Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Food: Market

Last week, my husband and I went for dinner at Market.  It opened last year and generated a lot buzz, with CBC food critic John Gilchrist giving it a 9/10.  It was Calgary's best new restaurant for 2013 as per CBC eyeopener, and it was also nominated for enRoute Magazine's top new restaurants in Canada for 2013.

So, we had pretty high expectations.

The decor is very hipster.  Eames moulded plastic chairs, glass pendant lights, rustic wood paneling, glass terrariums suspended by hemp rope, menus on heavy wooden boards, chalkboard signs.  Very of-the-moment, but to be honest, I found it kind of cliche.

I will also admit that for a restaurant that prides itself on serving local, seasonal and regional cuisine, I was very surprised that one of the features for the day was lobster poutine.  I mean, the restaurant carries the local philosophy to the point that they grow their own greens in house, they make all of their sodas, they butcher and cure their own meats and bake their own bread.  I'm sure it's delicious, but to me, it was like going to a vegan restaurant and finding bacon bits on the salad.  

We ordered a beet salad to start, with cured trout, potato horseradish cream and goat cheese.  It was delicious.  The flavours were very fresh and crisp.

For our second course, we shared the duck confit tacos with cilantro and aioli.  The plastic tube on the left contained vinegar (I think) which you could squeeze onto the tacos before eating.  They were delectable. The duck was tender and flavorful, and I adore cilantro.

For our main course, we got the pork belly and scallops for two.  These were served with fennel puree, apple and seasonal veggies like patty pan squash and mushrooms.  I found the pork belly to be a little bit dry, but apart from that, we enjoyed it and there was enough for me to take home for lunch the next day.

For dessert, I had the peanut butter and jam doughnuts.  These were sprinkled with sugar and spice and paired with peanut butter mousse, peanut brittle and huckleberry jam.  They didn't blow me away.  The doughnuts were still kind of raw on the inside, and I thought the rest of the dish was flavourless.

I had the homemade ginger ale and it was not the spicy, gingery soda that I tend to prefer.  Just kind of sweet.

Overall, the meal was enjoyable and reasonably priced.  I'd give it a 7/10 which for me means that I probably wouldn't make a repeat visit.


  1. Woot! Food pictures! : ). Those tacos. They look so good! And I love the vinegar tube thingy. That is really cool. That is a bummer about the doughnuts. They sounded so good!

    I am with you, 7/10 would not be a return visit for me either. It has to be at least an 8.5. There are so many good restaurants just in our town alone, I do not like wasting time or money. We are going out tomorrow night to this cute little local restaurant. It is very hipster, which is actually not my thing but more my husband's. But the food is really good and they have a chandelier the owner made out of honey bear jars. I go there to look at the jars. My favorite thing on the menu is only for lunch, so I will have to find something else.

    Love seeing your date night pics! What did you wear?


  2. I think the tacos were my favourite part of the meal.

    I hope you had a good date night. I ended up wearing the green lace skirt and grey shirt in the outfit post 2 or 3 posts down. Actually my husband teases me sometimes because he goes out to eat and I seem to go out to get dressed up.

  3. I love beets, so the beet salad definitely caught my attention. And the duck confit tacos. I generally find I don't love places that have a lot of buzz. I'll go to try it, but generally I won't go again. There are some exceptions, of course.

  4. Beets are da bomb. I agree that most places that are the "in" place to eat at are usually not my style... but maybe it's unfair because it's hard to live up to the hype?