Eating with John Chow РSpontan̩e Lunch March̩ Moderne

Two videos in one day? Yep! The 90 day video challenge requires me to do a video a day, but there’s no rule that says I can’t do two! This may be my second video of the day, but it’s also episode nine of Eating with John Chow.

For this dot come dine out, we went to The Penthouse at South Coast Plaza to sample the prix fixe “Spontanée” menu of Marché Moderne.

Marché Moderne managed to create the classic feel of a French bistro while sitting inside a giant mall. The room features wood plank floors, ancient stone accents, white linens and dark wood French doors, which open up to a “rooftop patio.” The patio is really the mall floor. It’s better to sit inside the restaurant. Sitting in the patio will just remind you that you’re at the mall.

The restaurant is the brainchild of Florent and Amelia Marneau. Florent and Amelia enjoy integrating extremes: urban and rustic, simple and sophisticated, modern and traditional. The food at Marché Moderne is a reflection of the world’s best artisan-made products and Southern California’s farm-fresh fruits and vegetables.

In France, bistro food can be a very economical, so Marché Moderne bring this tradition to Orange County with their three-course prix fixe Spontanée menu. The menu changes every week, and offers a brand new first course (usually a refreshing salad or soup), two main courses (usually a fish or meat dish), and one of Amelia’s seasonal-inspired desserts.

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We all went with the opening salad, which was made with little gem romaine, hearts of palm, watercress, applewood smoked bacon, shaved reggianno cheese, oven dried tomatoes, crispy shallots, buttermilk, truffle oil and red onion scented dressing. Yes, that’s a lot of stuff just for a salad! It was pretty great tasting.

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There were two main courses. Oscar and I went with the Jidori chicken coq au vin, while Marc went with the brown butter salmon trout. That’s a salmon that thinks it’s a trout.

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The maple syrup panna cotta dessert with French latte marked a nice ending to a great lunch. At $25 per person, the prix fixe Spontanée menu at Marché Moderne makes for a near perfect dot com lunch. I highly recommend you try it if you ever find yourself shopping at South Coast Plaza.

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