The Market Restaurant: Where comfort and class collide
In the central Arcadia district of Phoenix, Arizona is The Market, a trendy restaurant and catering company run by chef Jennifer Russo and her business partner Richard Fiero. The establishment is tucked back in a secluded corner of a shopping center where the entire restaurant opens up to the outdoors, allowing all the diners to enjoy the airy, country chic atmosphere.
There is something alluring about outside dining that elevates the culinary experience—perhaps it’s the perfect Phoenix winter weather, or even a primal instinct that heightens the senses—either way, the space at The Market is very inviting.
The menu is seasonally inspired using locally sourced ingredients. The fare is contemporary American with some Italian and New Orleans French influences. Perhaps more simply described, it’s comfort food with class.
I had an opportunity to attend a private event with some fellow foodie writers to taste our way through Jennifer’s new seasonal menu, along with a few house favorites. It was a wonderful chance to compare notes with other culinary journalists and also go unnoticed while taking photos of each dish that left the kitchen.
Our three-hour culinary journey started with a ceviche amuse, a cheese & charcuterie board that included local cheese from monger Lara Mulchay, fruit compote, mixed nuts, Arizona honey, violet mustard, shallots and garlic aioli. This was followed by another board of roasted vegetables.
This was just to whet our appetite, the starters were next! From shrimp n’ grits, beef satay, Carpaccio to squid, we tried at least half a dozen appetizers. The standouts for me were probably the grilled pancetta wrapped shrimp with BBQ baked beans and cilantro aioli. As well as the grilled tenderloin satay with red chilies, Arizona honey, cilantro, fried shallots with sweet & sour cucumbers and soy ginger. Oh my!
The tenderloin Carpaccio with pecorino, quail egg, citrus oil, micro arugula and salt truffle made for a vibrant photo.
Our next course included a couple of salads; the highlight for me was the heirloom tomato with a mix of beefsteak and cherry tomato, fresh mozzarella, arugula, Mediterranean sea salt and a rich sherry vinaigrette.
Then came the entrees, which included Gnocchi, seared salmon, pork chop, grilled tenderloin, and roasted chicken. The highlights on this round was the salmon with bunashimeji mushrooms, parsnip puree, Pinot Noir reduction with gremolata. It was sensational! As too was the beef tenderloin, which came with Au Gratin potatoes, herb butter and baby vegetables with Au Poivre (neither pictured…I am sharing what I thought was my best photo, the pork chop).
Finally, for dessert, we started with an almond press cocktail that had pressed cold-brewed coffee, Almondrado and fresh Danzeisen Dairy Milk that came in one of those ol’ glass milk jugs. The mixture was served over ice and was simply outstanding. Our non-liquid sweets included a deconstructed strawberry short cake, Callebaut white chocolate mouse and a flourless chocolate cake. The stand out here was the white chocolate mouse, orange supreme with salted caramel popped corn. I simply loved this dessert dish; it had it all going on…sweet, salty and gooey crunch. I love sweets, but I don’t care for rich desserts, so I found this one to be the perfect blend of yin and yang.
We all had a wonderful evening, due in no small part to the outstanding and knowledgeable wait staff. If you’re looking for a locally owned and operated restaurant providing an exceptional dining experience, I would certainly recommend The Market Restaurant + Bar.
If you’ve ever been to The Market at Jennifer’s Restaurant + Bar, please leave a comment below and share your experience.
Contact information for The Market Restaurant + Bar:
Address: 3603 E. Indian School Rd., Suite A | Phoenix, AZ 85018