Shanea Savours: Marion Restaurant
Itís a little tricky to find but worth the effort.
It is a huge space which seats 260 people, and just about every seat was taken the day we tried it. Itís noisy and hard to talk, but that was my only complaint. And really, people are enjoying their evening and having fun, so that compensates for the noise. They have live music in the evenings, but it is difficult to hear it.
The large room is a rose coloured, grand cafe/market/bakery/raw bar, and brassiere style seating, with wicker furniture and lace curtains. There are dangling copper lamps and cookware and there are palm fronds strategically placed. The place has a warm aura.
The manager told me absolutely everything on the menu is organic and sustainable. They try to source everything locally when they can, a lot comes from the Homestead area. However, when they can get better produce from a different part of the States they will. For instance I had an outstanding dish called 25 tomatoes, and since they arenít in season they got them elsewhere. These tomatoes were THE best I have had all year. They were firm, sweet and succulent. They actually use 25 tomatoes for the dressing, giving it a deep tomato flavour. It comes with a lobe of burrata. The octopus was also a very good starter. It was tender and spiced well.
The restaurant bakes all of their own breads and ours was perfection. It was so good in fact I took home a few different loaves from their market. They sell a lot of their food and pastries to go.
We tried their signature dish of rotisserie chicken and was quite impressed. The rotisserie comes from France and the chickens from Marlin farms in upstate New York. The farm wins awards for the best chickens and I can see why. They were plump, juicy and flavourful. Why do other high-end restaurants serve dried out small birds (you know who you are!)? They carve it table side, which is really nice. We had ours with potatoes roasted in chicken fat, which were SO good. We also tried the paella which was cooked in a lobster stock with saffron and topped with a handful of huge shrimps, chicken pieces and pork fat. This was one of the best paellaís I have had and it was a crowd pleaser. For sides we also had the green beans with Iberio ham and some crunchy broccoli with parmesan cheese. There was a nice selection of vegetables, and fish dishes for non-meat eaters as well.
They have a cheese trolley and they serve your choices with some outstanding homemade fruit bread.
Dessert didnít disappoint. We indulged in profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce, as well as a rich chocolate tart made with valhrona chocolate topped with some pistachios and almonds. It was sweet tasting with a touch of bitter and it was sinfully good.
The executive chef is Jean Paul Lourdes from Pierre Gagnaire in Paris.
We found the servers to be friendly and accommodating.
You can shop or dine on fresh, locally-sourced produce and artisanal delights.
Happy Dining, Shanea