Another new restaurant has opened in Pacific City, Saint Marc — pub, café, bakery and cheese affinage.
This one is attempting to do something innovative. It has a staff of "chefs, sommeliers, mixologists and hospitality industry mavericks" who are creating "a one-of-a-kind, 360-degree, morning-to-midnight experience" that is also family friendly.
The restaurant is divided into a bacon bar, a pub, a bakery and a café, as well as a cheese ripening area, which is called an affinage, the French term for the aging of cheese.
A large, covered outdoor patio offers a wonderful ocean view as do the indoor dining areas — which feature tall tables with comfortable stools and low tables that might be more suitable for kids or folks who don't like stools.
The menu is quirky. It consists of 10 categories, including hors d'oeuvres, grilled cheese sandwiches, soup gratin, salads, culinary creations and the bacon bar, which has 11 different preparations of bacon including apple pie bacon, coffee-rubbed bacon and tender-belly habanero.
Saint Marc also has five types of bacon sandwiches and a category called bacon bites. This includes bacon-wrapped jalapeno with spicy peppers stuffed with cream cheese and agave.
My dining companion and I had a very nice waitress who guided us on the correct way to place our order, because you order on an iPad at the table and pay the same way. She told us that the food comes out when it is ready, in no particular order, unless you order everything to come at the same time. We chose the more leisurely way and ordered one thing at a time.
To begin our meal, we went with the Swine Board, a house selection of bacon and charcuterie. It included four different slices of bacon (the chef's choice), which were very good but, except for the one that had something sweet on it, tasted pretty much the same.
A little mound of sweet jam added a nice touch. Also with the selection came pickled asparagus, pickled pea pods, spicy red peppers, ham, three slices of mortadella and a little spoonful of honey. Almonds were scattered on the side. It was a very tasty dish.
Next we had the chicken pot pie and the short ribs. My short ribs came with tasty Yukon gold potatoes and three skinny stalks of asparagus that were fried in a crispy and delicious crust. The short ribs, however, were a bit over cooked and dry, even though they were in a tomato and butter sauce.
The chicken pot pie arrived in a large pan full of braised chicken thighs, carrots, onions, celery, peas and mushrooms in a bacon butter sauce. The filling was quite good, but the top crust was too thick and tasteless.
Our dessert was a winner, bread and butter pudding with a tall tapering spiral of soft ice cream. The pudding was rich and dotted with bits of fresh fruit.
The chef's menu changes daily. A children's menu is also available.
We waited a very long while for our entrees. You might want to order carefully to time your meal better than we did.
You might also like to know that there are no bottles of wine. It's draft only.
Saint Marc has 32 wines to choose from on the eTouch Menu, as well as craft beers in cans, cider and "Classically Twisted Libations."
The food is pretty good and the concept is pretty interesting. Reading the menu is interesting in itself. This restaurant is really trying to set a new paradigm for eateries.
Location: 21058 Pacific Coast Hwy., Suite M230, Huntington Beach
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays; and 8 a.m. to midnight Saturdays; and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.
Prices: appetizers, $2.50 to $21; entrees, $10 to $32; desserts, $2.50 to $9; wine, $2 to $4 per ounce
Information: (714) 374-1101; saintmarcusa.com
TERRY MARKOWITZ was in the gourmet food and catering business for 20 years. She can be reached for comments or questions at email@example.com.
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