By Kelley Carlson
Every day offers a fresh experience at Market Restaurant, with its ever-changing menu and locally bought ingredients. “Our commitment is to doing great food every day, 365 days a year,” said chef/owner Carl Schroeder.
The restaurant acquires produce and seafood from farmers markets and fishermen daily, and from local sites such as Chino Farm in Rancho Santa Fe and Valdivia Farms in Carlsbad. And the menu never has a chance to become stale — Schroeder diversifies his offerings on a day-to-day basis.
One constant is the restaurant’s signature dish, Cabernet Braised Prime Beef Shortribs, although some of the sides vary. Recently, the item was served with spring peas, Forest Mushroom Roast, asparagus and onion-potato purée.
The beef shortribs are among Schroeder’s favorites, along with the soups. There are Thai Carrot Soup and Local Asparagus Soup & Truffled Grilled Cheese, among others.
Additional entrees on the menu may feature items such as Prime Ribeye Cap Pavé & Potato Gnocchi, the Miso Glazed Double Jidori Chicken Breast and Farmers’ Market Vegetable Tasting.
Save room for dessert — there are S’mores, Apple Turnovers, Meyer Lemon-Rhubarb Crepes, ice cream, artisanal cheeses and more.
Guests who want to try a little of everything can order from the tasting menu, where they can select one item in each of four categories, usually a starter, two entrees and a dessert. The cost is $68 per person, and is an additional $39 with wine pairings.
About 70 people can be accommodated in the main dining room, which radiates warmth with earth-toned colors like persimmon and chocolate. The aptly named Red Room, which Schroeder recommends for its intimacy and better acoustics, can seat some 30 guests.
The dining areas open at 5:30 p.m. daily, and Schroeder said it’s best to have reservations most days. “We don’t aggressively seat; we space our seating,” he said.
However, reservations are not necessary in the 40-seat sushi/bar area, which begins service at 5 p.m. There are a couple of TVs to entertain guests, who may sit on bar stools or at candle-lit tables, and there are dimly lit paintings on the wall. The full restaurant menu is available, along with sushi, sashimi, and rolls such as Red Dragon (eel, cucumber, avocado, layered spicy tuna and teriyaki) and the signature Market (tempura shrimp, spicy tuna, jalapeño, yellowtail and chili aioli).
And there are plenty of drink options for restaurant customers, from wine and beer, to sake, bourbon, brandy and specialty drinks, such as the Strawberry-Basil Lemon Drop and Cucumber Gimlet.
For the best Market experience, Schroeder recommends pairing wine with food.
“By talking to the servers and the sommelier (Brian Donegan), there are a lot of different resources,” he said.
Eventually, Schroeder plans to hold two to three wine dinners each year. The first one will be “a trip through Italy,” featuring regional Italian dishes with Market’s flair. The date is yet to be announced.
3702 Via de la Valle, Del Mar
: Casual, Elegant
Cabernet Braised Prime Beef Shortribs
Sushi/bar 5 p.m. daily; Main dining, 5:30 p.m. daily
On The Menu Recipe
Each week you’ll find a recipe from the featured restaurant online at lajollalight.com. Just click Get The Recipe at the bottom of the story.
This week: MARKET’s Point Reyes Blue Cheese Souffle & Satsuma Tangerines