In a past life I must have been French, possibly a beautiful brunette lady standing at 5'9", slim, pale skin, light brown eyes... smart. Or, I could have quite possibly been a French man, fat but not too fat, stout, cleanly shaven but with messy medium-length hair, bright clear blue eyes and embarrassed by his sensitivity... quite possibly I may have been this French man's French dog, this would have been okay too. I love dogs.
I say that I may have possibly been French because as you know (if you stayed tune) that recently it was my birthday. 9:00 A.M. Father calls me "I want to take you out to brunch for your birthday, pick anywhere you want to go", I pick Cafe Midi, a French cafe. Thursday evening Mr. Borscht and I are getting ready for our dinner reservation, he said to me a few days ago, "pick any place you want to go for dinner, it's your birthday", so I pick Monsieur Marcel, another French restaurant. Yes, I do believe I may have been French in a past life.
Monsieur Marcel is located in the Farmer's Market on 3rd Street, situated in the very south-east corner of the market this charming twinkle-lit restaurant at nights sits right beside the Mr. Marcel store which sells all types of goodies, barrels of olives and of course olive oil, capers, pasta, cookies, wine, Wine and WINE... European candy, vanilla bean. Then there is also the cheese and meats at the deli, where I also suspect their lunch sandwiches are also made.
Mr. Marcel is the kind of place that serves wine in small short-stem wine-glasses opposed to the large bulbous long-stemmed ones, they serve complimentary crackers and bread and a plate of an assortment of olives.
We decide to begin Birthday dinner with a tapenade sampler accompanied by slightly toasted baguette slices, pictured below from left to right, sun-dried tomatoes (I absolutely love sun-dried tomatoes!) they are sweet and earthy. Artichoke, there is a hint of lemon that lends a refreshing bite to the earthy flavor of the artichoke. And then the roasted bell-peppers which is sweet and peppery. And though I do love sun-dried tomatoes when Mr. Borscht asked me which I liked best... I really could not choose, they were all lovely and different and mouth watering in their own right.
Mr. Borscht's dinner pick? The infamous Boeuf Bourguignon, which by the way, is absolutely great at Mr. Marcel. A large shallow bowl filled with chunks of literally, melt-in-your-mouth beef! Mushrooms. Thick, earthy, concentrated, dark sauce that makes you feel at home, that makes you feel like everything is going to be okay. The dish is topped with a small mound of pasta, mix this in.
I've had the Boeuf Bourguignon before but my adventurous nature once again calls out to me to try something new though I absolutely adore the Boeuf Bourguignon here. I peruse the menu, taking a good moment or three to really look at the ingredients, I munch on some bread, I eat a couple of olives. I decide on the Bouillabaisse, a French seafood stew. When I order I have no doubt in my mind, everything at Mr. Marcel's is absolutely, and I mean, ABSOLUTELY, heavenly.
Mussels, clams, large shrimp, a piece of white fish, chunks of potatoes, scallop, onions... saffron. The broth is flavored with the sea but delicate and delicious. This is my first taste of Bouillabaisse and though I have nothing to compare it with, my palate is telling me that it is wonderful!
The Bouillabaisse was served with a rouille sauce (mix it into the broth to thicken and spice-up), half a lemon and toasted slices of baguette.
I have yet to be disappointed by Mr. Marcel, it is no doubt my favorite French restaurant in town, lunch or dinner the food is nothing less than great. Birthday dinner?... Purrrfect.
The Damage: $60.00
2 glasses of red wine
1 Tapenade Sampler
1 Boeuf Bourguignon
6333 W. 3rd Street (Southeast side of the Farmer's Market)
LA CA 90036