Have you ever dined at Market? The last time I went the streets looked like they were dusted with icing sugar, and I tucked into cozy french classics such as foie gras, duck and lentils. Their menu changes in accordance with the seasons, so last week I hustled back with a posse of other Calgary food writers to sample their summer fare.
It takes a few months for any new restaurant to iron out the kinks. With Dave Bohati, the new Executive Chef on deck, Market has finally found its groove. Foodies and civilians can peacefully coexist here, as the menu is much more approachable than when they first opened.
Start with a few appies, like this grilled ham and cheese. Small bites here are actually a decent size, not the minuscule servings you may be used at other restos.
Salt Spring Island mussels are one of the most popular items on the menu. Floating in a sea of veal juice, garlic confit and tomato jam, you’ll want to sop up this savoury sauce with the buttery sourdough that accompanies it.
I’m not a huge kale fan (who decided kale was cool?), but this caesar salad spanked with double smoked bacon, and tossed in a garlic-mustard vinaigrette just might make me a convert.
This is no ordinary fried chicken. Brined for 12-hours, then sous-vide for six, before being thrown in the deep fryer, makes it incredibly moist with a thick crunchy skin.
Go for the halibut if you’re looking for lighter fare. Served on a bed of greens with crispy potatoes, it’s drizzled with a sweet pea puree.
The hanger steak was probably my favourite entree. It was tender, perfectly seasoned and reminded me of an Argentinian churrasco on a bed of poplar bluff aligot potato mashed with oodles of butter.
I didn’t try it, but I hear the burger is crazy good. Served medium rare on a homemade bun, it’s also done time in the sous-vide machine which means it’s cooked evenly throughout.
Save room for dessert. These peanut butter cookies that sandwich citrusy yuzu ice cream are served with homemade peanut butter chocolate bombs. It was at that point I wanted to curl up in the fetal position and beg for mercy, but there was still more to sample.
I never met a macaron I didn’t like, and these strawberry white pepper mouthfuls didn’t disappoint.
Market is now open for weekend brunch and late at night – till 11 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends.
Have you been? What did you think? What are recommendations?