Market by Jean-Georges: Truffle Mashed Potatoes and Melt-in-Your-Mouth Short Ribs
1128 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
Visiting yet another restaurant on my eating wishlist, I suffered another case of ‘wishing I got what the other guy ordered.’ Lucky for me though, anyone who dines with me knows that I will a.) eat some of your food and b.) take an obscene amount of photos of your food. You will, however, have to excuse the inconsistent lighting in the below photos. It was very dim in the restaurant and partway through we decided to use an iPhone as back lighting. Diners around us were thrilled about that.
Since it was only mid-week, we decided to skip the wine and cocktails (come on, I’m not that much of a party girl!), and ordered two of Market’s in-house sodas. They were pretty tasty. I ordered the lemon jasmine tea. I liked that it was light and refreshing. My friend wrote it off as iced tea. We also ordered the cherry ouzo soda which was very sweet and left a lingering, tingly feeling on my tongue. There was a definite licorice taste from the ouzo.
The appetizer we ordered was the seared scallops covered in a caramelized cauliflower caper and raisin emulsion. The scallops were so tender and gigantic! The were as big as two big golf balls on the plate. They were delicious, sweet and nutty from the emulsion.
I ordered the Crunchy Roasted Sablefish with glazed mushrooms and mint. It smelled delicious coming to the table. And that crust was definitely crunchy and flavourful. The fish was so tender that it fell apart at one prick from my fork, it was moist and juicy. I was pretty distracted by that crunchy crust though. The mushrooms were a little on the salty side but were nice and plump, having soaked up all the yummy juices from the fish.
My friend ordered what I wish I ordered! I know it looks like a hunk of blackness in the picture but these are the tastiest, most tender, ‘melt-in-your-mouth’ short ribs, soy glazed and topped with refreshing apple strips. I was nibbling on this dish all night. My friend is totally used to me poking my fork into his plate.
The soy glaze brought out the natural sweetness in the ribs, and the apples just added to the juiciness of the dish. Underneath the ribs was a surprisingly cool and sweet Apple-Jalapeno puree. I panicked a little when I heard there was Jalapeno in the puree. My friend told me when it was already in my mouth. But the puree turned out not to be spicy at all. The light, creamy texture also gave the dish such dimension, off-setting the crunchy apple strips and the moist meat.
The side my friend ordered was so tasty I ate half of it: Truffle Mashed Potatoes. They were creamy but still roughly mashed enough to have some structure. The truffle oil was amazing, giving the potatoes a real kick of flavour. I just couldn’t get enough of these potatoes. It started with me asking ‘hey, do you mind if I have a taste?’ to me totally leaning over his shoulder to greedily scoop up another spoonful.
Our other friend ordered the Grilled Rack of Lamb with King Oyster mushrooms, Broccolini with a Chili Glaze. Chef Jean-Georges really hammers home the ‘fresh Farmers Market’ theme of the restaurant by including mushrooms in almost every dish. I don’t even really like mushrooms, well, not the taste of them anyway. I love the texture. Basically, I love mushrooms when they don’t taste like mushrooms. Lucky for me, mushrooms are great flavour sponges. And the King Oyster mushrooms in this dish really soaked up the sweet and spicy Chili Glaze.
The lamb chops were tender in the middle but had a tougher exterior than I would have preferred. The flavour was still incredible though. The meat wasn’t as gamey as some other lamb chops I’ve eaten.
Our third dish was a Caramelized NY Strip steak with gingered Shiitakes and a soy caramel Emulsion. I would’ve never paired caramel with beef, with it really brought out the sweetness in the meat. The steak was tender and flavourful and amazingly tender, definitely more tender than the lamb chops.
The other side we ordered was the roasted mushrooms with Jalapeno and garlic. I don’t know why I found this dish incredibly salty. Everyone else at the table thought it was fine. I had three very salty bites though. The texture of the mushrooms were plump, moist and soft though.
For dessert, we ordered the Warm Apple Crumble with cinnamon ice cream. The soft oats and cooked apple made me think of oatmeal. This was definitely a homey, winter dessert, and warmed my tummy.
Our second dessert is one of my favourite sweets: Warm Chocolate Cake with vanilla ice cream. Being a lover of classics I preferred this vanilla ice cream over the cinnamon ice cream that was served with the apple crumble. I thought the chocolate lava cake could have been richer and gooeier though. A mass of thick, chocolate lava did spill forth when I gashed the cake open but the actual texture of the chocolate cake was a little on the firmer side. It still tasted wonderful though, dense and bittersweet.
I will definitely revisit Market! I hear their brunch is to die for.