Location: 7862 Pacific Coast Hwy, Newport Beach, CA 92657. (714) 434-7900
Date: October 10, 2019
Cuisine: Modern French
Rating: Great food and service
This particular reunion of the Foodie Club: OC Edition has been in the making for months and follows the format of the previous dinner. Tonight’s them was loosely, coche vs. Domaine d’Auvenay (plus a “bit” of spectacular Champagne).
Due to group constraints, we had to meet deep in the OC at 6:00 — lots of traffic again. This time most of us didn’t do the double header (lunch + dinner) because we were so full last time (even me). Fred, however, is a beast and he met up with some other friends beforehand!
For our super duper elite Foodie Club OC dinner, we selected Marche Moderne — pretty much because it’s one of the best wine friendly restaurants in Orange County (which is a bit of a limited pool).
It’s high end modern French bistro.
Attractive modern decor.
Lots of sunset light.
Our special menu tonight.
Liz brought: 1969 Moët & Chandon Champagne Cuvée Dom Pérignon Oenothèque. Vinous 98. One of the highlights in this range, the 1969 Dom Pérignon Œnothèque (Disgorged 2006) is magnificent A stunning, vibrant Champagne, the 69 Œno hits all the right notes. Lemon peel, white flowers, crushed rocks, slate and smoke all soar out of the glass. A thin veil of reduction adds character without being overpowering or dominant. Vivid in color and totally crystalline, the 1969 dazzles at every turn. What a gorgeous wine it is. (Drink between 2017-2027)
Santa Barbara Sea Urchin. Grapefruit Gelee, Fresh Oregano, Radishes, Avocado, Kosho lime vinaigrette. The uni was great, but some of the elements here didn’t quite gelee (haha). Maybe the grapefruit? Maybe the avocado. A touch weird.
From my cellar: 1998 Coche-Dury Meursault 1er Cru Caillerets. VM 92. Fred says much higher. A shockingly elegant and pretty Coche open from the beginning. The delicious Coche signature is present and try as you may you cannot detect any vintage flaws. The more I drink Coche Caillerets the more I am convinced I like it better than the Genevrieres. A wonderful wine that was in the discussion for WOTN next to 92 Coche MP, 99 d’Auvenay Puligny En la Richarde, and 00 d’Auvenay Folatieres. An impressive showing.
Fluke Crudo & Faux Gras. Burnt Shallots Creme, Thinly Sliced Maui Hearts of Palm, Yuzu Confit Marmelade, Beurre Monte Matsutake. Again a slightly bizarre combo of poultry liver and fish.
Kent brought: 1992 Coche-Dury Meursault 1er Cru Les Perrières. VM 98. Fred says: Darkest wine is the night next to the 98 Coche Caillerets, 99 d’Auvenay En la Richarde, and 00 d’Auvenay Folatieres. Also the most dense and ripe. The balance is there with the acidity and richness in play. There is fruit and rich honey notes but not leaning into botrytis. This continues to build throughout the entire 3 hours. Impressive power.
Egg & Caviar & Cured Scottish Ocean Trout. Kaluga Caviar, Sorrel, Beurre de Citron Confit. More uniform and successful than the previous two dishes. Hard to go too wrong with either egg and caviar or cured salmon and butter.
Fred brought: 1999 Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy) Puligny-Montrachet en la Richarde. BH 91. Fred said: Given the comparisons to Chevalier Montrachet I was expecting power. Instead I got elegance and balance along with floral and mineral puligny character. This bottle is still young and needed 2-3 hours to slowly pick up weight and power. All the while it remains impeccably balanced, not unlike the 98 Coche Caillerets. I believe the best is yet to come and will try to wait another 5 years to open my next one. Lovely. Just lovely.
Sauteed Black Bass. Demi Jus de Bouillabaisse, Barigoule d’Artichaud, Calamari and Mussel, Olive, Basil Emulsion, Spicy Tomato Tartine. The Bouillabaisse “base” was nice. Fish maybe a touch dry.
Erick brought: 2000 Domaine d’Auvenay (Lalou Bize-Leroy) Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatières. BH 95. Fred says: Wow. Now this has the power and weight of a Chevalier Montrachet. The most fruit forward of the bunch but supported by that d’Auvenay linearity. A massive and structured wine impressive richness and a hint hazelnut deliciousness. What a treat.
Civet de Homard & Dover Sole. Lobster in a Civet Style, Dover Sole, Gnudi, Chanterelle, Shallot Soubise.
With the sauce. Another slightly oddball mix. This didn’t do the lobster justice. Reduction was good though.
Premier Dessert. Rose & Lychee Sorbet, Eau d’ Hibiscus.
Close up! Nice refreshing sorbet. Texture isn’t as good as mine — of course.
Cheese — because it’s so great with wine. Nice cheeses too.
Strawberry & Pistachio Croustillant. Almond Butter Gateau, Citrus Mousseline, Pistache, Cassis Berry Sorbet. I love a good “Napoleon” although this was jazzed up a bit too much.
Because we didn’t just have 3 ice creams/sorbets from the restaurant, I brought 4 (never one to be outdone).
Nocciola Caramello Budino Gelato — Nocciola custard base made with Pure PGI Piedmont hazelnut paste, infused with house-made caramel (instead of sugar) then mixed with toffee and topped with Toffifay — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — so good it’s an instant signature flavor –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #hazelnut #nocciola #caramel #caramello #toffee #toffifay
Cinnamon Apple Pie Gelato — An intense cinnamon base layered with my house-made bourbon apple pie filling and house-made caramel — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato –#SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #applepie #apple #cinnamon #caramel
Blood Orange Compari Sorbetto — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #bloodorange #orange #compari #cocktail #sorbet #sorbetto
Key Lime Pie Gelato – base is a key lime egg custard, layered with house-made frozen graham cracker and covered with house-made meringue — made by me for @sweetmilkgelato — #SweetMilkGelato #gelato #dessert #icecream #FrozenDessert #nomnom #dessertlovers #dessertporn #icecreamlovers #gelatoitaliano #foodporn #gelatolover #food #foodgasm #foodblogger #dessertgasm #desserttime #foodphotography #gelatoartigianale #gelatomania #dessertlover #icecream #icecreamlovers #KeyLime #lime #custard #meringue #GrahamCracker #cookie
Overall, an incredibly epic meal.
Service was first class. We did the wine service though, which is how we wanted it with these wines. Which, by the way, were all incredible. The MP was probably in the “weakest” drinking spot — but that’s like calling Michael Jordan short because he’s not as tall as Manute Bol. Haha. Fantastic and very lucky that we had no flaws.
Food was “interesting” this time. Not as uniformly successful. It was certainly well made and executed, but the combos were a bit odd. Last time they felt much more harmonious.