Tuesday, April 19, 2011

markethouse

it was one of those friday nights when i meet up with one of my favorite girls, mary beth for an evening of shopping, dinner and catching up. unfortunately, it was raining that evening and we were both starving after we finished shopping at our first store so we decided to go straight for dinner.

with the bad weather and all, we decided to go to somewhere close to my apartment so we could hang out at my apartment after dinner until the rain subsided (or so we hoped). and to markethouse restaurant in the doubletree hotel we went.



it was my second time here but first for mary beth. my first time dining here was with christina which also marked the first time i've ever had meatloaf. the dish is called meatloaf "markethouse way" which is one of their signature dishes and i remembered enjoying it with deliciously roasted seasonal vegetables. christina had their seasonal risotto which was the chanterelle mushroom risotto which was comfort food at its best - very delicious!

markethouse restaurant promises the use of fresh and local ingredients, hence quite a few of the dishes on their menu are seasonal and changes frequently. i, for one, love that in a restaurant cos ultimately fantastic dishes starts from fresh and great ingredients.



the restaurant itself is dimly lit. decor is simple but rustic and cozy with a few art pieces by the booths and the walls. there are two entrances - one through the lobby of the hotel where you would have to walk past the bar area to get to the maƮtre d. the other entrance is on fairbanks street.




after placing our orders, they started us off with a piece of freshly baked soft whole grain bread with softened butter and homemade bread&butter pickles (my fav type of pickles!) which they served in the cutest lil le creuset pot. i thought what a good way to start the meal.



entree | miller farms rotisserie half chicken . wild honeycomb - cayenne mop . candied lemon . asparagus ($20)


i wanted something simple and this dish fit the bill. plus, our waiter recommended this dish when i asked for his opinion between the two choices that i narrowed down. i especially liked the honeycomb - cayenne sauce/glaze which was a nice balance of sweet and subtle spicy kick although i don't mind it being a tad more spicy. the chicken was still moist which was lovely.  i was left wanting more of that sauce to pair with the chicken. the peppery flavor of the arugula countered the sweetness and i actually liked the candied lemon slices. the asparagus spears were cooked beautifully but i wished there were more. was i blown away? not exactly but it was good.

entree | pot pie . artichoke, black trumpet and hedgehog mushroom . asparagus . fingerling potato . celery root . truffle cream . crispy golden brown puff pastry . ($13)


i had a bite or two of mary beth's pot pie in which she asked them to hold any kinds/forms mushrooms in the dish (since she doesn't like them). i thought it was slightly bland and could have used more salt. the cream sauce is on the looser and lighter side but was still hearty. mary beth told me she liked the dish which reminded her of the pot pie her mom makes. i guess i'd have to partially agree when she said it was a bit messy to eat since the puff pastry crumbs were all over as she tried get through the dome of pastry.

dessert | butterscotch bread pudding . a la mode . ($7)


their signature dessert. and very rightfully so. we were stuffed after our entrees (i even had to get the rest of my chicken in a to go box) but i insisted mary beth to try this brioche bread pudding. a portion huge served in a le creuset ramekin pot enough to be shared by two (or even three actually). served warm, fresh from the oven and almost bruleed on top, they drizzled some butterscotch and finished it with a huge scoop of cold pecan-praline ice cream. i love the contrast of the warm and the cold and how the ice cream melts into the bread pudding with time.. the crust formed on top is probably my favorite part with the soft, creamy inside and pair it with some ice cream. it was very rich, decadent and almost borderline too sweet for me but interestingly enough, it was difficult for me to put down my spoon and stop eating. be aware though, since they bake these bread puddings individually and to order, it takes several minutes to come out to the table. regardless the wait, do not pass this dessert up.

markethouse restaurant celebrates fresh local ingredients through their well executed traditional american cuisine at slightly pricey costs. while i enjoyed the good food there, it's far from being exceptionally fantastic. however, the convenience of it being so close to my apartment might see to my return visit sometime soon.

disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others 

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