Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Market by Jean-Georges

Tuesday evening after a few cocktails and appetizers in the swanky W Hotel Lounge, and learning how to smorganize, Megan and I made a spontaneous decision to grab dinner across the hall at Market. A concept launched by the well known French Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, his aim is to provide locally produced and seasonal "market" ingredients with an eclectic twist. Emphasizing comfort and creativity, the menu reinvents classic dishes from other regions, all while remaining close to home.
The restaurant itself is intriguing and captivating. The super low lighting and long opaque curtains create an intimate space, while the modern furniture and simple understated decor define casual and relaxed. It was fairly busy, but we were seated right away at a small table overlooking Tremont Street.
We decided to share a half bottle of Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc ($34). There is no doubt we could have polished off a full bottle, but at this point in the evening, I appreciated that they offered them by the half.
This 2008 wine from Napa Valley was light, crisp and refreshing (isn't that how I describe all white wines?) but still, that's how the majority of them really do taste (to me.) It just so happened the bright citrus notes paired seamlessly with the dishes we chose. We decided to share a few smaller plates (saving room for dessert in the meantime, I just had a sense....) and we began with the enticing Tuna Tartare ($15) made with avocado, spicy Radish and ginger dressing. Our waiter took the time to explain these were heirloom radishes and in addition, the tartare was draped in a sweet chili oil.
The precision in which the paper thin radishes were sculpted balancing atop one another still have me in awe. I thought this dish embodied the restaurant concept in a nutshell - the classic tartare you know and love with melt in your mouth high quality tuna and creamy avocado, was elevated to not only an art form, but a new level of taste and texture with the addition of radishes, ginger and sweet chili oil. We split the Frisèe and Goat Cheese Salad ($11) which was thoughtfully presented to us in separate portions. The salad consisted of pickled peaches, crystallized wasabi and candied pistachios. Sure you've had peaches and pistachios and likely wasabi . But have you ever had pickled peaches, candied pistachio or crystalized wasabi? Me neither! And what salad isn't better with the addition of soft, tangy, creamy goat cheese? The peaches were deliciously sweet and slightly acidic. The candied pistachios offered a sweet nuttiness in contrast to the goat cheese and slight heat of the wasabi crystals. I enjoyed every bite of this simply plated, texturally complex salad.
The pizzas here serve as appetizers. I love the idea of pizza as an app and seafood on pizza ever since I experienced this incredible combo (scallops, shrimp and calamari) at Mare. Tonight, it was the Maine Lobster Pizza ($14) with a three cheese blend, lemon juice and olive oil that won me over. Two pieces each were the perfect bites, but I probably could have eaten an entire large pizza pie of this combination. The lobster was plentiful in every bite. The thick melted fontina and parmesan cheeses were the source of comfort, while the very prevalent lemon juice and zest elevated the pizzas flavor, making the dish truly memorable and crave worthy.
Our waiter tonight was prompt and precise. He was also genuine and took the time to explain the dishes as he served them. We never had to wait too long in between plates, with the exception of dessert. But that's because we ordered the Concord Grape Soufflé ($8) which came with a praline sauce and a concord grape sorbet.
This.was.phenomenal. If you have the opportunity to dine at Market, do yourself a favor and order the souffle. Grape being the less obvious choice, we decided to go out in a limb and skip over the chocolate cake and ice cream sundae options. While I'm sure they were refined and elegant, this was adventurous and bold.
Your classic PB&J flavors are reinvented with an eclectic flair; the fluffy grape cake and luscious Hazelnut and Almond praline sauce were most definitely reminiscent of the elementary school lunch staple. Nostalgic favors aside, the souffle was light and custard-y, perfectly executed.
The grape sorbet was a lusciously flavorful and welcome accompaniment. Move over panna cotta and creme brulee. Souffle might just be my new favorite dessert. Each dish served tonight was innovative and exciting, and the emphasis on fresh, local ingredients is always appreciated. This being my second visit, the service was once again top notch. With Markets consistent approach to service and creative approach to food, this is one restaurant I would smorganize in my "Favorites" bite book for sure!
Market (W Hotel) on Urbanspoon

16 comments:

  1. Aaah everything looks good! I'm gonna have to go to Market again soon. Have you tried the tuna tartare at Mistral? That is my favorite!

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  2. Such a great meal... and the dessert really was incredible. I couldn't believe how good the service was. I'm so glad we decided to do this!

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  3. Oooh, I've heard of Market several times. Everything looks divine! =)

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  4. that looks like a great meal topped off with a yummy looking souffle.

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  5. you eat the yummiest foods! i would love that goat cheese salad and hooolllllly cupcake!

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  6. ooo! your dins looked amazing - still need to try Market by JG. See you very soon!

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  7. Mmmmm that looks sooo good! I would've probably licked that little cup/bowl thingy clean!

    http://jammer10am.blogspot.com/

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  8. I adore Market. I went there shortly after they opened and really enjoyed their tasting menu!

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  9. That Soufflé? YUMM! How do you not ever gain any weight?? Secrets please!

    As for your zebra cardigan... great minds think alike, don't they?? I bet we were twin sisters in another life!

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  10. It all looks soooo yummy. The lobster pizza really catches my eye lol. Also, I've wanted to go to the W! I need to get there.

    Enjoy the nice weekend!!!

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  11. Your delicious foods make me drool over here :D and I would not mind a cool cocktail like that now, it's Friday night after all!

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  12. oh boy. i think i just stared down that lobster pizza picture hoping it would recreate itself on my desk. no dice.

    so glad megan twisted your arm! hehe

    the rock/flower centerpiece in the third photo is super simple and cute!

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  13. I love sharing a bunch of smaller plates. You get to taste more. And have room for dessert like you said. ;)

    It all looks so delicious!

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  14. What a great place! The pickled peaches and crystalized wasabi sound so unique and that souffle looks just heavenly!

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  15. This is making my appetite get bigger!!! The place seems like a must visit!

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