Last night (Sunday), my wife and I had an early dinner at French 75 Brasserie in the Irvine Marketplace. Because it was only 4:45 and the dining room was not yet serving dinner, we chose to sit in the bar/lounge and have a drink first.
This was our first time in the lounge, and it's a gorgeous room, elegant in dark woods, leather banquettes along the sides, a pressed-tin style ceiling, oversized framed vintage style French liquer posters, red shaded candle lighting and a large, beatifully constructed bar.
Because of the early hour, the place was very quiet and so we had the bartender's (Nathaniel) complete attention. He, along with the other bar staff, were very cordial and eager to please.
We had a couple of cocktails, which were both just fine and hit the spot (my French Martini done with Grey Goose vodka was well-chilled, very smooth and nicely complemented by 2 roquefort-stuffed olives).
After awhile, we realized that we were fine right where we were at the bar, so we decided to stay put for dinner. We ordered off the lounge menu, which is basically an abridged version of the dinner menu, plus some things only available in the lounge, I believe.
We split a butter lettuce salad (tomatoes, toasted almonds and roquefort), which was nicely presented in a partly hollowed out butter-lettuce "cup". My wife ordered the bacon-wrapped scallops (de-lish)and I had the burger "sliders" (3 mini-burgers topped with a mini portion of crisp-fried onions) with a very generous serving of their superb frites. With our entrees we each ordered a glass of Chablis and a glass of zin (Ridge), respectively. The frites here are some of the best I've had in a long time !
After our second visit to this place, we were two happy campers, feeling lucky to be able to make this our new regular restaurant.