Marche: The Capitol Region Restaurant that Has Everyone Buzzing | General Food & Drink | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
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Marche: The Capitol Region Restaurant that Has Everyone Buzzing 

Last Updated: 12/06/2018 10:35 am

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In an example of marketing savvy taken from the pages of big-city restaurants, the Marché menu’s welcome page explains the restaurant’s local-seasonal-sustainable philosophy, and lists more than a dozen regional “preferred vendors.” According to Molino, it’s not about self-promotion. “We get to know the farmers, and that personal touch is important to us. Some even grow to cater to what we need. The difference between having something picked today and delivered tomorrow, as opposed to picked in South America today and delivered next week, is clear.”

The environmentally friendly philosophy extends to what’s done on-premise. The staff is in the planning stages for a rooftop herb garden, so that they can bring their own organic herbs to the table. In another nod to the planet’s health, the staff recycles their plastic containers and uses “green” cleaning and paper products.
Marché isn’t all about the food. Wine and cocktail lovers can also get their fill, with a full bar menu and 15 by-the-glass and 300 by-the-bottle wine selections—in categories like champagne and sparkling wine, sauvignon blanc/fumé blanc, “Worldly Whites” (lesser-known varietals such as Viognier and Chenin blanc), rosé/blush, pinot noir, Shiraz/Syrah, merlot, Meritage/cabernet blends, and “Worldly Reds” (Mourvèdre, Malbec, and Tempranillo, to name a few). Drink prices run from $6 for a glass of rosé to $305 for a bottle of Stag’s Leap limited-edition Cask 23 cabernet sauvignon. According to Stewart, “We offer many great wines to satisfy the connoisseur and the more casual wine drinker. We’ve also found that most Americans drink their wines three to four years after bottling, rather than aging them, so we’re focusing on acquiring more wines that will peak at this time.”

You could save your allotted carbs for a post-dinner port, sherry, Madeira, cognac, brandy, cordial, dessert wine—or any of a half-dozen opulent desserts, courtesy of Brazilian-born pastry chef Renata Ameni. “Her desserts are very, very refined,” says Molino. “She was trained in classically French technique, but she is so creative. Everything she makes is delicious.”

Molino may be effusive in his praise for his staff, but when asked about his own signatures, he again blushes and laughs. “I don’t know that I would say anything is a signature, not yet,” he says. He brushes off the question in favor of another challenge: creating his dream meal, from appetizer to dessert, off Marché’s menu. After a few minutes of careful consideration, he chooses the Grilled Quail (with butternut squash, toasted chestnuts, and aged balsamic vinegar), Market Salad, and Pancetta-Wrapped Chicken Breast. To wash it down, he selects a domestic pinot noir, and finishes with the Tasting of Chocolates for dessert.

“What’s great is that you can always find new combinations here,” Molino quickly points out, noting the daily additions to the menu. Unlike at many restaurants, vegan and vegetarian requests are not only honored, but welcomed. “A lot of the local foods we use are produce, so it doesn’t take much to show them off,” Molino explains. “I love the challenge of creating interesting vegetarian or vegan food.” He also professes a fondness for the degustation menu, which consists of six courses made, Iron Chef–style, on the spot, upon request (around $78 without flights of wine, or $98 with). “The spontaneity of it sparks creativity,” Molino effuses. “I have a lot of trouble sitting down and writing a menu, but when I have to create something off the cuff, I almost find it easier to just go to the walk-in and see what we’ve got.”

Since the beginning, Marché has invited local farmers and winemakers for monthly specialty dinners (organized by Boyle), in which the guest speaker gives a mini-lecture and fields questions on his or her product, and then diners sample five-course tasting menus featuring those products. Also on tap are feasts for holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. “Holidays are when I have the most fun, eating with my family and my wife,” says Molino. “It’s about bringing people together. We want to be able to do that at Marché.”

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