Thanks to Brookline PR, I was one of the lucky invitees to Grand Opening Media Sneak Peek event last Friday evening of Calgary’s newest restaurant, MARKET. MARKET had officially opened for their first dinner service to the general public last Saturday, February 9. The restaurant is located in the space that once was home to The Yardhouse on 17th Avenue SW. MARKET is the brainchild of owner Vanessa Salopek and Executive Chef Geoff Rogers and their focus is on authentically regional, farm fresh and sustainable food using seasonal ingredients. MARKET actually takes things to the next level by making their bread and cheese in-house, butchering their own animals, and growing their own greens and herbs in-house with Calgary’s first commercial Urban Cultivator.
Inside MARKET, there is a bar and the main dining area, which features an open concept kitchen. The decor is contemporary yet the atmosphere approachable and relaxed.
The Grand Opening Sneak Peek menu consisted of hors d’oeuvres which were paired with a carefully chosen beverage so the flavours of the food and drink complemented each other.
We started off with some freshly shucked Holy Wood Oysters which were served with a choice of either a chili or shallot mignonette. These oysters were delicious, especially when paired with the Argyle Brut from Willamette Valley in Oregon. This was the perfect way to kick off the evening.
Next up were the Foie Gras Macarons, which actually turned out to be one of the highlights of the evening for me. It consisted of a beet and almond macaron filled with foie gras and apple butter. They were delicious. I loved the sweet and savory combination. The macarons paired perfectly with the “Ratified” cocktail, which consisted of St. Remy Brandy, white cranberry juice, and bitters.
I also loved the Scotch Quail Eggs. The quail eggs were cooked perfectly with a slightly runny yolk in the center. They were delicious and easily the best version of Scotch eggs that I’ve ever had! And they went perfectly with my favourite cocktail of the evening, the Johnny Winter Love Affair, which was made with Johnny Walker Black, cinnamon syrup, bitters, and sparkling wine. I was particularly impressed with their creativity, especially with the rustic presentation of the Scotch Quail Eggs, which resembled a bird’s nest.
We also go to sample a variety of in-house prepared Charcuterie & Artisanal Cheeses. The charcuterie board included items such as head cheese, air dry bison, mortadella, artisanal cheeses, and pickled beets.
The in-house prepared charcuterie also included Duck Rillettes which was served on crostinis and topped with shallot jam and home-grown pea shoots.
The charcuterie platter paired perfectly with the Blasted Church Merlot from the Okanagan Valley in BC.
The most memorable item for me were the Market Perfect Eggs, which were cooked in an immersion circulator at 58 degrees for approximately 12 minutes. They were topped with apple cider vinegar, chives, and Chantilly cream.
For dessert, we were served warm Salted Caramel and Chocolate cookies that were fresh out of the oven. They were the perfect way to cap off the evening.
Both the hors d’oeuvres and cocktails that we sampled were quite impressive. This doesn’t come as a surprise to me as MARKET’s team is stacked with seasoned veterans from Calgary’s culinary scene. Executive Chef Geoff Rogers is formerly from Home Tasting Room while Chef de Cuisine Dave Bohati is formerly from Rush and Mixologist Rebecca Davis is formerly from CHARCUT.
I’m definitely looking forward to going back to try items from their regular menu soon although it may not be an easly task trying to score a reservation, especially with the recent announcement earlier this week that Executive Chef Geoff Rogers will be one of the contestants on the upcoming season of Top Chef Canada which will start airing in March.
718 17 Avenue SW