For starters, both chefs have held prominent positions within the city recently. Geoff Rogers, formerly of Home Tasting Room, has partnered with Dave Bohati, most recently of Rush. In opening Market, they've taken over the space that was previously occupied by The Yardhouse pub on Uptown 17th Avenue.
Though both Home and Rush were considered better Calgary dining destinations, they were decidedly different restaurants, and I was interested to see what would result from a joint venture between these two chefs. I found Market more similar to Home, both in the atmosphere and the menu.
In terms of décor, Market is more casual than either of its chefs' previous ventures, with a chalkboard mural ceiling and little hanging terrarium-things that at first glance resemble light fixtures. The space has a cool, foodie-insider vibe and features a long bar and an open kitchen at the back.
When it comes to the food, Market is all about local and sustainable ingredients. They do things in-house from curing their own meats, to baking their own bread, to making their own pop. Yes, you read that right, you won't find a Coke or Pepsi here. They have even taken the step of getting an Urban Cultivator so they can grow many of their own vegetables.
At the opening, we sampled paired hors d'oeuvres and cocktails/wines. Those who are familiar with Chef Rogers' food will find some familiar elements like the charcuterie that for me, epitomized Home, are strong at Market as well. In particular, the duck rillette, pickled beets, and air-dried bison were excellent, as was a foie gras macaroon.
On this particular night, eggs seemed to be a 'thing' as well, with two of the hors d'oeuvres being egg dishes. Too soon to tell whether this will be specific to Market, or will become an industry-wide trend, like truffles.
We also snuck a peek at the regular menu and wine list. Given the local and sustainable mandate, it will change regularly, but this version offered a choice of small or large plates (one choice of each protein), with nothing over $30. The wine list is note-worthy for being exclusively North American. Cocktails also seemed to be strong focus, with Mixologist Rebecca Davis formerly of Charcut onboard.
Market opened to the general public on Saturday night, and they were already heavily booked for this week, including Valentine's Day, so get yourself a reservation before it becomes impossible. This is even more likely to become the case because today it was announced that Geoff Rogers will be one of the contestants on the upcoming season of Top Chef Canada, which begins airing in March.
718 17 Avenue SW