliber that you expect given the prices. The Sea Bass is great. also--- strongly recommend the Assiette Cru and the Chocolate Souffle. If you want the "full experience" bypass Marche and go to Gary Danko or Masa's.
Any big city would be proud. We recently visited Marche' in Menlo Park and it was a terrific dining experience. We made reservations for a party of 6 just a few days in advance and they were very gracious about accommodating us. The food, presentation and service were all equal to fine restaurants around the world. Several in our party tried both the vegetarian and non-vegetarian tasting menus which were a great way to sample their specialties. We look forward to our next evening at Marche'.
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