June 27, 2015

Wow. It's been a while since a new restaurant both lived up to and surpassed my expectations. I knew when the pictures from Market House started to flood my social media feeds, I had to get there ASAP. Lucky for me, I ended up visiting on only their fourth day of lunch service. And, though out initial interactions with our server  (and trainee) were a bit on the awkward side, the kitchen was clearly firing on all cylinders right out of the gate. 

Only four weeks in and they're already banging out the hits!

Enough time has passed that I'm finally able to call the restaurant by its proper name (as opposed to Market Basket), though the charge on my credit card strangely still read as Vivace. Hmm.

The menu is relatively brief (in an appreciable way), and changes from lunch to dinner - the two meals I've so far enjoyed here. Maybe Brunch will be next?

I was happy to see on my recent dinner visit, another couple with a baby (my new permanent dining companion). It was an unwelcome sight that at least two tables lit up cigarettes as the evening wore on... even though there were no ashtrays. If we hadn't been finished with our meal, this would have been a huge deterrent for me. I contacted Market House after the fact to try and figure out if patio smoking is 'allowed' per restaurant policy or if this was a rogue occurrence and was told the policy is "no smoking anywhere inside the gated area" that "changes and safeguards will be made" and that it won't happen again. A very prompt and thoroughly appreciated response.

Back to the menu, it's New American, changes a bit from lunch to dinner, and is organized into categories for Snacks, Spreads, Shared Sides, Small Plates & Large Plates.

And even though it's abbreviated, the menu is robust enough to offer enough options that you'll likely have trouble deciding (I know I did).

For my first visit, luckily, our server convinced me it wouldn't be TOO excessive to order 2 small plates for myself.

Coddled Egg Spread
We started with the Coddled Egg, one of five Spread options, all served with grilled peasant bread. I feel the more grilled bread I can eat, the better. And this was no exception. A nice char on the bread went a long way to compliment what was already a delicious start to the meal.

Next came the plates... all of which was impeccable. The Market Salad with butter lettuce, cherry tomatoes, radish, shallot, gorgonzola, & avocado, was wonderfully fresh and flavorful. Impressive by any standard - not just "for a salad".

Speaking of impressive, my two small plates were both that, and kind-of salad-esque. Light on the quantity, but heavy on flavor (and with the pork belly... very filling).

Belly and Melon
Let's start with the Belly and Melon.

Oh so perfectly crispy pork belly, compressed watermelon and honeydew, pickled vegetables and watercress with a very subtle sherry vinaigrette.

Sigh.

It was probably one of the most perfect plates I've enjoyed recently.

The other small plate I savored solo was Roasted Beets with grapefruit and orange, arugula, burrata (mozzarella and cream) and marconoa almonds. This came in a close second favorite, but was no less enjoyable.

Roasted Beets
My second visit was for dinner, and was even more delightful. Food was just as impeccable as the first time and the service was nothing short of superb (while retaining a fun, casual flair).

This time we started with the Sunday Gravy Spread (which uses the same flavors as the Pappardelle pasta large plate)... smoked pork sugo, house-whipped ricotta. Spectacular!

Sunday Gravy Spread
Creamed Kale
Our other starter was Beet Fries with fermented chili aioli. Let me say that I am so glad that beets are en vogue right now, because this interpretation was one of the best I've ever had! So crispy, so soft, so perfectly beety... We also ordered up the Creamed Kale. Pretty simple, with parmesan cream an panko, but again, pretty perfect.

Our other plates, Prawns a la Plancha and Short Rib, were equally worthy of wow. And the carrot puree that came with the short rib... sublime. 

I do wonder about dessert, the only area of the menu I haven't started to explore yet... during lunch I was too full, and at dinnertime we paced the meal such that I was satisfied and didn't want to push my limits. Another quest for another time. And there will be many more times.

Beet Fries
Short Ribs w. Carrot Puree
Prawns a la Plancha


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