November 17, 2003
What a lucky find! We were pleasantly surprised to be seated immediately on a Friday night, though we might have been out a little late for the Napa crowd at 9:30. The restaurant is one long room with high ceilings and an enormous Brunswick bar that has its own story on the menu. The building itself was built in 1890. Market bills itself as an "American restaurant", but I would describe it as upscale comfort food.
Appetizers range from $5 for Roasted Sugar Pie Pumpkin soup to $9.50 for a vegetable platter. My friend described her pumpkin soup as "spicy with a little bit of bite on the end." She continued to gush about it for several minutes offering up comments like, "Soooo good" and "full-bodied spicy flavor that tastes of Fall." Ok – so I think she was a bit dramatic – let’s just say she liked it.
Main dishes ranged from $8 for a Portobello sandwich to $19 for Delmonico Steak. There was also a section on the menu called "American Classics" with items ranging from $9.50 to $13.50 and menu items such as: a burger, a pork sandwich and "A Very Adult Mac and Cheese" with Hobb’s bacon and creamy fiscallini cheddar cheese sauce ($10).
I’m not one to gush about food, but the Mac and Cheese was the best that I have ever had. At first glance the portion seemed small, but the dish was so rich that it was quite filling. We inspected it, trying to discover the magical ingredients, and I think the fresh chives definitely made the dish.
My culinary friend had a chopped salad and was quite pleased to find quite a variety of vegetables including sweet snap peas, carrots, onions, blue cheese, bacon, broccoli, etc.
Desserts included apple pie ($6), homemade butterscotch pudding ($5) and ‘smores for two made at your table ($10). I ordered the ‘smores and was disappointed. The graham crackers were very thin and kept breaking. While it was fun to roast the marshmallows over the little fire, the whole thing was such a mess and not worth the money or the effort.
Additionally, our server was pleasant but rather ‘off’ – we sat for long periods of time with empty drinks and dirty dishes. He would not split our check (though there were only three of us) because he had ‘already typed it in the computer.’
Never mind about the service, though, go to Market for the atmosphere and the food and you will not be disappointed.
Cork Fee: $15.
From journal Two Days in the Valley