I feel that this restaurant deserves its own post. I was a bit hesitant to eat at a place that garnered 4 $’s on Yelp but MARKET by Jean-Georges has gotten much praise around the Internet and it was conveniently located in the same building as the hotel we were staying at, the Shangri-La Vancouver (review here).
Joann and I took the elevator from our room down to the 3rd floor where MARKET was located. A dimly lit corridor led us to the main lobby where the hostess was no where in sight. We stood around for 2 or 3 minutes waiting for someone to show up. I guess she was in the restroom or in the back, but she eventually showed up (w/o apologizing) and asked what time our reservation was. We had arrived 15 minutes early so we were invited to have a few drinks at the bar while our table was being prepped.
The decor of MARKET, which honestly I don’t ever care about when I’m in a restaurant, was that of fine dining. Dimly lit, quiet, large main dining room with well dressed patrons. I’m not really one to dress up to eat, but I’m glad we did. It was pretty fancy.
We were only at the bar for 5 minutes when the hostess grabbed us and escorted us to our round booth. I usually prefer a regular table but it was nicely isolated so we stayed. On to the good stuff…
Oysters: They were fresh and ocean-y just like I like ’em. Spritz a little lemon and a dab of the horseradish-filled cocktail sauce and I’m good to go. We could have easily gone through a dozen of these, but we wanted to try some other dishes.
Rice Cracker Crusted Tuna: This was served with a citrus-Sriracha emulsion which was amazing. The fresh meaty tuna paired with the crunch of the rice crackers and emulsion was “to die for”. There were also strands of scallions that helped cut through the creaminess of the Sriracha concoction.
Soy Glazed Short Ribs: This was Joann’s main dish. Upon first glance, I was glad she ordered it instead of me because it was such a small portion. After tasting, however, the portion seemed just right because the rich, fatty bone-in beef was packed with classic Asian flavors.
Grilled Lamb Chop: This had my name written all over it from the start. I seem to really gravitate to any “chop” dish on the menu, as evidenced by our meal at Briza in Atlanta. This chop was cooked perfectly medium rare and had great lamb flavor, not overly gamey at all. It was topped with a mushroom bolognese which I found very odd. I mean, meat sauce on top of meat? I’m not complaining but I did find that the flavor combination did not work so well. The 2 components would definitely work better separately.
Chocolate Lava Cake: This was uninspired and just like every other restaurant that offers it. I guess it’s hard to innovate something like chocolate cake so we should have known better. I would pass on it if we returned.
Overall, it was a great dinner that ended up around $100pp with drinks, tax, and tip. Not terrible. I hope the service was an anomaly because our waiter was not attentive at all. Our water glasses went empty for a while and our entree plates weren’t cleared from our table for about 15 minutes. That’s pretty unacceptable to me. It seemed like they were understaffed so who knows. If you ever find yourself in Vancouver and fancy an upscale restaurant, definitely check out MARKET!
P.S. Sorry for the horrendous pictures. We’re getting a new camera for Christmas!