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Restaurants & Bars 3

Cinq-new french bistro in Marin

Peter | Jun 6, 200311:59 AM

My wife and I ate at Cinq the other evening. It is located in the former Baby Sal's Seafood space.

I had walked by nightly with my dog watching the progress and was pleasantly suprised by how well the project turned out.

Although it is casual like a bistro, (no reservations, a chalk sign up board instead) it has a classier ambience. The patrons were dressed up in relaxed way and there was some conversations between tables, so it added a neighborhood touch. I am not good at describing colors, but it has reds and greens on the walls, black table tops, wait staff in black, giving it a rendevous or date night romantic atmosphere.

The menu is simple and forward: one preparation of each item was offered. Starters: One salad, soup, foie gras. Main items: one preperation of beef, lamb, pork, seafood, duck. Wines: One bourdeaux, Cote de Rhone, one California Cab, Merlot, etc. (They do have a variety of ports for dessert)

My wife started with the Artichoke soup, not too much added to it so the overall color was gray, with white oil swirled decoratively on the top, it tasted very nice. I had the foie gras, seared on slice of toasted french bread with some grapes that had been sort of split and carmelized to give it a sweet jammy flavor. I had a glass of a bourdeaux to go with it. (sorry I didn't not the label, but it is easy to find on the menu being the only one listed).

For the entree my wife had a roasted steak, I thought it was an odd way to treat a steak, but it arrived nicely done on the outside and rare in the middle, it was tender and chewy, served with truffled mashed potatoes and a mushroom ragout. A glass of the Cote du Rhone.

I had the Duck Confit, which was a leg on a warm potato salad. The duck was too salty, the patrons at the next table had the duck and the same impression.

We split a dessert, a frozen chocolate mousse ice cream with nuts, nice intense chocloate flavor.

The waitress offered dessert wines asking if I liked ports, I declined, but stated that I love ports, so she comped me a glass and apoligized that the duck had been salty. When she brought the glass, we started talking about ports, I mentioned that I stop at Michael's Wine Cellar, a half a block away, and had tasted a nice port. The waitress (Nancy) said they are going to talk to Michael and see if they can send people who are waiting for a table to have a glass of his wine and they will phone over when the table is ready. I think that will create a nice synergy and expand the wine opportunities for the diner.

The staff is friendly and knew a few of the patrons names, so they are really focused on being a neighborhood place. The chef/owner Jen, came to the table and chatted, I asked about rotating the menu and perhaps adding duck breast (my alternative when not eating steak) and she said that she is bored with duck leg and will introduce duck breast soon. The foie gras is from Hudson Valley and Jen explained the ducks diet and the effect on the finished product and that she has a new source from the central valley that has a better product and will be switching soon. She impressed me as someone who wants a small venue so she can stay in touch with her patrons and sources and put good, simply prepared meals on the table.

60 Corte Madera Ave
Corte Madera, CA 94925

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