17 December, 2010
Market Restaurant *RELOCATED*Posted in : Dining in Raleigh, NC, Restaurants on by : The Gourmez
Market Restaurant *NOTE: RELOCATING as of 10/1/13*
938 North Blount Street
Market is a newer restaurant on the Raleigh food scene. They focus on using all natural products and on sustainability in all areas, from where they get their ingredients to how they run the restaurant. They’ve been getting a lot of buzz in recent months, and since I happened to be right next door at Escazu,
stopping in for lunch at Market simply had to be done. Luckily, my companion agreed! First off, I loved the restaurant’s atmosphere: very laid back, fresh, and fun. The green walls and reddish brown accents made me feel like I were in a treehouse—an awesome treehouse with a bar.
We settled in at a table with lots of light from the wall of glass that surrounds the restaurant on one side. First off, I had to try the apple iced tea, because hello! Apple iced tea! So . . . it was just iced tea with an extra, mellow level of flavor from the apple. Good iced tea, mind you, but I wanted something more. Not sure about the apple wedges on the water glasses either. That was basically how the meal went: excellent, fun food ideas that didn’t quite deliver. I readily admit that my expectations were very high having tried out Market at a few area foodie events and reading so many great reviews of them.
The best offering had to be the sweet potato latkes with curry tofu creme that my companion ordered.
I only had one bite and it was delicious, especially getting both latke and cream in the same bite. My friend was very happy with them, though surprised that there was so much for an appetizer—it could easily be a delicious meal in and of itself. For my starter, I opted for a cup of the crab and brie soup.
The brie flavor was very, very light, which I thought worked well for a crab soup, since crab is such a delicate flavor itself. There was crab in every spoonful, but not enough to satisfy my crab lust. I’d have liked another half as much as was in it. I’d also call for more scallions or chives to add a contrasting flavor and texture to the soup. It was good, but it could have been great with a little more finagling.
Next, my companion ordered the pickled beet salad with goat cheese over greens, served with a honey vinaigrette.
Can you guess my next quibble? We both expected this dish to have a lot more beet involved. Plus, the beet, albeit in a pickled state, was not at all soft like you expect from beet. I think Market would do well to have more descriptions of the cooking style on their menus, so we could be better prepared for the final state of what we ordered. I definitely wouldn’t call this a pickled beet salad but a salad with pickled beets on it—see what i mean? Moving on from menu descriptions, she did enjoy the vinaigrette and the dish in general. Those goat cheese lumps looked fantastic, but I fear Market may be prone to overdoing the amounts of it in a dish, much like City Beverage is fond of. But they sure were pretty little lumps!
I went for the grilled shrimp and celery root salad with a cider vinaigrette.
You’ve got to love that presentation; it’s gorgeous food! The dish was pretty good, too. Robust flavor from the shrimp, with a lot of salt air, and perhaps too much salt period. The celery root was delicious, and I made quick work of it. I do have to say that the radishes and parsley were not the best choices texture-wise to complete the dish, especially not since the radish and celery root were very similar in that regards. Perhaps something softer would have been nice to contrast?
Having just feted on chocolate before lunch, we passed on dessert this trip. Overall, Market didn’t quite live up to those pesky expectations, but they get major points for atmosphere and presentation, and Chef Chad’s inventiveness knows no bounds. Our dishes needed more refinement, and having the menu items be more descriptive would be helpful. I will definitely go back, and I look forward to seeing what else he comes up with!
It gets a and a wing.
Reviewed 11 Dec 10.