I'd first been to Market shortly after it opened, and though the meal was tasty, the environment chic and service excellent, I promptly forgot about it. It just fell off my radar, but it shouldn't have. A recent visit to check out the new menu re-affirmed that this is a place worthy of attention.
Market is located in the W Hotel-Buckhead and is the perfect place to dine before heading up to the very fun bar Whiskey Blue...in part because if you valet park at the hotel and then dine at Market, you'll get three hours of complimentary parking, whereas if you only go to the bar the $16 parking fee isn't waived. At those rates, it just makes sense to at least get an appetizer before heading upstairs. (And you'll want to head upstairs, if only to ride in the elevator that's outfitted with a seven-foot long white leather sofa. If that doesn't make you feel like you've arrived at the good life, nothing will.)
Of course, Market has its own cocktail menu, so you need not go to Whiskey Blue at all. The cucumber martini is made with Bluecoat Gin, which has soft floral notes, and is light, refreshing and food-friendly. The grapefruit gimlet is equally tasty.
If you don't think you like pea soup, a small starter shot of it will change your mind. It's hot, fresh and topped with a Parmesan foam that adds the perfect salty contrast to the savory soup.
The crab fritter is topped with sweet slivers of pear and rests atop a spicy savory sauce:
This salad is a revelation. The combination of mango, black olives, basil, queso fresca and olive oil doesn't sound good, which is why each bite is such a pleasant surprise:
Cod is adored the world over and has been for centuries. (There's even a great book about the fish's role in history.) But I don't get it. I just don't like cod. Here it's presented in a flavorful pool of tart vegetable sauce, which I'd prefer with halibut or some other sort of fish. But that's just me, obviously.
The lamb meat is schmeared with a mint pesto which in turn is topped with panko bread crumbs. Mint and lamb is a traditional combination, but it's never tasted this good. And that bright green side dish of pea puree and peas with almonds is the sort of veggie that could persuade even the crankiest kid to eat vegetables. Run, don't walk, to get this dish:
This sized-to-share dessert offers a satisfying combination of well-matched flavors, including brûléed bananas atop a banana cake, caramel ice cream, chocolate crunchies (reminiscent of Cocoa Puffs) and dark chocolate dollops.
Bottom line: Creative flavor combinations, well-executed preparations and high-quality food elevate Market to a destination worthy of foodies' attention.