As my dear husband, Robert, says, I have a lot of “restrictions”. In fact, I like to think of these issues as more of a gift than a restriction. The gift of discernment, perception, and aesthetic sensitivity. Which translated means, stuff bugs me. A lot. But stuff also puts me into raptures. A lot. As Mr. Joel sang…darling, I don’t know why I go to extremes. I just do!
For one thing, I am a definite sufferer of misophonia. The mere sight of this photo makes my spine shiver.Holy heck, when Robert scrapes his ceramic bowl/cup/plate with his spoon, it’s strictly fight or flight, baby! And our house is only 1300 sq. ft. so……
Another “restriction” I have, is intolerance of bad lighting, which I have now named misoluminia. (TM)
Example of friendly lighting:
I’ve managed to eliminate any cranky-inducing light at home, but it’s when we go out into the big, unpredictable world, that I face challenges. Particularly in restaurants and particularly particularly when I’m looking for a romantic restaurant experience. One fluorescent light, one undimmed corner lamp, and it’s strictly fight or flight, baby! And restaurants don’t like when you skip out on the tab, so…
ERGO, my new mission is to discover the MOST ROMANTIC RESTAURANTS IN EDMONTON!!! I thought this a delicious kind of exposure therapy PLUS I might be helping out my 4 loyal readers! Win win!
Before delving into romancing the restaurants, I made up a list of…ahem…”restrictions”:
- Lighting (duh). Soft, beautiful, warm…camouflages the rosacea I get when drinking red wine.
- Music. Better exist, and should be loud enough to blur torrid conversation but not so loud so as to require me to yell, “YOU WANT TO WHAT???”
- Food and drink. (ok, should be first, but RESTRICTIONS.) Delicious, sensory, eatable off each other’s plateable.
- Servers. The kind that know what they’re doing and certainly NEVER say “HEY GUYS!”
- General ambiance. If I keep unwillingly staring at the 7 TVs that you have boldly hung around the room, how can I stare into my partner’s limpid pools?
Armed with my gift of discernment, we headed out to…The Marc!
We love The Marc. Memories of early courting, sigh…….
Okay, that’s not The Marc. But that IS us 7 years ago – the exact year that we visited The Marc for the first time! Why didn’t I take pictures agh…..
The Marc recently had their 7th year anniversary too, so I kind of feel a kindredness with this place.💝 Can’t let that blur my steadfast romantic restaurant mission!
I have to say. It’s…okayyyyyish. The lighting at The Marc has kind of always stymied me. It’s pretty bright. Like quite bright. Like did I blend my concealer enough bright. Not harsh but sort of corporate lunchish. I don’t feel the need to flee, but it definitely doesn’t make me feel the need to swoon. Ah, well.
2. Music. It exists and it was just right. I actually can’t remember it. Which means it was enough to do its job but not too much.
3. Food and drink. Let’s separate these.
Oh my gosh the escargot with bone marrow. Can’t breathe. So good. So good. If you appreciate the finer points of the snail and of the inner workings of a bone, this is for you! Well, for me.🙌🏻
MUSHROOMS ON TOAST, PLEASE MARRY ME NOW. Those tender mushrooms. That chewy yet crisp toast. That rich and savoury sauce. That oozing, perfect egg. THIS is romance, baby.
Ok, let’s move on to drink.
The Marc’s wine list is pretty fantastic, we all know that. But what about cocktails? Well, at least for our visit, not so great. (Also note kind of bright lighting!) Pretty standard and did take a loooong time, which threw off my MUST HAVE ROMANCE vibe a bit. Must give a bit of leeway though, since we had just imbibed pre-dinner drinks at Bar Clementine. Say no more.
4. Servers. The Marc has my favourite kind of server. Knowledgable of the menu and its inner workings, solid recommendations, just enough attentiveness but knowing when to hang back, not super young, and never says GUYS. These are the servers of old, the kind that can rock a slightly bitchy face but have a heart of gold and a world of expertise. Check!
5. General ambiance. Solid. I like the minimalist but not annoyingly modern set up. Just dark wood tables and chairs and lovely white brick walls, plus the bank of windows. Nothing sticks in my craw here. HOWEVER, if it’s intimate times of whispering sweet nothings that you’re looking for…it MIGHT not work here. Not a certainty, but many tables are situated fairly close together and there is nothing in the way of layout or furniture to create any cozy little nooks. I would have been slightly embarrassed to plant a smooch on my life partner. I did anyway, but that’s just me! (Plus, the peeps at the next table took note and an adorable frenzy of furtive looks and whispers ensued.)
WHAT IS WITH THE LOSERS TAKING SELFIES IN THE MIRROR?
Geez, you can’t go anywhere these days.
SO. For my first restaurant romancing, I give The Marc a 3 out of 5. I’m pretty sure it would be a 3.5 or even a 4 out of 5, if I had been sitting on the lovely leather banquette you see above. Back to the wall, I always say. It also forces your other to stare into the fiery depths of your soul. And prevents extended furtive looks and whispers from non-romantic diners.
What do you think? Was The Marc more romantic for you than we experienced? Is it just us? Did the selfie quash any hope of passionate dining? Do I really want to know the answers to the last three of these questions?