MARKET {Summer Menu}

Posted on August 6th, 2013, by Vincci Tsui in Calgary, Restaurants, Reviews. No Comments

Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.

Disclosure: I was invited to a media event to check out the new summer menu at Market. I was not obligated to write this post. All opinions are my own, except when I say they’re B.’s… then they’re his.

Market Summer Tasting

Market has only been open for about six months, but it has already gone through quite a few changes. Former executive chef and Top Chef Canada Season 3 contestant Geoff Rogers has stepped down to take a position at Fable in Vancouver, allowing former chef de cuisine Dave Bohati to take the reins. Not long after, the flood hit, forcing the restaurant to close for about 10 days – in fact, the media event I attended had to be rescheduled three times! But it was obvious that the third time’s the charm…

Market Summer Tasting Menu

We were greeted with some bright, cheery Sherry Temples created by Market’s talented mixologist, Rebecca Davis.

Sherry Temple @ Market

I resisted the urge to make racist jokes (Harro, Sherry!) as I sipped on this sweet-and-tart concoction of maraschino liqueur, housemade peach puree, lemon and soda. I loved catching a whiff of the fresh thyme garnish with every sip – definitely a summer drink!

As more people trickled in and found their places, an assortment of “Bits & Bites” were laid out on the table – popcorn topped with grated parmesan and fresh chives, duck confit croquettes with chard aioli and mini grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.

Market - Bits & Bites

The ham and cheese sammies were definitely my favourite of the three, with toasted, buttery bread giving way to warm, gooey cheese. It was also surprisingly not too salty, which can sometimes be a problem with this combo.

Next came the larger appetizers. We started with a kale caesar salad, which was topped with double smoked bacon, parmesan crisps and shaved parmesan, and tossed in a caesar vinaigrette as opposed to the traditional creamy dressing.

Kale Caesar Salad @ Market

I would’ve preferred the kale to have been a little softer in this – in the past, when I’ve prepared kale salad, I’ve massaged the leaves with salt (and sometimes olive oil) to help draw out some of the water and make the leaves not so tough. The light vinaigrette had all the flavour of a full caesar dressing, but my favourite part of the salad was actually the bacon, which did not cast any doubts about its double-smokiness.

The tuna crudo was definitely a crowd favourite – thick slices of buttery BC albacore lightly garnished with house green onion kimchi, pickled shallots, pickled mustard seed, garlic chips and microgreens to enhance the flavour of the fish.

Tuna Crudo @ Market

B. who is seafood-averse, tried a piece of the tuna, but only went back for the garlic chips. I ate his share and then some.

Another crowd favourite was the Mussels & Sausage – mussels cooked in a rich and creamy broth of veal jus, pork sausage, tomato jam and garlic confit, with fresh garlic toasts for sopping.

Mussels & Sausage @ Market

The mussels were fresh and tender, and oh, that broth! More than one person at the table said they would just order a bowl of it. After his tuna experiment, B. did not opt for any mussels, but definitely snuck a second slice of bread and extra broth.

By this time, we were already getting quite full, but pressed on into the mains. First up was the Market Fish – a Queen Charlotte Island halibut served with sunchoke agnolotti, king oyster mushrooms, crisp potato balls and a sweet pea purée.

Queen Charlotte Island Halibut with Sunchoke Agnolotti @ Market

The fish was good, but the highlight for me was actually the accompaniments – the king oyster came in thick, meaty pieces and the crisp potato had a unique texture – breaded and outside and almost like a mashed potato on the inside. The agnolotti was my favourite – B. did not care for them, but the sweet, earthiness of the pureed sunchoke filling just brought me back to my university days when I was trying to figure out what to do with the dirt-crusted nubbins I got from my weekly Organic Campus delivery.

Next up was the 12-hour sous-vide hanger beef steak, served with potatoes two ways, herb emulsion, Hotchkiss rainbow chard, wild onions and a sprinkling of mushrooms, patty pan squash and microgreens.

Hanger Beef @ Market

The beef was perfectly cooked and tender. B. loved the cheesy aligot Poplar Bluff potatoes, but I found them to be almost gummy in texture. I much preferred the thin, crispy chips. I only had a tiny bit of steak, because we were all saving room for…

Fried Chicken @ Market


It was quite the show as Chef Bohati battled it out with bloggers Gabe (Le Voyage Gourmand) and Ryan (I’m Mr. Fabulous) to see who could carve their chicken the fastest.

Carving Contest!

It was no competition as Chef Bohati had already plated all of his chicken by the time the others only had a piece or two on their plates.

Fried Chicken @ Market

The fried chicken had crispy skin and juicy, tender meat, and came with a lot of housemade fixins, including coleslaw, chicken jus, a very horseradishy ranch dip and a sweet BBQ sauce. There was also some jalapeño cornbread, but it was quite dry.

I was tempted to skip dessert, since macarons aren’t my favourite, but I couldn’t resist this beautiful presentation.

Strawberry-Basil-Black Pepper Macarons @ Market

What appeared to be a simple macaron was actually quite complex – the soft, almond cookie shell hid a basil gel, the perfect complement to the creamy strawberry filling. After I swallowed the macaron, the taste of black pepper made itself apparent in my mouth – a very creative play on a perfect flavour combination.

The second dessert was an ice cream sandwich, which in itself was also surprising as the ice cream was actually orange flavoured!

Ice Cream Sandwich @ Market

However, the cookies were thick and hard to chew, so the ice cream sandwich was messy and difficult to eat. I actually preferred the little peanut butter chocolate “bomb-bons” that it was served with – peanut butter explosions hidden in a frozen, dark chocolate coating.

All in all, we were definitely spoiled with the quantity and quality of the food that night. There are definitely dishes that I will be happy to go back and eat again… no sharing this time!

718 17 Ave SW
Calgary AB T2S 0B7
(403) 474-4414
Open Sun-Wed 11:30 AM-11 PM; Thu-Sat 11:30 AM-1 AM
Market Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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