Critic's Notebook

A Tale of Two Marchés

Two Northwest chefs, two distinct French restaurants, two separate openings—one popular name.

By Kathryn Robinson September 12, 2011

Daisley Gordon at a Seattle Met–sponsored event.

Marché means “market” in French, among other things—now including “really popular Seattle restaurant name.”

Daisley Gordon (of the late Campagne) will open Marché in the late Campagne space around the first of next month. Greg Atkinson (late of Canlis, among others) will open Restaurant Marché on Bainbridge Island around the first of next year. The two bistros will feature French technique, Northwest seasonal ingredients, and the chops of two seasoned chefs—good friends—who, apparently, just think alike.

“I registered ‘Restaurant Marché’ as an LLC and [Daisley] filed ‘Marché’ as a DBA, so neither of us was alerted to the similar name,” Atkinson explains. “By the time I found out I’d already paid for a logo design. So no, I’m not changing!”

Besides, Atkinson liked the reference to “cuisine du marché,” the French ‘market-to-plate’ style of cooking which forefronts seasonal freshness. The longtime Northwest chef, known to many as the elegant food writer for Seattle Times’ Pacific Magazine, will contribute some of his own foraged edibles to the endeavor—when he can. “I’ll be pretty chained to the stove,” he says happily.

Back on the mainland, Marché at Inn at the Market will also take full advantage of seasonal freshness—from Pike Place Market surrounding it. General manager Cameron Williams describes the place as retaining the French soul of Campagne—without the big French pricetags. “It won’t be white-linen formal; more like a bistro au vin, with plenty of wines by the glass,” he says. Longtime Rover’s sommelier Cyril Frechier will head up the wine program, with Daisley Gordon continuing to do his magic in the kitchen.

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