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For our wedding anniversary dinner, the chica and I decided to dine at Marché Moderne. We got in just before the dinner rush, so were able to get the much-coveted Table 20, that little nook toward the back that’s elevated just so above the booths. We splurged on Veuve Clicquot and more: she on oysters, me on a macaron that was the size of a shotput yet impossibly delicate. And we marveled at how more than a decade into its run, OC’s best French restaurant never stops to improve itself, even in the small things. And that’s how I ended up ordering the Citrus & Sand.
Marché’s bartenders are talented, but most of their cocktails have historically veered toward lighter tastes. Not so with the Citrus & Sand, a take on one of my favorite drinks, the Blood and Sand. A scotch and vermouth base gets a single malt wash, some crème de Cassis, and an orange cordial. Strong, sharp, sweet and potent—brilliant. More of this, Marché: it’s time to take your rightful place among OC’s cocktail elites. And gents: take your gals here for an anniversary—just sayin'!
3333 Bristol St., #3001, Costa Mesa, (714) 434-7900; www.marchemoderne.net