Saturday, July 09, 2005

Marque IV - Hallowed be thy name

Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah! I’ve got a new toy. Finally, a new restaurant to play with, one that is pretty and shiny and dazzling.

Last night was opening night at Marque IV on Elizabeth St Pier, next to T42. It has taken over the site of what was the abysmal Athena’s. Not sure I love the name, but ‘Marque’ is French for produce I was told, and the IV is in reference to being the fourth restaurant to occupy the site. Clever.

The menu is an exercise in torment. True to their name, it is produce driven, and local, local, local: Marrawah beef, Dootown venison, Spring Bay scallops, Macquarie Harbour ocean trout. There is squid ink risotto with baby abalone, duck, oysters, the list goes on. Choosing is almost impossible, and there are four courses to choose from: appetizers, entrées, mains, and dessert (entrées were around $16, mains were around $30). The better news is that not only is the menu enticing, these buggers can cook! The wine list is good and not over-priced.

Waiters were friendly, professional, and efficient, and knew their menu inside and out. Recommendations were spot on. I saw Jim from T42 buzzing about like a busy bee, and the spunky blonde guy from Teef (and from Brew as I’ve said previously) was also on hand. Do the Teef crew have their fingers in this little pie too?

The décor is rich and lush and warm. Burgundy, bronze, gold, with gorgeous and quirky details (such as a 50s conch shell lamp that I’m sure I saw the other week in a second hand shop). The feel is warm luxury. There is even moisturiser in the ladies loo.

All bets are off, I am no longer maintaining my neo-virginal status in anticipation of Meyjitte’s Hobart restaurant. Marque IV is my new love.

A truly divine dining experience, with the holy trinity of food, service, and ambience well and truly covered.

Well done, you rock!


Marie Di Benedetto said...

Marque IV : sounds very good. Re the name: a clever play on words, as I believe the new owner/chef is Mark/Marc, who was the originator of the first restaurant on the site, A Splash of Paris.
By the way "marque" is the French for trade name or brand. Marque IV is the 4th branding of the site as a restaurant.

Anonymous said...

T42's Jim Reid is also co-owner.

Anonymous said...

I dont know if the bitch has been brought up to speed on the latest goings ons in the world of haute cuisine chef, Paul Foreman, has taken almost exact same menu from gondwanaland to place of new employment, marque IV.....owner of Gonda not happy, Joan, very unhappy as a matter of fact, almost to the point of litigation, I hear.

Georgie Weston said...

Ooh ahh Glen McGrath, that is most interesting gossip. I was going to be a complete tart in my original post and say that Marque IV is what Gondwana was trying to be. Most interesting. One wonders what it was exactly that hampered Monsieur Foreman from achieving these dizzying heights while at Gondwana.

Hmmmmmmm ???
GW ;-)

Anonymous said...

I am purely just interested to know what on earth makes you think you are in any way qualified to comment on food and coffee?? You seem to be comnpletely out of the loop when it comes to the goings on and you also seem to have a very odd and simplified (perhaps even mcdonalds) appreciation of coffee. Do you actually have any real qualifications or knowledge of food/coffee/hospitality or are you just another bored public servant wasting our taxs?

bingeing ninja said...

*tap tap*... is this thing on? Has HRB left the building?

Oh, by the way, *at this point bn puts an arm around the shoulder of "purely just interested" anonymous and draws them aside*. Mate this is what we call a blog - it's all about jotting down opinions and observations and sharing them with other folk on the internet.

Given this framework, the bitch is really under no obligation to justify herself (or her opinions) to you. And in turn, if you disagree with said opinions you have the right to ignore them completely... simple eh?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the somewhat patronising comment bn. I realise that as a blog people have the right to share whatever opinions they may have - i just think that when you are sharing opinions on a public forum attempts should be made to make sure that facts are correct and you possess some education or research about what you are writing about. I get so frustrated reading crap based on ignorance...

Anonymous said...

Not really wanting to buy into the 'who does HRB think she is?" debate. Although, I personally think its great and agree with previous comment about just a blog to post opinions, observations, etc without having to justify credientials. I mean, we are just the public who are the 'bums on seats' required to keep restaurant in business so our opinion is legitimate as anyone elses. Word about whether a eating joint is good or not would have travelled around Hobart fast enough anyway..... Sorry I digress... Is it just me, is there something really lacking on the service side of things at Marque IV? I mean, I think its just odd because there as obviously been alot of thought put into the decor, the design, the menu, which are all superb and then the service doesn't seem to match it. Staff are nice and friendly but all seem like casuals working occasionally who don't always know the menu very well or the wine list. Last time I went, I had to prompt waitress for the specials and didn't get water till I asked for it half way through entree. These things may seem petty but having worked in 'the industry' for a few years, its the little things that matter (like topping up drinks and asking if you want another not leaving you without one for start of mains, not clearing half the table of mains and coming back 10 mins later for the rest, claiming to have never heard of the beer on the menu you are inquiring about - which is fine but need to then somethings like say, "I'll go find out for you"). Service was 'adequate' but needs to be more polished to match the cuisine. I have no qualms about paying more for a beautiful meal but better service is needed to make the experience complete. Anyone else experienced similar?

leigh said...

Thank you. I run the floor at Marque IV and being a new restaurant there are always staff bugs to iron out, product knowledge, service efficeincy, and the like, your comments are noted, and will be acted upon.

cheers Leigh

Anonymous said...

Reply to Leigh:
Thanks for concern Leigh. I totally understand about ironing the staff bugs out after recently opening. I'm not wanting be overly critical because I believe Marque IV is one of the best restaurants in Tasmania and has so much potential for greatness that I don't want it be let down by one componant. I seriously had the best meal I've had in tasmania at that restaurant. Please, your staff are lovely but just need to go that little extra, for the restaurant to totally stand above all other restaurants in Tas. Not saying there should have silver service. Still relaxed but very polished and generally 'on to it'.
And I do understand that "good staff are hard to find", as in ones that don't just waitress while they are a student or for a little while until they find something better but that stick around long enough to completely know the menu and the place inside out and all aspects of service, etc.
Best of luck and I look forward to eating there again soon!

Anonymous said...

Dined at Marque IV last week and want to give it a ringing endorsement...although it is a shame that 'fine dining' has to be such a serious and dour affair. This is more a criticism of our fellow diners, rather than the staff, who I found friendly and helpful. Jesus, would it kill some people to smile?

We ripped through the oyster entree, the char grilled octopus, kingfish (lovely and rare) and roast pork, followed by the Lindt chocolate dessert. Wouldn't hesitate to recommend any of it, particularly the okkie.

Can't wait to get back there.


Felius said...

I ate there last night for the first time. I had the fettucini entre, the twice-roasted duck (superb) and the parfait for dessert. I thought the wine list was great, and apparently my fellow diners agreed - the guy who was paying for our table of 17 said that 50% of the total was wine ;)

I certainly can't fault the service - if they've ever had problems in the past then I'd say they've sorted them out now. The staff were friendly, knowledgable and competant without exception.

Anonymous said...

I ate at Gondwana on thursday night then Marque IV on Friday night. I would say Gondwana is a friendlier more intimate venue with a great menu. Marque IV is larger and not so intimate with similar menu - the girl who served us last night at Marque IV was just down right RUDE!!!! The octopus was not properly cooked through and the Marrawah way too salty (normally my favorite dish). The desert was great but by the time we had it we were pissed of witht the rudewaitress (i dont think she was trying to be rude its just her). Ill never be going back and neither will any of the others that were there.