Le Marcab

24 11 2008

A table at Le Marcab

I found a new restaurant!  Or, to be more accurate, Nick found it.  Not far from Pierre Hermé’s boutique in the quiet 15th arrondissement, Le Marcab opened for business a little over a week ago.  Upon viewing the menu posted outside, and the chic décor inside, Nick thought it might be worth checking out. 

The tempting menu posted outside Le Marcab

So when we found ourselves in the neighborhood on a recent weeknight, we wanted to see if this place would live up to its potential.

Like sitting on a giant gold couch.

Stylishly decorated in tones of gray and gold, the dining room feels opulent yet welcoming.  The banquette, which takes up one entire wall of the restaurant, whimsically evokes an oversized, baroque couch.  Since Le Marcab had only opened a few days before, we were the only people there, but we didn’t let that daunt us.  The service was as polite and timely as any of my better dining experiences in Paris, and the restaurant, on the whole, shows the kind of attention to detail you would see in any top-tier establishment.

Beautiful salt and pepper shakers

Take these salt and pepper shakers.  They look great, melding perfectly with the luxurious decor.  A pepper grinder might be preferable for seasoning purposes, but the food gave me no reason to desire additional seasoning.  And the bathroom!  5 points!

(I suppose now is as good a time as any to tell you about my four-point rating system for French restrooms.  It can be applied to restrooms anywhere, I suppose, but it was developed based on the “amenities” most commonly lacking in public restrooms in France such as I noticed them when I first lived here, right after graduated from college.  The four points are awarded as follows: one for a toilet seat, one for toilet paper, one for soap, and one for some kind of hand-drying apparatus.  Points can be deducted for the absence of a toilet bowl, sink, or door, and a negative score is certainly possible.  General cleanliness is also taken into account.  There are rare occasions when bonus points are given.  These are for instances in which the proprietor has gone above and beyond the basic requirements to make the restroom experience that much more comfortable.)

That explained, Le Marcab got their extra point, specifically, for having a basket of plush terry hand towels instead of paper towels or an air-dryer.  Refined and better for the environment!

But let’s get back to the food.  Nick and I each ordered a glass of wine from the short by-the-glass list, and they arrived shortly after, accompanied by the bread basket.

I'm always happy to see some variety in a bread basket.

Offering a choice of pain aux céréales and traditional baguette, this bread basket already has a leg up on many other parisian eateries.  The bread wasn’t outrageously spectacular, but whoever made it can be proud of a job well done.

Having just come from a long, snack-heavy cocktail hour, Nick and I passed on appetizers and went straight for the entrées.  I ordered the salmon, and he chose the duck.

a match made in heaven

The main reason I opted for the salmon was the intriguing hazelnut sabayon.  I was not disappointed.  The airy yet rich sauce had a distinct hazelnut savor that married seamlessly with the moist, flavorful salmon.  It was generously napped over a warm slaw of endive and black radish, whose earthy sweetness impeccably complimented the salmon.

A nicely seasonal duck plate

Nick’s duck arrived, glistening under a lavish sauce.  The cumin-glazed turnips and whipped carrots were perfectly seasonal accompaniments to the medium-rare duck.  The sauce had the fullness of flavor and silky mouthfeel that only handmade veal stock can provide.  Needless to say, we both cleaned our plates.

It was getting late (see aforementioned cocktail hour), so we reluctantly skipped dessert, vowing to return in the near future for a full three-course meal.  I’d say Le Marcab is off to an excellent start.

Originally published on Croque-Camille.




10 responses

25 11 2008
Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

I wish this place was open when we were there as the duck looks so incredible !!! Great pics and review

25 11 2008

Hazelnut Sabayon…who knew?
You must go back for dessert….must have a full report 🙂

26 11 2008

Yum – duck looks fab, love endive – yum, can’t imagine the hazelnut with salmon. Good though?

26 11 2008

Sounds pretty darn good! I’ll have to put that on our list of restaurants to try 🙂

26 11 2008

vas y yo ,fait toi plaisir 😉

26 11 2008

Cathy – Maybe next time…

Jody – I agree!

Laquet – It was fabulous.

Hopie – It’s kind of a hike, but definitely worth it. We’re thinking the 3 courses for 35 euro would be quite a deal.

Andre – D’accord!

26 11 2008

Bravo pour la présentation des assiettes, c’est très apétissant

27 11 2008
cosy swiss

Der Chefkoch des Marcab ist ein Top Shot! Zum Glück weiss das noch kaum jemand, denn sonst würden die Preise in den Himmel wachsen.

Also: geht hin und geniesst Spitzenkochkunst zum einmalig tiefen Preis, das gibts sonst nirgends in europäischen Grossstädten!

There’s really nobody all over Europe that is able to offer a such high quality of top cuisine at a so affordable price! Big secret! Please keep it and go simply in ther for diner, but not let know journalists- i am petrified of growing prices after publishing!!!!
cosy swiss

28 11 2008

Janine – Merci!

Cosy – I agree, it’s a great value. Let’s hope it stays that way!

29 11 2008

que 2 commentaire en fr ? lol

z’etes des pro du net ou quoi ,mdr

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