This week, continuing my tour of Calgary’s Best Restaurants, I visited MARKET on 17th.
MARKET opened its doors on the heart of 17th ave in 2013 to much buzz and accolades. It immediately became a hit, and they have been serving hungry Calgarians nightly for just over a year now.
MARKET was founded on culinary principles, instead of a particular cooking school or style. The culinary principles which the team at MARKET employs are:
“To lead the Calgary and National culinary scene in food quality and taste while providing genuine enlightened hospitality and service. To support our local farmers and community by staying true to our homemade, local, seasonal, and regional food philosophy. To let our passion guide us, always pushing the boundaries of excellence and creativity, while providing a fun, knowledgeable, unique and unforgettable dining experience for each guest.”
With this philosophy in mind, my friend and I sat down in MARKET’s fantastically designed modern open dining room to experience this philosophy first hand.
When you first enter the dining room you are greeted by an open, modern, clean space. There is a contrast of stark white versus black chalk board, with simple, clean lines being the feature. There is a hanging garden of herbs encased in glass bulbs over top of one of the staging/prep areas.
The dining room is best described as what a restaurant would look like if it were in the space of a modern loft apartment.
Our first course, pork rinds with a pistachio dipping sauce, arrived promptly. The service was professional and friendly throughout the meal, and our server was knowledgeable about each course.
The finger food opening course was a fun play on a traditional snack food. I don’t think I can ever remember being served pork rinds at a restaurant before, and I liked the concept, as well as the outcome. The sauce was a fresh and lively creation which really complemented the savoury rinds.
Our second course saw a plate of salmon and tortellini on a bed of re-fried beans. The beans were some of the best I have ever tried (and I have lived in countries where this was a daily standard.) The tortellini went perfectly with the beans, and I think the dish would have been best left there. The salmon was cooked medium, and was a nice cut of fish, but the best parts of this dish were the combination of the silky beans with the homemade tortellinis.
The main course was a cutting board of lamb prepared in different ways. This was a winning plate, deserving of all the accolades which MARKET has received locally and nationally. Three different cuts of the meat were used, all prepared in unique and innovative ways.
The presentation was incredible. It was a functional cutting board, which I imagine puts some muscle on the servers when brought out regularly. The meat was presented beautifully, with sauces interspersed with colour and pizzazz.
Our dessert course was a vanilla milkshake with a lemon meringue topping. I’ve never had a better milkshake; that much I know. Absolute silk in a glass, topped with a lemon meringue that went well with the vanilla shake, and gave a slight tart end to the sweet and silky shake.
Throughout the meal a paired wine was presented to us which always went well with the given plate. Keeping with their concept of local, all of the wines they serve are North American offerings.
MARKET demonstrated to my friend and me the reasons why they have charged onto the Calgary food scene. Sticking with a local philosophy is not only socially and environmentally friendly, it also allows for the food to be as fresh as possible. They have sourced their food through local providers, and have sculpted them into culinary pieces of art for the Calgary diners lucky enough to get a seat.
When you want to experience the cutting edge of Calgary’s culinary scene, Owner Vanessa Salopek’s MARKET, with Executive Chef Dave Bohati, and GM Kathryn Koebels will bring you the experience in which you are looking for.
Location:718 17 Ave SW
Sunday to Wednesday
11:30 am to 11:00 pm
Thursday to Saturday
11:30 am to 1:00 am