Market by Jean-Georges (Dine Out Vancouver – 2014)
Market by Jean-Georges opened 5 years ago in the ultra tall Shangri-La hotel in Vancouver as Vongerichten’s first foray into the Canadian market. Of course, Jean-Georges is no stranger to popular restaurants… and from our Dine Out visit, I know why his restaurants are so popular.
Market was offering up a $38 Dine Out menu this year and we were seated in a cozy corner table with a view of Alberni and Thurlow. The complimentary bread that arrived quickly to the table was crusty and dense with a hearty chew to it.
We ordered a couple of drinks: The Lychee Raspberry Bellini ($14) and the Fresh Ginger Ale Soda ($7). The bellini (not to be confused with the frozen bellini variety that Milestones popularized) is made from Cristalino Brut Cava sparkling wine, lychee, and raspberry. I really enjoyed the fresh ginger ale as it wasn’t too strong but had a definite ginger taste to it.
The Seared Gulf Shrimp with Butternut Squash, Ginger and Basil appetizer was perfectly cooked. It’s so easy to overcook shrimp so it was very welcome that the shrimp had a good snap when I bit into it.
I really enjoyed the Tomato Soup with Sourdough Crouton and Cheddar Cheese. It was everything that you could ask for in a tomato soup… served hot, creamy, and with croutons that stayed crunchy in the soup… perfect on a cold winter night. The only thing that would have made it better would be to serve it with a grilled cheese sandwich (although the sourdough crouton and cheddar cheese was an obvious nod to the missing grilled cheese sandwich).
The Soy and Sweet Wine Lacquered Pork Cheek was topped with a crisp celery and apple salad. Don’t be afraid of cheeks – if cooked properly, this part of the pig can be super tender. And that’s just what they delivered here… fork-tender meat with rich flavours.
The Slowly Cooked Steelhead was topped with an interesting brussel sprouts chiffonade (I never would have thought of having brussel sprouts like this) and served on a bed of truffle mashed potatoes. The crunchy texture of the brussel sprouts played well with creamy mashed potatoes.
For dessert, we had the Cheesecake with lemon cream and topped with blueberry sorbet. The cheesecake itself was a simple, classic cheesecake but the sorbet helped to give it a good flavour kick.
Apparently, there is much debate as to whether Jean-Georges invented the crowd-pleasing molten chocolate lava cake dessert or if he merely popularized it in North America. In either case, the Warm Chocolate Cake served with vanilla ice cream oozed chocolate lava as soon as you broke it open. Such a warm and decadent way to end the meal.
Service was good and we weren’t rushed at all despite it being busy for Dine Out. I think we were seated in the Alberni room so we were a little removed from the open bustle of the restaurant and things were much quieter.
1115 Alberni Street
Posted on January 28, 2014, in Restaurant Review, West Coast and tagged Dine Out Vancouver 2014, Food, Pork Cheeks, restaurant review, Tomato Soup, Vancouver, Warm Chocolate Cake, West Coast, West End. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.