Marché Modèrne in Costa Mesa is self-described as a “modern French bistro.” We love it because the chef is creative, the dishes are beautiful and the food is delicious. Their 30-tap wine bar is pretty fantastic, too.
On a recent (New Years Eve) visit to the bistro, we lunched on a Dungeness crab and avocado appetizer with yuzu aioli… which came with a side of mango jalapeno sorbet. Later in the afternoon, while cruising through the local Crate and Barrel, we happened across the same martini glass and bowl that the crab appetizer was served on. And it was on clearance. SCORE!
Fast forward to New Years Day. While shopping for sushi ingredients, we discovered that King crab legs were on sale for $12.99 / lb and resolved to re-create the Marché Modèrne crab appetizer. Because have this thing for knocking off restaurant items.
Pardon me, but damn, it was good. Nothing better than a little yuzu juice to highlight the fresh crab meat. And while we didn’t have any micro cilantro (but are working to fix that), we think the “older, sage cilantro” we had in the garden sufficed. It was the perfect appetizer to Mr. RGBistro’s hand-made and home-prepared sushi dinner.
Note on Differences: We didn’t use Dungeness crab; because King crab was on sale. The restaurant used micro cilantro; we used the standard leaves (but made an effort to pick the smaller, younger ones). The restaurant most likely tossed the cucumber and avocado in a vinaigrette; we incorporated kewpie yuzu mayonnaise (because we had a lot to use up). Also… we didn’t serve ours with a side of mango jalapeno sorbet. Because we aren’t fancy… Other than that, it was pretty close. And pretty awesome.
What’s your favorite dish to knock off?
This beautiful appetizer is quick to prepare. Just fill a glass bowl with seasoned crab meat, diced cucumber, fresh avocado, and finish with cilantro.
- • 2 ounces lump King crab meat
- • 3 tablespoons kewpie mayonnaise
- • 1 yuzu (yield 1 teaspoon juice)
- • ½ small cucumber (yield ¼ cup finely diced)
- • ¼ small avocado (yield ¼ cup diced)
- • Fine sea salt
- • Freshly cracked black pepper
- • 2-3 stems of cilantro leaves
- • Optional: 1 cup crushed ice
- Minute 1: If you have the Crate and Barrel Cleo martini glass, fill it with ice.
- Minute 2: Juice yuzu. In a 1-quart bowl, mix together 3 tablespoons of kewpie mayonnaise with 1 teaspoon yuzu juice. Scoop out one tablespoon of mixture and set aside.
- Minute 5: Finely dice cucumber and avocado. Add to mayonnaise mixture and toss to combine.
- Minute 10: Scoop cucumber and avocado mixture into martini glass, then top with crab meat. Sprinkle with a pinch of fine sea salt and coarse grind of black pepper.
- Minute 15: Ladle 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture crab meat and top with cilantro leaves.
Cost per serving: $1.76- $3.18
Source: Rustic Garden Bistro