leave your inhibitions at the door
We had just come off a boat tour around Manhattan and decided to walk to the theater to catch Ghost – The Musical. I totally
blew off didn’t have time to research some restaurants, so we were prepared to take a flyer on one of the places on the way. I was a little leery of eating in the vicinity of Times Square as restaurants near touristy areas typically aren’t that good. Either these restaurants know they’ll have a constant stream of customers and they get lazy or their menu has to be dumbed down and generic to appeal to the jeans, fanny packs, and white sneakers crowd. For the 20 minute walk nothing was jumping out at us and we were starting to get worried about our prospects of getting a decent meal.
It finally came down to Marseilles (on the corner of 9th and 44th) and some Italian place across the street. We went with Marseilles because I absolutely love French food and there aren’t any good places to get it here in Ann Arbor. That, and I didn’t feel like going back across the street. Overall, we all were really glad we went there; the Pieholes said it was some of the best food they’ve ever had. That’s saying quite a lot, considering who usually cooks for them.
Off to a good start – this place looked EXACTLY like many of the eateries I went to in Paris – the tile, décor, paint – even the fixtures in the bathroom. The most authentic touch was the middle pillar with menus handwritten on mirrors.
What We Ate
Bread with a hunk of butter in a pool of olive oil with herbs sprinkled on it. Yeah, it’s just your usual freebie bread. But why the hell don’t other places do the oil and butter thing? Nice touch.
Onion Soup- Pure perfection. Or at least that one spoonful I had was. The Pieholes wanted to sample it, so I passed the bowl over to them. And I didn’t get it back.
Grilled Salmon and asparagus, wheatberry salad, spring onion gremolata, spring onion puree, and olive oil emulsion
Steak Frites – Hangar steak, peppercorn sauce, and fries. So simple. So damn perfect. Yes, even better than mine.
– Seafood (monkfish, scallops, shrimp, & mussels) with saffron tomato broth, leeks, potatoes, and couscous
– Pasta Pesto – Garganelli pasta with creamy basil, garlic, and almond sauce
– Crisp Apple Tart with crème fraiche ice cream and caramel sauce.
– Dark Chocolate Pot au Crème . This one didn’t even make it around to me it was that good.
What We Drank
I don’t recall what the Pies had – probably Le Root Beer or something like that. Boom Boom and I split a bottle of red wine. Can you guess which region of France we ordered? Was it an elegant Bordeaux, haunting Burgundy, rustic Languedoc?
None of the above. It was a 2006 Crater from Canary Islands.
I’ve heard some buzz about wines from there, but have been completely unsuccessful in finding any around here. If this is typical of wines from the Canaries, I definitely need to find some more. This was truly delicious – dark, full-bodied, equal parts luscious and tannic with a nice long finish.
Before we went in, the Pies weren’t overly enthusiastic about it as they didn’t think they ever had French cuisine. When they came out, they were complete Francophiles. I guess I won’t mention to them that they’ve had it a thousand times before…