Everyone knows Marché is at the top of everyone’s list for brunch with a weekend line out the door, but did you know, they serve dinner? The thing I know about Marché is that the food always leaves a mark in my memory.
I remember once having the best swiss chard tart made with gruyere cheese, because Marchè makes amazing pastry and pie crust.
I remember an amazing prosciutto, honey and french bread appetizer from a few years ago. I also remember purchasing gourmet food items, and always taking pastry home.
Marche Artisan Foods describes itself as a European Cafe that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, but it’s famously known for brunch. Brunch is such a hit, but the dinners they put together have finesse, elegance and affordiblity, and are not to be missed.
We recently went to the Tomato Art Fest and ended up at an early dinner at Marché. There was no place to park during the busy Festival until we found a spot on the street right outside their door. It was fate.
There were so many places to choose from, and the Festival itself had lots of food and food trucks. We made the right call, deciding to get out of the heat, and into the cutest cafe in the area and our car was right at the door.
You walk in and suddenly feel removed from the crowds and perhaps transported to the South of France in a little village.
The food is good, affordable, and a bit magical. Magical because Marché casts a spell on it’s fans. They go back frequently and keep it at the top of their favorite list. I cannot tell you how many of my foodie friends continue to swoon over this humble cafe.
We passed the pastry counter and decided we might take another look later. They baked these clever tomato cookies in honor of the Tomato Art Fest.
We ordered an appetizer to share because we liked the idea of a salty duck prosciutto, playing well against the coolness of watermelon.
We probably ate a little too much of the focaccia, as it’s pillow soft texture sits underneath the sea salt and is hard to resist.
I ordered the boulliabaise, at our server’s recommendation, and savored each and every bite, making sure not even one drop of the broth was left, as I dipped in the crusty bread, which was toasted and buttered to perfection. The mussels were very fresh tasting, the calamari was tender, the white wine broth was exquisitely balanced and the chorizo put the oomph in the dish. When I finished the bowl, it was finishing a good book. I didn’t want it to be over.
Doug ordered the Chorizo burger, cooked perfectly medium rare, super flavorful, nice and juicy, with just the right accompaniments, peppers, onions, cheese.
Time to think about dessert, and walking to the front to take a better look.
We ordered the cookie (which we forgot, sadly) and the tomato pie with sweet corn ice cream. The tomato pie was fantastic. It’s what Southerners did during the summer when they had no apples. The pie was spiced with cinnamon and nutmeg, soft, inside with a perfect pie crust. The sweet corn ice cream is simply heaven and perfect for this pie.
Try a nice little dinner at Marché the next time you’re in East Nashville. You might be very surprised, and yes, they have wine. Just remember to refer to the place only as Marché, even though the sign says Marché Artisan Foods. No one calls it that. Marché is the casual, little sister of Margot, which I wrote about here. I’m equally enamored with Margot, but when I want casual, there is no better place than Marché, East Nashville’s best kept secret for a nice little dinner.