The Marc is one of the few places in town where the moment you walk through their doors, you know you’re in for a treat and going to taken care of. But let’s not get too ahead ourselves. I’ve been to the Marc only once previously (a few years ago for Edmonton Downtown Dining Week) and I remember being super impressed. I haven’t been back in ages but we decided to have dinner here to celebrate a special occasion.
We went on a Thursday evening (around 6:00pm) and it was already busy. The interior is modern but classic in a good way. A blackboard, with the daily specials written (trout that night), hangs along one of the walls. The service is excellent with our server and other staff coming multiple times to our table to make sure water was always filled and plates/utensils fresh. Almost too much but they pull it off beautifully.
The menu consists of a single page. If you want dessert, there’s four options that the server recites by memory (lemon tart, crème caramel, beignets and chocolate cake with caramel). Make sure you save room for BEIGNETS.
Bone marrow, persillade, horseradish and pickled shallots. The presentation of the dish was beautiful, with the escargots placed inside the depths of the bone marrow. The escargots were delicious and comes with three pieces of crostini. Make yourself a little escargot bite size sandwich and drizzle the persillade sauce (made up of parsley, garlic, herbs, oil and vinegar) on top. Holy crap, the sauce is sooooooooooo good.
Grilled octopus ($14.00)
Artichoke, grapefruit, arugula, hazelnut, Serrano ham, and caramelized onion puree. The grilled octopus was also nicely done. Tender with a slight chewy bite to give it some texture. The arugula salad tasted a bit overdressed but I thoroughly enjoyed the flavourful bits of hazelnut, Serrano ham and grapefruit that was scattered throughout the dish.
Seared scallops ($27.00)
Confit potato, spinach pistou, leek crisps, tomatoes and capers. Three succulent, plump sized scallops that are cooked to perfection. The scallops were tender, melt in your mouth bites of heaven. Favourite dish of the night, hands down. The spinach pistou gave the dish a dash of beautiful green and wow, the baby tomatoes were a punch of flavour. Seriously, the tomatoes were literally bursting with flavour.
Cornish hen ($29.00)
Brussel sprouts, roasted heirloom carrots, pearl barley and pan jus. Oh man, I’m a sucker for when barley is done right. Hearty, healthy carbs, yes please. A nice amount of roasted vegetables (carrots and brussel sprouts) rounded the dish off nicely. The Cornish hen was packed with flavour (think a chicken on ‘roids) and the pan jus (sauce from it’s own juices) was divine.
Duck confit ($28.00)
Red and golden beet, artisan greens, lentils with an orange vinaigrette. I’m not sure why but I was expecting duck breast in my mind when we ordered this. That’s what I had last time I was at the Marc so I assumed it would be similar. Sadly, it wasn’t. The duck confit was dry. It even looked overcooked when they set the dish on our table. Also, we weren’t impressed with the lentils. They tasted a touch undercooked which resulted in a somewhat unpleasant chewy texture.
Yes, the beignets don’t even need a write up. SO EFFIN GOOD. Just order them and you’ll thank me. 12 minutes cooked to order, 3 minutes to devour them. Two types of dipping sauce (crème fraîche and dulce de leche). Fluffy, airy, delightful bits lightly sprinkled with sugar.
Did I mention we spotted Donny I? Guess the mayor has good tastes in restaurants too. The Marc is all about unpretentious, high quality fine dining at a reasonable price point. I hope to make it for lunch one of these days (only Monday to Friday). For now, I’ll keep on dreaming about dem beignets, c’est meilleur.
9940 – 106 Street