Restaurants & Bars

Manhattan

Marseille report

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Restaurants & Bars 1

Marseille report

Cliff | Aug 8, 2003 01:00 PM

Five of us had dinner last night, and it was a mixed experience. Two of us tried glasses of what I suppose is the "house wine" at the bar, one white and one red. Since I came in a few minutes later, I can't tell you the names, only that the glasses ran about $7 each. Avoid these choices at all costs; the white was chemical and the red was almost brown and tasted like rust. A margarita was passable, but nowhere near the standard of, say, Patria. Apps were ok: one is allowed to choose three meze from a list of about nine, and while flavors were good (torchon of foie gras was a particular success) the portions are miniscule, literally a single bite of each. My marinated Portuguese sardines (not from the meze list) with a red bell pepper sorbet(!) were delicious, although possibly not to everyone's taste (you have to like a strong fish flavor). Entrees: a seafood burger, properly medium rare but very, very salty; braised short ribs, soft, sweet, caramelized, rich and fine; skate, reported to be excellent; duck breast with a "cigar" of duck confit, the breast medium rare, tasty, but nothing you couldn't get in many other places; and sauteed scallops, okay but a pitiful portion of five medium sea scallops surrounding a heap of frisee. Entrees run in the mid-twenties. The bread server visits four or five times throughout the meal, a signal that the management knows its portions are stingy. Another all-too-frequent complaint (I've posted before) is that every surface is reflective (tile floors, etc.) leading to quasi-deafening noise levels as the place fills up. Summary: decent, occasionally very good food, small portions (especially the apps), loud noise levels, good service. A solid "B".

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