After years as a successful caterer, Jennifer Russo-Fitzgerald recently took the natural next step in opening her own restaurant, the Arcadia-area The Market by Jennifer’s. Though the space is on the small size, it is large in style and quality–boasting an adorable industrial-meet-glam space (meaning lots of metal and piping accented with glitzy chandeliers and artwork). The little touches really make the space, including the red-and-white striped straws and pretty nosh boards. Plus, it boasts a cool, stylish patio that is sure to be packed once the double digits come back around in September.
In addition to dishing up lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, The Market just introduced a four-seat bar and has a great selection of grab-and-go items–family-style dishes that Mom or Dad can pick up on the way home from work, warm up and serve. Think tri-colored carrots, a delish cous cous dish and much more. (Don’t forget to grab a bag of heaven-sent house-made brown butter chocolate chip cookies for dessert.)
During a lunchtime visit, we very much enjoyed a few of The Market’s signature nosh boards. The charcuterie board is full of divine meats like Italian prosciutto, soppressata and Spanish chorizo as well as a nice wedge of creamy cheese. Tasty extras on our visit included peach chutney, lavender mustard, crostini and house crackers. The mustard and chutney were the scene stealers and a refreshing departure from the usual jam or dried fruit that accompany such boards. The molted fondue cheese board was chock-full of dippables like winter apples, pears, toasted country bread, soft pretzel and Schreiner’s sausage. Though the soft pretzels were a little dry, the sausage and fruits were so delicious when dunked into the tangy cheese fondue.
A perfect summer starter, the chilled tuna “carpaccio” was refreshing and flavor-packed. The dish–which was super pretty, to boot–was a lovely medley of texture, colors and flavors, thank to olives, roasted garlic, tomatoes, basil and sunchoke puree.
For a heartier lunch, the artichoke risotto was super addicting and gloriously creamy. The perfectly cooked risotto is topped with rock shrimp (and a lot of it), oregano and lemon oil. We scraped the bowl. Offering the perfect balance of sweet and savory is the roasted pork Cuban sandwich with pancetta, pickled shallots and roasted garlic. And the house chips that side the sandwich are impossible to stop snacking on.
Dessertime is a must at The Market. For a rich ending, the Nutella bananas foster bread pudding or flourless chocolate cake topped with espresso
mascarpone cream (and sided with berries and a must-try coconut-almond brittle) are out of this world. Rich but so, so worth it. A bit different, the lavender crème brulee. The floral flavor definitely shines through, and the texture is like silk. For info on summer events, visit www.themarketbyjennifers.com.